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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CFP: "The Presence of 'America' in India"

The International Forum for U.S. Studies and South Asian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announces a call for papers. The conference,"The Presence of 'America' in India", will take place April 5-8th, 2012. Application deadline: October 15th.

The Presence of "America" in India: Where and How Does"America" Appear and What Are The Effects?

April 5th-8th 2012

Description: During the last decade, thecirculation of ideas, commodities,cultural practices, and cultural products perceived as coming from the U.S. and gaining traction in India has accelerated. We understand this processas a dialectical one, full of multiple transformations/translations/ andeffects, and with a substantial history, where India is not merely a"receiving" region, but rather a complex set of national and subnationalcultural and political groups actively involved in articulating relationshipsto "America." We use the term "America" advisedly as it does not presumeto reference all of the Americas but rather to capture the sense of the U.S. asboth a geo-political entity and a cultural imaginary, that is, not only as apolitical actor, mediating between Pakistan and India, but also as a culturalinfluence in many of the contemporary changes in Indian daily life andinstitutional structures. These include shifting practices of food consumption,modes of fashion, notions of secular democratic politics, the restructuring ofIndian higher education institutions, the emphasis on "American" accents inEnglish speech, employment in U.S. corporation customer service "callcenters," the impact of the presence of the US business corporations (such asIBM), new developments in Indian agriculture and engineering, themigration of hip hop style dancing into Bollywood musicals, the much contested"brain drain" to the United States, and so on.
We welcome paper proposals from a wide range of disciplinesand topics that seek to understand the complexities of these processes andrelations. These include but are not limited to: media studies, securityissues, food, agriculture and ecology, diaspora studies, performance andthe performing arts, fashion, business and economics, literatures andlanguage, religion, engineering, architecture and landscape, travel andtourism, and social relations. Proposals should explicitly address theconference theme. Panels will be organized to give each speaker approximately 20 minutes each. Other formats beyond the usual paperpresentation mode, such as posters and performances, will also be considered.
Please submit via email a proposal detailing yourresearch and how it addresses the conference theme in the form of a briefabstract of no more than 300 words. Please include your name,title, affiliation, and contact information (mailing address and email), as wellas a brief C.V. of no more than two pages BY OCTOBER 15TH to:
Ms. Anita Kaiser, Conference Coordinator
International Forum for US Studies
Participantswill be notified of acceptance no later than Dec. 31, 2011, and will beresponsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses. Aregistration fee of $50 ($25 students) participants will cover special mealevents. Registration fee waived for UIUC participants.
Conference Co-Organizers: Prof. Jane Desmond and Prof.Rajeshwari Pandharipande, UIUC