Crime and America
The next issue of aspeers will be organized around different notions of 'crime' and their cultural relevance for 'America.' We encourage submitters to investigate questions relating to "Crime and America" in the fields of literary studies, cultural studies, history, political science, and all other subfields of American Studies, as well as to explore them in art, poetry, photography, and other forms of creative expression. Please see the following Calls for Papers for details.
|academic contributions (closed)||due 1 November 2009||html|
|open submission section (closed)||due 11 December 2009||html|
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies
calls for submissions by November 1 2009
The past year has seen an unprecedented interest in white-collar crime. From the presidential election that pitched an honest Main Street against a criminal Wall Street to the trial of Bernard L. Madoff, crime, it seems, has become a central metaphor for the American public to reevaluate long-standing dogmas of neoliberalism. This recent surge of interest arguably is a consequence of the current economic developments, but it also reflects a more fundamental connection between American (self-)perception and ‘crime,’ a connection that is expressed in a wide range of cultural artifacts and texts. We are thus calling for submissions scrutinizing the role of crime from various disciplinary perspectives. Contributors are invited to explore the role of crime as a cultural signifier, a social reality with complex ramifications, an analytic category, or from other angles.
Different notions of crime have served as master tropes both for American culture’s self-portrayal and for outside readings of the United States. From the celebrated lawlessness of the Frontier to the global appeal of gangsta rap, from the 1970s panic over serial killers to the perception of the US as a criminally imperial power, a wide range of discourses testifies to the significance the category has assumed. This cultural productivity of crime begs a wide range of questions. For example, how has crime been represented in different literary genres? How does fiction impact definitions and perceptions of crime? Have new forms of technology altered the way crime is being represented?
Apart from such a literary/cultural studies angle, crime is also an immensely productive field in the social sciences, history, and law. Here, the complex nature of ‘crime’ becomes most apparent: It is at once a central, well-defined category of social interaction and a continually changing, fragile agreement. A number of questions arise: How have efforts at social control criminalized previously legal behavior? How has city development intersected with law enforcement efforts? In how far are advances in technology both an impediment to and an enabler of crime?
In that an interest in crime modifies more traditional interests in race, class, and gender, it can be utilized not only as an object of inquiry, but as an analytic category that opens up interdisciplinary dialogues. In this sense, crime becomes a critical lens through which core concepts of American studies, such as the body, the nation, the border, etc., can be reconfigured.
aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal for European American studies, invites fellow graduate students to reflect on these issues. Please note that the contributions we are looking for might address but are not limited to the topical parameters outlined above. We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the occasion by 1 November 2009.
Please check out our submission guidelines and an editorial timetable at www.aspeers.com/2010.
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies
calls for art submissions by 11 December 2009
The past year has seen an unprecedented interest in white-collar crime. From the presidential election that pitched an honest Main Street against a criminal Wall Street to the trial of Bernard L. Madoff, crime, it seems, has become a central metaphor for the American public to reevaluate long-standing dogmas of neoliberalism. This recent surge of interest arguably is a consequence of the current economic developments, but it also reflects a more fundamental connection between American (self-)perception and ‘crime,’ a connection that is expressed in a wide range of cultural artifacts and texts.
For its open submission section, aspeers calls for contributions exploring the topic of crime and America. A list of possible contributions includes, but is not limited to:
- photography focusing on the (in)visibility of crime and law enforcement in the American public sphere
- collages (text, audio, or any other material) on crimes that have stirred the American public and that can be reevaluated through art
- journals, videos, or interviews with ‘unsuspecting criminals,’ people who have committed everyday crimes that hardly anybody would call a crime in the literal sense
- poetry or fiction that traces the dynamics of victim and perpetrator in everyday experiences
- anything on “criminal arts” such as graffiti
- any other artistic exploration of the topic: the open submission section is an experimental space.
We will consider for inclusion all submissions (poetry, photography, collages, etc.) regardless of the author's institutional affiliation, geographic location, or level of study. Non-printable material selected for publication will be included on the journal homepage. Plastic art will be on display in Leipzig at the issue’s launch ceremony and will be presented as still image in the paper and online edition.
Please check out our submission guidelines, an editorial timetable, as well as some additional tips, and a list of possible topics at www.aspeers.com/2010. To be considered, contributions must be in by 11 December 2009.