"Memory and Nation" is the theme of Fairfield University's sixth annual American Studies Conference on Saturday, March 24.
The purpose of the conference is to... think more widely about the role of memory in the formation of national identity throughout U.S. history.
— Peter Bayers, PhD, professor of English and director of Fairfield University’s American Studies program
Bringing together the scholarship of Fairfield University undergraduate and graduate students, the College of Arts and Sciences’ sixth annual American Studies Conference on Saturday, March 24, 2018, will explore the theme of "Memory and Nation" and what it means politically, culturally, and socially in past and present U.S. history. The event will take place from 12 – 6 p.m. in the Aloysius P. Kelley Center, and is free and open to the public.
The conference begins at noon with a series of panel discussions and student presentations covering a wide-rage of cultural perspectives on topical issues. It concludes with a 4:30 p.m. lecture by keynote speaker Jennifer Ladino, PhD, author and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Idaho. Dr. Ladino’s talk will draw from her forthcoming book, Memorials Matter: Affect and Environment at American Memory Sites, which explores how built environments, natural landscapes, and written texts at memorial sites like the USS Arizona Memorial, the Golden Spike National Memorial, and Mount Rushmore, work together to generate emotional responses and shape national identity.
Peter Bayers, PhD, professor of English and director of Fairfield University’s American Studies program, says that the theme for this year’s conference was sparked by the controversy surrounding confederate memorials in Charlottesville, S.C. and other cities and towns – an ongoing debate that raises profound questions about how Southern history and national identity are shaped in popular memory.
“The purpose of the conference is to extend the conversation about memory and nation beyond the South, to think more widely about the role of memory in the formation of national identity throughout U.S. history,” Bayers said. “The American Studies program hopes that the conference will inspire attendees to extend this important conversation about memory and nation well beyond the academy.”
The sixth annual American Studies Conference is sponsored by Fairfield’s American Studies program; the Departments of English and History; the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program; and the Office of the Provost.
Registration is free, open to the public, and available at fairfield.edu/asconference.