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Ana Manzanas & Jesús Benito, Cities, Borders and Spaces in Intercultural American Literature and Film






Félix Martín Gutiérrez, Retorno a la historia literaria norteamericana: itinerarios críticos y pedagógicos, PUV, 2014




REN: Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos




Número 16 - 2012




Call For Papers for Our Next Conference

"'Fear Narratives' and their Role/Use in the United States"

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11) "'The Vanishing Indian': Is It Just a Myth or a Real Risk in the 21st Century?"
Panel Chair: Aitor Ibarrola-Armendariz, Universidad de Deusto, Bilbao
E-mail: aitor.ibarrola@deusto.es  


The image of "the Vanishing Indian" lies at the heart of the mythology of the American frontier. As depicted in J.F. Cooper's classic The Last of the Mohicans, the notion of the brave and noble savage struggling to survive under the pressure of colonial powers has remained one of the major myths feeding the American imagination. Although we are now aware of the visible and vocal presence of an increasing number of Native American men and women, it is not so evident that their cultures, languages and lifestyles will manage to make it through in the new millennium confronted with the new global forces. While it is a fact that several Acts have been passed these last few decades to try to protect the rights and warranty the "survivance" (Vizenor) of elements of their cultures, there are still many neo-colonial, abusive practices on the part of the government and mainstream America that are seen to endanger the future of those cultures.

This panel intends to delve into some of the challenges and dilemmas (Brave NoiseCat 2015) faced by Native Americans in the 21st century as they are portrayed in all sorts of artistic manifestations (fiction, film, poetry, comics, etc.). These problems range from inordinate levels of poverty and health disorders to illegal seizures of land and exploitation of natural resources. We are especially interested in analyses of works by Indigenous authors that foreground those new forces that are endangering essential elements of their cultures such as their complex social and family structures, their collective stewardship and decision-making, their spiritual tradition or their connection with the land. Some of those forces arousing fear among Native tribes and communities could be:

o Governmental negligence/indifference or paternalism;

o Lack of autonomy and self-determination in decision-making (BIA) ;

o Chronic problems of alcoholism, diabetes, malnutrition, etc.;

o Poor educational and occupational opportunities, esp. on reservations;

o Individualism and self-aggrandizing inclinations;

o Mental health problems (from various types of trauma) ;

o Serious conflicts of jurisdiction, especially in reservations;

o Environmental pollution: Toxic and radioactive waste;

o Dispossession of their ancestral/sacred lands;

o Rapid decline in the use of Native languages and cultural traditions;

o Violence against Native women and children;

o Criminality: Policing and mass incarcerations.



Abstracts of Proposals are to be e-mailed directly to the chair of the selected panel using this form. The deadline for submitting abstracts is October 15, 2020. Panel chairs are expected to accept/reject proposals and have panels set up by November 15.


Non-members of SAAS (of all nationalities) are welcome to participate in the conference, but will be required to pay membership dues for one year as well as the conference registration fee. Members of ASA (American Studies Association), AISNA (Associazione Italiana di Studi Nor-Americani), APEAA (Portuguese Association for Anglo-American Studies) and HELAAS (Hellenic Association for American Studies) need only pay the conference registration fee.

Further guideliness for participants can be found here.

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