Friday, August 31, 2012

New PhD Program in American Studies at UNC

The Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill proudly announces a new doctoral program in American Studies, which joins the long-standing M.A. program in Folklore. In addition to a core strength in American cultural history and literature, the department features signature strengths in American Indian Studies, Southern Studies, International and Comparative American Studies, Folklore, and Digital Humanities. 

Sixteen faculty members teach and work in an array of fields including American intellectual, social, and cultural history, foodways, material culture, popular and folk music, literary and film criticism, American religions, American Indian expressive culture, art and visual culture, vernacular architecture, popular culture, new media and public engagement, and culturally informed public policy. 

Graduate programs are designed for depth and breadth in American Studies and Folklore - and they competitively position graduates for careers in a rapidly changing world of scholarly opportunities. The emphasis is on the centrality of the interdisciplinary humanities for all aspects of intellectual and professional life.

UNC's American Studies graduate program is described in detail on

Applications are being accepted for fall 2013.  

Please address questions to Professor Bernard Herman, Chair, or to co-Directors of Graduate Studies Patricia Sawin, and Joy Kasson.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize

The Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize recognizes excellent scholarship by a non-U.S. scholar in the field of historical American art (circa 1500-1980).
Manuscripts should advance understanding of American art, demonstrating new findings and original perspectives. The prize-winning essay will be translated and published in American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's scholarly journal.
We are pleased to announce an increased and enhanced prize award this year: the winner will receive a $1,000 cash award and a $2,000 travel stipend to give a presentation in Washington, D.C., and meet with museum staff and fellows. This prize is supported by funding from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

The aim of the award is to stimulate and actively support non-U.S. scholars working on American art topics, foster the international exchange of new ideas, and create a broad, culturally comparative dialogue on American art. Ph.D. candidates and above are eligible to participate in the competition. Essays may focus on any aspect of historical American art and visual culture (pre-1980). Preference will be given to studies that address American art within a cross-cultural context and offer new ways of thinking about the material. A strong emphasis on visual analysis is encouraged. Manuscripts previously published in a foreign language are eligible if released within the last two years (please state the date and venue of the previous publication). For scholars from English-language countries, only unpublished manuscripts will be considered. Authors are invited to submit their own work for consideration. We urge scholars who know of eligible articles written by others to inform those authors of the prize.

The length of the essay (including endnotes) shall not exceed 8,500 words with approximately 12 to 14 illustrations. The text of the essay should be submitted by e-mail as a Word file, accompanied by a PDF file containing all of the illustrations. A curriculum vitae should be included. Manuscripts submitted in foreign languages should be accompanied by a detailed abstract in English.

The submissions must be sent to by January 15, 2013. Questions or comments may be addressed to the same address.

For more information on American Art, please consult

For details on the Terra Foundation for American Art, please visit

Terra Prize Recipients
2010: Sergio Cortesini, "Unseen Canvases: Italian Painters and Fascist Myths across the American Scene"
2011: Alex J. Taylor, "Unstable Motives: Propaganda, Politics and the Late Work of Alexander Calder"
2012: Sophie Cras, "Art as Investment and 'Artistic Shareholding' Experiments in the 1960s"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Call For Papers: Memory: America Past, Present and Future

The British Association for American Studies (BAAS) welcomes papers for its annual Postgraduate Conference, to be held in the Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester on 24 November 2012. The keynote speaker will be Professor Brian Ward from the University of Manchester.

The conference will be organised around the broad theme of ‘Memory: America Past, Present and Future’. Memory (and the lack of memory) is an important part of what creates the concept of America as a cultural, social and political object. With new apocalyptic stories on the horizon, such as erratic environmental patterns, fragile financial markets and the Mayan Calendar ending on 21 December 2012, we cannot avoid the recurring yet important topic in American Studies, of how memory (both individual and collective) shapes our views on the trajectory of the United States, from its colonial and national origins, through its ascendance on the global stage in the twentieth century and, arguably, its contemporary decline as a world power.

The conference invites proposals for 20-minute presentations and welcomes proposals from a variety of areas within American Studies to give fresh perspectives on America’s past, present and future through the broad lens of memory. The topics include, but are not limited to:
  • memory and the shaping of American narratives
  • representations of memory and forgetting
  • memory and transatlanticism
  • memory and postcolonialism
  • memory and gender
  • memory, citizenship and American identity
  • memory and American geography/landscape
  • memory and American exceptionalism
  • memory and the environment
  • music and memory
  • absence of memory
  • the body and memory
  • ancestral memories
  • memory, oblivion and re-memory
  • false and misinterpreted memories

Please e-mail abstracts of no more than 300 words, to the attention of the conference committee at baaspg2012 [at]
Abstracts should include your name, institution, e-mail address, and the title of your proposed paper. 
The deadline for submissions is 1 September 2012.