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“American Hospitality” – PAAS/IASA 2024

University of Bia?ystok, Poland
Organization: Polish Association for American Studies / International American Studies Association
Categories: American, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Native American, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2024-09-25 to 2024-09-27 Abstract Due: 2024-05-15

In today’s rapidly changing global landscape, hospitality emerges as a pivotal focus in academic discourse, especially within Western geopolitical contexts. Hospitality, as a mode of conduct, garners both ardent enthusiasm and staunch opposition. As a concept, it presents both notable limitations and diverse modalities. This multidimensional notion encompasses a right, a privilege, an obligation, an act of sympathy, and an expression of charity. It shapes and is shaped by various environments, from tangible spaces and places to non-places and heterotopias (as articulated by Marc Augé). Its expansive research potential warrants a thorough, interdisciplinary exploration.

Recent philosophical discussions of hospitality have expanded and deepened, exploring its various dimensions in the context of ethics, politics, cultural studies, and social theory. Among many others,  Jacques Derrida, exploring the concept of unconditional hospitality, emphasizes ethical and moral considerations, and questions the limits of our responsibility towards the other; Emmanuel Levinas, known for his ethics of the Other, posits that ethical responsibility to the other is the fundamental basis of selfhood and human interaction, which can be extended to the notion of hospitality as an ethical obligation to welcome and care for the Other; our own Tadeusz S?awek explores the concept of be-little-ment in relation to the Other, and follows Thoreau’s observation of the need to intently listen to the “friend across the pond.” Stemming from Kant’s idea of “world citizenship,” cosmopolitan approaches to hospitality focus on global ethics and responsibilities. It expands the concept of hospitality beyond individual or national gestures to a global scale, advocating for a world where individuals and states are hospitable to all, irrespective of national boundaries, which resonates well with the emerging view of hospitality as a human right – especially relevant in discussions about refugees and migrants. Last but not least, postcolonial and decolonial theories bring a critical view of hospitality into focus, examining how historical contexts of colonialism impact contemporary attitudes and practices of hospitality. This includes a critique of power dynamics and how the legacy of colonialism might influence who is considered “welcome” and who is not. The inability of the leading Western governments to prevent wars has led to the displacement of millions and the global migration of hundreds of thousands of refugees to those very countries, with their responses often further polarizing societies into Willkommenskultur and solidarity versus political populism and xenophobia.

One should also remember that in a world of increasing cross-cultural interactions, hospitality is seen as a vital component of intercultural dialogue and understanding. In our explorations, we wish to focus on how hospitality can bridge cultural divides and foster mutual respect and understanding. Furthermore, with the advent of digital communication and social media, new forms of hospitality have emerged, which begs the question of how virtual spaces can be hospitable or inhospitable and how digitalization changes the way we interact and welcome others. Finally, the emerging field of critical hospitality studies intersects hospitality with critical theory, examining the underlying assumptions, power structures, and societal norms that shape hospitality practices. Seeking to unpack and critique the often-unspoken rules and expectations that govern how hospitality is extended and received, we adopt hemispheric, transoceanic, and trans-local perspectives to answer some of the burning questions of the 21st century.

Conference Aim:
We invite scholars representing disciplines including, but not limited to, literary studies, cultural studies, international politics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, history, historiography, and cultural geography to contribute papers that explore the multifaceted nature of hospitality, both in the context of the US, but also in the context of hemispheric and transoceanic relations of the Americas.

Key Themes:
– Dynamics and Possibilities of Hospitality
– Myths and Realities of American Hospitality
– Aporias and Complexities within Hospitality
– Spatial Dimensions of Hospitality
– Historical Perspectives on Hospitality
– Reinterpretations and Evolutions of Hospitality
– Modalities and Manifestations of Hospitality
– Interplay of Contemporary Hospitality and Historical Contexts
– Sociopolitical Facets of Hospitality
– Intersections of Hospitality with Race, Gender, and Religious Hegemony
– Discursive Constructions of Hospitality
– Historiographical Approaches to Hospitality
– Cultural and Literary Representations of Hospitality
– Hospitality in Visual Arts and Media
– Ecological Considerations of Hospitality
– Philosophical Underpinnings of Hospitality
– Commercial Aspects of Hospitality (Tourism and Travel)


Dates: September 25-27, 2024
Deadline for submissions: May 15th, 2024
Deadline for confirmation of acceptance: May 30th, 2024
Deadline for fee transfer: June 15th, 2024
Deadline for the submission of complete articles for journals: November 15th, 2024
Format: Hybrid (Online/On-site Options)

On Site Venue:
University of Bia?ystok,
Faculty of Education,
ul. ?wierkowa 20,
15-328 Bia?ystok,

Conference Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French




Organized by:
Polish Association for American Studies and International American Studies Association
Co-Hosted by:
Department of North American Literatures, Faculty of Philology, University of Bia?ystok, Poland
Institute of Literary Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Silesia in Katowice

Organizing Committee:
Conveners: Jacek Partyka and Pawe? J?drzejko
Members: Jerzy Kamionowski, Tomasz Sawczuk, Weronika ?aszkiewicz, Ewelina Feldman-Ko?odziejuk, Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, Magdalena ?api?ska, Anna Maria Karczewska, Marcelina Kalinowska
On Site Venue:
University of Bia?ystok, Faculty of Education, ul. ?wierkowa 20, 15-328 Bia?ystok, Poland
On-Line Links:
To be announced for individual sessions


On Site Tenured Faculty – Member of PAAS or IASA – 100 EUR
On Site Junior Faculty – Member of PAAS or IASA – 70 EUR
On Site Ph.D. Student – Member of PAAS or IASA – 40 EUR
Online Participant – Member of PAAS or IASA – 30 EUR
On Site Participant Unaffiliated with PAAS or IASA – Conference Fee 150 EUR
Online Participant Unaffiliated with PAAS or IASA – 75 EUR

Conference fees include:
a) Conference materials / Online access
b) Coffee breaks / snacks
c) Conference certrificates
Conference fees do NOT include:
a) Travel costs
b) Accommodation costs
c) Insurance costs
d) Meals



Jacek Partyka and Pawe? J?drzejko