For those of you attending the 2014 American Studies Association annual meeting, be sure to check out the session on “Keywords and Field-Formation.” It highlights this keywords publication and others from NYU Press. And you will hear from the branding master-mind behind these diverse projects: NYU Press Associate Director and Editor-in-Chief Eric Zinner.
The session takes place on Friday, November 7, 2:00-3:45, Westin Bonaventure, Level 1, Beaudry B. Here’s the description from the conference program:
Keywords volumes for American cultural studies, Asian American studies, the study of children’s literature, disability studies, and environmental studies are either published, in press, or in progress. Each of the volumes aims to create a new inventory and analysis of the central terms used in their respective fields. The deeper roots of these projects may be found in Raymond Williams’s Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society and in the iconic “blank pages” at the end of that volume. As Williams insisted, his book was not “a dictionary or glossary of a particular academic subject. . . . It is rather, the record of an inquiry into a vocabulary.” At their best, such inquiries provide both a critical map of the field under consideration and a methodological provocation to think in interdisciplinary and future-oriented ways about field formation. To use the language of this year’s conference theme, they allow us to explore “discursive grammars that generate alternate ways of living….to fantasize, describe and believe in living otherwise.”
Occasioned by the forthcoming second edition of Keywords for American Cultural Studies (with 30 new essays joining the original 64), the roundtable provides a space for critical reflection on the scholarly and pedagogical significance of these projects. It brings together editors of five keywords volumes (Keywords for American Cultural Studies, Keywords for Asian American Studies, Keywords for Children’s Literature, Keywords for Disability Studies, and Keywords for Environmental Studies), along with the editor-in-chief of the press that is publishing them. In brief opening presentations and then open discussion, the panelists will reflect on motivations for and experiences of using the rubric of the “keyword” as a means of producing texts that both document and shape the field of American Studies and its intersections with other areas of interdisciplinary study. They will also consider how their projects stretch the boundaries of conventional scholarly publication by enabling new forms of pedagogy in and beyond American Studies.