The IAAS Postgraduate Symposium “The (Hi)stories We Create: Narratives of Exceptionalism, Ideology, and Resilience”

Maria Manning's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
September 24, 2021
Location: 
Ireland {Republic}
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Asian American History / Studies, Canadian History / Studies, Latin American and Caribbean History / Studies

In November 1621 colonists in Massachusetts celebrated a year of survival and their first harvest  with a feast that has since been called The First Thanksgiving. The feast was a supposed  celebration of resilience after hardship. It was not until 1863, in the midst of the American Civil  War and with the nation divided, that this feast was enshrined as a national holiday and a  touchstone of American tradition and ideology: a story of togetherness projected over the  realities of division, exceptionalism, genocide, and slavery.  

Now, four hundred years later, the story of the First Thanksgiving both provides comfort in  another time of hardship while also revealing a depth of narrative ideology and mythology which  obfuscates the ideological construction of modern day American nations. In the narrative of the  US, in particular, at home and abroad, we see an increased awareness and attention to historical  and contemporary situations that reveal the contradictions behind such constructions. At the  same time, narratives of conspiracy and division dominate the national and international  mindset, creating new ideologies that become entrenched obstacles to future growth,  restitution, and healing. 

For the 2021 IAAS Postgraduate Symposium, we will investigate the narratives that we create  and that are created for us, narratives that obfuscate truths or implement ideology, narratives  that further contextualise events or create understanding, as well as narratives of celebration,  joy and self-care which can exist to counter those long held as empirical truth.  

Given the evolving guidance related to in-person events in Ireland, 2021’s IAAS PG Symposium  will be conducted as a virtual event through Zoom over the course of two afternoons on the 5th 6th November.

300 word proposalsfor ten-minute papers, along with a short academic biography, are welcomed  from PGRs and ECRs working in the field of American Studies across disciplines including  literature, history, film, politics, music, art, and media. The deadline for submissions, to be sent  to postgrad@iaas.ie, is Friday, 24th September 2021. 

The IAAS and the Postgraduate Symposium are dedicated to diversity, equality, and inclusion.  We welcome papers from under-represented groups. 

We also welcome papers from all disciplines. Paper Topics may include but are by no means  limited to: 

● Narratives of American Exceptionalism, past and present. 

● Narratives of resilience, joy, remembrance. 

● Conspiracy theory and constructed reality. 

● Changing ideologies of race, nation, and class. 

● The intersection of nationalist narratives/different visions of Nationhood across the  Americas. 

● What if? Narratives of missed opportunities. 

● Where next? Stories of the future. 

The IAAS is an all-island scholarly association dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary American  Studies in Ireland. The annual Postgraduate Symposium, run by Postgraduates, aims at fostering  a supportive and discursive environment for more junior scholars to share their research,  exchange ideas, and create lasting connections and networks. 

The 2021 IAAS Postgraduate Symposium will be hosted by Trinity College Dublin School of  English.

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