Saturday, October 5, 2013
October 5-6, 2013: What’s Next for NEASA
[This past weekend, the New England American Studies Association held its annual conference. This week, I have followed up some of the most inspiring aspects of the conference and some of the many great talks I heard there. Now it’s time to look ahead to what 2014 has in store, and how you can be part of it (whether you’re regional or not)!]
1) The Council: Okay, for this one you do have to be regional. But if you are a New England AmericanStudier—in or out of academia—there are few better ways I know of to get more involved with the region’s conversations and communities than to run for the NEASA Council. Council members get to help plan the year’s fall conference, the spring colloquium, our evolving web presence, and a lot more—as well as to figure out what might be next for NEASA that we haven’t even imagined yet. If you’re interested, send me an email!
2) The Conference: As of this writing, few details about next year’s conference are set in stone, but a few things are definite: the 2014 President, Jeffrey Meriwether, will do a great job organizing it; our co-Presidents Ex Officio, Elif Armbruster and Akeia Benard, will advise him well; and the conference is likely to be held at Rhode Island’s Roger Williams University, where Jeffrey and fellow Council member Laura D’Amore teach. But when it comes to the conference theme, to possibilities for special speakers or events, for community connections, for sites in Rhode Island to which we should connect—to all the specifics, basically—there’s still plenty of room for suggestions (for which you don’t have to be regional at all). So what do you think next year’s conference should include?
3) The Colloquium: From relatively humble beginnings in 2011, the annual spring colloquium has really taken off, with each of the last two years’ offering something quite distinct: 2012’s at Salem’s House of the Seven Gables focused on a particular theme; while 2013’s at Suffolk University focused on defining AmericanStudies questions and practices. That means that 2014’s colloquium is particularly open-ended: we can pick a site like the House and focus on relevant themes; we can hold it at any site and focus on continuing the defining and practical conversations; or we can do something new once again, and expand the roster of possibilities even further. What do you think? What kind of informal, conversational, collegial AmericanStudies colloquium would you like to attend?
Next series starts Monday,
BenPS. Questions or thoughts on NEASA or these kinds of events overall? Want to get involved? You know what to do!