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Collage of faces on US mapRacing Across Borders:
National and Transnational Narratives
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Centennial House, UC Santa Barbara

Submission Deadline: March 15, 2006
Click here for more details.

Keynote Speaker:
Shelley Streeby, Associate Professor of American Literature, UC San Diego, and winner of the 2003 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize for American Sensations: Class, Empire and the Production of Popular Culture (UC Press, 2002).

The 2006 American Cultures and Global Contexts Graduate Conference, an interdisciplinary forum at UCSB, will explore issues revolving around race and racial formation and how these processes function differently as they move across a variety of borders such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, discipline and nation. We are interested in how multiple racial formations arise and are represented within particular cultural contexts as well as what happens to these formations and representations when they come into contact with racial structures from other cultural contexts. Our conference invites scholars to investigate what happens to the concepts and constructions of race as they move across various contact zones, borders, and intersections, and how the increasing speed of this mobility challenges national and global assumptions about race.

This one-day conference will focus on national and transnational narratives of race and racial formation. We hope to provoke discussions of both contemporary and historical narratives that emerge from the broadest definition of culture, encompassing literature, the visual arts, religion, politics, the media, class, music, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, law, commerce, and so on. In particular, one of the bigger questions we seek to open up, is what happens to race when we bring together Global studies and American studies? Is race elided or does it undergo a transformation? How do we discuss ethnic/race studies when they are globalized?

We especially invite proposals that bridge disciplines and explore questions of race within different historical periods and diverse spatial constructions, national and international, in the U.S. and abroad. The conference will also feature an exhibition of artistic responses such as paintings, sculptures, and montages related to our theme, and so, visual arts proposals are highly encouraged.

Presentation topics may include but should not be limited to an investigation of the suggestions below:

• Representations of the recent race riots in France
• Issues involving New Orleans—Hurricane Katrina
• Gender in nationalist movements
• Women's bodies and international human rights
• Formula 1 racing across cultures
• Debates around global languages
• Labor across borders
• Global tourism
• Modes of travel
• Travel culture: ships, hotels etc.
• Mobility for men vs. for women
• The global narratives of museums
• Borders between disciplines
• Transnational religious movements
• Politics and history of rap/reggae

• Global art
• Global media and representation
• Torture issues, black sites
• Legalized racism
• WEB Du Bois across borders
• Narratives of First Nations
• Border studies
• American Renaissance transnational
• Transnational Moby Dick
• Historical discussions of Reconstruction
• The Underground Railroad
• Transcontinental Railroad
• Issues around immigration
• Colonization of the Americas
• Reading The Tempest

To Submit an Abstract:

Please submit 250-word individual abstracts or panel proposals (comprised of a 250-word abstract for the panel as a whole and titles for each paper) to by March 15, 2006. Paste your proposal into the body of the email message and include any technology requests. If submitting a work of art, please attach a low-resolution image of your piece, if possible, in addition to your abstract.

For more information about the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center, visit