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Unsteadily Marching On: The US South in Motion (2013), Ed. by Constante González Groba






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




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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13)"The Construction of Fear and the Promise of Relationality: Lessons from Native America"
Panel Chair: Silvia Martínez-Falquina, Universidad de Zaragoza
E-mail: smfalqui@unizar.es  


Fear has been at the center of white-Indian relations since the beginning of the US colonial process. A strategic element of settler colonialism—which struggled to keep domination over the territory taken from the Natives, who continued to fight back—, fear became an essential element in the representation of the Natives' otherness imagined as constant threat: the well-known stereotype of the bloodthirsty, savage Indian first appeared in texts by explorers like John Smith or in puritan captivity narratives like Mary Rowlandson's, and was later fictionalized in James Fenimore Cooper's frontier novels, the model of many novels and films to this day.

Although Native Americans have been tragically affected by the traumatic consequences of having fear narratives associated to them, for centuries they have also struggled to preserve and transmit a different view on life that resists the oppositional nature of colonialist stereotypes, offering a way of being in the world that is essentially relational. In spite of tribal diversity, American Indians generally emphasize the interdependency of self with others, including other people, other beings, the land, or spirits. This is very present in recent creative representations by Native Americans as well as in a myriad of new theories that include concepts like Vizenor's reciprocity, Owens' frontier space, Coulthard's land-based solidarity, or Simpson's resurgence, to mention only a few. In our current environmental and health crisis, when we are already bearing witness to new forms of fear-based authoritarianism but also of renewed solidarity, it is high time we listen to these ideas, which can illuminate and reinforce the new global awareness of vulnerability and interconnectivity.

This panel intends to open a dialogue between representations of the menacing savage and recent theorizations and representations of relationality in response to the former. It welcomes analyses of history, literature, film, the visual arts or the media. Possible topics include (but are not limited to): fear narratives/relational narratives in connection to identity, ethics, politics, place, ecology, ceremony, Indigenous futurism, American Indian historical trauma, posttraumatic growth, Native American resistance, sovereignty.



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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