Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference in Transnational American Studies (8th Annual)

deadline for submissions:
February 24, 2017
full name / name of organization:
Binghamton University
contact email:

Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference

in Transnational American Studies (8th Annual)

Binghamton University

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Keynote: Russ Castronovo, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Deadline for Proposal Submission: February 24th, 2017

“Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders” is an interdisciplinary graduate conference dedicated to exploring the changing contours of the field of American Studies. This year’s conference theme, “Globalizing the Commons, Localizing the Transnational”, focuses on the transnational turn in American Studies in an effort to re-think the field imaginary, paying particular attention to the intersecting sites of identity, community, nation, and globalization along with the methodological trajectories which make these sites legible. Keeping in mind recent anthological interventions—Globalizing American Studies (2010), Re-Framing the Transnational Turn in American Studies (2011), and American Studies as Transnational Practice (2015), to name just a few—the conference seeks to investigate the conditions through which discussions of the transnational dialectically broaden the scope of the field while underestimating the nuances of the local, and, by the same concern, how local attentiveness precludes visibility of global, coalitional resistance.

In keeping with this year’s focus, we seek papers concerned with the relationships between conceptions of the local, national, and the global, as well as the liminality inherent to the delineation of these spaces. In lieu of examining the well-trodden ground of ‘the state of the field’ and resonant attempts to redefine American studies itself, we encourage papers that attend to more interdisciplinary limits of subjectivity, the state, and global community. We seek papers that localize the transnational, totalize the provincial, and speak to the constituting horizons necessarily produced by these methodologies.

Redolent questions include: How does the global trajectory of capitalism become individualized in neoliberalism? What are the resonances between the global war on terror and the militarization of local police forces? How do identitarian frameworks potentialize coalition while restricting conditions of belonging? More broadly speaking, when considering the roots of the transnational turn are found in the transatlantic, how can we resituate and trouble Occidental cultural dialogues between the United States and Europe? Finally, how is the totalizing schema of the anthropocene configured along local and global registers?

To submit a paper proposal, send a 250-word abstract to shiftingborders@gmail.com. To submit a panel proposal, include the names and email addresses of three participants, with individual paper abstracts and a 150-word abstract uniting them. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Archipelagos and the Transnational Pacific
  • The Speculative Limits of Finance Capital
  • Racialized Transatlantic Histories and Communities
  • Mapping Subject and Species through Biopower
  • Relationships between Isolationism and American Empire
  • Feminist Coalition / Resistance and Co-opting Identity
  • Trauma in the Local/Transnational Sites of War on Terror
  • Localized Translations / Globalized Dialects
  • Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Individual
  • Dronification as / and Destabilized Imperial Violence