CfP Transnational Regionalism

CfP: Special Issue of the European Journal of American Studies on “Transnational Approaches to North American Regionalism”
Guest editors: Florian Freitag (JGU Mainz, Germany) & Kirsten Sandrock (U Göttingen, Germany)

Earlier discussions of literary and cultural regionalism in North America have frequently
tended to cluster around specific regions and their relations to the nation. By contrast,
this thematic issue of EJAS seeks to explore new perspectives by focusing especially on
transnational approaches to regionalism in North American literary and cultural studies.
We aim to gather articles – general theoretical investigations as well as individual case
studies – that, following Krista Comer, “figure regions and regionalism in far more
comparative and multilingual ways” (2003, 117) and that consider regional writing and
critical regionalism in transnational, hemispheric, and even (anti-)global contexts.
We are thus particularly interested in comparative approaches to regionalism in
the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that shift the focus away from the region-nation
dichotomy towards more dynamic and, we believe, more productive concepts of
regionalism that can generate empowering, pluralist discourses of regionalism rather than
reductionist, dualist hegemonies of regions vs. nations. Such concepts may draw on
perspectives offered by, for instance, postcolonial theory, gender studies, Native Studies,
borderland studies, Pacific and Atlantic Studies, ecocriticism, history and historiography,
human geography, Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of the “mestiza consciousness” (1987) or
any other methodological framework that allows us to broaden the theoretical
foundations of regionalist studies and include previously marginalized voices.
Areas of investigation may include North American literary and cultural regions
that cross national borders, from the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes, and the
Prairie/Plains in Canada and the U.S. to the concept of the Amérique française, Native
American regions, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, North American micro-regions
such as the urban centers of New Orleans or Toronto in their transnational connections,
and instances of regional literary movements crossing national borders, as in the case of
the “local color” movement during the second half of the nineteenth century or the
Chicano/Chicana literature that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century.
Topics to be dealt with include, but are by no means limited to:
— the development and reception of regionalist studies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
— regionalist “phases” in US American and Canadian literary and cultural history
— (comparisons of) the discursive construction of specific regions in North America
— (comparisons of) North American cross-border regions
— transnational connections between North American authors of regionalist fiction and
poetry
— the transnational cultural connections of particular North American regions
— transnational regions that span from North America around the world
— theoretical approaches to regionalism as a transnational discipline, e.g. through the
lens of postcolonialism, gender studies, ecocriticism etc.
— the cultural institutions of transnational regionalism in North America

Deadlines & Procedures:
Please send proposals for contributions (two pages maximum) to both
ksandrock@phil.uni-goettingen.de and freitagf@uni-mainz.de by October 31, 2013.
Contributors will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by November 20,
2013. Finished manuscripts will have to be handed in by April 30, 2014. Contributions
selected for publication by the guest editors will undergo blind peer-review by EJAS’s
readers.