This year, the Irish Association for American Studies Postgraduate Symposium welcomes proposals for papers that interrogate Democracy in America – in how it is constructed, understood, and the extent to which it is successfully enacted. Inspired by current events and political trends within the United States, from the strict abortion laws imposed in Alabama in February, to the on-going humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico Border, we seek papers that engage with and respond to the paradoxical relationship between the American ideal of democracy, and the actual practice of that democracy.
We invite papers that consider the gulf between democratic principles and fundamentally unconstitutional behaviours, with a particular emphasis placed upon undemocratic and authoritarian actions that have both historically shaped America and continue to resurge in the Trump era.
“The Land of the (Un)Free: Interrogating Democracy in America” is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium that seeks to provide an opportunity for Postgraduate Students and Early Career Scholars to share their ideas and contribute their individual voices to the inclusive academic community of American Studies across the island of Ireland.
We welcome proposals for fifteen-minute papers which engage with the concept of democracy within the field of American Studies, encompassing Continental American perspectives (Canada and South America) as well as those related to the United States. Proposed topics may include, but are by no means limited to:
- Representations of American democracy, American people, and American culture in literature and film
- Historical insights and social/political considerations regarding democracy and attacks on democracy, political polarization and democracy
- New perspectives on Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America
- The relationship between American exceptionalism and democracy
- Philosophical conceptions of democracy and their application in the U.S. context
- Explorations of democracy in American music, comics, popular culture
- Issues of gender, sexuality, class & race in relation to American democracy
- Democracy in visual culture
The deadline for submissions is Monday, 30th September 2019. Proposals for papers should include a title, an abstract (max. 300 words), and a short biography. For more information, or to submit a proposal, please email firstname.lastname@example.org