SAAS Conference 2018

Tenth Biennial Conference of the
Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS)

“Open Covenants: Pasts and Futures of Global America”

Stockholm, September 28–30, 2018

The Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS) will hold its 10th biennial conference in Stockholm on September 28–30, 2018.

Confirmed keynote speakers are Prof. David R. Roediger (University of Kansas), Prof. Sylvia Mayer (University of Bayreuth), and Dr. Frida Stranne (Halmstad University).

The year 2018 marks the one hundredth anniversary of president Woodrow Wilson’s famous “Fourteen Point Speech,” where he described his vision for a world of peace and unity. Wilson’s first “point” was a call for “Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at.” Nine months after the US entrance in World War I, the principles of free trade, democracy, and national autonomy formed the foundation for the postwar peace negotiations and the establishment of the League of Nations. Although Thorstein Veblen noted just one year later that “the President’s proud words have gone whistling down the winds,” Wilson’s internationalism stand in sharp contrast to the current president Donald Trump’s agenda of “America First.” As Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen has pointed out, these changes are not only political but also aesthetic, ultimately affecting the public discourse through manipulations of language and culture. Notions of United States internationalism or isolationism are intimately connected to American exceptionalism, to immigration, race, and ethnicity, and fundamentally to the perception of America at home and abroad. The theme of this year’s SAAS conference invites participants to engage both with a national American and a global horizon in exploring notions of “Open Covenants” in history, politics, literature, film, cultural studies, and other areas of American Studies.

We wish to acknowledge the generous funding and support from the City of Stockholm, the Magnus Bergvall foundation, ABF Stockholm, the Department of English at Stockholm University, and the US Embassy in Stockholm.

Below, you find the link to the remaining conference pages:

Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0. Foto: Bengt Nyman


Conference Committee
The main conference organizers of were Bo G. Ekelund, Adam Hjorthén, Oskar Nordell, and Alice Sundman.