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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2010 JAAS Conference, "Change and Power: Comparative US-Japan Perspectives"

The American Studies Association and the Japanese Association for American Studies is pleased to announce a call for proposals for next year's JAAS Conference, "Change and Power: Comparative US-Japan Perspectives," held June 5-6, 2010, at Osaka University, Japan.

2010 JAAS Conference, "Change and Power: Comparative US-Japan Perspectives"
The American Studies Association and the Japanese Association for American Studies, with support from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUFSC), are pleased to announce a competition open to ASA members (U.S. citizens). We plan to select two ASA delegates for participation in the annual JAAS conference to be held June 5-6, 2010, at Osaka University, Japan.
We invite proposals for workshops at the 2010 conference of the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS), with the participation of ASA delegates, and for two post-conference pro-seminars: I. "Change and Reconciliation" and II. "Cultural Strategies in Time of Change: Minority-Majority Relations." The two workshops will include an ASA delegate and two or three members of the JAAS or other international delegations and will be conducted in English.
Applicants should describe their interest in and availability for a two-week period in June 2010. The award covers round trip airfare to Japan, housing, and modest daily expenses.
The ASA delegates will speak in one of the workshops named above. The delegates will be chosen by collaborative assessment and selection by the members of the ASA-JAAS Project Advisory Committee and the International Committee of the JAAS. Following the conference, pro-seminars will be held either at the site of the conference or in an appropriate venue that will enable JAAS scholars to participate. The pro-seminars will run for two days. Themes of the pro-seminars will follow from but not necessarily repeat the workshop themes, and the ASA workshop speakers, now leading the pro-seminars, will construct the syllabi and assign readings for the pro-seminars. The pro-seminars will be open to the entire range of JAAS members, from graduate students to senior scholars. Under the proposed project, the ASA delegates will spend two days at the JAAS conference, two days in their pro-seminars, plus travel time, for a total of about a week.
The ASA scholars will contribute to an intensive dialogue and interaction with a fixed group of JAAS scholars. This group will include junior members of the JAAS and academia, put into a special relationship not only with the ASA delegates but also with mid-career and senior Japanese scholars of American Studies. These benefits are expected to flow in all directions, with the ASA delegates learning from the JAAS scholars, and with senior and junior scholars alike learning about directions the field may be taking and how they each may participate in renewals of American Studies in Japan. The "Comparative US-Japan Perspectives" named in the title of the proposed three-year theme speak directly of current directions in the field of American Studies, in regard to internationalism, transnationalism, and globalism. It is expected that JAAS scholars will speak of Japanese perspectives, in comparative connection with American Studies. These talks will put the JAAS scholars on th
e same footing as the ASA delegates in the workshops, each participant with a certain expertise to offer.
Accordingly, the theme statements for the proposed project are broad, conceptual, and inclined toward the theoretical, though the language is simple and the statements invite applicants to provide the historical examples and theoretical bases that they feel best fulfill the broad themes.
Theme Statements:
1. "Change and Reconciliation": JAAS framers of this theme are interested in having a dialogue on how the United States reunifies itself (if it does) following significant political changes, which necessarily involve friction and conflict. While proposed by a political scientist (a significant discipline in American Studies in Japan), the theme calls for proposals from ASA scholars in the array of fields and emphases that constitute interdisciplinary American Studies.
2. "Cultural Strategies in Time of Change: Minority-Majority Relations": The theme calls for examinations of so-called "identity politics" and possibly new directions in minority-majority relations of power and culture in the United States in view of the US elections of 2008 and their outcomes. To address this theme, proposals that involve studies of cultural change are welcome, with the understanding that a study of "culture" may include but need not be confined to the study of arts and the humanities. Has the election of President Barack Obama affected American culture? What cultural strategies and productions are signs and interpretations of current changes in minority-majority relations? How? Why?
Here again applicants need not propose comparative US-Japan studies, but contributions to a comparative method will be encouraged by the dialogue between ASA and JAAS scholars within the workshop and in the pro-seminar to follow.
Application Procedures:
Each application letter will include a summary in 300 words of the proposed paper to be presented at the JAAS annual meeting. Participants will specify the workshop to which they are applying. They will explain how the proposed paper contributes to discussion of that topic. They will include two-page curriculum vitae, emphasizing teaching experience and publications. They will also include the names and addresses of three references and a personal statement, no longer than two pages, describing their interest in this project and the issues that their own scholarship and teaching have addressed. They will devote one or two paragraphs to why they understand this scholarly visit to be central to their own development as a scholar in the world community. They may include comments on previous collaboration or work with non-U.S. academics or students. If they wish, they may comment on their particular interest in, or connections to, Japan. Prior experience of work or travel in Japan, however, is not a requirement for selection. The grant requires that applicants must be current members of the ASA and U.S. citizens. Application materials should be addressed to the ASA-JAAS Project Advisory Committee, and sent via electronic mail message, as a Word, Word Perfect, or PDF document in a single attachment before midnight (US DST) October 1, 2009, to asa-jaas@theasa.net.