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2008 Conference

Australia and New Zealand American Studies Association Conference

University of Sydney

4-7th July 2008

The Department of History at the University of Sydney is delighted to announce that it is hosting the Australia and New Zealand Association for American Studies Conference in 2008. ANZASA brings together scholars from Australia and New Zealand with colleagues who specialise in American Studies from around the world for a major conference held every two years.  The conference features 43 panels of papers in nine sessions, a roundtable on Australian Attitudes towards the United States, and four keynote speakers.

Our confirmed keynote speakers are:

George Chauncey

  • Professor of History at Yale University. He is best known for his book Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (Basic, 1994), which won the Organization of American Historians' Merle Curti Prize for the best book in social history and Frederick Jackson Turner Prize for the best first book in history, as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today's Debate over Gay Equality (Basic, 2004), and was the organizer and lead author of the Historians' Amicus Brief in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which was cited extensively in the Supreme Court's landmark decision overturning American sodomy laws. He is currently nearing completion of the sequel to Gay New York, to be titled, The Strange Career of the Closet: Gay Culture, Consciousness, and Politics from the Second World War to the Gay Liberation Era.

    Susan Douglas

  • Department Chair and Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. Professor Douglas has written many books including The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How it has Undermined Women (with Meredith Michaels), Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media; Inventing American Broadcasting; and Listening In: Radio and the American Imagination, which won the 2000 Sally Hacker Popular Book Prize from the Society for the History of Technology. Her column “Back Talk” appears in In These Times every month.

Amy Kaplan

  • Edward W. Kane Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, is best known for her study of the culture of American imperialism. She is author of The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture (Harvard University Press, 2002) and co-editor (with Donald Pease) of Cultures of U.S. Imperialism (Duke University Press, 1993). In 2003 she was elected President of the American Studies Association. Recently she has been writing about the contemporary politics and culture, including “Where is Guantánamo?” (2005); “Violent Belongings and the Question of Empire Today” (2003); “Homeland Insecurities: Transformations of Language and Space” (2003), and op-eds on Iraq and Guantanamo in the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune. She is currently working on a related project: In the Name of Homeland Security.

Ian Tyrrell

  • Scientia Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Best known for his studies of the history of women and temperance in the United States, his most recent books are True Gardens of the Gods: Californian-Australian Environmental Reform, 1860-1930 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999); Deadly Enemies: Tobacco and its Opponents in Australia (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 1999); and Historians in Public: American Historical Practice, 1890-1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). A fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, he was awarded a Commonwealth of Australia Centenary Medal in 2003, and appointed a Scientia Professor in 2007. He is presently engaged on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2005-08) on American Cultural Expansion and American Empire, covering the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

For more information, see the other pages of this site, or contact one of the conference conveners:

Or send to:

Department of History, SOPHI (A14)

University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia

Ph. 02 9351 6733 Within Australia | 61 02 9351 6733 International

Fax + 61 (0)2 9351 3918



Beautiful Sydney serves as the host for the 2008 Australia and New Zealand American Studies Conference that marks the 44th year of ANZASA. Gloriously situated on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, Sydney is the leading city in New South Wales, and the largest in Australia. It possesses a wealth of stunning natural and heritage sites including the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and extensive collections of early examples of Australian art and architecture, along with stunning bush walks around the city and in the numerous nearby National Parks,  including the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains. For those who might wish to stay beyond the period of the conference, Sydney is the perfect base from which many short as well as national trips can be undertaken to Australia’s other major tourist attractions. Sydney’s winter climate is temperate with high temperatures in July averaging around 18 degrees celsius, with lows of 9 to 12 degrees celsius. For more information about the city, see: http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/