Connection and conflict: making and unmaking political communities in the Americas

The University of Sydney
1-3 December 2023

Join us for an exciting event as we bring together scholars, researchers, and enthusiasts to explore the fascinating field of American Studies. This in-person conference will occur at the University of Sydney Business School.

Whether you are a seasoned scholar or just starting your journey in this field, this conference offers a platform to exchange ideas, gain inspiration, and foster collaborations. Get ready for thought-provoking discussions, engaging presentations, and networking opportunities with a vibrant academic community.

At the conference, you'll have the chance to delve into all areas of American studies — from literature, film, and history to politics and international relations — covering any time period. Discover new perspectives, share your own insights, and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for American Studies.

Don't miss this opportunity. Register now.

This event is jointly hosted by the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, the United States Studies Centre and the University of Sydney.

Keynote speakers

In the last two decades, new modes of social connectivity and disruption have altered the way people inside and outside of the United States live, work, study, socialise, and, consequently, engage with politics and political inclusion. Popular and scholarly attempts to interpret these transformations often reach for explanations in the shifting currents of technology and new media, demographics and identity, renewed political polarisation, or the resurgence of an authoritarian nationalism. Yet almost all these themes – technological connectivity, ethnonationalism, demographic change, and paranoid styles of political thought – predominate through the long histories of American politics and culture. So too do impulses toward political unity and social collectivism, the conflicted aspirations toward a good life, and the contested belief in a commonweal.

The 2023 ANZASA conference will address these themes with our keynote speakers, whom we are pleased to announce:

  • Edgar Garcia, Neubauer Family Associate Professor of English Literature, University of Chicago. Associate Professor Garcia’s research focuses on the hemispheric literatures and cultures of the Americas, encompassing indigenous and Latino studies, American literature, poetry and poetics, and environmental criticism. Also a poet, his work enquires into the relation between crisis and creativity. His books include Signs of the Americas: A Poetics of Pictography, Hieroglyphs, and Khipu (University of Chicago Press, 2019) and Emergency: Reading the Popol Vuh in a Time of Crisis (University of Chicago Press, 2022).
  • Laura McEnaney, Vice President for Research and Academic Programs, Newberry Library, Chicago. Prior to this, she was a professor of history at Whittier College. Her research interests focused on questions of war, society, and gender, and she is the author of Civil Defense Begins at Home: Militarization Meets Everyday Life in the Fifties (2000), and Postwar: Waging Peace in Chicago (2018). In her current role, McEnaney oversees the Newberry Institute for Research and Education.
  • Nicol C. Rae, Associate Dean for Research and Development and Professor of American Politics, Arizona University. Professor Rae’s research and teaching have focused on Congress, the presidency, and American political parties. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Exporting Congress: The Influence of the US Congress on World Legislatures, co-edited with Timothy Power (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006), and The Contentious Senate: Partisanship, Ideology and the Myth of Cool Judgment (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).



For enquiries, contact, or Lecturer of American Studies Aaron Nyerges