CFPs – EAAS Conference Panel The Hague 3-6 April, 2014

CFPs – EAAS Conference Panel The Hague 3-6 April, 2014


We invite papers engaging cultural representations of justice, war, and peace in relation to the American West.  Certainly, war has been an inherent part of literature and film about the West. Violence has been regarded as a central feature to the historical development of the American West and its mythic representation. In fact, in American culture the myth of the frontier has often been viewed as a process of regeneration through violence (Slotkin). However, the story of the American West is also a story of trade, tedium, and peace (McMacken). War and peace have been often linked to justice in popular perceptions of the American West. Thus, many western stories and movies have highlighted the search for justice, or the application of different standards of justice in a number of conflicts, to justify war. In recent years the use of western iconography related to war, justice, and peace has gone beyond national and cultural borders acquiring a political international dimension, as exemplified by George W. Bush’s “Dead or Alive” speech after 9/11 attacks. Indeed, Judith Butler’s Frames of War might be usefully related to how the West has contributed to and “approved of” a particular discourse or war and violence

The workshop aims to address how literary and cultural expressions have imagined justice, war, and peace in the American West, including such topics as the Indian wars, frontier violence, the cult of the gunfighter, race, class, gender and religious conflicts, the border war on drugs, the militarization of the region, immigration clashes, urban riots, social justice, peace movements, and environmental justice. Particular attention will be paid to papers that challenge popular and classical notions of the American West, revising traditional modes of expression, recovering neglected voices and/or embracing “postwestern” perspectives that go beyond established notions of the West as a fixed and settled phenomenon. Similarly, the workshop will not be limited to conventional literary texts, but it will also consider papers on other cultural and artistic manifestations, such as photography and film, with an aim of adopting primarily an interdisciplinary approach. We welcome local, regional, and national perspectives on justice, war, and peace in western American literature and culture, but we also encourage international perspectives addressing the transcultural aspects of this region and its global dimension. After all, we intend to discuss a cultural and artistic landscape that claims to be both exceptional and universal.


The maximum presentation time for papers is 20 minutes. Deadlines October 1, 2013: Proposals for workshop papers (one-page abstract [no more than 500 words] and one-paragraph bios) to reach both workshop chairs Neil Campbell   and David Rio


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