The New York Metro Studies Assocation (NYMASA) announces its call for papers for "Emergences and Emergencies," a conference to be held October 13, 2018 at New York University. The Keynote Conversation will feature Dr. Kandice Chuh (CUNY Graduate Center, 2017-2018 ASA President). 

From the Call for Proposals


The theme of our 2018 call purposely echoes the call for papers for the 2018 American Studies Association (ASA) national conference this year in Atlanta. In serving the American Studies community in the New York City region, NYMASA aims to sustain our connection to the significant work of the ASA by offering our constituency the opportunity to present their work in concert with American studies colleagues across the nation. With the permission of the ASA, we have intentionally aligned our CFP to facilitate such collaboration.

NYMASA invites inquiry into states, themes, and subjects of emergence and emergency across the disciplines and sub-fields of American studies. In doing so, we invoke the various inspirations from the global north and the global south that have occasioned American Studies scholarship and its critical interventions for the last twenty years, particularly around the relationship of emergence to emergency. In emphasizing states of emergence, we underscore its importance as a critical analytic for how we might apprehend and understand our contemporary moment, as well as histories of the present.

In an effort to imagine emergence alongside the ASA, we too observe “states of emergence” as domains of coalition, relationality, and political struggle. This year’s theme is therefore an affirmation of Audre Lorde’s sense that our emergences and interventions are not “one-time [events].” They require us to “become always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established, outgrown responses.” They are opportunities to “[learn] to address each other’s difference with respect,” creating allied emergences that are necessarily feminist, queer, unpredictable, and unlikely.

In contrast to Lorde’s appreciation for the “smallest opportunities,” our world too often assumes that the scholarly work that we do – that of interpreting the world -- signifies our presumably comfortable retreat from and our insignificance to the world.  Yet much of the contemporary theorization of American Studies scholars draws on the intellectual approaches of ethnic, indigenous, queer, Marxist, disability, postcolonial and feminist studies--formations embedded in social struggle, and interventions that provide much of the grammar for today’s social activism. Moreover, our work explores the recent and more distant past to disrupt conventional representations of national emergence and belonging and excavate the complex narratives that grew out of shared histories of conflict, collaboration, and resistance. How might we use those formations, grammars, and narratives to identify the conditions of possibility for genuine change?

Scholars, artists, and activists of all specialties, methods, geographical areas and historical periods are warmly invited to submit traditional format, experimental, or unorthodox panel proposals and papers proposals might also address:

  • Histories, politics and aesthetics of emergency and emergence and the relationships among them;
  • Theories of emergence, crisis, and emergency;
  • The social life of emergence;
  • Abolition;
  • Immigration, migration, diasporas;
  • Creative political practices;
  • Theories of the state;
  • State cultures;
  • Fascism and authoritarianism;
  • Political economy;
  • The (re) emergence of white supremacy;
  • Protest traditions and culture as emergence;
  • Becoming, emergence, racialization;
  • The institutional and spatial locations for critical emergences; 
  • The role of pleasure in states of emergence;
  • The role of religious and spiritual traditions in states of emergence;
  • The coordination of emergences across space, time, social and linguistic differences; 
  • Hemispheric and trans-oceanic emergencies and emergences;  
  • Emergence and emergencies across the Americas;
  • Corporeality and states of emergence;
  • Disability and states of emergence;
  • Temporalities of emergence;
  • Settler colonialism and the long durée of “emergency”

Submission Guidelines

Please follow the link HERE to our Google Form submission (300 words or less). Women of color, queer, trans, and other underrepresented folx are especially encouraged to submit abstracts.

Questions? Contact Rosie Uyola ( or Justin Rogers-Cooper (

Post date: April 12, 2018

Community announcements and events are services that are offered by the ASA to support the organizing efforts of critical constituency groups. They do not reflect the decisions or actions of the association’s governance bodies, the National Council or Executive Committee. Questions should be directed to the committee, caucus, or chapter that has authored and posted this notice.