This coming weekend the American Studies Association descends on Washington, D.C. for the annual conference. The theme this year is “Beyond the Logic of Debt, Toward an Ethics of Collective Dissent,” and with thirteen concurrent sessions it promises to be a busy weekend. The ASA is not exactly a bastion of early Americanist work these days, but many of the overriding themes in current scholarship have their roots in early American history. Investigating the ramifications of colonialism and colonialist attitudes? check. Wrestling with (the legacy of) slavery? check. Questioning the role of gender in society? check.
For ten years, the Early American Matters Caucus has been sponsoring panels, and thanks to scrupulous program combing by Dennis Moore and the Working Committee, we can provide a guide to early (meaning, pre-1900) events at the conference.