Welcome to SAAS


A Contested West: New Readings of Place in the American West (2013), Ed. by M. Simonson, D. Río and A. Ibarrarán




REN: Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos




Número 16 - 2012

Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Choke (2013). Ed. by Francisco Collado.



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




Call For Papers for Our Next Conference

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

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12) "Fear, Exposure, Transparency: The Role of Secrecy in Contemporary Narratives"
Panel Chair: Paula Martín Salván, Universidad de Córdoba
E-mail: paula.martin@uco.es  

Taking cue from recent scholarly work on the interplay between secrecy and transparency in contemporary capitalist societies, this panel seeks to explore the critique of hegemonic discourses of transparency in contemporary American fiction. Scholars in the field identify the preeminence of a rhetoric of transparency in public life as an ideological neoliberal dispositive (Han), as they point to the fact that secrets have "acquired a bad reputation" (Horn 104). Their critique is grounded, on the one hand, on the tendency to establish a binary opposition between transparency and secrecy in which moral alignments are consistently traced—"secrecy comes to be associated with everything that is nefarious […] and transparency with all that is noble" (Birchall 66)—and, on the other hand, on the totalizing tendencies of techno-political transparency, whose most direct theoretical rendering is to be found in Foucauldian analyses of disciplinary societies.

Narratives of fear, as we often read in recent American fiction, commonly exact from the population the public exposure of all secrets in the name of safety. This panel welcomes paper proposals on contemporary American fiction exploring the tensions between power, fear, security, surveillance, transparency, exposure, information and disinformation. Though names like Pynchon and DeLillo inevitably come to mind when reflecting on how the discourse on transparency in democratic societies may become an auto-immune mechanism leading to the collapse of the public sphere (Han 35), they are far from being alone in their critique of hegemonic discourses on transparency. Thus, although the topic has clear resonance in political and dystopian fiction, we welcome therefore readings of contemporary fiction beyond the strictures of specific genres.


Birchall, Clare. "Transparency, Interrupted: Secrets of the Left." Theory, Culture and Society 28.7–8 (2011): 1–25.

Han, Byung Chui. The Transparency Society. Stanford UP, 2015.

Horn, Eva. "Logics of Political Secrecy," Theory, Culture and Society, 28.7–8 (2011): 103–122.



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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