Past Program

Oct 30 - Nov 02, 2008

SSASAA - Transnationalism and Immigration Shock in American Society and Literature


Since the late 1960s, social, political, and technological changes throughout the world have accelerated the cultural diversity and synergism of many nations. People, forms of cultural expression, as well as capital have crossed or altered former national borders. Millions of people from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa have migrated to the United States, as well as to Europe, and even to developing countries like India, South Korea, and Brazil. These movements have resulted in remarkable social, political, and cultural transformations both for the new arrivals and for the communities and regions in which they have settled. New immigrants bring with them foods, styles of dress, religious practices, forms of art and expression, and perspectives on all aspects of human experience that daily transform the cultural fabric of their communities and of host countries like the United States. The hybrid cultures thus produced express and often allay social tensions; it is almost a journalistic commonplace now to say that such forms of popular culture function as catalysts for social cohesion. But there are also many sources of conflict present in the clash of cultural forms, not only between those communities and their new neighbors-the "immigration shock" of our title-but also between generations within the immigrant communities. Much more needs to be understood about the social origins, the characteristics, and the impacts of such cultural production-and the extent to which the critical paradigms it is generating are replacing or altering those of the multiculturalism familiar to us for the last half century. Our discussion will include attention to the way literature functions as an agent of social dynamics related to immigration, the way it acts as a mirror for social change, and how it functions as an active player in the processes of change. Given the fact that issues related to immigration are figuring prominently in the up-coming presidential election, we will look at the ways in which Americans are reacting to the major current political and social tensions surrounding this discussion. The purpose of the symposium on transnationalism and immigration shock is to examine many aspects of the changes in the society and cultures of the United States that have resulted from these often radical, always unsettling changes.


The 2008 SSASAA symposium is open to all Salzburg Global Seminar alumni interested in American Studies, as well as non-alumni working in a field related to the topic. The symposium will consist of presentations, plenary discussions, and theme-based working groups, led by distinguished American Studies scholars. Additional events include a barbeque, receptions, and a concert and gala dinner on the final evening.


Financial information:

The cost of the SSASAA Symposium is euro 500 for a single and euro 800 for a double room. Tuition, and all meals and accommodations are included in the cost. TRAVEL is not included. The fee is payable no later than september 1, 2008, by check, money order or credit card.


A deposit of euro 100 is due at the time of registration to confirm your participation. The deposit is not refundable after September 1, 2008.


For further information, please contact Symposium Director Ms. Marty Gecek


To download a registration form, please click below.

SSASAA registration form