Title: The 2015 Annual Conference of the Eastern American Studies Association
Theme: Land and Sea – Geography, Economy, and Culture in the American Experience
Date: March 27-28, 2015
Venue: Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ
Partner Organization: Middle Atlantic Folklife Association (MAFA)
EASA will be partnering in 2015 with the Middle Atlantic Folklife Association to hold a joint conference bringing together cultural perspectives on “Land and Sea: Geography, Economy, and Culture in the American Experience” and other aspects of American, folklife, and heritage studies. The location of this year's meeting – Rowan University in New Jersey – provides a vantage from which to view diverse features of the Eastern United States. Looking to the east is the Atlantic Ocean and the famous “Jersey Shore.” Although many people know the “Shore” for its popular entertainments, beauty contests, and gambling, it also has a longstanding maritime folk culture, including the craft of the renowned Jersey Skiff, in addition to the east of the “Pine Barrens” that attracted studies of its residents known as “Pineys” by the American Folklife Center. To the west is the Delaware River and the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Glassboro, the home of Rowan University, is historically connected to early American manufacturing – the renowned “Glass Works in the Woods” that has led some scholars to view the Delaware Valley as the cradle of American industrialism. Yet southern New Jersey is also known for being a leading producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, including cranberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and escarole/endive. The varied landscape facilitates identities often by occupational and recreational communities. Evidence of its crossroads reputation is the Glassboro Summit in 1967 between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin, with the Glassboro site chosen because it is equidistant between New York and Washington, D.C.
Against the backdrop of this geographic crossroads, the program committee invites papers, forums, and sessions that explore the connections of geography, economy, and culture in the American experience. The committee is interested not only in historical and cultural analyses of social adaptation to the landscape but also in organizational efforts to interpret, conserve, and enhance community identities, public heritage, and folk traditions. These studies need not be limited to New Jersey – they can include the Atlantic World. In sum, this conference will explore the local, regional, and global patterns and exchanges that contribute to the distinctive eastern American mix of land and sea. As always, EASA is open to papers and panels on any topic of American Studies, including those which do not fit under the conference theme.
Individual Papers: Send a short abstract (no more than 500 words) and a brief CV or resume of no more than two pages.
Full Panels: Send a cover sheet with the title of the panel, the names of each participant, and the titles of their presentations. Include a short abstract of each paper (no more than 500 words) as well as a CV or resume of no longer than two pages for each panel participant.
All materials should be sent to Christie Briley at [email protected] before January 9, 2015. Graduate students whose proposals are accepted will be encouraged to submit their final papers electronically several weeks prior to the conference if they wish to be considered for the Simon J. Bronner Award for the outstanding graduate paper in American Studies.