Call for papers – ‘Writing Back: Subverting Dominant Narratives in American Culture’, deadline 14 March 2016

Call for papers – Writing Back: Subverting Dominant Narratives in American Culture

WHEN:  This conference will take place on 27 & 28 May 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS: Please email an abstract of no more than 300 words to by Monday 14th March


An interdisciplinary conference at King’s College London, organised by the American Studies Research Group and the Institute of North American Studies.

Discourses on the concept of collective cultural memory and histories are prevalent in modern society. They are a way of asserting group identity and also serve to exclude those who reject them. Counter memories can challenge this collective imagined history by giving voice to those previously excluded. Scholarship focusing on these collective counter memories and the way they subvert dominant cultural narratives should be considered in discussion of American culture.

As the home of American studies at King’s College London, we aim to promote interdisciplinary scholarship, from literature to political science, and we believe that collective counter memories provide a good place from which to survey the field. Narratives on collecting and documenting these memories raise questions about the reality of remembered history and challenge assumptions that may previously have been accepted within the academy. Therefore we welcome scholarship focused on non-canonical cultural productions/texts and radical processes/ideas.

We invite proposals for twenty-minute presentations on a range of topics relating to collective counter memories. Topics can include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • 9/11 and the war on terror
  • Truth/exposure of criminal activity
  • Race/(post)colonialism
  • Gender/sexuality/feminism
  • Deviancy/outlaws
  • Self-censorship/trigger warnings
  • Counter-cultures/sub-cultures
  • Protest/social media/activism
  • Solidarity/resistance
  • Comedy/satire
  • Precarity/vulnerability vs resilience
  • Cultural production/dissemination

We welcome submissions from postgraduates, graduates and early-career researchers from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to literature, history, cultural studies, film studies, international relations, sociology, and political science. Group submissions for panels are more than welcome, and please do not feel limited to a traditional panel format – we particularly welcome unconventional ideas and structures. We aim to be as inclusive as possible and registration costs will reflect that, but please let us know if you have any funding questions and we will try our best to help out.

Please email an abstract of no more than 300 words to by Monday 14th March.


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