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General Conference Information

Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association
Beyond the Logic of Debt, Toward an Ethics of Collective Dissent
November 21-24, 2013
Washington, DC

Special thanks to the following sponsors for their generous contributions: The Johns Hopkins University Press, as well as the Division of Social Sciences, the Division of Arts and Humanities, the Communication Department, the Critical Gender Studies Program, the Ethnic Studies Department, the History Department, and the Literature Department at the University of California, San Diego.

President's Overview: DC and Debt

In addition to being the "seat of democracy," Washington, DC is the "seat of finance," a combination well represented by the city's famous nationalist monuments and the landmarks of global finance (the World Bank, the IMF, the FRB). Student, home, credit card, healthcare, and national debts are all managed in DC, making it a rich site for exploring logics of debt and collective dissent. As both the seat of national government and home of international finance, DC suggests questions about how debt shapes or mediates relationships between the global South and North, and between the agents and victims of U.S. imperialism. The conference location stages the sovereign debt crisis and the global austerity regime that has emerged in response. In recent history debt has contributed to gentrification and black flight, making DC an example of the consequences of neoliberal restructuring on cities.

The history of DC also includes significant instances of urban resistance to dispossession. The recent DC city council refusal to implement federal immigration enforcement, as well as anti-war and "Occupy" protests, are good recent examples. DC. has long been a central node in networks of laborers and so the conference location calls for reflection on the relationships between debt and labor, from slavery, indenture, and forms of debt peonage, to sweatshop labor and refugees from U.S. imperial adventures. DC is also a crossroads for multidimensional, transnational organizing that expresses new theories and practices of social justice.

The Site Resources Committee has planed a series of events that are tied to the conference theme and that enable members to learn more about DC, including on-site programs about the policing of sex work in DC; histories of gentrification and social protest; and activist strategies for fighting foreclosure on multiple scales, local to global; as well as a film festival, "In the Belly of the Beast," featuring films about DC as a site of heightened inequality, consolidated power, and social protest.

Off-site events include "Off the Mall" tours and activities that examine the history as well as activist and cultural responses to sites of reconstruction and conversion in DC: a walking tour of Harriet Jacobs' 19th century Alexandria; and "Social Movements in an Age of Debt," an event at the local progressive bookstore/café Busboys and Poets where Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Scott Kurashige, and Sandra Soto will discuss prison abolition, the attack on immigrants and ethnic studies in Arizona, and the municipal crisis in Detroit.

These will be joined by events co-sponsored by the Visual Culture Caucus, including a reception and performance about artists and debt at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, a tour of the Federal Reserve Board's Fine Arts Collection, and a visit to "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art."

The ASA artist in residence is Ricardo Dominguez, one of the co-founders of the Electronic Disturbance Theater and a theorist and practitioner of "virtual sit-ins." For the convention he has organized the Disturbance Research Lab (DRL), which will focus on 3 initiatives: 1) a session providing training on how to create an "electronic disturbance," from coding to final performance, with a particular invitation to think about site specific interventions; 2) Debt Strike, a digital exhibition of net art projects focused on data-driven manifestations and the question of debt; and 3) Dominguez will seek out temporary spaces in and around the convention, at random times, and present micro-gestures entitled Unexpected Interfaces, which will fall between "flash crash" cultures and the promissory algorithms of past social debts unmet.

I am incredibly grateful to the remarkable co-chairs of the Program Committee—Roderick Ferguson, Lisa Lowe, and Jodi Melamed—as well as to Committee members Abigail Boggs, Rachel Buff, Jodi A. Byrd, Sarika Chandra, Arlene Davila, Bethany Moreton, Naomi Paik, Shelley Streeby, and Neferti Tadiar. I also owe an incredible debt to the members of Site Resources Committee, including Kelly Quinn, Cathy Saunders, Craig Willse, Elijah Edelman, and Izetta Mobley, and to Co-chairs James Miller and, especially, Christina Hanhardt. Big thanks as well to the amazing John Stephens, without whom the convention could never happen. Finally, thanks to T'Sey-Haye Preaster for her brilliant administrative work.

Curtis Marez
Ethnic Studies Department
University of California, San Diego

Plenary Events

Thursday, November 21, 2013

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Welcome Reception/Celebration of Authors/Exhibit Open

Washington Hilton, Columbia Hall Foyer and Exhibit Hall (Terrace Level)

Join with fellow ASA members in a welcome reception and celebration of authors at the Washington Hilton. The Book Exhibit will be open. All members and guests are encouraged to attend.

Friday, November 22, 2013

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

ASA Awards Ceremony

Washington Hilton, International Ballroom Center (Concourse Level)


Lisa Duggan, New York University and president-elect, American Studies Association

Presentation of the 2013 Constance Rourke Prize for the best article in American Quarterly, the 2013 Wise-Susman Prize for the best student paper at the convention, the 2013 Yasuo Sakakibara Prize for the best paper presented by an international scholar at the meeting, the 2013 Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize for the best dissertation in American studies, the 2013 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize, the 2013 John Hope Franklin Best Book Publication Prize, the 2013 Mary C. Turpie Prize for outstanding teaching, advising, and program development in American studies, the 2013 Bode-Pearson Prize for outstanding contributions to American studies, and the Angela Davis Prize for outstanding public scholarship.

Friday, November 22, 2013

8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Presidential Address: Schooling Debt

Washington Hilton, International Ballroom Center (Concourse Level)


Curtis Marez, University of California, San Diego, and president, American Studies Association

In 1996, the same year he published Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot, Michael Rogin drew from one of its chapters for "The Two Declarations of American Independence," an essay included in a special issue of the journal Representations that he co-edited entitled Race and Representation: Affirmative Action. Distinguishing between "the political Declaration of Independence" promoted in the name of equality and "the declaration of cultural independence" that based U.S. national identity on inequality, Rogin insisted that "White supremacy, white over black and red, was the content of this national culture; its form was black and red over white, blackening up and Indianization." As he elaborates, "Chattel slavery, the expropriation of Indian and Mexican land, and the repressive use and exclusion of Chinese and Mexican American labor were the conditions of American freedom rather than exceptions to it. . . . Thus white predation was inverted and assigned to a colored nature." Put another way, the multiple forms of black, red, brown, and yellowface that reproduce a white supremacist national culture partly serve to disavow its debts of land and labor.

Rogin's essay responded to attacks on affirmative action both nationally and in California, where the UC Regents had recently banned affirmative action in the name of equality. The Regents thus mobilized the first declaration in order to "disappear" the second. How striking, then, is the recent resurgence on college campuses of forms of blackface and other kinds of racialized performance. Perhaps some students felt the need to distance themselves from poor people of color in order to symbolically transcend the regimes of debt that dominate higher education and to forget the forms of inequality and dispossession that limit minority enrollments.

Students have of course experienced and responded to debt in many different and often oppositional ways, and this address underscores the significance of struggles over student debt for American Studies. Both in the United States and the world, students have been central to creative, collective actions against higher tuition and regimes of debt, including public protests, the organization of a mass refusal of debt, conferences, websites, and journals. They have also struggled to take some control over what student debt in effect finances by, for example, demanding that universities disinvest from companies complicit in Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, recent student protests have been met with military force. How might we think of debt as a lens for understanding the simultaneous privatization and militarization of higher education?

More broadly, the address engages what Jeffrey J. Williams has theorized as Critical University Studies, an emergent field represented by Williams and Marc Bousquet, Roderick Ferguson, Stefano Haney, Fred Moten, Chris Newfield, and the contributors to the volumes Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class in the Academia (edited by Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez, and Angela P. Harris) and The Imperial University: Race, War, and the Nation State (edited by Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira). CUS can illuminate a host of topics that have galvanized discussions and activities within the ASA, including empire, settler colonialism, globalization, transnationalism, and prisons, to name a few. It also provides resources for thinking about the long history of debt in U.S. higher education, from university investments in expropriated Indian land, Indigenous remains, African chattel slavery, and racist sciences to the founding of imperial universities in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, Progressive-Era struggles over higher academic freedom, and the Cold War reorganization of knowledge production.

Following Rogin, I foreground the cultural components of CUS, focusing in particular on popular media. Rogin famously argued that Ronald Reagan's films mediated his politics, and I build on his insights by analyzing Reagan's two film roles as a college professor for insights into his oversight of the University of California when he was governor, as well as his presidential policies. Many years later, one of Reagan's successors in the governor's office was another film actor who had also played a professor, Arnold Schwarzenegger (now a "real" professor at USC). What might films, television shows, and other cultural forms tell us about the social and political contexts of higher education? How might an understanding of what Toby Miller et al. have called "Global Hollywood" help us understand the political economy of global universities? And how might focusing on cultures of debt in higher education help American Studies scholars analyze and contribute to new forms of collective dissent?

Friday, November 22, 2013

9:30 pm – 10:30 pm

ASA President's Reception

Washington Hilton, International Terrace (Terrace Level)

Featured Sessions And Activities


Thursday, November 21, 2013

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Our Debt to Michel-Rolph Trouillot: Haiti in the Americas and in the World (Dialogue)

Washington Hilton, Gunston West (Terrace Level)

This performative "dialogue" between creative writer, Madison Smartt Bell, and literary scholar, Jana Evans Braziel will address the intellectual contributions of Michel–Rolph Trouillot through the framing of "debt" as philosophically, economically, geopolitically, historically and literarily defined. Bell and Braziel will examine Trouillot's work through the theme of "debt" which provides a provocative frame for examining the scholar's ideas and our indebtedness to him.

Madison Smartt Bell, Jana Evans Braziel

Friday, November 22, 2013

8:00 am – 9:45 am

ASA Ethnic Studies Committee: Accumulation: Settler Colonialism and Military Occupation as Paradigms for Neoliberal State Formation I: Knowing Settler Colonialism

Washington Hilton, Lincoln West (Concourse Level)

Settler colonialism has begun to receive due prominence of late as a crucial dimension of the larger colonial project. Military occupation, however, demands to be theorized and historicized more fully given the prevalence of occupations in the counterinsurgency wars of the so-called global war on terror. Participants in this panel thus explore the ways in which the ongoing history of settler colonialism forms a crucial terrain through which to understand military occupation and the formations and practices of the neoliberal state that have emerged to regulate and promote a new regime of accumulation.

Mark Rifkin, Sarita Echavez See, Magid Shihade, Alexander Trimble Young, Patrick Wolfe

Friday, November 22, 2013

10:00 am – 11:45 am

ASA Program Committee: Beyond the "Debt" of U.S. Cold War "Liberation": Rethinking Transnational Circuits of Labor in the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea

Washington Hilton, Columbia Hall 10 (Terrace Level)

While the history of the Cold War is most commonly understood as a period of rivalry in which the U.S. and Soviet Union vied for influence over the developing world, panelists offers a transnational rethinking of the Cold War that emphasizes the production of transnational labor in the aftermath of U.S. military intervention and capitalist development in Asia. Papers consider the politics of the U.S. Cold War "liberation" discourse with respect to female labor in the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea. Panelists explore the ways in which the discourse of "liberation" established "indebtedness" as the political, economic, and moral organizing principle governing subjects in Asia, prescribing anti-communism, hard work, and gendered filial obligation. This framework of "debt" forms the conditions out of which racialized, gendered, medicalized laborers have been mobilized and circulated in the aftermath of U.S. capitalist development in the Philippines, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Josen Diaz, Chien-Ting Lin, Lisa Lowe, Amie Elizabeth Parry, Jesook Song, Lisa Yoneyama

Friday, November 22, 2013

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

ASA International Committee: American Studies and the State of Collective Dissent in the Arab World

Washington Hilton, Georgetown East (Concourse Level)

The Arab states of the Middle East and North Africa have, as representatives of the wider Islamic world, become increasingly prominent geographical spaces within the field of American Studies. By bringing a conversation about the state of American Studies in the Middle East and North Africa to the ASA this session will focus on critical questions of state: the state of American studies, the relationship of the field to the state, and the possibilities for the development of dialectical spaces of collective dissent, with eyes toward the MENA region and toward the broader sphere of American empire. How can the work taking place in the MENA region impact the broader discourse of transnational American studies?

Ira Dworkin, Ebony Coletu, Eid Mohamed, Marwan M. Obeidat, Faiza Senouci-Meberbeche, Mounira Soliman

Friday, November 22, 2013

5:00 pm – 6:45 pm

ASA Town Hall: The United States and Israel/Palestine

Washington Hilton, International Ballroom East (Concourse Level)


Jodi Melamed, Marquette University, and co-chair, American Studies Association 2013 Program Committee

This "town hall" session encourages discussion of the historic and contemporary relationship between the United States and Israel/Palestine with a particular focus on its significance for American Studies and the ASA. While this topic raises a range of pressing issues, the conference theme suggests questions in particular about how regimes of debt shape U.S. support for Israel and Israel's occupation of Palestine. To what extent can the occupation be understood as a strategy of accumulation through dispossession? Can we situate the occupation in relationship to the larger histories of sovereign crises, global capitalism, militarism, and dispossession from the era of global decolonization and development to present neoliberal crisis and austerity? What are the political and ethical imperatives for collective dissent, knowledge production, and organizations like the ASA in light of calls for boycott, sanctions and divestment? Finally, how do U.S./Middle East issues impact American Studies in its scholarly, curricular and institutional dimensions, and what are the consequences for studying, teaching, and publishing within the field?

Angela Davis, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Alex Lubin, Jodi Melamed, Jasbir Puar, Ahmad H. Sa'di, Steven Salaita, Ella Shohat

Saturday, November 23, 2013

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Morbid Accumulation: The Body as Capital, Bodies in Debt, Embodied Resistance

Washington Hilton, Fairchild West (Terrace Level)

The papers that comprise this panel look at the body as a material source of the accumulation of capital for the "owner" of that body. When those bodies signify literal or figurative death, the capital might be called "morbid accumulation." These papers address potential instantiations of morbid accumulation in various time periods, ranging from the eighteenth century to the Civil War. A comment provided by Danielle Skeehan, who coined the phrase "morbid accumulation", will open the discussion of the uses of the term discussed by presenters and the possibilities or limitations of its use in American Studies.

Mary Balkun, Manuel Herrero-Puertas, Sarah Schuetze, James Spady, Amanda Stuckey, Charlotte Quinney

Saturday, November 23, 2013

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

ASA Program Committee and Students' Committee: The Cruel Optimism of the University of Debt

Washington Hilton, Columbia Hall 10 (Terrace Level)

What, this roundtable asks, might be gained by understanding our relationship to the university as one of cruel optimism as per Lauren Berlant's theorization of an "attachment of compromised conditions of possibility whose realization is discovered either to be impossible, sheer fantasy, or too possible and toxic?" How do the particular relations of the indebted student and the indebted university bring this situation into relief? What is the role of American Studies in addressing the current condition of the university, its inhabitants, and its affects?

Abigail Boggs, Miranda Joseph, Julia Kaziewicz, Nick Mitchell, Dean Spade, Sandra K. Soto

Saturday, November 23, 2013

5:00 pm – 6:45 pm

ASA Open Discussion: The Israeli Occupation of Palestine

Washington Hilton, International Ballroom East (Concourse Level)

In response to a resolution submitted by the ASA's Academic and Community Activism Caucus calling upon the Association to support the academic boycott of Israel, the ASA Executive Committee has organized this open discussion of the question—how should the ASA respond to Israel's ongoing occupation of Palestine? Should the ASA join the academic boycott? Are there compelling reasons for focusing on Israel in particular? What are the implications of an academic boycott for academic freedom? Should the ASA consider alternatives to an academic boycott? All members of the ASA are invited to participate in this discussion. To insure the widest possible participation, individual comment time will be limited. The discussion of the resolution will be moderated by Avery Gordon and Matthew Frye Jacobson. Members of the ASA National Council will also attend in advance of a special Council meeting Sunday morning to decide upon a formal plan of action.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Prison Abolition and the Queer Commons

Washington Hilton, Gunston West (Terrace Level)

In recent years, queer/trans anti-prison networks have been built that challenge critical prison studies and prison abolitionist activism, both in assessing the current state and history of the prison industrial complex as well as offering strategies for resistance and imaginings of the future. This roundtable will bring together scholars and activists who are currently engaging with queer/trans interventions in prison abolitionist scholarship and activism to discuss these contributions as well as offer a place to think about how we might bring queer/trans politics more to the center of anti-prison activism and scholarship. What do queer/trans analytics teach us about the prison industrial complex? What do queer/trans anti-prison politics and resistance strategies look like? Why has queer theory had relatively little to say about prisons? What kind of future do we envision?

Ralowe Ampu, Treva Ellison, Pooja Gehi, Che Gossett, Darby Hickey, Dean Spade, Eric A. Stanley, Elias Walker Vitulli

Sunday, November 24, 2013

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Deficiency, Debt, and Deportation: The Carceral Space of Migrant Removal

Washington Hilton, Albright (Terrace Level)

Participants in this panel argue that the historical trajectories and social experiences of mass incarceration and mass deportation must be understood together. Panelists will examine the U.S. carceral experience of deportation across the twentieth century by assessing specific geographies and modalities of migrant immobilization and removal from the United States.

Ethan Blue, Tanya Golash-Boza, David Hernandez, Jenna M. Loyd, Mae M. Ngai


The ASA artist in residence is Ricardo Dominguez, co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) and co-creator of the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cellphone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/U.S border):

In addition to organizing a tutorial on how to create an "electronic disturbance" and a series of performances throughout the convention, Dominguez has curated Debt Strike, a digital exhibition of internet art projects focused on questions of debt. Kindly consult the program for details.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Harriet Jacobs' Civil War Relief Work: Walking Tour of Historic Alexandria, VA

On Wednesday from 3:00 am to 5:00 pm, a guided walking tour will be offered of sites in Alexandria, Virginia associated with Harriet Jacobs' relief work during the Civil War, and with this historic port city's established African American community. The tour will be led by scholar of American abolitionist literature Catherine E. (Cathy) Saunders, Term Associate Professor of English at George Mason University.

Participants may depart with the group at 2:00 pm from the main lobby of the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC and travel together by metro to Alexandria VA, or meet between 2:45 pm and 3:00 pm at the King Street Metro Station in Alexandra. The tour involves 1.5 to 2 miles of walking, mostly outdoors over historic (i.e., sometimes uneven) sidewalks; please dress with these conditions in mind. The tour is free of charge (with the exception of Metro fares, for which individual participants are responsible), and space is limited to 20 people. If demand warrants, this tour may be repeated early Sunday morning or late Sunday afternoon. To RSVP, and/or express interest in the Sunday tour option, please contact Cathy Saunders at no later than Tuesday, November 19, 2013.

*Please Note: The tour schedule includes round-trip travel time via metro from DC to Alexandria. Tour duration: 2 hours (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

ASA Site Resources Committee and Visual Culture Caucus Reception at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th Street NW, Victor Building, Suite 2200, Washington, DC 20001

The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art invites our ASA colleagues to a wine and cheese reception at the Archives' offices at 750 9th Street NW, Washington, DC. In keeping with the theme of the conference, there will be brief and lively readings from artists' letters concerning the vicissitudes of the American art market. Photo identification is required for entry into the building. Maximum 40 attendees. For additional information, and to RSVP, please contact Kelly Quinn at

Thursday, November 21, 2013

8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Community Dialogue: Social Movements in an Age of Debt

Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009, International Ballroom West

Due to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response, we have relocated this event to a larger space at the Washington Hilton to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend. RSVPs are no longer required, and we are reaching out to an even wider local audience. The evening should offer not only a wonderful opportunity to engage with our incredible speakers, but also to meet activists and organizers from DC area schools and communities.

The ASA Site Resources Committee will host an interactive panel and open discussion at Busboys and Poets, a local bookstore and restaurant/café that is a popular spot for community-based and activist events in DC. The event will feature activist scholars who will discuss a range of social movements in the context of current debates about debt and indebtedness in U.S politics. Issues to be highlighted include the use of budget-based activism as part of prison abolitionism; the challenge to Arizona's anti-immigrant and anti-ethnic studies laws; community responses to municipal debt crises, especially in Detroit; among other issues, such as gentrification, internationalist and other forms of solidarity-based movement building, and the place of research in activist campaigns.

The event is open to both ASA conference attendees and to the general public, and seating is limited to first come, first admitted until capacity is reached. Food is available for order on-site, and the venue is approximately a 10 to 15 minute walk from the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue, NW. For additional information, and to RSVP, please contact Christina Hanhardt at Also, please check out our Facebook page for further updates:

Featured Speakers:

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Geography, City University of New York, Graduate Center; co-founder, Critical Resistance; author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalizing California

Scott Kurashige, Professor of Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, American Culture and History, University of Michigan; board member, James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership; co-author with Grace Lee Boggs of The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the 21st Century, and author of The Shifting Grounds of Race: Black and Japanese Americans in the Making of Multiethnic Los Angeles

Sandra Soto, Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies, University of Arizona; author of Reading Chicana Like a Queer: The De-Mastery of Desire

Noura Erakat, Abraham L. Freedman Teaching Fellow, Temple University, Beasley School of Law; co-editor,


Christina B. Hanhardt, Associate Professor of American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park; author of Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence

Craig Willse, Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies, George Mason University; co-editor of Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death

Friday, November 22, 2013

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Books & Beyond: A Conversation with Dennis Moore

Library of Congress, Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20540

Crèvecoeur scholar Dennis Moore will discuss his Letters From an American Farmer and Other Essays (2013) vis-à-vis the materials in the Library of Congress' Manuscript Division. Copies of the book will be available for signing. For additional information, contact, Dennis Moore at

Friday, November 22, 2013

4:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Cornell University, Africana Studies Reception

ASA Washington Hilton, Morgan Room

Cornell University's Africana Studies and Research Center is pleased to invite you to a reception in celebration of its Ph.D. program in Africana Studies and its anticipated inauguration in 2014.

For more information contact:
Professor Noliwe Rooks,
Professor Oneka LaBennett,
Ms. Treva Levine,

Friday – Saturday, November 22–23, 2013

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

In the Belly of the Beast: A Film and Video Festival

Washington Hilton, Albright (Terrace Level)

This film and video festival will feature documentary, narrative, and experimental works that highlight DC as a highly visible space of dissent alongside that which is made hidden: concentrated poverty, the highest rate of HIV infection in the U.S., and rapid gentrification. This will include classic footage and works about various Marches on Washington (from civil rights to gay rights) alongside documentaries such as Home: The Langston Terrace Dwellings (1987), a history of the first federally-funded housing development; Chocolate City (2008), on gentrification in the District; and The Other City (2010) on HIV in DC; among many more.A detailed schedule of featured films with screening dates and times is available here:

ASA Local Attractions Resource Guide 2013

Additional Tours

Wednesday – Saturday, November 20–23, 2013

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (Gratis Admission)

4155 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

ASA conference participants with a badge or their name in the program book are invited to visit Hillwood Museum, gratis, courtesy of the Material Culture Caucus. ASA gratis entry is during regular Hillwood hours, Wednesday, November 20, 2013, to Saturday, November 23, 2013. Visitors should see the "Living Artfully" exhibition curated by ASA member Estella M. Chung: a Downton Abbey during the Mad Men era exploration of the 20th century estate, headed by Marjorie Post and run by an extensive staff including butlers and footmen during periods of sweeping financial and cultural change—a project utilizing material culture and oral history.

Hillwood is located at 4155 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, within walking distance from red line Van Ness/UDC metro stop, or via taxi, and a 1/2 mile walk from the corner of Connecticut and Tilden Streets, NW. Hours and directions are available online at: For additional information about the museum, directions and tours, contact Estella M. Chung at

Thursday, November 21, 2013

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Federal Reserve Fine Arts Collection at the Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building

Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20551

The ASA Visual Culture Caucus will host a guided tour of the Federal Reserve Board art collection. This collection was established in 1975 as part of a White House effort to increase federal support for the arts. As President Richard Nixon expressed it: "It is my urgent desire that the growing partnership between the Government and the arts continue to be developed [...] to the benefit of the American people." Since its founding, the collection has grown to over 1,000 works in all media. The tour will cover highlights of the collection, address the issue of government patronage in the modern era, and include Department of the Interior murals.

This off-site tour leaves from the main lobby of the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue. Advanced online registration, a $10.00 transportation fee, and security clearance is required. Maximum 40 attendees. Attendees will be contacted to submit the following information one week in advance of the tour: full name, social security number, and date of birth. For more information about the tour, contact Matt Johnston at

Advanced registration required at:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

"Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery,3rd Floor North (Exhibit),Corner of 8th Street and F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Curator E. Carmen Ramos, curator of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will guide participants through "Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art." This exhibition "presents more than ninety works of art across all media by significant Latino artists active since the mid-twentieth century and gives voice to their broader American experience. Drawn entirely from the Smithsonian American Art Museum's permanent collection, the exhibition explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and recalibrated key themes in American art and culture."

This off-site tour leaves from the main lobby of the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue. Advanced registration required. $5.00 fee. Maximum 20 attendees. For more information about the tour, contact Seth Feman at

Advanced registration required at:



Purchase conference registration, tour, and special events tickets at the ASA Storefront, Even if paying by check, attendees must still register and purchase tickets from the ASA Storefront. After completing the online form and selecting the "pay by check" option, attendees should make checks payable to the American Studies Association and mail them to:

American Studies Association
1120 19th Street NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036

Please do not send hotel registration forms or room payments to this address.


ASA member  $125.00
ASA member—household income $15,000 or less  $100.00
ASA student member  $ 65.00
Nonmembers  $175.00
Nonmembers—household income $15,000 or less  $125.00
Nonmember student  $ 90.00


The registration desk at the Washington Hilton will be open the following hours:

Wednesday, November 20  1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursday, November 21  7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, November 22  7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, November 23  7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 24  Closed

Session chairs and participants arriving on the day of their scheduled session must check in at the registration desk thirty (30) minutes prior to the session in order to receive registration materials.

Please note: registration fees are neither refundable nor transferable.

Forfeited registration and ticket fees will automatically transfer to the Baxter Travel Grant Fund. The Baxter Grants provide partial travel reimbursement to advanced graduate students who are members of the ASA and who will travel to the convention in order to appear on the Annual Meeting program.


On the "Event Fees" portion of the registration form for the 2013 Annual Meeting, you will find a category marked "carbon offset." Like all other event fees, this category is optional. There is no obligation to participate. Rather, we have added the category as a useful service that the ASA can provide to our membership: the option to offset carbon emissions that may result from your travel to our annual meeting.

Those interested in purchasing carbon offsets for travel to the annual meeting will no doubt be curious as to what they are actually buying. The plan is to distribute our collective purchase of offsets between two organizations. Climate Trust ( supports wind, energy production efficiency, reforestation, and a range of other technologies. Native Energy ( focuses on wind power development on Northern Plains Indian reservations, and it is majority owned by the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy. Its current projects include wind power and methane remediation on dairy farms. Both of these organizations were highly ranked (among the top eight offset providers) in the most recent evaluation of offset offerings, particularly on the question of "additionality." For that report, see

The cost to purchase Carbon Offset (@ 1 ton) to cover average travel to Washington, DC is $15.00.


Badges must be presented for admission to all sessions, receptions, and the book exhibit. Badges are obtained through the payment of registration fees and should be picked up on-site at the conference registration desk.


The Twitter handle for the ASA 2013 Annual Meeting is #2013ASA. Visit to follow the conversation.


Some special events require tickets. Early reservations are advised because tickets are available in limited quantities. For meal functions, no tickets will be sold after the cut-off dates noted.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

International Partnership Luncheon

Washington Hilton, Cabinet (Concourse Level)

The International Partnership Luncheon is an event sponsored by the International Committee of the ASA. It offers the possibility for international and U.S. scholars to meet informally around a nice meal at a discounted price. Over the year, over 600 scholars from over 20 nations have started new projects with U.S. scholars thanks to the luncheon, and many exchange programs have originated there. Please sign up for the luncheon when enrolling for the convention, or on-site when registering. Cost of tickets is $15.00. This event is generously underwritten by a grant from the Fisher Foundation.

Friday, November 22, 2013

7:00 am – 9:00 am

Minority Scholars' Committee Mentoring Breakfast

Washington Hilton, Monroe (Concourse Level)

Please join us for breakfast in Washington, DC as we present our second annual Richard Yarborough Mentoring Award to Professor Paul Spickard, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The Minority Scholars' Committee (MSC)" Mentoring Award was named in honor of Professor Richard Yarborough (UCLA) in recognition of his extraordinary efforts as founder of the MSC, and as an exemplary mentor and colleague who has helped countless students and junior faculty achieve their full academic potential.

We invite all minority students and faculty, and their allies, to celebrate Professor Spickard, make new friends, and consolidate existing mentoring networks. The cost is as follows: senior scholars $20.00, junior scholars $15.00, and graduate students $10.00. Tickets are available for purchase on the ASA's registration webpage, and a limited number will be available during the convention.

For further information related to the MSC Mentoring Award, please contact Kandice Chuh at

Friday, November 22, 2013

7:30 am – 8:30 am

Networking Breakfast for Program and Center Directors

Washington Hilton, Cardozo (Terrace Level)

We invite all program and center directors, heads, and coordinators who are tasked with growing, strengthening, revising, or reinvigorating our constituent and affiliated programs. Cost of tickets is $20.00. Immediately following the breakfast, the ASA Committee on American Studies Programs and Centers presents roundtable discussions on Strategies for Financial Survival in an Age of Austerity and Strategies for Intra-Institutional Alliances to Ensure Program Stability.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Women's Brunch

Washington Hilton, Cabinet (Concourse Level)


Aimee Carillo Rowe, University of Iowa (IA)
"So Much Basura": Medicating Imperial Trauma, Mediating the Sacred

Please join us for breakfast in Washington, DC. We invite all students, faculty, and their allies to listen to our speaker, make new friends, and establish or renew scholarly and mentoring networks.

The cost is as follows: senior scholars $20.00, junior scholars $15.00, and graduate students $10.00. Tickets are available for purchase on the ASA's registration webpage, and a limited number will be available during the convention.


The Council has charged its standing committees with organizing professional development panels.

Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs, and Centers

Washington Hilton, Cardozo (Terrace Level), Du Pont (Terrace Level)

The ASA Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs, and Centers will offer the workshop Strategies for Financial Survival in an Age of Austerity and the roundtable Strategies for Intra-Institutional Alliances to Ensure Program Stability.

Committee on Graduate Education

Washington Hilton, Columbia Hall 10 (Terrace Level)

The ASA Committee on Graduate Education with offer the roundtable discussion Why the Free-Standing MA in American Studies?

International Committee

Washington Hilton, Columbia Hall 10 (Terrace Level), Georgetown East (Concourse Level)

The ASA International Committee is pleased to offer the talkshop feature pioneered several years ago and successfully carried out during the last nine ASA annual meetings. Each talkshop event begins with a very brief frame-setting presentation by international panelists, each of whom will then facilitate parallel discussions among participants gathered at small roundtables. Toward the end of the session, each group will report briefly on the discussion and present comments on each table's dialogue by the facilitator or a selected reporter.

The 2013 talkshops include Transnational American Studies and North America and The Bologna Process and International American Studies, and American Studies and the State of Collective Dissent in the Arab World. Kindly consult the program for details.

Minority Scholars Committee

Washington Hilton, Gunston West (Terrace Level)

The ASA Minority Scholars Committee will offer the roundtable session Race and the Academy: Navigating the Institution prompted by the committee's acknowledgment of the ways that race continues to be a meaningful axis for understanding the politics of institutionality as they pertain to colleges and universities. This session will continue the committee's work of attending to the particular conditions of work in the academy for scholar-teachers of color, and thinking through the conditions of possibility for historically underrepresented students and faculty generally, as well as for politically-engaged academics broadly. Kindly consult the program for details.

Students' Committee Breakfast Forums

Washington Hilton, Cabinet (Concourse Level), Columbia Hall 10 (Terrace Level)

The ASA Students' Committee is pleased to announce the ninth year of the popular Breakfast Forums. These forums will take place on Friday and Saturday and will provide an opportunity for students to meet with outstanding scholars who champion the integration of junior scholars into American Studies. In addition, a buffet breakfast will be available to students, gratis, courtesy of the Association. All events are first come, first admitted.

The Students' Committee 2013 forums include The Public Intellectual; Your First Time: Article Publishing and Professionalization for the Uninitiated; Breakfast Forum I: Mock Job Interview Workshop; Breakfast Forum II: Roundtable on Student Labor; and Projects in Progress: Lightning Shorts from ASA Students. The Students' and Regional Chapters Committees will co-sponsor Making Your Work Do Work: A Conversation with ASA Regional Student Award Winners. Kindly consult the program for details.


This year's annual meeting will continue to explore opportunities for K–16 collaboration—the partnership of K–12 teachers with college and university teacher-scholars—that are offered within the ever-renewing field of American Studies. K–16 collaboration is an education initiative that has been growing dramatically over the past ten years, expanding into broadening areas of public humanistic practice in museums, libraries, theaters, and other community centers. Both K–12 and college/university teachers are invited to participate in these sessions.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

8:00 am – 9:00 am

Welcome Breakfast for K–16 Collaboration Teachers

Washington Hilton, Columbia Hall 9 (Terrace Level)

This year's annual meeting welcome breakfast will be an opportunity for panelists, partnering organizations, college/university and K–12 teachers to discuss the ways in which they enact social justice pedagogy in their local struggles as youth organizers and educators. Through sharing local contexts, we will explore possibilities for K–16 collaboration.

Immediately following the breakfast in the same room the committee will offer its sessions Education Without Fees and Degrees: Debt, Dispossession, De-occupation; The Digital and Human Genius of Hip Hop; and The Student Debt Crisis. Kindly consult the program for details.


The Convention book exhibit will be held within the Columbia Hall on the Terrace Level. Admission will be by registration badge only. Hours of the book exhibit are:

Thursday, November 21, 2013   7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday, November 22, 2013   9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday, November 23, 2013   9:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday, November 24, 2013   8:30 am – 11:00 am


The ASA will provide an open space for supervised children to play near meeting and session rooms at its annual conference. Member-parents, guardians, or sitters are welcome to bring toys to share and to help contribute to making the space fun and safe for all kids to play. This space is supported by conference registration fees and will be available during all meeting hours. There will be no professional childcare provided.

Please contact the convention services director at the Washington Hilton for professional care referrals. Check the hotel's website online or call for information.


The Hilton Washington complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, its regulations, and guidelines. So that the hotel can better assist persons with special needs, individuals should indicate their specific needs when making a reservation. In addition, they should make their reservations as early as possible, and no later than November 5, 2013. For additional assistance, please contact either the hotel or the ASA Office of the Executive Director at


The 2013 Convention Headquarters for the American Studies Association Annual Meeting is the Hilton Washington, where all sessions and events take place.

Headquarters Hotel
Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009

To make your hotel reservation, please visit the following link, or call either 1-202-483-3000 or 1-800-HILTONS ex.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG

ASA convention guest room rates are $186.00 for single/double, $211.00 triple, and $236.00 quad. occupancy. Available November 19-23, 2013. The reservations cut off date is October 19, 2013.

Please make your reservation PRIOR to October 19, 2013. After October 19, all sleeping rooms will be sold on a space available basis and will NOT be subject to the group discount. Please mention you are attending the ASA annual meeting to receive the discounted room rate. Availability of rooms at the group rate after the cut-off date is subject to availability. If the group room block fills up before the September 18th cut off, you may be closed out of the conference headquarters hotel at the group rate. All rates are subject to taxes currently 14.5% per night.

Be sure to obtain a confirmation number from the Hilton Washington. Bring your confirmation number with you to the hotel in case you are asked for it at the front desk upon check-in. Persons without reservation confirmation numbers may not be able to get a room at the host hotel.


Arrival by Air

The Reagan Washington National Airport is 4 miles/6 km and 15 minutes from downtown. Dulles International Airport is 28 miles/45 km and 45 minutes from downtown. Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) is 35 miles/56 km and 45 minutes. All times presume normal traffic conditions.

Travel information from the various regional airports maybe found at their Web sites:


Reagan Washington National:


Driving directions from the airport to the hotel may be found at

Arrival by Rail

Union Station is the principal interstate rail station within the District of Columbia.

The station is served by:


Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC):

Virginia Railway Express (VRE):

Union Station is also a principal Metro Station and Metrobus transfer point. For further information about Union Station, please visit:

Directions to the Washington Hilton

Arrival by Automobile

Directions to the hotel may be obtained directly from the hotel website listed above. Attendees may obtain driving directions from Google Maps, MapQuest, or similar services. Please be sure to thoroughly check all directions for complications arising from seasonal construction projects, major events, and other such issues.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Information regarding travel by the WMATA, including the Metro and Metrobus, may be found at Fare and Smartcards for all WMATA transportation may be purchased inside most Metro Stations.

Access Guidelines for Session Organizers and Panelists

The ASA is committed to making arrangements that allow all association members to participate in the conference. Therefore, we request that all session organizers and presenters review the information below and take the necessary steps to make their sessions accessible to attendees with permanent or temporary disabilities. These guidelines are designed to provide access for attendees with disabilities but will benefit all convention participants.

Room Setup

There is space for two wheelchairs in each meeting room. Please keep this area, the door, and the aisles clear for persons using wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or motorized vehicles.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use sign language interpreters or read lips should sit where they can see both the speakers and the interpreter. The interpreter may stand close to the speaker within a direct line of sight that allows the audience to view both the speaker and the interpreter. Speakers should be aware of the location of interpreters and attempt to keep this line of vision clear.

Papers, Handouts, and Audiovisuals

Speakers should bring five copies of their papers, even in draft form, for the use of members who wish, or need, to follow a written text. Speakers who use handouts should prepare some copies in large-print format (14- or 16-point font size) and briefly describe all handouts to the audience. Avoid colored papers. Speakers should indicate where to return their papers and handouts.

Allow ample time when referring to a visual aid or handout or when pointing out the location of materials.

When not using an overhead projector, turn it off. This reduces background noise and helps focus attention on the speaker.


Speak clearly and distinctly, but do not shout. Use regular speed unless asked to slow down.

Because microphones often fail to pick up voices in the audience, speakers should always repeat questions or statements made by members of the audience. In dialogues or discussions, only one person should speak at a time, and speakers should identify themselves so that audience members know who is speaking.

Avoid speaking from a darkened area of the room. Some people read lips, so the audience should have a direct and clear view of the speaker's mouth and face.

ASL Interpretation

The ASA will provide ASL interpretation for panels with hearing-impaired presenters.

The ASA will also provide sign interpreting services to registered members in attendance as follows: In order to make the necessary arrangements, hearing-impaired members who will need sign-interpreting service at the ASA annual meeting must notify the Office of the Executive Director (OED) and register for the meeting at least one month in advance of the meeting (September 18, 2013). After reviewing the program, but not later than one month in advance of the meeting (September 18, 2013), members who have made such requests should inform the OED of the sessions they plan to attend. The OED will then, with the assistance of the Site Resource Committee and the Registry of Interpreters, secure the services of appropriate interpreters. The ASA will assume the cost for up to nine hours of interpreting service or a maximum of $400 per member, whichever is less.


The ASA discourages interview activities in hotel bedrooms. The ASA strongly advises that a parlor suite rather than a sleeping room be used and that a third person always be present in the room with the candidate. Interviewers using such facilities bear sole responsibility for establishing an appropriate, professional atmosphere and should take special care to ensure that all interviews are conducted courteously and in a proper manner.


The papers and commentaries presented during this meeting are intended solely for the hearing of those present and should not be tape-recorded, copied, or otherwise reproduced without the consent of the authors. Recording, copying, or reproducing a paper/presentation without the consent of the author(s) may be a violation of common law copyright and may result in legal difficulties for the person recording, copying, or reproducing.


The ASA will supply all session rooms with a Digital Equipment Package. Included: LCD/multimedia data projector, with speakers, laptop (MS Powerpoint, CD, and DVD capable, PC and MAC compatible), screen, and on site technical support. Not included: live internet connection. If you want additional digital equipment, WIFI, or live internet connection you will have to rent it at your own expense. If you want to use analog equipment such as an Overhead Projector, Slide Projectors, or TV/VCR/DVD's, you will have to bring your own equipment or rent it at your own expense.

We have been asked about the possible use of Skype to accommodate individual panelists who do not attend the meeting in person. This is NOT an option. Skype is a very unsatisfactory medium for video-conferencing with a group. The picture quality when blown up to a necessary size for a group is very poor, and the speaker at the remote location will not be able to identify questioners.


The main Lobby and the Restaurants on the Lobby area have complimentary internet (the Business Center does offer complimentary internet). The hotel will also provide complimentary wireless internet connections in the Concourse and Terrace level foyer spaces which will give the group the capability to tweet the meeting.




Plus 6% tax

The internet needs to be ordered through Barry Parris 202-797-5762;