The 9th International Tartu Conference on North-American Studies
24-25 April, 2009
University of Tartu
The concept of the American Dream is topical in today's USA in several senses of the word. The ongoing presidential election campaign has made evocative use of the egalitarian aspect of the American Dream and the opportunities the country offers to its citizens, this in a context where recent economic crises have raised questions about the materialist side of the Dream and its realizability in today's America. These are but a few reasons why the time-honored subject merits a fresh look. The conference will focus on a diverse range of interpretations of the American Dream. The conference theme is meant to be understood broadly from an interdisciplinary perspective. The objective is to bring together scholars from different disciplines (cultural studies, sociology, political science, anthropology, literature, linguistics, history, etc) to foster dialogue and cross-fertilization between diverse academic discourses. A great variety of issues could be addressed. What has the American Dream meant in the past, in different contexts? What does it mean today? How do (geo)political and corporate concerns affect the Dream in the US and abroad? How does the concept of the American Dream interact with gender, race, class? What discourses are employed in talking about the American Dream? How has the American Dream been represented in literature or film? What does the American Dream look like from the outside? These are but a few of the possible topics to be tackled and the list is by no means exhaustive.
The conference will work in the format of plenary sessions and workshops. The presentation time in workshops is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. The length of the plenary talks will be 40 minutes, with 20 minutes for questions and discussion.
Speakers should submit a short annotation of their presentations (no longer than 100 words), an abstract (no longer than 350 words) and a brief CV by February 23, 2009 at the latest. Early submissions are encouraged. Selected papers will be published in the Cultural Studies Series of the University of Tartu. Annotations, abstracts and CVs should be submitted via e-mail to Professor Krista Vogelberg (krista.vogelberg [ät] ut.ee) and Raili Põldsaar (raili.poldsaar [ät] ut.ee). All practical questions should be directed to Raili Põldsaar.
Professor Krista Vogelberg
Chair of the Conference Committee
Vice-Chair of the Conference Committee
Center for North-American Studies
University of Tartu
Fax: +372-7-375 228
Tel: +372-7-375 218
The Baltic Centre for North-American Studies at the University of Tartu