American Colors: Across the Disciplinary Spectrum
Albert Bierstadt, On the Saco (undated)
Color defines America. First of all color defines America through ideas of slavery, race, and civil rights. W.E.B. Du Bois’ claim that ‘The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line’ is certainly hard to deny in an American context. Yet American Colors are far from all about race. The respective colors of the Democratic and the Republican Party, since 1976 partitioning the country into demographics of blue and red, are significant reminders of the power of American Colors to divide and contrast. On the other hand, American Colors are not necessarily divisive, even if they stay distinct. Whether it is in the color of the rainbow, as seen on the pride flag of the LGBT community, or in the idea of ethnic and racial diversity, the notion of colors mixed as well as existing in diverse unison is key to the idea of America. To this, we can add shades of black and green too. On the one hand, modern America is constructed on, and by, ‘black gold’ (oil). On the other hand, it is precisely due to the success of motorized industry that the ‘green movement’ in its contemporary iteration had its beginnings in America, just as it is the yardstick of any contemporary debate on the gray matters of waste and pollution. As the largest consumer of energy worldwide and with the world’s largest ecological footprint, America is the extreme against which both local and global perspectives of all ‘green’ discourse must necessarily be measured.
Confirmed keynote speakers
Professor George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Black Studies
Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, English Department
Confirmed plenary speakers
ASANOR: Associate Professor Zeljka Svrljuga, University of Bergen, Department of Foreign Languages
DAAS: Professor David Nye, University of Southern Denmark, Center for American Studies,
FASA: Academy Research Fellow Rani-Henrik Andersson, Academy of Finland, University of Helsinki, Department of World Cultures
SAAS: Professor Danuta Fjellestad, Uppsala University, Department of English
The conference calls for—but is not limited to—workshop proposals and papers on American Colors of all kinds, from the color of music (e.g. Blues), to the dark corners of American Gothic and the red gore of American horror, on to the purchasing power of the mighty greenback dollar.
Papers are invited that address, but are not limited to, American Colors in
- American literature and American literary history
- History and historiography
- US politics
- US art, music, and popular culture
- Racial studies
- Gender studies
- Environmental Studies
- Sociology and social studies
- Representations of the US in cultural forms from other countries
- The study of Scandinavian-American connections
Please send proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 10, 2016. Proposals for individual panel presentations (between 15-20 minutes) should be no longer than 250 words; proposals for panels or workshops should be no longer than 500 words.
The conference is open to scholars and students from all over the world, but we offer lower registration fees to members of NAAS (Nordic Association for American Studies), EAAS (European Association for American Studies), and ASA (American Studies Association in the U.S).