CFP: ASA 2014 PANEL: Imagined Pasts, Happier Presents: The Functions of Nostalgia in American Culture

Emily Mieras's picture

From renovations of historic downtowns to romanticized TV communities and retro fashion trends, nostalgia supplies a lens for interpreting—and surviving—the vicissitudes of American life. This panel will explore the function of nostalgia in American culture past and present. Work exploring intersections between nostalgia, gender, and historical memory in American culture is welcome. So are papers that interpret nostalgia as an emotional form offering a pleasurable response to cultural pain (following the conference theme).  My own paper examines the uses of gendered nostalgia and historical memory in marketing and branding planned communities and historic downtowns in the contemporary United States. Companion papers might explore these themes in various areas of popular culture, such as television dramas, news media, or community rituals, pageants, and parades. Papers might address architectural forms, aesthetic styles in film and television, popular fiction, and nostalgic trends/formations in consumer culture.  Ideally, this panel would explore not only contemporary but also historical manifestations of nostalgia in American culture. I’d also be interested in work that theorizes the concept of nostalgia itself. Please send abstract drafts to Emily Mieras at by January 20 (ASA proposals are due Jan. 26). On ASA proposal guidelines, please see

Categories: Conference, CFP
Keywords: CFP, ASA 2014