Adoption: Crossing Boundaries

The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture announces: The 5th International Conference on Adoption and Culture

Adoption: Crossing Boundaries

March 27 – 30, 2014
Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Call for Proposals: Due August 1/Single Paper Submissions Welcome

ASAC’s biennial conferences feature stories and histories of adoption as explored by writers, artists, and scholars across the disciplines, especially the humanities. Adoptions and the lives of adoptees always involve crossing boundaries, whether the boundaries of families, the boundaries of races, the boundaries of nations, the boundaries of aboriginal peoples and others, the boundaries of communities, the boundaries of law, or all of these borders. This conference takes up these themes and threads, and also encourages other kinds of boundary-crossing: boundaries between disciplines; between adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, and social workers; boundaries between creative writers, scholars, and activists. And we extend our topic across other boundaries by considering similar issues with regard to foster care and assisted reproduction.

The conference includes academic work from a wide range of scholarly disciplines and areas: literature, film and popular culture and performance studies, cultural studies, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, religion, political science, law, women’s and gender studies, as well as film, creative writing, graphic art, music, drama, or productions in other media. We encourage interdisciplinary panels, presentations, and productions.

We invite proposals for papers and panels that:

* Analyze literary, cinematic, dramatic, musical, visual, dance, popular culture, or performance art representations of boundary crossing in adoption, foster care, or other nonstandard means of family formation or child care, and boundary crossing in narratives of the lives of adoptees, adoptive parents, and/or birthparents.
* Study boundary-crossing in adoption and other reproductive, family and caring structures in historical, anthropological, philosophical, sociological, legal, religious, political, gendered, LGBTQ, and/or psychological perspectives.
* Promote dialogue between people positioned differently with regard to adoption because of their life experience, profession, and/or discipline.

We expect that most papers will run about 20 minutes and that panel proposals should allow some time for discussion (assuming that panels will be about an hour and fifteen minutes ).
We also invite creative presentations (writing, film, drama, graphic arts, other media, etc.) on border crossing in relation to adoption. Writing samples should ordinarily be less than 10 pages.

Please send 200-word proposals for papers or samples of creative work, a cv or resume along with your proposal, and links if you are working in visual or multimedia, to

Give your proposal, cv, and/or writing sample a title that includes your last name.

Proposal deadline August 1, 2013

Conference program planning committee includes:

Eric Walker, Department of English, Florida State University, co-chair
Marianne Novy, University of Pittsburgh, co-chair
Karen Balcom, McMaster University
Emily Hipchen, University of West Georgia
Margaret Homans, Yale University

**NOTE: additional information**

Offer to Form Panels for Adoption and Culture Conference (August 1 Deadline)

I am the historian on the conference programme committee for the adoption and culture conference. If you are an historian with a single paper who is considering the adoption and culture conference, I will collect single papers and group them into panels as appropriate (with historians and others). Full panel proposals are of course welcome.

This is an interdisciplinary conference that has always been very welcoming and productive for historians. The call for papers emphasizes “boundary-crossing” in adoption, and we encourage papers that cross/connect adoption with related practises such as fostering, assisted reproduction and surrogacy, and state policy. This is a truly international conference which highlights transnational and transracial analysis.

I hope to hear from you. Please spread the word.

Karen Balcom,