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Migration studies are at the core of American history. Whether voluntary or involuntary, migrations peopled the continent. Waves of immigration have created an American identity which is continuously modified by new arrivals and changing patterns of cultural transmission and dominance. While cultural mobility seems to be an unstoppable global phenomenon, local resistance, mainly among minorities, is observed. Cultures—or cultural traits—also migrate on their own, disregarding borders.
The international borders of the United States have evolved from a moving ‘frontier’ line and have reached their present state in the 19th century. International borders have evolved from porous to tight, first on the Mexican border, and after 9/11, also on the Canadian border. ‘Borderland’ studies (Herbert Bolton) date back to the early decades of the 20th Century but experience a renewal. Other internal ‘borders’ are continuously shifting: borders between different land-use areas—protected vs unprotected, land lost or gained by Native American Nations, land claimed as Hispanic ‘land grants’, gentrified neighborhoods, urban sprawl and imploding cities.
The present conference aims to analyze the discourse, the representation and the imaginary contexts linked to migrations and borders in the United States. We welcome interdisciplinary proposals for papers in English and French from the fields of history, cultural, political and discourse studies, sociology, geography, and anthropology. The following themes may be discussed from an historic perspective or from a contemporary viewpoint:
- Migrations, temporary or permanent, economic as well as touristic and educational; the impact of migrants on American society and identity,
- New visions of border security; the cost of maintaining international borders,
- Shifting identities in America, from the colonial period to the 21st century; constructed and re-constructed identities, diasporas,
- Contact cultures, borderless cultures and local cultures; cultural mobility in the United States; the concept of cultural appropriation.
We accept papers in French or in English.
Deadline for proposals: December 15, 2016; you will receive an answer on January 15.
Proposals are accepted in English or French (250 words maximum plus short bio 80 words maximum) and should be sent on one page with postal and email address to the conference organizers listed below.