American Studies Association of Turkey (ASAT)
40th International American Studies Conference
Movement and Mobility in America
Ondokuz Mayıs University
Department of Foreign Language Education
October 26–27, 2020
Movement and mobility lie at the core of American society. Whether through immigration, internal migration, social mobility, or domestic and global expansionism, the United States has always been defined as a nation of frontiers and pioneers, a country that is constantly (re)defining itself, where self-(re)invention is part of the American dream. Movement and mobility in the American context can also be physical, sociological, psychological, or even political, as in the case of mobilizing for social movements.
With its agenda of stemming the alleged “tide of illegal aliens” by building a wall along the US-Mexico border, the Trump Administration has prompted a reevaluation of movement and mobility across the political spectrum. While some argue that this has stimulated a visible resurgence in activism and a revival of social movements in the United States, others have seized the moment to express that this so-called “new wave” of protest is not so new at all, and is part of a long continuum of public engagement that originated during the colonial era.
From protests against the Stamp Act, Tea Act, and Townshend Duties in the eighteenth century; to the abolitionist, and women’s and workers’ rights movements of the nineteenth century; to the peace, civil rights, free speech, and anti-nuclear activism of the twentieth century; to the use of social media as an organizing platform in the twenty-first century, Americans have defined, and have been defined by, movement and mobility, using it to counter injustice by voicing their opinions and taking to the streets. As US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has expressed, “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you”—a dictum that Americans have been following for over three centuries.
ASAT invites the submission of individual abstracts, panels, and workshop/roundtable proposals that explore all aspects of this theme. Possible subthemes include, but are not limited to:
- The literature of movement, mobility, and activism
- Travel narratives; life writing
- Im/migration; inner and outer space
- Social mobility; self-(re)invention
- Movement, mobility, and rebellion in American history
- Frontiers, borderlands, and pioneers
- Manifest Destiny, expansionism, and imperialism
- Ethnic, class, and race-based activism
- Feminist, women’s, and gender activism
- LGBTQIA+ activism; human rights advocacy
- Social media; virtual activism (#metoo, #TimesUp, etc.)
- Civil rights movements; union and labor activism
- Healthcare movements; patients’ rights activism
- Mobility and dis/ability
- Peace, anti-war, anti-nuclear movements
- Radical activism; power movements
- Environmental activism; free speech activism
- Cross-generational activism; global movements
- Activism and nostalgia; commemorating past movements
- The politics/logistics of activism; activist fatigue; infighting
- Intersectionality; the limits of activism
- Critiques of activism and clicktivism
- Activist pedagogy; teaching activism
- Comparative approaches; future directions
Proposals should be sent to the American Studies Association of Turkey (firstname.lastname@example.org) and should consist of a 250–300 word abstract, five keywords, and a short (200 word) biography for each participant. The time allowance for presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.
We expect all participants to attend the entire conference out of professional courtesy. Please keep this in mind while submitting an abstract.
Submission deadline: April 30, 2020
Selected papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST) based on the conference theme.
More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available: www.asat-jast.org
American Studies Association of Turkey