Current IASA News

Announcing the 7th IASA World Conference:

Call for Papers

The 7th IASA World Conference

Co-hosted by The International American Studies Association (IASA), The American Studies Association of Korea (ASAK), and The American Studies Institute at Seoul National University (ASI)

Constellating "Americas": Exchanges and Changes beyond Transnationalism

Seoul, South Korea, August 17-19, 2015

For further information see the Conference's web page

Resolved, that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation—the first Flag Act passed in 1777

This resolution for a national union may seem quaint since the American flag has developed into a 50-star constellation, and the history of American Studies has gone through dramatic changes in tandem with the historical changes of the status of the US. American Studies predominantly centered on the history of that constellation has recently been “decentralize[d]” to explore the histories of those orbiting the American constellation. For one, transnationalism was among the recent theoretical efforts to reconfigure and remap American Studies. However, American Studies still remains very much within the bounds of a single constellation centering on the US. Boldly hypothesizing that the American constellation and other national constellations are orbiting one another (or is it the American constellation orbiting other national constellations?), we propose to re-center American Studies on separate, parallel and/or intertwined histories of the diverse constellations. To initiate this re-centering, we invite scholars from all over our earthly galaxy to engage in center-less, multi-directional exchanges. The constellations of American Studies thus created will, to borrow Walter Benjamin’s vision, configure “moments of the past into a shape with present meaning” and illuminate changes for the trans-constellational future of American Studies. Papers on any local and global and/or traditional and non-traditional aspects of American Studies are welcome. We especially welcome theorization of multi-directional, trans-constellational approaches to American Studies.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

Comparative American Studies

Cultural and institutional history of American Studies

Incommensurable contemporaneity in American Studies

The Atlantic, the Pacific, and Intra-American migratory networks

Multidirectional flow of people, culture, and capital across borders

The American presence in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas

Multiculturalism, cross-culturality, and transnationalism

Racial, ethnic, and diasporic identities

Constructing Americanness

Statement of the IASA Executive Council issued on August 27, 2014:

The Executive Council of the International American Studies Association, whose members are spread over five continents, appeals to the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Phyllis Wise, to reconsider her decision to rescind the offer of a tenured faculty position in American Indian Studies to Professor Steven Salaita, formerly Associate Professor at Virginia Tech.

Our collective dissatisfaction with the action taken by Chancellor Wise in no way consitutes our agreement with or support of the viewpoints expressed by Prof. Salaita in social media. Rather, it seeks to defend academic freedom as fundamental to the production of knowledge in a free and democratic society - otherwise there is no clear line between knowledge and propaganda, and the project of knowledge is irreparably compromised.

Professor Salaita was offered the position at the UIUC in October 2013, after a standard job-search based on peer-reviewing and the evaluation of his scholarly credentials. In August of 2014, as Dr. Salaita was in the process of moving to Urbana-Champaign to start working in a few weeks, Chancellor Wise chose to rescind the job offer without consulting the faculty. Since then, hundreds of academics from the US and the rest of the world, as well as numerous scholarly organizations, including the MLA and the ASA (for the statements of their respective Councils see and have written to Chancellor Wise, pointing out that her action sets a dangerous precedent, unworthy of the liberal and democratic nature commonly associated with the idea of the University.

By first failing to provide an explanation for her action and in a subsequent message made public, Chancellor Wise has reinforced the news reported on numerous press and web sources: the decision to rescind Professor Salaita's contract was taken in response to his public statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this Chancellor Wise chose to terminate a professor's contract on account of his political opinions, which constitutes a clear assault on academic freedom, and is an administrative action that undermines the professional decisions made by the school's faculty and deans. Although Chancellor Wise publicly stated in her mass email communication with UICUC faculty and staff that Professor Salaita's dismissal was due to a perceived lack of civility, this concern has no place in a discussion on the violation of academic freedom, and is therefore irrelevant in the context of this statement.

As a global body of academics many of whom also serve as university administrators, the IASA Executive Council appreciates the intricacies of the hiring process. A number of our Executive Council members have greatly benefitted from the UIUC's commitment to the freedom of expression, scholarly enquiry, and international knowledge production and transfer. However, in this particular case, the Executive Council of the IASA hereby asks Chancellor Wise to restore Professor Salaita as Associate Professor in the Department of American Indian Studies. Failure to do so would result in seriously damaging the reputation of the institution she chairs.

The resolution for this statement was adopted in a vote of 15 for, 3 against, and 2 abstentions. As a body upholding freedom of expression, the IASA Executive Council recognizes the right to dissent and its expression among its members.

The International American Studies Association Executive Council


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IAS Prizes Announcement:

The International Association of Inter-American Studies (IAS), would like to promote research in the field of Inter-American Studies. Toward this end the association is announcing a competition for two awards, one for the best master's or doctoral thesis and one for the best article in Inter-American Studies completed since 2012. Submitted work does not yet need to be in print for it to be considered. Only work in Spanish or in English can be submitted. Each award carries a cash prize of 250 euros or 330 U.S. dollars. 

Contestants who would like to have their work considered will need to join the International Association of Inter-American Studies. If you would like to do so, please go to (in English) or to (in Spanish). Please be advised that members with student status may ask for their membership fees to be waived. To ask for a fee waiver, please contact the IAS treasurer at with proof of your student status. 

To submit work to be considered for the award for best master's or doctoral thesis in Inter-American Studies completed since 2012, please send your thesis as a WORD or PDF file as well as an abstract of one page or less to the three jury members: 

María Herrera-Sobek (University of California at Santa Barbara) at 

Graciela Martínez-Zalce (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) 

Sebastian Thies (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) at 

To submit work to be considered for the award for best academic article in Inter-American Studies completed since 2012, please send your article as a WORD or PDF file as well as an abstract of one page or less to the three jury members: 

Olaf Kaltmeier (Universität Bielefeld) at 

Yolanda Campos García (Universidad de Guadalajara) at 

Gonzalo Portocarrero (Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú) at 

The deadline for submissions is June 10, 2014. The winners of both awards will be announced at the business meeting of the International Association of Inter-American Studies in Lima, Peru on August 7, 2014. Award recipients who are not present at that meeting will receive their award and prize by mail. 

Please feel free to distribute this call for submissions to friends and colleagues. 


Josef Raab,

IAS President 

Announcing the second year of “OASIS-Orientale American Studies International School”:

Announcing the second year of “OASIS-Orientale American Studies International School,” a one-week school that will take place at Università Orientale’s conference center on the island of Procida, off the coast of Naples, May 4-10, 2014.

School Directors:

Donatella Izzo, Università di Napoli “L’Orientale” (Italy)

Giorgio Mariani, Università di Roma “Sapienza” (Italy); President of the International American Studies Association 

Confirmed speakers:

Jonathan Arac, University of Pittsburgh (USA)

Susan Balée, literary essayist and book reviewer (USA)

John Bryant, Hofstra University (USA)

Carla Cappetti, CUNY City College (USA)

Jane Desmond, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)

Ira Dworkin, The American University in Cairo (Egypt)

Giuseppe Nori, Università di Macerata (Italy)

Gordon Poole, Università di Napoli “L’Orientale” (Italy)

Bruce Robbins, Columbia University (USA)

Seminar leaders:

Jonathan Arac, University of Pittsburgh (USA)

John Bryant, Hofstra University (USA)

The school will run from Monday to Sunday. Every day will feature 2 plenary 45-minutes lectures from distinguished scholars in the morning, each followed by discussion, and afternoon sessions, which will be devoted to two presentations of participants’ individual research projects, followed by discussion. Participants will be divided in seminar groups of about 10, each led by a scholar. The last day will be devoted to plenary presentation and discussion of participants’ papers. Lunch will be catered and consumed on site, followed by a short break for rest and group conversation: we thus hope to build a friendly intellectual atmosphere and constructive dialogue among the participants.

We invite applications from doctoral students and recent Ph.D.s in American Studies, English, Comparative Literature, and related fields.

 The fee for the School (covering registration, tuition, housing, breakfast, and lunch) is € 570 for the whole week. Accommodation will be provided in residences and B&Bs in downtown Procida (in double rooms or shared apartments, depending on availability; the fee covers a maximum of 7 nights, starting May 4). Participants are responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses. Fees will be due on arrival or payable by national or international money order to the school administration. Depending on financial resources, one fellowship covering tuition and accommodation will be awarded. Preference will be given to applicants outside of Italy who are unable to get funding from their own institutions.

Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2014; successful applicants will be notified by April 1.

Applications should include :
-a current CV
-a two-page abstract of applicant’s dissertation or book project, including a description of the section to be presented and discussed during seminars
-the name and contact of a referee
-information about the candidate’s eligibility/non eligibility for funding from own institution

Please send all of the above materials (PDF or Word format) to .

OASIS is a project inspired by the Futures of American Studies Institute at Dartmouth College, and aiming to create a similarly vibrant and generative institutional venue for the younger generations of American Studies students and scholars. OASIS is the first school of its kind in Italy; it is also the first such school to be held in southern Europe, and it is hosted by a university whose unique tradition of transnational dialogue with and focus on non-European cultures can be traced back to the eighteenth century. By establishing an American Studies school at “L’Orientale,” and by convening it in a Mediterranean island such as Procida, we hope to create a venue that is attractive to American Studies scholars and students not just from Italy but from the Mediterranean area at large. We especially hope that our school may prove attractive to Americanist students from the nearby Arabic countries of North Africa and the Middle East. By bringing together scholars from different areas of the world and at different stages of their career, we hope to create the conditions for a productive, truly global dialogue in American Studies.

OASIS is generously supported by the Fulbright Commission and by Università di Napoli “L’Orientale.” More info at: 

Review of International American Studies (RIAS) – Special Issue Call For Papers:

Review of International American Studies (RIAS) – Special Issue

Call For Papers

“Cultural Screenings: Re-Situating American Digital Practices”

Print technology and the discovery of the new world have often played a major role in the construction of our visions of modernity by means of a mass-produced imagery set in motion by the increased circulation of goods, people, and ideas across transcontinental routes. Such characterization of “modernity,” however, too quickly risks erasing the preexistent in ways that have become utterly familiar to the field of American studies: what is presented as new and innovative, has a history extending already from the conceptualization of the American continent itself as the “discovery” of a “new world.”

As Edmundo O’Gorman’s notorious argument highlighted, the act of discovery would have to be recast as “a process of invention” (The Invention of America, 1961) The advent of digital technology and networked instantaneous communication, globally hyper-linked databases, elusive “electronic elsewheres” of cloud computing and augmented realities, in conjunction with the acknowledgment that many of the top computer manufacturers (Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Apple) are located in America, seem to create the premises for a renewed “invention of America.” As the digital poet John Cayley remarks in “Screen Writing: A Practice-Based, Eurorelative Introduction to Electronic Literature and Poetics”, “the ‘new’ of new media, the ‘hyper’ and ‘cyber’, the ‘digital’ and ‘electronic’, all these prefixes and the characterization they encourage have the effect of removing history and locatedness” (605) in digital creative practices. As a consequence, the American environment too quickly risks appearing as a natural or neutral setting for electronic forms of expression.

Although digital humanists, new media scholars, and literary critics often examine electronic artefacts produced in America and characterized by diversity of topics, concerns, and approaches that can be reconnected with the multicultural diversity of the American continent, they seldom foreground the implications of their cultural characterization. Such tendency generates a need to identify the specific role American digital forms of representation are currently playing in articulating a post-national, postracial, post-ethnic, post-gender literacy in the electronic apparatus by conflating it in the universalizing interpretation of the post-humanist paradigm increasingly associated with technological culture. Our scholarly project aims therefore at reflecting upon a set of interconnected questions about how an integral understanding of the non-neutral characterization of the digital can be carried out from a great diversity of perspectives that transcend American geographical, historical, linguistic, and cultural boundaries.

To what extent are current digital theories developed in the US driven by a supposedly neutral attention to the medium? To what extent do the range of digital forms of expressions and the methodologies employed in their analysis happen to exceed the alleged paradigm of “media-specific” analysis? And how might the formal and technological approaches to digital poiesis be ideally situated within a history of artistic practices related to (North) American culture?

We welcome paper proposals that explore cultural issues related to American digital and technological modernity from a fluid, heterogeneous, comparative, international perspective. In other words, contributions should deal both with the ways in which international perspectives can re-articulate the cultural logic of the digital and with the specific ways in which digital media studies and digital scholarship (tools, theories, practices) developed in the Americas can be regarded, re-thought, reconfigured, and even questioned from international perspectives.

We invite submission of abstracts (500-word length max) by no later than February 20, 2014. We expect final papers to be of 25-30 page length. Essays’ final versions should follow the RIAS Style Sheet.

Please send your abstract and one-paragraph bio to

Contact e-mails:

Editors: Mauro Carassai and Leonardo Flores

Mauro Carassai is a PhD candidate at University of Florida. He holds a Masters of Arts in American Literature and Culture from University of Leeds (UK) and was a Fulbright visiting student at Brown University in 2007-2008. His research combines literary theory, Ordinary Language Philosophy, and digital literatures within the larger frame of American literatures and American studies. His scholarly work has been published in journals such as Culture Machine, LEA Almanac (MIT Press), and Digital Humanities Quarterly. He was a 2010-11 HASTAC scholar.

Leonardo Flores is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez Campus and a 2012-2013 Fulbright Scholar in Digital Culture at the University of Bergen. His research areas are electronic literature, poetry, and digital preservation of first generation electronic objects. His 2010 dissertation, Typing theDancing Signifier: Jim Andrews’ (Vis)Poetics is available for download at His daily scholarly blogging project titled I ♥ E-Poetry ( contains over 400 entries to date. He wrote the entry on “Digital Poetry” in the Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Humanities (forthcoming 2013). For more information on his current work, visit