Call for Papers – aspeers “Alternative Americas”

=== General Call for Papers ===

For the general section of its eleventh issue, aspeers seeks outstanding
academic writing demonstrating the excellence of graduate scholarship,
the range of concerns scrutinized in the field of American studies, and
the diversity of perspectives employed. We thus explicitly invite
revised versions of term papers or chapters from theses written by
students of European Master (and equivalent) programs. For this section,
there are no topical limitations. Contributions should be up to 7,500
words (including abstract and list of works cited). The submission
deadline is October 15, 2017.

=== Topical Call for Papers on “Alternative Americas” ===

From ‘flyover country’ to ‘coastal liberals,’ from the ‘American
heartland’ to ‘urban elites’–the 2016 presidential election engendered
numerous debates about where the allegedly ‘real’ America lies. Beyond
displaying political divisiveness, each invocation stylizes a vision of
the United States that stands as an alternative to the presumed
political and cultural mainstream, each locates ‘real’ America in a
different place, and each constitutes an attempt at making alternative
voices heard–from Americans who feel un- or misrepresented by
politicians or neglected by the media, thus trying to reassert
themselves into the public sphere.

‘Alternative’ visions of America and of what it means to be American,
often cast as competing with or as polar opposites to a perceived
mainstream, loom large throughout US culture and history. Whether their
fault lines are drawn between rural and urban, conservative and
progressive, or young and old, at their core, they form interventions
into the status quo: voicing dissent, spotlighting difference and
otherness, making the invisible seen and representing the previously
unrepresented, criticizing assumed norms, or unearthing forgotten points
of view. Implicitly or explicitly, such alternative configurations also
highlight the constructedness of the ‘mainstream’ they position
themselves against.

For its eleventh issue, aspeers thus dedicates its topical section to
“Alternative Americas” and invites European graduate students to
critically and analytically explore American literature, (popular)
culture, society, history, and politics through the lens of alternative
visions of the US. We welcome papers from all fields, methodologies, and
approaches comprising American studies as well as inter- and
transdisciplinary submissions, ranging from economy and political
science to history, media studies, literary and cultural studies, and
beyond. Potential paper topics could cover (but are not limited to):

* Expressions of counterculture, specific subcultures, or other
counter-voices to what is considered (the political) mainstream (e.g.,
the hippie, Beat, Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party, or alt-right movements)

* Literary and filmic representations of alternatives, e.g., in fantasy
and science fiction, (post)apocalyptic narratives, utopias and
dystopias, alternate history, or conspiracy fictions

* Spotlights on the US beyond the mainland, towards its ‘alternate’
fringes–the border zones of the US with other countries, inter-American
relations, etc.

* Anti-normative and alternative social constructions, e.g., alternative
religions or family constellations

* Camp, queerness, and other concepts questioning the ‘norm’ or the

* Notions of fact and fiction in journalism and politics (e.g.,
‘alternative facts’ and fake news)

* Deconstructions/’revisions’ of traditional mainstream genres in
various media (music, literature, TV, etc.)

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed
journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from
all fields to reflect on the diverse meanings of “Alternative Americas.”
We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically
written for the eleventh issue of aspeers by October 15, 2017. If you
are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our
general Call for Papers. Please consult our submission guidelines and
find some additional tips at [1].



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