Homeland Insecurities Conference

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Homeland Insecurities is an interdisciplinary conference, hosted by the University of New Brunswick and the Canadian Association for American Studies (CAAS) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fredericton, New Brunswick, from October 21-23, 2016.

Neoliberalism has ushered in new forms of global insecurity, which instill in American citizens the desire for enforced security. Through tightened border controls, antiterrorism laws, the expansion of the prison system, the war on drugs, and other measures, the United States government both provokes and assuages American insecurities about imagined and real terrors, both foreign and domestic. Often, these measures erode welfare institutions that actually provide a degree of safety against economic and social uncertainty, thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle intrinsic to neoliberalism’s creative destruction.

What are the origins of the insecurity state, and how has it shaped American culture? More broadly, what does it mean to imagine the United States as a secure homeland? Can non-indigenous Americans ever feel at home in North America without inventing abject social categories meant to contain their insecurities?