calls for papers
   related links


Citizenship in the Era of Globalization

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Centennial House, University of California, Santa Barbara


Keynote Speaker: Brook Thomas, Chancellor’s Professor of English, University of California, Irvine (see Professor Thomas’ biography at:  

The 2008 American Cultures and Global Contexts Graduate Conference, an interdisciplinary forum at UC Santa Barbara, presents the problem of citizenship in the era of globalization. Conference organizers invite graduate students from the Humanities and Social Sciences to weigh in on the challenges and possibilities of citizenship in a world of state-sponsored and state-less terrorism, rapid resource exploitation, displacement of indigenous communities, migrant labor flows, re-energized border and state security regimes, and robust patriotisms fueled by religious fundamentalism. In such a world, if we describe it accurately, is citizenship, normally a function of liberal discourse but also recognized as a function of culture, still a relevant term? Which models of citizenship most effectively speak to our current condition, which varieties of citizenship are worth defending, and which modes of modeling “good citizenship” (through the arts, education, activism) might we in the academy embrace? This conference seeks to answer these generative questions and to frame more effective questions by building dialogue across a variety of relevant disciplines. We are fortunate to have as one of our guides Professor Brook Thomas of UC-Irvine, whose recently published Civic Myths (UNC Press, 2007) draws on the intertwined histories of law and literature to probe the complexities of U.S. citizenship. 

Presentation topics may include but are not limited to the following suggestions: 

  • The Persistent Fantasy of Global Citizenship
  • Literary Models/Modeling of Citizenship
  • Immigrants and the Nation's Others
  • Citizenship and the Philosophy of Justice
  • Imagined Communities
  • Faith, Fundamentalism, and Citizenship
  • Discourses of Belonging
  • Ecological Citizenship, or Environmentalism’s Discourse of Rights and Duties
  • Americanization, Assimilation, and Discrimination
  • Varieties of Citizenship: Extending T.H. Marshall
  • Race, Gender, and Citizenship
  • Dual or “Border” Citizenships
  • Terrorism, Security Regimes, and the Diminishment of the Citizen
  • Is It Time to Jettison Citizenship?

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 Tuesday, April 1, 2008.  We request that you paste your proposal into the body of your email 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.