Narrative, Environment, Social Justice
49th Annual Conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies Salzburg | Unipark Nonntal | 21-23 October 2022
Recent years have seen a re-politicization of the US public sphere and dominant discourses. This re-politicization often revolves around two inherently intertwined dimensions: the environment and social justice, with environmental justice movements like Fridays for Future or Extinction Rebellion and more pronounced foci around race and gender (e.g. the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements), and on the other hand economic justice movements like ATTAC or Occupy Wall Street, asking whether any possible alternative to neoliberal capitalism is imaginable at all.
A similar pattern of polarization is at work with right-wing populist movements questioning the legitimacy of calls for social justice, instead telling their own stories of neglect and apparent marginalization.
These battles over hearts and minds (and ballots) are carried out on the battlefield of language in general and narrative in particular: which side tells the most convincing stories and has the most engaging narrative frames to offer?
The 49th annual conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies (AAAS) brings together presentations on the stories we tell about our environment, and about pressing social issues of the past or present. How do we frame our experiences in these areas through narratives, and to whom do we tell them, when, where, and why?
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