American criminality, film noir, the literature of the suburbs, the Hollywood blockbuster and much more will be discussed at this year's BAAS Conference at Exeter

“Head West” - Humanities host British Association for American Studies 58th Annual Conference

The College of Humanities is delighted to be hosting a four-day international conference at the University of Exeter on 18-21 April 2013.

The conference, hosted by the Department of English, is drawing academics to Exeter from all over the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as the U.S., Canada and Australia.

With a long-standing presence of American Studies at the University of Exeter, and over 250 people registered to attend, the British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Conference promises to be a hugely successful event.  The conference this year will feature work from a diverse range of disciplines, departments, institutions and individuals, and has welcomed a variety of papers and panel proposals on subjects that fall under the remit of American Studies. 

The conference organisers have also been keen to continue the initiative shown at previous BAAS Annual Conferences by scheduling roundtable discussions and innovative panel presentations. The research interests of Exeter staff participating are broad-ranging, and include transatlantic literary relations, American criminality, film noir, the literature of the suburbs, the Hollywood blockbuster, US immigration, Seattle in the 1990s, the American musical, the culture of the American South, Irish American identities and literature, childhood in America, the Ku Klux Klan, and contemporary American comics.

Delegates will be warmly welcomed to the University by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith.  The College is also delighted to confirm that the three plenary speakers will be: Anders Stephanson (Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation and Professor of History at Columbia University) who will present “The Young Senator as Anti-imperialist: on JFK in the 1950’s; Becky Nicolaides (Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Women, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), presenting "Still Shots from LA: Reflections on Diversity and the Remaking of Suburban Life"; and Paul Gilroy (Professor of American and English Literature, Department of English at King's College, London) who will present “Race and racism in the ‘age of Obama’”.

The College is also looking forward to welcoming a group of eight conference participants from the University of South Florida, with which the College is developing a strong relationship.

The University holds several major resources that are of interest to American Studies scholars, notably the American Music Collection (one of the largest archives of American popular music outside the United States) and the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture.

Dr. Sinéad Moynihan, one of the organisers of the event, says, “We are looking forward to welcoming a huge number of delegates to Exeter and to the intellectual discussions that will arise from the panels and plenary sessions.  It will provide us with the opportunity to showcase our strengths in American Studies, strengths that exist across both campuses, in numerous disciplines, and in terms of both people and resources."

For more information about this event, please contact the conference organisers on or for information about BAAS see the BAAS website.  

Date: 3 April 2013

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