CFP: The Aesthetic of Renewal or “Everything Old is New Again”

The Aesthetic of Renewal or “Everything Old is New Again”
3 – 6 November, 2011
Ottawa, Ontario

Carleton University’s Centre for Research in American Studies invites submissions for the annual conference for the Canadian Association of American Studies to be held in Ottawa, Ontario from November 3rd – 6th, 2011. This year’s theme is: “The Aesthetics of Renewal or ‘Everything Old is New Again.’”

America is attempting to remake itself; adapting old ideas and aesthetics for contemporary concerns. Outside the political sphere, citizens are also embracing older ideas and aesthetics in popular culture. Shoulder pads, vinyl records, neon high-tops, and a bohemian chic reminiscent of Greenwich Village in the 1960s are amongst today’s top trends. Urban professionals, meanwhile, are buying condos in turn-of-the-century factories. Rezoned for mixed use, these buildings include studio space and artisanal shops, while open-air markets and community gardens are started nearby. Situated in all-but abandoned neighborhoods like Cass Corridor in midtown Detroit, these consumer experiments by ordinary citizens are reinventing cities in the image of vintage Americana.

We seek paper and panel submissions from a variety of theoretical, disciplinary, and methodological perspectives. This includes (but is not limited to) such topics as:

-Contemporary architecture and historic design styles
-Artisanal crafts and shops, maker fairs and maker culture
-Steampunk and retrofuturism
-Open-air, flea, and antique markets
-“Neo-” anything
-The frontier in American thought and culture
-Irony and Historical Narratives
-Family Structure – what’s modern? What’s alternative?
-Quilting, knitting, and rug-making
-Remaking old films and television series
-Celebrities and vintage haute couture
-Environmental Sustainability: Is green the new black?
-What’s in a name? Vintage, retro and renewal

Deadline for Submissions is 15 February 2010.

To participate, submit a 250 word abstract to conference organizers at Please include in the body of the email: your name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Panel submissions are also encouraged. These should include a 250 word rationale for the panel, as well as the 250 word abstract for each paper. Please submit each panel in one email, wherein the names, affiliations, and contact information for each member is listed.

For more information, please visit CAAS’s website or email the organizers.

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