2011 PAAS Conference

Polish Association for American Studies

2011 Annual Conference

Gdansk, Poland

October 19-21, 2011

American Experience – the Experience of America

The concept of experience has recently been widely discussed in the humanities and social sciences, from anthropology through history and cultural studies. Since colonial times, experience has also been one of the key terms characteristic of the discourses circulating on the (future) territory of the United States. Therefore the present conference aims at analyzing it as a category that pertains both to the development of American civilization from its “inside,” and to the encounters with America of immigrants and visitors who came there at different periods of time and with different agendas. The proposed range of the meanings and contexts of experience to be addressed includes the following:

  • experience as a concept of American philosophy since Franklin;
  • the articulation of experience in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Puritan writings;
  • experience as a category in American travel writing from Lewis and Clark to the present;
  • the concept of experience in American literature and art;
  • the immigrant experience in the British colonies and in the United States;
  • the moving frontier as a specifically American historical experience;
  • the life of minorities in the United States;
  • the discourse of experience in US Cultural Studies;
  • mediations of American experience in theater, film, television, and electronic media;
  • success and failure as names of experience in America

Deadline for abstracts: July 31, 2011

Please submit a proposal of up to 300 words for each individual presentation. First- and second-year Ph.D. students, who are also welcome, are expected to add to their proposals one-paragraph recommendations of their academic advisors. Please mail your proposals to paas_experience@ug.edu.pl