CFP: Monuments, The Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association of American Studies

25 – 27 April 2019 in Bergen, Norway

Submission deadline: 1 November 2018

Monuments construct the past in the present, and link it to a predetermined version of the future. Monuments tell singular and unified stories, acting as master narratives that impede other voices. Monuments have become some of America’s most important storytellers, giving form to power, but also to particular acts of resistance.

This is perhaps only to be expected, for the word “monument” bears within it the Latin mon, from monēre, which means “to remind,” but also means “to warn.” In its descriptive form “monumental” connotes something massive or imposing, something great in importance, but also expresses a sense of excess, of being overwhelmed. The word itself thus invites a chain of questions: What do monuments call to memory? What might they warn us against? What versions of events do they impose in presenting greatness? Who and what deserves recognition? How can monuments commemorate different or competing pasts? What should be done with monuments that uplift violent pasts?

The NAAS 2019 conference in Bergen on “Monuments” welcomes panel and paper proposals that address monuments and the monumental in relation to American literature, history, politics, media, art and popular culture, transnational and transcultural and comparative approaches. Keeping in mind that not all monuments are made of stone—Hemingway has been called a monument, political symbols and landscapes act as monuments, the literary canon and the Bible are monuments to Western culture—the list of different kinds of monuments is near endless. Some themes may be, but are not limited to:

Conceptualizations of the American past
Preservation and commemoration
Tradition and cultural heritage
Cultural perceptions, shifting attitudes towards the monument
Representation Memory and forgetting
Genre or aesthetic form
Landscapes, places and spaces
Resistance to the monument
The non-monumental
False memories

Please send abstracts and panel proposals to by 15 Sept. 2018. Abstracts for individual panel presentations (20 minutes) should be no longer than 250 words; proposals for panels or workshops should be no longer than 500 words. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in October.

The conference is open to scholars and students from all countries, 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.).

A conference website will be made available in the autumn. If you have any questions regarding the conference or your proposal before then, please write to the conference organizers at:

Conference organizers:
Jena Habegger-Conti, Associate Professor
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
President, American Studies Association of Norway

Asbjørn Grønstad, Professor
University of Bergen
Vice-President, American Studies Association of Norway

Lene Johannessen, Professor
University of Bergen
Committee Chair, American Studies Association of Norway

CfP: Beyond 1917: Socialism, Power and Social Change

We invite proposals for an academic conference to be held May 13-14, 2017 at Oxford University, United Kingdom, addressing the following themes:

With the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, socialism attained state power for the first time in history. After more than a century or theorizing socialism as an alternative social order, as a paradigm of social critique, and as an ideal crowning a broad political constellation aimed at ‘forging democracy’ (G. Eley), Lenin’s seizure of power marked a contentious landmark. Among others, the parliamentary social democratic parties of central and northwestern Europe disputed the Bolshevik claim on the intellectual heritage of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as well as their promise to fuse theory and practice in the pursuit of ‘real’ social change. This conference takes this epochal and controversial moment as its starting point to consider the various attempts to combine socialism and power, in the widest sense of both words. It invites papers from diverse disciplines (history, politics, sociology, philosophy, cultural and media studies, etc.) that address efforts to empower socialism by intellectual, emotional, cultural, political and violent means in the twentieth century.

1917 was a European and global event that reconfigured the possibilities for social change in large part by reconceptualizing the relationship between socialism and power. The new questions and challenges raised by this conjuncture were answered in different places in strikingly different ways, from the USSR to the ‘Nordic Model’ to the movements of the Global South and the postwar New Left to the Chinese way to socialism. Power featured differently in these and other programs for a socialist society. Taking critical stock of these blueprints and visions and how they wrestled with the rupture of 1917 is one of the primary aims of this conference. Conversely, papers might consider the potentialities for such a rupture that predated 1917. Contributions may approach power from the perspective of political and/or military dominance, cultural capital or hegemony, theoretical interventions, gender and racial hierarchies, emotional regimes, or dominant myths, memories, and remembrances — to name a few possible frameworks. We especially invite papers that are comparative, transnational, or global in scope clustered around the four themes of 1) socialist visions of power, 2) socialism and power, 3) socialism in power, 4) legacies of power.

Please send an abstract of 300 words with a short CV to the organizers by October 15, 2016 to:

We expect to have limited funds available to cover travel and accommodation costs. The conference will involve around 15 speakers.

Contact Info:
Jakub Beneš, Oxford University,
Christina Morina, German Studies Institute, University of Amsterdam,