Program in American Studies Graduate Student Conference
May 2, 2009
The Idea is thus defined as a structure. A structure or an idea is a "complex theme," an internal multiplicity—in other words, a system of multiple, non-localisable connections between different elements which is incarnated in real relations and actual terms.
Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition
We got our thing, but it's just part of the big thing.
Zenobia, "Corner Boys," The Wire Season Four
What are the various "complexes" that inform American Studies, and how can American Studies help us understand the strategies and subjects of "the complex"? From entrenched systems of power to the vagaries of psychological fixation, this conference will foster a conversation on the structures, exchanges, and perceptions (or misperceptions) that continue to shape and reshape American Studies. It will also open a space in which the topics, methodologies, and preoccupations of American Studies can begin to interrogate the "complex" as a mode of cultural formation and connectivity (or the lack thereof). Taking interdisciplinarity itself as a topic for discussion, this conference will use the "complex" to explore the possibilities and limitations of both physical and conceptual boundaries.
Keynote Speaker: Asst. Prof. Mark Goble, English Department, University of California, Berkeley
Please submit a 500-word abstract and your c.v. to Lindsay Reckson and Nika Elder at AMSconference@gmail.com by January 15th, 2009. Papers will be due two weeks prior to the conference for circulation, and should be no longer than 15 minutes.
Possible iterations of the complex might include (but are not limited to):
Freudian and Jungian Complexes; the Military-Industrial Complex; the Panopticon; Markets & Circulation; Globalization; Infrastructure; Conspiracy Theory and Surveillance; Stage Sets and Crime Scenes; Publics and Counter-publics; the Academy, the Church, the Factory; Networking & Collaboration; Canons; Semiotics; Obscurantism; Discourse Networks; Circuits; Interfaces; Cyborgs; Media Theory; the Wire; Systems Theory; Grids; Maps and Blueprints; Collections