“EARLY AMERICAN MATTERS” caucus
American Studies Association
to create / register
caucus, the caucuses will be
asked to submit a description, including their rationale and purpose,
an agenda with their plans and goals, and contact
information. -- Crossroads' Caucus Page
A question that this title raises is “By ‘early,’ do you mean pre-1900? Prior to the so-called American Renaissance? pre-1800? Maybe even pre-European contact?,” and a legitimate answer would be Yes, as in Yes to all of the above.
We know that a number of our colleagues who attend A.S.A. conferences -- as well as many more prospective participants -- have research interests touching on those earlier periods. We know that alongside the re-invigoration of American Studies during the past two decades there has been a flourishing of interdisciplinary attention to America before the Civil War, before the Revolutionary War, before slavery came to the English colonies, before there were European colonies throughout these continents. We know too that many of today’s most fiercely contested issues crystallized in antbellum America: what political models, what forms of association, what ideological programs will be dominant? We also know that as scholarship flourishes around such questions and issues, it not only crosses these fairly arbitrary temporal boundaries (1900, the 1850s, 1800, and so on) but also takes us across traditional disciplinary lines.
We also know, alas, that for the past decade and more, the programs of A.S.A. conferences have included a paucity of matters early American. Another question, then, suggests itself:
the A.S.A.’s menu of caucuses include one
whose title bears these keywords early and matters?
We say Yes, and we relish that prospect.
Agenda, with Plans and Goals:
· hosting a Meet-Up at the A.S.A.’s ’004 conference in Atlanta
periodically encouraging participants and
propose papers and sessions for A.S.A. meetings,
nationally, regionally, and internationally
establishing a simple website (for starters
it will be
Florida State’s Program in American and Florida Studies)
possibly setting up a listserv, depending
need; meanwhile, circulating any
existing lists (e.g., H-AmStdy and those of the Society of Early Americanists and of the Omohundro Institute)
· presumably increasing A.S.A. membership from within the growing community of early Americanists
Contact information / Won’t you join us?
This diverse and
interdisciplinary list of two dozen co-proposers includes a range of
senior faculty members, graduate students, and academic administrators
representing both private and public institutions, large and small, as
the editor of publications at the Omohundro Institute of Early American
To add your name to our list of members, simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, saying to sign you up.
Postdoc at Ben-Gurion University in Israel
History, Ohio State University
English and Women’s Studies, University of Southern Maine
English and Comparative Literature at University of California at Irvine, where he’s also Associate Executive Vice Chancellor
Historical Anthropology, University of Chicago
Co-Director of the Dartmouth Future of American Studies Institute; English and American Studies, Yale University
Membership and Finances Officer, Society for the Study of American Women Writers; English, Oakland University
English, Wilkes Honor College at Florida Atlantic University
Book Review Editor, Early American Literature; English, University of Notre Dame
Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, Ackland Art Museum, UNC-Chapel Hill
former A.S.A. president; History and American Studies, University of Michigan
President, Society for the Study of American Women Writers; English, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
College of Humanities Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Arizona
Co-Chair, ’004 Annual Meeting Site Resource Committee; American Studies, Emory University
Author of “Where Have All the Earlier American Studies Gone?,” essay in Sept ’002 ASA Newsletter; History at University of Kentucky, where she directs the Program in American Studies
English and American Studies, Florida State University
Graduate student in English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
Graduate student in English, Loyola University-Chicago
Women’s Studies and American Studies, University of Maryland
English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick in the U.K.
English, University of Rochester
Editor of Publications, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
Co-chair, 2004 American StudiesAssociation annual convention; Professor of English, American Culture, and African and Afro-American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis
American Matters Caucus
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