Call for proposals – Rewinding Global America: Nationalism and Contested Power

Deadline Extended

Nationalism has been a defining feature of American history, politics, and international relations. From the Declaration of Independence and the Four Freedoms of Franklin D. Roosevelt, through the “shining city upon a hill,” the “melting pot,” “affluent society,” and consumerism, the United States has created an exceptional, expansive, and open image of itself as the “global nation” founded on a set of seemingly universal principles. The ways Americans have thought about their nation have been a boundless force for overseas expansion and an irresistible attraction for many outsiders. Despite the success of the global America, however, or possibly because of it, recent but not unprecedented nationalistic trends have contributed to dispute, contest or even reject its very tenets.

As the country questions itself on the essential principles of its national character and international leadership, it seems more than appropriate to reflect on the multifaceted notion of nationalism in the United States. The second issue of USAbroad aims to reassess and discuss the composite meaning of American nationalism from the early republic to contemporary developments, by looking at its historical making and re-making, often achieved through exclusionary processes that shifted the boundaries of citizenship and belonging. Our objective is to learn about continuity and change in nationalistic discourses, practices, and policies, avoiding teleological and presentist interpretations. The editors envision two different lines of investigation, which are neither exclusive nor necessarily separated.

  1. The first is to analyze American nationalism from a transnational perspective, exploring tensions and contradictions between the international projections of the nation and its insular manifestations; its messianic rhetoric and its selfishness; its self-representation at home and its perception abroad; its ideology and its interest. This means, respectively, looking at how nationalism has been constantly redefined to serve US foreign policy, and focusing on the gap between its theoretical construction and its practical display and reception overseas.

  2. The other involves reconstructing how American nationalism has been defined and appropriated within the nation by different political and social actors. Throughout time, Americans have appealed to their national principles and used them to support the government as well as to oppose it, both to consolidate American society around specific values and to contest—and even revolutionize—established order, considered from time to time despotic, unjust, or imperialistic. The goal, therefore, is to study how political and social activism combines with nationalism and its multiple imageries.

We encourage the submission of proposals for original research articles related to:

  • Nationalism and Internationalism in U.S. Foreign Policy

  • War and Empire in the Process of Nation-Building

  • Nationalism and Sectionalism in American Political Development

  • Class, Gender, and Race as Divisive/Inclusive Issues

  • Nativism and Religion in the American Nationalism

  • Social Movements Reframing Nation and Nationalism

  • Cultural and Artistic Representations of Nation and Nationalism

  • National Reactions to Anti-Americanism

  • International Appropriations or Contestations of the American socio-economic model

We particularly encourage proposals from Italian PhD students as well as early-career scholars.

Applicants are asked to submit an abstract of approximately 500 words, along with a résumé including their main publications, by April 22 May 13. Please send your proposal by email to: By May 6 May 27, applicants will be notified about the status of the submission. The selection of abstracts will be based on a range of criteria that include: scientific originality (how does your paper differ from existing literature in the field?), use of primary sources (on what sources is the paper based?) and adherence to the themes of the call for papers. Abstracts that do not clearly address these three criteria will not be considered for publication. Please note that a final version of the accepted essay will have to be submitted by August 31 September 13.

You can download the Call for Paper in PDF.