Journeying America(n)s: Paradoxes of Travel (and) Narratives — RIAS Vol. 17, Spring–Summer (1/2024)


Journeying America(n)s: Paradoxes of Travel (and) Narratives 
RIAS Vol. 17, Spring–Summer (1/2024)

(issue in production)

The phenomenon of travel has been fraught with paradoxes since the times immemorial. Perhaps the most striking of the travel-related controversies is the fact that although it is one of humanity’s earliest experiences, journeying has never been available to all. Regarded as one of the elementary and universal social practices, it was—and still is—the share of the few. Equally paradoxically, despite the archetypal status of the very concept of the journey, in the social and geographical sense, traveling itself is a relatively new phenomenon: the onset of leisure travel comes as late as in the 19th century, when modern means of mass transportation became popularly available and affordable. Unsurprisingly, then, many of those craving the knowledge of the distant lands, used to depend, and still largely rely on, mediated reports: texts, images, and other narratives representing fragments of experienced (or imagined) reality that always require voluntary suspension of disbelief. (Read the whole Call for Papers here...)

En Route: Hemispheric and Transoceanic Narratives of American Travels— RIAS Vol. 17, Fall–Winter (2/2024)


En Route: Hemispheric and Transoceanic Narratives of American Travels
RIAS Vol. 17, Fall–Winter (2/2024)
(Issue in production)

The two Oceans, simultaneously connecting and separating continents, serve as hermeneutic lenses for the Americans who “read” the world outside of the Americas. The paradoxes of travel (and) writing continue to loom large in narratives created by poets, prosateurs, filmmakers, visual artists, and musicians, or simply leisure tourists, who inhabit the Americas from the North-West Passage to Tierra del Fuego, and who have explored Europe, Asia, Australia and Oceania, or those who have been experiencing the Americas hemispherically. Like in the past, also in the present, travel has been generating vivid interest owing to the ecstatic promise it carries. To many inhabitants of the Americas to whom voyaging remains unattainable, the world is, by and large, an imaginary world. (Read full Call for Papers here...)

Vietnam and the Americas: 50 Years After — RIAS Vol. 18, Spring–Summer (1/2025)


Call for Papers:
Vietnam and the Americas: 50 Years After

RIAS Vol. 18, Spring–Summer (1/2025)
Edited by Justin M. Battin and Giacomo Traina
(Call open until October 31st 2024)

2025 will mark the 50th anniversary since the conclusion of US-led military involvement in Vietnam, a pivotal event in the 20th century with far-reaching consequences, such as the formation of diasporic communities worldwide, many of which settled across the Americas, with the majority established in North America. The five decades provide us with a unique perspective on the possibilities and impossibilities of healing and reconciliation and understanding the long-term war legacies between both Vietnamese and American societies. Studying the processes determining the transoceanic value transfer is the sine-qua-non condition of appreciating how the cultures of the Americas and the culture of Vietnam have influenced and enriched each other, beyond political and historical contexts. (Click here to read the whole CFP).

The “Other” Border: Power, Culture and Politics and the Canada-US Border — RIAS Vol. 18, Fall–Winter (2/2025)


The “Other” Border: Power, Culture and Politics and the Canada-US Border
RIAS Vol. 18, Fall–Winter (2/2025)
Edited by Jane Desmond and Jasmin Habib
(Call open until October 31st 2024)

The US-Mexico border has received a great deal of scholarly attention in the development of “Border Studies” in the US, and is almost nightly featured in the US nightly news. Yet, the US also has another border, that with Canada, and this book asks: what about the “other” border? In what ways can it illuminate the historical and contemporary relations between Canada and the United States, and contribute to the extension of border studies? Only recently have scholars in US or “American Studies” or “Hemispheric Studies” begun to pay more attention to the northern border, with works such as Sutcliffe and Anderson’s The Canada-US Border in the 21st Century: Trade Immigration and Security in the Age of Trump, Gillian Roberts Parallel Encounters: Culture at the Canada-US Border, and David Stirrup and Jeffrey Orr’s The Canada-US Border: Culture and Theory. Building on these works, we seek to enlarge the questions and methods exploring this border. The positioning of the US and Canada as two stable democracies with the world’s longest undefended border creates a specific sort of case study for border studies. These two allies, similar in many ways, as settler colonial states with enduring indigenous populations, as states with diverse populations from many parts of the world, as ex-British colonies, as thriving capitalist systems (albeit with significantly different attitudes toward state supported social programs), could imply that there is little to be gained—that the border is a site of limited action. However, the positioning of Canada and the US as unequal in size, political power, and economic global impact play out in border crossing in many, often subtle ways. One of the impacts of this unequalness is the scant attention that most US Americans pay, or have to pay, to Canada on a daily basis. But for Canadians, the impact of what former Canadian premiere Pierre Trudeau once termed “the elephant” next door, the situation is different.In a simple example, it was reported that following the election of Trump the numbers of people searching for “how to immigrate to Canada” temporarily crashed the Canadian website with that information. (Click here to read the whole CFP).

Blackness and the Knowledges of Intersectionality -- RIAS Vol. 18, Fall-Winter (2/2025)


Blackness and the Knowledges of Intersectionality
edited by Nathalie Aghoro and Julia Faisst
RIAS Vol. 19, Fall-Winter (1/2026)
(Call open until December 30th 2024)

As the Black Lives Matter movement has laid bare the persistence of structural racism and systemic oppression against Black people in the United States, intersectionality stands at the forefront of inquiries tackling multiple and intersecting forms of structural discrimination, including racialization, sexual orientation, gender, ability, and socio-economic status. In this special issue, we seek to tackle how the presence of intersectional thought in the academy and beyond generates new epistemologies today. In what ways does intersectionality, as an analytical category and an experience focusing on overlapping and mutually constitutive systems of discrimination, engage and narrate Blackness? That is, what kinds of knowledge can an intersectional approach open up about the complex experience of Blackness, and how do academic inquiries that are informed by it shape knowledges and narratives within fields related to the study of North America, including transnational perspectives? (Click to read the full CFP)

Visual Americas: Image, Text, Performance — RIAS Vol. 19, Winter-Fall (2/2026)


Visual Americas: Image, Text, Performance
edited by Saniye Bilge Mutluay Çetintaş
RIAS Vol. 19, Winter-Fall (2/2026)
(Call open until June 30th, 2025)

As we approach the end of the twenty-first century’s first quarter, we find ourselves in an era that W.J.T. Mitchell famously termed the “pictorial turn”—a period marked by the abundance and explosion of visual imagery. Indeed, the phenomenon is by no means new; our species has always relied on its visual perception, in combination with other senses, creating a hybridity of perception expressed through cultural and artistic products. Visuals and visuality have become the expected and primary end-points of human experience and are key in our interpretation of the world. Moreover, what Mitchell described as a “postlinguistic, postsemiotic rediscovery,” a novel burgeoning of the visual, is placing the image, regardless of the form in which it is created and presented, at the center of our social and cultural interactions. Recognizing the crucial role of visuality in shaping our everyday experiences, we invite scholars and practitioners to contribute to a vibrant dialogue on the role and impact of visuality in the American context. (Click here to read the full CFP)

Eastern Thought in the Americas—RIAS Vol. 20, Spring-Summer (1/2027)


Eastern Thought in the Americas
edited by Anjali Singh and Marcin Fabjański
RIAS Vol. 20, Spring-Summer (1/2027)
(Call open until December 30th, 2025)

Eastern philosophies, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, have profoundly influenced various facets of life in the Americas. The intersections of Eastern thought with North American, Latin American, Caribbean, and Pacific Islands philosophy, and letters, have a rich and varied history, beginning with the influence of Eastern philosophies on Herman Melville and the Transcendentalists. Melville’s “Buddhist” fascinations gave rise to poems, such as “Buddha”, while his earlier insights into Zoroastrianism and Hinduism permeate many of his sea-locked novels. Emerson’s exploration of Hindu and Buddhist texts is evident in his essays, where he extolled the virtues of self-reliance and the interconnectedness of all life. This legacy continued through the Modernist movement, with poets like T.S. Eliot, who incorporated themes from the Upanishads into his seminal work, The Waste Land. The Beat Generation further cemented the presence of Eastern thought in American literature, with figures like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg drawing heavily on Buddhist practices and philosophies, and its teachings on spontaneity and mindfulness.

(Click here to read the whole CFP)