CfP: Love Across the Atlantic Conference on US-UK Romance

Love Across the Atlantic:
An Interdisciplinary Conference on US-UK Romance 

Friday June 16 2017, Centre for Research in Film & Audiovisual Cultures
University of Roehampton, London
Organised in conjunction with New College, University of Alabama

Keynote Speakers: Professors Karen Randell and Alexis Weedon, University of Bedfordshire

In 1946 when Winston Churchill referred to the ‘special relationship’ between the USA and Britain in his ‘Sinews of Peace’ address, he was referring to the close political, economic, and military alliance between the two nations – a relationship that had become especially entwined and enhanced in the second world war, but which has a much longer history preceding this. Alongside and throughout the cultural history of this alliance there have always existed US-UK ‘special relationships’ of another kind – love affairs carried out across the expanse of the Atlantic, as British and American citizens have flirted, courted and fallen in love, with one another but often too with the idea(l) of that other place across the ocean. US-UK love affairs have thus proven to be a mainstay of romantic narratives for generations, shared across film, television, literature and all the arts. This interdisciplinary conference is dedicated to exploring some of the history, manifestations and enduring appeal of these relationships: what are the economic and ideological factors that have fuelled this romantic framework; what have been its recurrent tropes across disciplinary, national and temporal boundaries; and how does the notion of ‘love across the Atlantic’ speak to our collective fantasies of home, desire, escape and identity?

Topics may include, but are not limited to:
– American anglophilia/fascination with Englishness

– Working Title’s romantic comedies, and other US-UK film collaborations

– Colonial love, romance, and conquest

– Transatlantic fandoms

– US-UK celebrity romances

– TV series themed around transatlantic relationships and characters (e.g. NY-LON, You’re The Worst, Cuckoo)

– Wartime love stories and ‘GI Brides’

– American literary and artistic expatriates (e.g. T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, J.A.M. Whistler, John Singer Sargent, etc.)

– Literary and genre fiction depictions/explorations of transatlantic love and romance

Abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short biog should be submitted to Deborah Jermyn at d.jermyn@roehampton.ac.uk and Catherine Roach at croach@ua.edu  by December 1.
Pre-constituted panels of 3-4 speakers (20 min papers) are also welcomed. Notifications will be sent out by mid-January

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