Polish Association for American Studies
2023 Annual Conference
held and hosted by the Department of American Literature and Department of Studies in Culture, Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland
America and Deep Time:
Alternate Geographies, Temporalities, and Histories
25-27 October 2023
In Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2006) Wai Chee Dimock proposed a radically new way of interpreting American texts. She argued that the current practice of reading American literature and culture within their customary container, the national boundaries of the U.S., should be replaced by interpreting these subjects through alternate, more widely dispersed, geographies. This would loosen up the critical hold of such exceptionalist narratives as Puritan colonization, the American Adam or the frontier; it would be more sensitive to placing American texts within a global totality and within a world literature. Dimock also argued that the short time-frame of history within which criticism of American texts is usually penned up (starting from 1620) ought to be replaced by a more extensive concept of “deep time”.
These concepts invite us to look at America from wider points of view, which seems a reasonable response to the recent surge of global crises.
In the light of the above, the focus of the 2023 Polish Association for American Studies conference is inquiry into and interrogation of the U.S.A. as a “planetary entity” (Spivak), part of a wide and complex network of events and processes beyond America’s control, imaginary power, or understanding: global biology and epidemiology, Anthropocene, global warming, transnational politics, cosmopolitan wealth and poverty, global migration flows, new historical epochs and timescales, global crime networks, fluctuating global energy and food markets.
Such themes and events call for a new timescale, or a new spatial perspective.
The conference is planned as an in-person event.
Publication: A peer-reviewed selection of papers will be published in a special thematic issue of Studia Anglica Posnaniensia (100 points)
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “‘Planetarity’ (Box 4, WELT).” Paragraph, vol. 38, no. 2, 2015, pp. 290–92. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44016381. Accessed 27 Oct. 2022.
Wai Chee Dimock. Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time. Princeton UP. 2006.
Gesa Mackethun and Christen Mucher (eds.) Decolonizing “Prehistory”: Deep Time and Indigenous Knowledges in North America, University of Arizona Press, 2021.