Call For Papers


Decoding American Cultures in the Global Context

SEPTEMBER 18-20, 2009

HOSTED BY Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China

The International American Studies Association (IASA) and the American Studies Center (ASC) at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) cordially invite scholars from all disciplines to participate in the 4th congress of the IASA, to be held from September 18th to 20th (Friday to Sunday), 2009 at BFSU, Beijing, China.

Congress Theme and Sub-themes

Recent changes in the flows of finances, people, and cultural products, often termed ‘globalization’, have provided a new context for understanding the Americas, hence the theme of the 4th World Congress, “Decoding American Cultures in the Global Context”. We invite contributions addressing the following sub-themes with reference to the U.S. and the Americas more broadly.

a) Critical understanding and reception of American cultures abroad

b) Impact of North/South American cultures on world cultures

c) Comparative studies of the Americas

d) “Globalization” vs. “Americanization”

e) American studies abroad

f) “American exceptionalism”: myth or reality?

g) Myths that Americans live by: literature, history, and culture

Guidelines for Submission and Presentation

* Proposals may be submitted in English for an individual presentation, or for a pre-constituted panel, by January 31, 2009. Proposals for workshops to be developed into pre-constituted panels must be submitted by Dec. 1st to be posted on the website (see below).

* For an individual paper, the organizer should submit the following: contact information of the organizer including email address, 3 keywords, and an abstract of no more than 300 words. Note any audio/visual equipment required.

* For a pre-constituted panel, the organizer should submit contact information of the organizer, 3 keywords describing the panel, and an abstract of no more than 300 words for the panel as a whole articulating how the papers go together PLUS contact information for each participant, and a brief abstract of no more than 300 words for each of those papers, along with 3 keywords for each. Indicate any audio visual equipment needed please.

* If you desire to submit a preconsituted panel, but need to find colleagues from other institutions and countries to participate in your panel, we offer the following option of proposing a WORKSHOP TITLE AND ABSTRACT. Send this, along with your contact information to the conference organizers (Prof. LiQikeng, below) BY DEC. 1ST. to be posted on the conference website. Individual scholars should then send proposals and contact information directly to you for your consideration. Once you have selected your panel members, submit as described above for pre-constituted panels, AND, in addition, send all non-selected papers along with their contact information, keywords, etc. to the conference committee for further consideration by the cut off date of January 31st. Those papers will then be considered for inclusion on the program as part of other panels if appropriate.

* Each proposal should indicate any audio visual needs at the time of submission. No panel should have more than four paper presenters, or three presenters and a commentator. For pre-constituted panels, priority will be given to those which include presenters from a variety of institutions/ geographical locations. The academic committee of the congress will evaluate the proposal on the basis of the quality of the abstract, its scholarly cogency, as well as its relevance to the congress theme, and notify the submitter of its acceptance by February 28, 2009. If the submission is accepted, an extended summary (about 800-1,000 words) shall be sent to the conference coordinators by May 31, 2009.

* Each participant will be given 15 minutes to present the paper, followed by 5 minutes for questions and answers. The conference will provide the necessary multimedia for presentations. When submitting the extended summary, please also indicate whether you will need to use multimedia, and if so, specify your exact requirements. We also welcome proposals for presentations that do not fit the standard spoken paper format, such as films/videos/performances, etc.

Post-Congress Publication

If you would like the congress committee to consider your paper for publication, please submit your full paper within one month after the conclusion of the congress to the organizers. The academic committee of the congress will review all the papers submitted and have the selected papers published by a reputable publisher in China. All papers are preferably around 8,000 words in length, complete with footnotes and a bibliography. For paper format, CMS is recommended.

Important Dates

* January 31, 2009: Proposal due (Dec. 1st workshop proposals due for posting)

* February 28, 2009: Notification of acceptance

* May 31, 2009: Extended summary due

* Fall, 2009: Conference Sept. 18-20. (registration opens Sept. 17 on site.

Congress Fees

Participants are expected to pay a conference fee of USD 150, which covers the academic program, congress documentation (final program and book of abstracts), all meals on conference days, and coffee breaks. The student rate is $75 U.S. If not paid in advance, fees are higher, but may be paid on-site, in which case regular participants pay $200 USD and students pay $100 USD. Hotels, meals on non-conference days, optional tours, etc are the responsibility of the participants themselves. Presenters must be members of IASA.

Hotel and tours

Special hotel rates for congress participants are being negotiated, and some on-campus student housing in dormitories will also be available at very reduced fees. Details will be posted on the congress website. Optional night-time activities such as attendance at performances and post-congress tours will also be available.

Contact Information

All proposals, summaries and other correspondence should be directed to congress coordinator Li Qikeng.


Phone: 0086-10-8256-5621, 1352-184-7279

Fax: 0086-10-8881-6282

Postal address:

School of English and International Studies,

Beijing Foreign Studies University,

Beijing 100089,