11th IASA World Congress 2023

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International American Studies Association is delighted to announce the Call for Contributions for the 11th World Congress of IASA titled Journeying (the) Americas The Paradoxes of Travel (and) Narratives. This time, the organization of the IASA World Congress has been entrusted to our excellent Colleagues from the Institute of Cultural Studies, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. The Congress, organized and hosted both on the University premises and on line, will be held between September 7th and 10th 2023.

Journeying (the) Americas:
The Paradoxes of Travel (and) Narratives
11th World Congress
of the International American Studies Association
University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland

Extended deadline for submissions: July 1, 2023
Submission proposals must be submitted via submission form at the bottom of this page

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.

Notably, in the past, journeying was largely driven by economic or political compulsion (escaping persecution, wars and conquests, trade, or search for greener pastures) or by the sense of religious duty (peregrinations and pilgrimages). It therefore comes as no surprise that along with the expansion of the intellectual horizons of the Old World that the invasion of the Americas brought, travel writing, especially in its non-fictional dimension, became particularly important. Realities described in early narratives of exploration, early epistolography, histories, personal diaries, or represented in etchings, have inspired countless “American dreams” world-wide, energizing colonial expansion and faith-based-initiatives alike. Intriguingly, however, although several centuries have passed since the Spanish Conquest, in the perceptions of billions of people across the Atlantic and the Pacific, the Americas remain, by and large, imaginary Americas.

Just as importantly, 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.

Over time, mythical, religious, ideological, and metaphysical senses have layered upon the practical dimension of the voyage, rendering it, in almost all cultures, one of the universal metaphors of human condition. The journey, involving the existential experience of change, has gained the status of a symbol of the human lifespan; it became the figure of the philosophical exploration of oneself, and a favorite trope for the search for knowledge. In its fundamental sense, as a process of discovering real spaces and unfamiliar communities, voyage, for millennia, has been considered instrumental to the exchange of knowledge, dissemination of ideas and exportation of cultural values. Acknowledging the immense complexity of the phenomenon at stake, the Organizers of the 11th World Congress of the International American Studies Association invite papers representing such disciplines as ethnology, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, literary studies, linguistics, religious studies, history, or cultural geography focusing, but not limited to, the following issues:

Hemispheric and Transoceanic Perspectives in the History of Travel Writing
– Imaginary Americas: Non-American Transoceanic Travel Narratives
– Imaginary Worlds: American Transoceanic Narratives
– Imaginary Americas: American Hemispheric Travel Narratives
– The World’s Americas/The American Worlds in Cinema and Television
– The World’s Americas/The American Worlds in Art
– Mapping and Remapping: Cartographic Imagination vs. Hemispheric and Transoceanic Travel
– Representing the Americas/the World in Social Media: Travel Vlogs and Travel Blogs

Transoceanic/Hemispheric Travel and Value Transfers
– Travel and Directionality of Value Transfer: Donor Cultures, Acceptor Cultures
– Travel and Export/Import of Cultural Values: Laws, Customs, Aesthetics
– Travel and Imposition/Appropriation of Cultural Values
– “The Far Away” as the “Long Ago”: Primitivist Fantasies in the Face of Reality
– Travel as a Medium of Power

Theoretical Convergences
– Hemispheric and Transoceanic American Studies in the Lens of Travel Studies (Luis Turner, John Ash, Dean MacCannell, John Urry).
– Dennison Nash and Others: Ethnocentrism, Functionalism and Journeying Americas in the light of the Theory of Travel
Facta-Ficta and Historical Fictions in the Context of Transoceanic and Hemispheric Travel Narratives
– From Picaresque Novel to Evening News: the Evolution of Travel Genres in the Light of Hemispheric and Transoceanic American Studies

Migrations in Hemispheric and Transoceanic Travel Narratives
– Exile/Expulsion/Extradictions
– Peregrinations/Pilgrimages/Awakenings
– In Search of Greener Pastures: Migrations and Opportunities
– The World/the Americas in the Eyes of Expats/Temporary Expats/Diasporas
– Life-Writing/Biography/Autobiography

The Tourist’s Eye
– Grand Tours: American Travel Literatures and the World Legacy
– In Search of Roots: Travels to the Lands of Forefathers
– The Tourist Industry: Packaging Experience
– The Tourist Gaze
– Hemispheric and Transoceanic Travel Narratives in the Age of the Pandemic
– The Americas and the World in post 9/11 Travel Narratives
– The Ethics/Aesthetics/(An)aesthetics of Travel
– “When in Rome…”: Travel and Protocol

Nomadland: America on the Wheels
– Tourism/Colonization/Decolonization
– Traveling/Touring Combat Zones
– Humanitarian Travel
– Travelling and Emotions
– Faces of Hospitality
– Race/Class/Gender on the Road

Hemispheric and Transoceanic Academic Mobility Narratives
– Preconceptions/Postconceptions: Travel and Learning
– Overcoming Privilege: The Role of International Mobility Programmes
– Hemispheric and Transoceanic Circulation of Knowledge
– Knowledge-Based Economy and Hemispheric and Transoceanic Travel
– Academic Mobility and Narratives of Public Diplomacy

Post-Human Journeys
– Hemispheric/Transoceanic Travel in Ecocritical Perspectives
– Travel/Technology/Tempo
– Between Real and Hyperreal AI and Online Journeying
– Traveling/Networking/Rhizomatic Subject
– The World, the Americas, and Traveling Avatars

Attention: Submissions MUST include:
1) First Name and Family Name of the Author/Auther
2) Institutional Affiliation of the Author/Auther
3) Author/Auther’s ORCID number (https://orcid.org)
4) Author/Auther’s email address
5) Disciplines represented (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_academic_disciplines)
6) The title of the presentation
7) A 350 words’ abstract of the presentation
8) A 250 words’ biographical note on the Author/Auther (including website address, if exists)
9) Keywords
10) If the Author/Auther wishes to receive an invoice, the exact name and address of the institution, including its Tax Identification Number


Wyn Kelley

Wyn Kelley, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, USA (confirmed)

Wyn Kelley, a member of the MIT Literature Faculty since 1985, has taught classes on literature of the Americas (in São Paulo, Brazil), digital texts, environmental writing, literature of migration, North American writers, and literary modes (comedy, melodrama, gothic). Her scholarship focuses on Herman Melville’s works in transatlantic contexts and on the intersections of traditional and new media. Currently Associate Director of the Melville Electronic Library (MEL), an interactive archive of Melville’s texts, sources, and adaptations, she is also founding member of the Melville Society Cultural Project, which collaborates with the New Bedford Whaling Museum on projects related to Melville, whaling, and climate change.

Marek Paryż

Marek Paryż, University of Warsaw, Poland (confirmed)

Marek Paryż, born 1972, is an Associate Professor at the Institute of English Studies of the University of Warsaw. In his research, he explores American literature of the Romantic era, as well as contemporary American prose and film. Author of numerous books and articles, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Polish Journal for American Studies and is the editor of the literary and cultural section of the European Journal of American Studies. Together with Ewa Łuczak, he co-edits the The University of Warsaw Publishers’ series “Masters of American Literature.” Recently, he co-edited special issues of the journals “Studia Filmoznawcze” (with Sławomir Bobowski, 2017) and “Papers on Language and Literature” (with Matthew Carter, 2018), focusing on contemporary western movies.

Anjali Singh

Anjali Singh, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, India (confirmed)

Anjali Singh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur, India. She holds a Ph.D. in English. Her areas of interest include Indenture Studies, Migration Studies, Postcolonial Literature, Women’s Writing, and Gender and Queer Studies. She has travelled widely and has also presented research papers in Australia (2017) and Fiji (2019), apart from publishing papers in several peer-reviewed and referred journals, as well as chapters in edited volumes. Her book Voices and Silences: Narratives of Girmitiyas and Jahajis from Fiji and the Caribbean (2022) has been co-published by Manohar Publishers (India) and Routledge (UK).

Since 2011, IASA has been granting a special Award to the Author of an Outstanding Paper Presented at a IASA World Congress to honor the memory of Professor Emory Elliott (1942-2009) in recognition of his contribution to American Studies. Professor Elliott supported an international outlook in American Studies, encouraging young scholars and professionals both in North America and in other countries around the world to carry out research in such a spirit. As one of the IASA’s Founding Fathers, he served for many years on the Executive Council of our organization.

As in the past, the Award will be granted to the Author of an outstanding paper submitted to a IASA conference. It will carry a special citation and an honorarium to help partially meet the expenses of travel to the IASA event in question. The Award recipient will present her/his paper at a special session of the Congress. The award-winning paper and up to two other highly commended papers from the competition will be published in RIASThe Review of International American Studieswhich is IASA’s refereed journal.


1) Annual IASA Membership Fee (non-obligatory):
– Doctoral Students and Junior Faculty: 10 EURO
– Senior Faculty: 30 EURO
2) Congress Participation On-Site Fees
– Tenured Faculty Members (IASA Members) on site: 120 EURO
– Non–tenured Faculty Members and PhD candidates (IASA Members) on site: 80 EURO
– Tenured Faculty (Non-IASA Members) on site: 160 EURO
– Non–tenured Faculty Members and PhD candidates (Non-IASA Members) on site: 100 EURO
3) Congress Participation On-Line Fees:
– IASA Online Participants: 30 EURO
– Non-IASA Online Participants: 60 EURO
4) Congress Participation for IASA Early Career Fellows:
– Online Participants: 20 EURO
– On-Site: 50 EURO

The On-Site Congress fee covers:
– Congress materials
– Coffee breaks
– Congress Participation Certificates
– Social evening/concert
– Administrative costs (including the rental of conference halls, multimedia, and invoicing)

The Online Congress Fee covers:
– The license of the online conferencing system
– The Conference Participatiom Certificate
– Administrative costs (including the rental of conference halls, multimedia, and invoicing)

The Congress Fee does NOT include:
– Transportation costs
– Board and Accommodation costs
– Insurance costs
– Visa costs


  1. IASA FEES BANKING DATA: To be confirmed soon – information pending
    Title of the Transfer: IASA-2023 (Name, Surname and Participant Category + VAT Invoice information if invoice is required)
    Beneficiary: University of Silesia in Katowice
    IBAN: PL74 1050 1214 1000 0007 0000 7909


University of Silesia in Katowice is one of the largest and most dynamically developing public universities in Poland. Founded in 1968, the University of Silesia quickly established a reputation as a vibrant academic institution and an important interdisciplinary research hub. With a tradition of launching new programmes to best meet the needs of rapidly changing labor markets, the University of Silesia offers students a variety of programs and specialized fields of study. With outstanding research teams and well-equipped laboratories, we are an important player on the global research arena. We actively participate in European Commission initiatives focused both on educational and scientific development, and realize projects within the frame of programmes such as Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020.

The University of Silesia in Katowice gives its students a unique possibility to develop their interests, fulfil their passions and gain practical skills necessary in constantly changing job market. Every academic year we offer over 70 programmes and over 240 specializations, that are designed to help our students and alumni meet the challenges of changing reality and labor market. We provide a stimulating learning environment where individual interests can be pursued and academic ambitions achieved. The University of Silesia serves almost 25,000 intramural and extramural students and it already has 250,000 proud alumni, among which there are outstanding personalities in many fields. Our community consists also of more than 2,000 teachers and researchers.


Registration Desk (The Rectorate Building)
University of Silesia in Katowice
ul. Bankowa 12
40-007 Katowice
See on the map: https://goo.gl/maps/qF8BoJNKFn4px15G6

Plenary Venue:
The Andrzej Pawlikowski Aula (B 1.1)
The Faculty of Humanities
ul. Uniwersytecka 4
40-007 Katowice
See on the map: https://goo.gl/maps/ym5LeFJizvsxiT9K8

Conference Rooms:
The Faculty of Humanities
ul. Uniwersytecka 4
40-007 Katowice
See on the map: https://goo.gl/maps/ym5LeFJizvsxiT9K8


Air Travel

Train Travel

Bus/Coach Travel

Car Travel






The Head Congress Organizer:

International Organizing Team (Alphabetized)


You have to first register in the system to then be able to submit your abstract.

Attention: Submissions MUST include:
1) First Name and Family Name of the Author/Auther
2) Institutional Affiliation of the Author/Auther
3) Author/Auther’s ORCID number (https://orcid.org)
4) Author/Auther’s email address
5) Disciplines represented (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_academic_disciplines)
6) The title of the presentation
7) A 350 words’ abstract of the presentation
8) A 250 words’ biographical note on the Author/Auther (including website address, if exists)
9) Keywords
10) If the Author/Auther wishes to receive an invoice, the exact name and address of the institution, including its Tax Identification Number

Please click on the headings below to first register in the system and then be able to submit your abstract.

Click to register with the Conference System
Click to log in and submit your proposal