News, Events & Calls

AYA Colloquium for Early Career Researchers

Hosted by Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA)
at the American Studies Department of the University of Graz, Austria, October 29th, 2020

Austria’s Young Americanists (AYA) cordially invited early career scholars in the field of American Studies to participate in our colloquium preliminary to the 47th annual AAAS conference. This event took place all-day on Thursday October 29, 2020. During the colloquium, five early career researchers were able to introduce and discuss their research projects as well as individual chapters from their dissertations with each other in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. The goal of this event was to provide early career scholars the opportunity to share their work-in-progress, receive feedback regarding their research, and build valuable networks with other scholars in their field.

The topics pertained to the main AAAS conference entitled “American Studies as Vulnerability Studies?,” dealing with the concept of ‘vulnerability’ as being both a shared condition of oppression and as emerging resistance and solidarity.  Participants were asked to submit proposals that deal with the following questions: which themes, theories, and disciplinary directions in American studies can productively engage with questions of vulnerability, and to what extent does current critical work against racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism cohere around a shared sense of vulnerability? What are the prevalent idioms of vulnerability in American Studies, and how have they shaped critical practices in areas such as Affect Theory, Queer Theory, Transnational Feminism, Critical Race Theory, Trans Studies, among others? How can we theorize vulnerability within the context of the United States’ own history of internal and international colonization? How is vulnerability culturally produced and what are the ethics of mediating vulnerability?

Contributions were shared in advance among all participants, who were asked to read them prior to the forum. On the date, the participants briefly presented their projects (10-15 mins) to allow for enough time for feedback and discussion.

Program of the Colloquium