CFP: The Materials of American Studies


CFP: The Materials of American Studies, December 2012.
Australian Journal of American Studies

Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief bio to Sarah Gleeson-White or Melissa Hardie by 1 October 2011. Final submissions will be due 1 February 2012. All articles are refereed and should not normally exceed 6,000 words in length. Enquiries welcome.

Bill Brown observes that by the end of the nineteenth century, “the invention, production, distribution and consumption of things rather suddenly came to define a national culture” (A Sense of Things 4). This issue of the Australian Journal of American Studies, “The Materials of American Studies,” explores the role of objects in understanding, representing, tracing and conceptualising America, its past and present. We invite essays that explore the material of American Studies: the production, reproduction, consumption and circulation of objects from the colonial period to the present.

Possible topics:

  • thing theory
  • the uses, values and desires surrounding objects
  • the instruments of everyday life: furniture, food, magazines, clothing
  • modes of production, new technologies
  • the archive, museum, library
  • local places, architecture, interior design, urban planning
  • memorabilia, souvenirs, memorials
  • collecting and hoarding
  • crime scenes
  • historical documents such as maps, ephemera, ledgers
  • private and public, unofficial and official records
  • moviegoing, reading practices

Sarah Gleeson-White and Melissa Hardie
Department of English
University of Sydney

Photo credit macheesmo

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