Cultures of U.S.-American Conservatism
Conservatism in the United States can seem perplexing from a European perspective. It is also under-theorized in many branches of the humanities, including literary and cultural studies. The international conference “Cultures of US-American Conservatism” will address both of these problems by bringing together scholars from the social sciences and the humanities to explore US-American conservatism from a cultural perspective. Our approach is pluralistic. We will keep in mind that the conservative movement was never homogeneous. From its origins in anticommunism, it has grown into a loose coalition that includes evangelicals interested in traditional values, independents who become active on divisive issues such as abortion and affirmative action, libertarians, neoliberals, fiscal conservatives, foreign policy hawks, nativists, and opponents of federalism and taxation. What unites these groups is an anti-establishment and individualistic orientation defined in opposition to the allegedly “liberal” media and university system. The goal of the conference is to interrogate this orientation by placing the multiplicity of conservative politics in relation to conservative lifestyles, beliefs, attitudes, discourses, markers of taste, media outlets, and social and familial roles.