In Fall 2013 the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University Beirut celebrates its tenth anniversary and initiates its new MA program in Transnational American Studies. Moreover, Fall 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of Dr. Edward Said, whose scholarly legacy and vision for American Studies in the Arab world inspires CASAR’s mission. To honor Said’s legacy and to mark CASAR’s history and future, the fifth CASAR international conference will be organized around the theme “Transnational American Studies.”
We aim to consider transnational American Studies as a theory and method in motion. Among the questions we seek to address are: How does the discipline of American Studies work as a “traveling theory” to cite Edward Said? What are the possibilities for American Studies beyond the borders of the U.S. nation-state? How might we map race, sexuality, and religion as densely overlapping transnational categories? How do the cultural and political contexts in the MENA help us remap the field of transnational American Studies?
We invite disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and un-disciplined papers that address any aspect of transnational American Studies. Although CASAR focuses primarily on the transnational relations between the U.S. and the MENA region, we also invite papers that address transnational American studies in other geographies, such as hemispheric borders in the Americas, provided these papers speak to broad methodological and theoretical questions within transnational scholarship.
In addition to hosting a wide range of scholarship in transnational American Studies, we hope to attract focused work in the following areas:
- Edward Said’s scholarly legacy, especially as it relates to transnational American Studies.
- Scholarship that places the study of religion – broadly conceived – in a transnational American Studies frame.
- Scholarship in transnational gender and sexuality studies.
American University of Beirut