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Call For Participants:  Southern American Studies Association / SASA 2015

Atlanta, GA, February 19 – 22, 2015 at The Atlanta Westin Hotel

Reconstruction: 2015 – 1965 – 1865

SASA’s coming back to Atlanta, and we invite you to be part of another exciting conference!  2015 is the anniversary of two important watershed years during historical eras when the South was at the epicenter of national transformation.  Southerners who have been marking sesquicentennial anniversaries of the Civil War era for the last four years might note that 2015 is the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the first Southern civil rights revolution, as Reconstruction was understood in the definitive historical account of W.E.B. DuBois.  2015 is also the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Vot-ing Rights Act, the Selma to Montgomery march, and myriad other local events that were part of the transformation sometimes called “The Second Reconstruction.” The confer-ence occurs on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X in Harlem, Feb-ruary 21, 1965. The same year saw the passage of the 1965 Immigration Act which con-tributed significantly to the transformation of the American South, as borders with the global South became more fluid and the U.S. South emerged as El Norte.  In honor of
the struggles characterizing the revolutionary years of 1865 and 1965, SASA has chosen Reconstruction as our theme for 2015.

Robin D.G. Kelley will be our keynote speaker. His book Hammer and Hoe, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in print, will be the focus of an interdisciplinary collo-quy featuring historian Kelley and other scholars.  Our second plenary speaker is Shelley Streeby, who will address the relationship of Reconstruction to stories of immigrants and borders.

We encourage presentations, workshops, roundtables, and performance pieces that address the theme of Reconstruction, broadly conceived. Kennesaw State University, a comprehensive state university that primarily serves undergraduates but also includes
a relatively new MA program in American Studies, is hosting SASA 2015.  Consistent with the A.S.A.’s intent to serve a broad audience, including K-12 teachers, and to respond to questions of public importance, the program committee encourages sessions on public history, community-based research and learning, and projects that build ties between academics and a broader public, as well as sessions on American Studies in secondary education.

As ever, SASA welcomes proposals on other topics that reflect the richness of Amer-ican Studies.  Possible topics for session and individual paper proposals include but are not limited to:

  • Considerations of W.E.B. DuBois’s Black Reconstruction
  • Reconstruction and the politics of public education in 2015
  • Teaching Reconstruction, Civil Rights, and the 1965 Immigration Act
  • Civil rights or Reconstruction in history, visual culture, literature, and memory whether official or insurgent
  • Mapping projects
  • Reparations
  • National and Southern American identities and Reconstruction
  • Criminal Justice and/or Immigrant Detention in the South
  • Contemporary Bolivarian Revolutions
  • Ghost stories and ghost tours
  • Projects addressing the history, geography and culture of Atlanta, Georgia
  • Historical /or cultural studies of Black resistance
  • Queer Movements, Reconstruction and Civil Rights
  • Relationships between Black and immigrant communities in the South
  • Immigrant labor, communities and Southern identity
  • Reconstructing Native American/Indigenous identity in the South
  • Foreign Direct Investment and/or underdevelopment
  • Global circulations /or translations of legacies of Reconstruction and Civil Rights
  • The politics of historical reenactment
  • Violence and “massive resistance”
  • Carpet Baggers, Rebuilding Atlanta, and other legends of Reconstruction

Please send 2-to-3-page session proposals and/ or one-page individual paper abstracts, and one-page CVs as a word doc or a pdf to SASA2015@kennesaw.edu.  Deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, September 12, 2014.  In the interest of involving as many people in our conference as possible, each conference attendee may be listed in the conference program as a participant in a maximum of two sessions.  While we welcome a range of panel formats, we ask that panels be designed so that they fit within a 75-minute time frame with at least 15 minutes dedicated to discussion.

As always, we especially encourage graduate students to attend and present papers.  SASA’s Critoph Prize, an award for the best graduate student paper presented at each biennial SASA conference, includes a certificate and a check for $250, as well as recog-nition at the next biennial conference.  Details about past recipients are at our website, along with links to our recent biennial conferences:

www.southernamericanstudiesassociation.org