Welcome to SAAS


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





Open Yale Courses


Free access to courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.



REN: Revista de Estudios Norteamericanos




Número 16 - 2012


Landscapes of Writing in Chicano Literature (2013), Ed. by Imelda Martín Junquera.





Call For Papers for Our Next Conference

"A Return to (What Never Was) Normal: Discourses of (Ab)Normalcy in US Culture, Literature, Arts, and Politics; Past, Present, and Future"

Back to list of panels


5) (Ab)normalcy in the American West: Has the West Ever Been "Normal"?
Panel Chairs: Jesús Ángel González, Amaia Ibarraran-Bigalondo, Universidad de Cantabria, Universidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU)
E-mail: gonzalezja@unican.es, amaia.ibarraran@ehu.eus  

The American West has always been a contested space, the place where civilization and wilderness met in the well-known formulation of critics like Will Wright or John Cawelti. These scholars explained how the Western genre extended this contrast to other dichotomies, like order/anarchy, America/Europe, garden/desert, town/wilderness, individual/community, and cowboy versus Indians. We would like to add the contrast normalcy/abnormalcy to this set of conflicting concepts in order to consider the different contradictions and paradoxes that make up the contemporary West and the different representations that it has received in the media, from celebrations of the Western myth to more recent counter-hegemonic discourses.

Topics and areas of study might include (but are not restricted to) the following:

• Discourses of the (ab)normal in the American West

• Migration and the national normalcy in the American West

• Poverty and inequality as normalized abnormalities in the American West

• Discourses of environmental pollution and degradation in the American West

• Healing, recovery, and growth narratives in the American West

• Normalcy, American exceptionalism, and the American West

• (Ab)normal sexualities in the American West

• Gender claims and gender divisions in the American West

• The "New Normal" in the American West

• "Weird Westerns": Race, Gender, Genre

• Native Americans and (ab)normalcy

• Western films and (ab)normalcy

• Transnational Wests and (ab)normalcy

• (Ab)normalcy and the West in social media

• The myth of the West and (ab)normalcy

• (Ab)normal representations of the American West in comics and graphic novels .



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, 2022. Panel chairs are expected to accept/reject proposals and have panels set up by November 7.


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.

Back to list of panels Back to list of panels Back to list of panels