To whom it may concern,
please find here the call for papers for the 2013 Spring Conference of
the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universität
“Claiming Space: Reconfigurations in Times of Crisis
May 24 – 25, 2013
A deep-seated notion of crisis has arguably become a defining feature
of today’s United States. The aftermath of the financial meltdown,
growing economic disparity, ecological problems, internal political
and societal divisions, challenges to the nation’s global standing,
and uncertainty about the country’s direction all add up to instill a
pervasive sense of insecurity in both internal and external observers.
Moments of crisis and their devastating effects put into question the
very foundations on which society rests. Such is the nature of crisis
that it unsettles stable structures and generates the need for
fundamental reorganization. As a result, a variety of social forces
will seek to claim space for themselves in the emerging new order.
Among the most contested arenas in this struggle for political, social
and cultural space are those in which the relationship between
individual freedoms and communal responsibilities, between private and
public spaces in American society, are being negotiated. This
dialectic is currently at work in many different spheres of American
life, from politics and economics to society and culture.
The sixth international conference hosted by the Graduate School of
North American Studies therefore invites students and scholars to
engage in interdisciplinary investigations into the competing claims
to geographical, political, economical, social, and cultural spaces
that are currently being made within North America.
We encourage papers on a wide range of topics, which may include, but
are not limited to:
Whose crisis? Framing current crises historically and conceptually
Conceptions of social, artistic and political space
(Re-)negotiating the public/private divide in politics, society and the arts
Free markets / individual freedom versus government regulation /(re)distribution
Neoliberalism and its discontents: From austerity to inequality
The contest for the city space: Integration versus segregation
The “tragedy of the commons”: The ecological crisis and climate change
(Re-)claiming the public space: Social movements and Occupy
New social networks and the search for the contemporary Agora
Narratives of crisis / Crisis of narrative: American stories for the
For a more detailed version of this call for papers and additional
information, please refer to the conference website:
Abstracts should be limited to 250 words and be accompanied by the
author’s name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation,
discipline(s), and a short CV (please complete the form attached and
name the document starting with your family name (“name_abstract”).
The deadline for submissions is February 1st, 2013. A confirmation
email will be sent when we receive your abstract. Those selected to
present will be notified by mid-March, 2013. Please submit all
abstracts and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The conference language will be English.”
Please, feel free to inform all those who might be interested. More
information and the registration form can be found at the address:
Thank you very much for your time.
Valeria Elena Benko
Graduate School of North American Studies
Freie Universität Berlin