EAAS Biennial Conferences

2020 EAAS Conference — 20/20 vision

2020 EAAS Conference — Virtual, April 30-May 2, 2021

20/20 vision: Citizenship, Space, Renewal

Due to COVID-19, this conference has been rescheduled to April 30-May 2, 2021. The theme of the conference remains unchanged.

EAAS 2020 Conference coincides with the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the Plymouth Plantation. Falling on the quadricentennial, EAAS 2020 invites broader contemplations of American history, politics, and culture. The conference seeks to underscore questions of optics, distance, and acuity. The concept of “20/20 vision,” an optical term denoting “normal” visual clarity and sharpness of sight, invites a reflection on historical distance, focal points, visibility and invisibility of socio-historical, cultural, and literary aspects of American citizenship, space, and renewal until today.



The first thematic scope of “20/20 Vision” is citizenship. We thus welcome papers targeting the idea of citizenship from various historical, political, ethical, and aesthetic perspectives, and addressing questions about the archaic, residual or emergent forms, styles and norms of being a citizen. Papers and pre-formed panels may focus on the following problem points:

  • the evolution or devolution of the idea of a democratic citizen in American politics
  • legal fiction, the citizen, and citizenship in history and literature
  • the problems of citizenship and agency in the days of the early Republic
  • the relation between citizenship and economy
  • citizenship and mobility
  • citizenship and migration
  • citizenship and slavery
  • citizenship and disability
  • citizenship and the changing idea of freedom
  • citizenship and community
  • civil rights
  • limits of responsibility
  • limits of engagement


The second theme “20/20 Vision” addresses is space, a general umbrella term for the issues related to the environment:

  • land exploration and exploitation in the US
  • American history of land property
  • US borderland issues
  • US problem of natural resources
  • climate change and the US policy
  • climate change and the American landscape
  • pollution and toxic waste
  • ecological disasters
  • space exploration

The theme of space also relates issues connected with spatiality on 
a different dimension such as the issues of

  • private vs public space
  • social media and internet space
  • architecture, mortgage problem
  • rural vs. urban space
  • utopias in American history, politics and literature
  • dystopias in American history, politics and literature
  • American heterotopias


The last focus area of “20/20 Vision” is perhaps the broadest of the three: the idea of renewal. While strongly related to the issues of citizenship and space, where it may also serve as a reflective angle, the theme of renewal on its own relates to a strong appeal in the American culture of the discourse of rebirth, reawakening, and revolution. Long before “make it new” became the slogan of the modernist artists on both sides of the Atlantic, making things new and resetting the parameters had always been part of the American life ethos. We welcome individual papers as well as pre-formed panels.



As this conference has been rescheduled, presenters accepted for the May 2020 presentations do not need to resubmit an abstract but will need to complete the submission form confirming their willingness to participate. If your proposed paper session was accepted for the May 2020 presentations, you will need to confirm that all session participants want to continue. If you lose one presentation from the original roster, you will be able to replace it at your own discretion without going through the new submission process. If your paper session was originally a 4-paper package and you lose one presenter, you can choose to be reformatted to a 3-paper session. Please note that papers are now expected to be around 15 minutes, rather than the usual 20 minutes. 

New proposals will be accepted and considered. 


We welcome abstracts and proposals in a range of formats, including individual papers; complete three-paper sessions (do note that a proposed session cannot feature scholars from the same institution and the same country); roundtables; and workshops. Individual paper abstracts should be no longer than 350 words (excluding bibliography, if you choose to have one). Session proposals must include a short description of the session as well as the title and abstracts of all three papers.

Deadline for submissions:

January 10, 2021

Acceptance notifications:

January 20, 2021