Vol 2 No 3 (2007): Loci and Foci—RIAS Vol. 2, Summer–Fall (2/2007)
The IASA Third World Congress is quickly drawing near. By the time you are reading these lines, you are probably getting ready to pack your bags or are expressing your regret that you didn’t register for the conference. Since its inception in 2000, IASA has developed into a flourishing association with a committed and continuously expanding membership base. The original intent expressed in the Bellagio Charter to provide an alternative to traditional, nation-based American Studies approaches has lost none of its pertinence and urgency. We are confident that the Third World Congress in Lisbon will consolidate and solidify the careful construction work undertaken during the last seven years.
The present issue of RIAS offers an exploration of the loci amoeni of American Studies in our global day and age. The question of place frequently pops up in debates aiming for the decentralization of established American Studies, also on the electronic pages of RIAS (see, most recently, the excellent issue on Cultural Modernity in the Americas edited by Cyraina Johnson-Roullier). But it is seldom explicitly addressed in such very pragmatic terms: What does it entail for IASA to convene in this or that locale in terms of the production of knowledge about the Americas, the organization’s (intended and/or real) audience, its receptivity towards hitherto underrepresented constituencies, and its resonance in the scholarly community at large? For an association which attempts to delocalize or even dislocate established conceptions of ‘America’ in all of its dimensions, it is of crucial importance that it allow itself to pinpoint and reflect upon its axiomatic locations—both real and symbolic—in the world [...]. (Read more in the Editorial)