Wastelands

34TH EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION FOR AMERICAN STUDIES CONFERENCE

WASTELANDS

The year 2022 marks the centenary of the publication of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. The title of the conference alludes to Eliot’s work and the main themes in it, expanding the idea of the wasteland to the study of the United States. Hence, the overarching theme of the conference is open to all kinds of reflections around the concept of “wasteland” and waste. EAAS 2022 invites proposals that address the concept of waste in U.S. culture, history, and politics.

Proposals may address (but are not restricted to) the following topics

WASTELANDS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

  • Environmental waste (water, land, e-waste, etc.).
  • Anti-Waste: degrowth philosophy.
  • “Zero waste” movement and consumerism.
  • Food waste.
  • Wastelands as devastation of spaces.
  • Waste of resources (human, natural, economic, etc.).

THE ETHICS OF WASTE

  • Moral waste: deterioration of democracies and other values. Empty discourses (political, cultural, etc.).
  • Wasted opportunities (land of opportunities, American dream).
  • Waste as a “negative store”, as opposed to the archive; forgetting, destruction, and latent cultural memory.
  • Waste of information: useless and redundant data, technology, media, etc.

CORPOREAL WASTE

  • Illnesses and pathologies.
  • Age: The Growing Land.
  • Emotional wastelands: real or metaphorical
  • Pandemics and other physical threats.

LITERARY AND CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS OF WASTELANDS

  • “Wasteland” as an image of decadence, crisis, and postwar.
  • Barrenness vs. fertility, hopelessness vs. regeneration.
  • S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and its literary / cultural influence.
  • Literary representations of wastelands.
  • (Audio)visual representations of wastelands.
  • Ruins, trash, in painting, music, film, and other artistic representations.