CFP: The Material of American Studies

Australasian Journal of American Studies Call for Papers

“The Materials of American Studies,” December 2012.

Bill Brown observes that by the end of the nineteenth century, “the invention, production, distribution and consumption of things rather suddenly came to define a national culture” [Sense of Things 4]. This issue
of the Australasian Journal of American Studies, “The Materials of American Studies,” explores the role of objects in understanding, representing, tracing and conceptualising America, its past and present. We invite essays that explore the material of American Studies: the production, reproduction, consumption and circulation of objects from the colonial period to the present.

Possible topics:
thing theory
the uses, values and desires surrounding objects
the instruments of everyday life: furniture, food, magazines, clothing
modes of production, new technologies
the archive, museum, library
local places, architecture, interior design, urban planning
memorabilia, souvenirs, memorials
collecting and hoarding (and discarding!)
crime scenes
historical documents such as maps, ephemera, ledgers
private and public, unofficial and official records
moviegoing, reading practices

Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief bio to Sarah Gleeson-White or Melissa Hardie by 1 October 2011. Final submissions will be
due 1 February 2012. All articles are refereed and should not normally exceed 6, 000 words in length.  Enquiries welcome.