ROUNDTABLE: Re-Imagining "Early America" From Inside Out

Ralph Bauer, University of Maryland
Katy Chiles, Northwestern University
Sandra Gustafson, University of Notre Dame, Chair
Annette Kolodny, University of Arizona
Bethany Miller, Purdue University
Stephen Shapiro, University of Warwick


These panelists embody the range of participants in our 230+ member caucus:  we are pleased to include, here, two graduate students as well as several recognized scholars, one of whom teaches in Britain, one of whom is helping redefine the notion of hemispheric studies, one of whom serves as book-review editor for the journal Early American Literature, and one of whom is herself an icon among scholars of early American culture and history.

Rather than presenting standard-length papers, each panelist will present a 5-minute opening statement, i.e., a brief paper spelling out a particular way to approach the session’s broad topic.  Our presenters’ individual titles for those brief opening remarks will help us place Native American studies -- “What Would 'Early America' Mean if Indians Told the Story? A Penobscot Case History,” "Representing Black Hawk; or, How Native American Studies Can Re-Imagine Early America,” and “Colonial American Indian Studies across the Hemisphere: Translation, Texuality, Ambivalence” -- and earlier generations’ focus on New England (“A Wicked Triangle: The Salem Witch Crisis, Tituba, and Barbados”) -- squarely in the context of a broader interrogation of traditional notions of the nation-state:  “World-Systeming Early American Studies” and “Historicizing Empire, or, Transnationalism before Nationalism.”

Our topic for this interdisciplinary roundtable reflects the intense discussion at our caucus’s first-ever business meeting at the 2005 ASA conference and the follow-up call for proposals we circulated via our new e-mail list-serve.  The “From Inside Out” in our session’s title simply echoes the ’006 A.S.A. program committee’s overall title, “The United States From Inside and Out: Transnational American Studies.”

Text of December 2005 Proposal Circulated on List-serve

An ADDITIONAL early-American session on the program for the '006 ASA

CREDIT: Reinhart, Charles Stanley, artist. "Look, Here Is the Strawberry Next Her Heart." Wash drawing from Harper's Magazine, February 1880. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.