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MONDAY JUNE 20, 2016 - SUNDAY JUNE 26, 2016.

DIRECTOR: Donald E. Pease (Dartmouth College)
CO-DIRECTORS: Colleen Boggs (Dartmouth College), Soyica Diggs Colbert (Georgetown University), Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University), Winfried Fluck (Freie Universität, Berlin), Donatella Izzo (Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale,"), Eric W. Lott (CUNY Graduate Center)

Program Description:

The nineteenth year of the Institute is the second of a five-year focus on "Questions Worth Asking." The speakers at the 2016 Futures Institute are invited to address questions concerned with emergent, residual, and dominant formations within the field of American Studies. Each of the following questions will serve as the basis for a plenary session:

  • How has digitization changed the archive of American Studies?
  • What explains the enduring power of (under)commons democracy?
  • Why (not) Surface Reading now?
  • Affirmative biopolitics?
  • What does ‘utopia’ have to do with Queer Studies?
  • Postracial U.S. Culture?
  • Is the pivot to the Asia-Pacific a left-over cold war fiction?
  • Are American Renaissance Writings (post)secular?
  • Afro-Pessimism? Afro-Optimism?
  • Was ….. a neo-liberal fantasy?

The Institute is divided into plenary sessions that feature talks from Institute faculty and research seminars in which all participants present and discuss their own work-in-progress. Each day of the institute begins with a morning session in which plenary speakers deliver presentations of no longer than thirty-minutes that contribute to our convoking topic. These presentations are followed by questions from the participants. After a lunch break, the Institute's participants meet in intensive workshop groups (consisting of no more than 15 participants), each of which is led by a Co-Director of the Institute. These workshops offer those enrolled in the Institute—over one hundred scholars from a variety of disciplines and institutions—the opportunity for critical conversations about the central intellectual issues in their research.

The Institute welcomes participants who are involved in a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary interests. Their research need not be restricted to the questions organizing the plenary sessions.

The Institute was designed to provide a shared space of critical inquiry that brings the participants' work-in-progress to the attention of a network of influential scholars. Over the past seventeen years, plenary speakers have recommended participants' work to the leading journals and university presses within the field of American Studies, and have provided participants with recommendations and support in an increasingly competitive job market.

The Futures of American Studies Institute would like to thank the following institutions for offering financial support to students to participate in the Summer Institute:

  • Boston University
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • The CUNY Graduate Center
  • Duke University
  • Fordham University
  • Freie Universität-Berlin
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio State University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Princeton University
  • State University of New York at Buffalo
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Maryland, College Park
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • University of Wyoming
  • Vanderbilt University

Last Updated: 1/4/16