Vol 7 No 2 (2014): Wor(l)ds Apart: Navigating Differences—RIAS Vol. 7, Fall–Winter (2/2014)
The 6th World Congress of the International American Studies Association, ‘Oceans Apart: In Search of New Wor(l)ds,’ in August 2013 attracted scholars from all over the world to Szczecin, a Polish harbor city with a long multicultural, multinational, and multilingual history. Offering their multidisciplinary perspectives, the participants answered the call of Paweł Jędrzejko (the initiator and organizer) for debate on ‘the transoceanic dynamics of history.’ This publication is a collection of papers presented at the conference; the first volume centered on literary topics, and the present one takes a broader, cultural angle, with articles from the world of politics, literature, education, and sociology.
The waters of the oceans that wash the shores of our continents keep us apart, forming the blue bands separating ‘us’ from ‘them.’ But, at the same time, they also move restless and anxious travelers across, enabling contacts inspired by curiosity of the difference and provoking different ways of handling it. The oceans manage the difference in an admirable way. They humbly embrace various waters flowing into them from distant places, smoothly accommodating variety. Through their patient moves, they soften the sharp edges of the objects embraced.
The present volume contains articles on transcending values, ideas, disciplines, cultures, or political divisions. The consecutive sections group them around different management of differences: overcoming, strengthening, recognizing or creating them. Navigating and understanding America’s differences is a difficult task; the oceans can offer a good practice [...]. (Read more in the Introduction by Sonia Caputa and Anna Gonerko-Frej)