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Calls for Papers


American Literature in the World Graduate Conference
Yale University
April 10, 2015
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2014

The conference hopes to broaden the scope of American literature, opening it to more complex geographies, and to a variety of genres and media.  The impetus comes partly from a survey of what is currently in the field: it is impossible to read the work of Junot Diaz and Edwidge Danticat, Robert Hass and Jorie Graham, Dave Eggers and Jhumpa Lahiri without seeing that, for all these authors, the reference frame is no longer simply the United States, but a larger, looser, more contextually varied set of coordinates, populated by laboring bodies, migrating faiths, generational sagas, memories of war, as well as the accents of unforgotten tongues, the taste and smell of beloved foods and spices.

The twenty-first century is a good century to think about American literature in the world. But other centuries are equally fertile ground, as the writings of Anne Bradstreet, Margaret Fuller, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Richard Wright, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes, and Elizabeth Bishop make abundantly clear. To study these and countless other authors is to see that the United States and the world are neither separate nor antithetical, but part of the same analytic fabric. Our conference explores these extended networks through many channels: from the cultural archives circulating across the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, to the dynamic interactions between indigenous populations and those from other continents; from the institutions of print, to the tangled ecologies of literature, art, theater, music, and film, to the digital globalism of the present moment.

The conference is generously supported by the Beinecke Library, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The English Department, the American Studies Program, the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program, the Comparative Literature Department, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Italian Department, the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and the Film Studies Program at Yale University. We offer a $300 travel stipend to those coming from outside the tri-state area. Conference attendees are also invited to four related events: a reading with Ruth Ozeki; a research workshop with Melissa Barton, Curator at the Beinecke Library; a publication workshop with Gordon Hutner, editor of American Literary History; and a "Scholars as Writers" workshop with Jill Lepore, Kemper Professor of History at Harvard University and staff writer for the New Yorker.

Please send a 1-page abstract to by December 1.


“In the Same Boat”: British and American Visual Culture during the Second World War

Department of the History of Art, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

May 8-9, 2015

On December 8, 1941, immediately following the declaration of the American entry into World War II, President Roosevelt telegraphed Prime Minister Churchill, “Today all of us are in the same boat with you and the people of the empire and it is a ship which will not and cannot be sunk.” 

This two-day conference in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University, to be held on the seventieth anniversary of VE-day, will investigate the textured relationship between war-time visual cultures of America and Britain. We will consider the cultural origins of the postwar political and economic bond which would come to be called the “special relationship,” and explore the various political and social pressures that shaped image-making in the two countries. Certainly, the nations’ territorial autonomy during the war distinguished their experience of war from that of other allied powers. This conference will focus on the visual cultural exchange between the two countries, identifying parallels between the way images and culture were politically mobilized and influenced by the social impacts of war itself. 

We welcome papers on art, print and graphic media, photography and film in the United States and/or United Kingdom between 1939 and 1945. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

·       The artist as eyewitness

·       Realism and/or documentary
·       Propaganda film
·       Institutional and political patronage
·       Strategic imaging: aerial photography, camouflage, reconnaissance
·       Abstraction and representation
·       Visual and sonic responses to war
·       Maritime art and imagery
·       War landscapes 
·       Popular geography and artistic production
·       Discourses on sovereignty and global responsibility
·       Transatlantic information/cultural exchange and dialogue
·       Affect and trauma
·       War commemoration and historical memory

Keynote speakers for the conference are Cécile Whiting, University of California at Irvine, and David Alan Mellor, University of Sussex. 

Please submit your CV and paper abstract (not to exceed 500 words) to by November 17, 2014.

Conference organizers: Eric M. Stryker (Southern Methodist University), Tatsiana Zhurauliova (University of Chicago), and Sophie Lynford (Yale University).