Bridging North America: Connections and Divides

The John Morton Center for North American Studies proudly presents its inaugural conference, “Bridging North America: Connections and Divides,” on August 28-30, 2014. The conference sessions will explore topics such as “Transnational Geopolitical Landscapes,” “Re-Thinking North American Boundaries,” “Native American/First Nations Appropriations,” “Euro-American Cultural Negotiations,” “Immigrant Imaginaries,” “Cultural Frontiers Revisited,” and “New North American Literary Borders.”


Keynote Speakers

Christine Bold (Professor of English, University of Guelph, Canada), “‘Aboriginally Yours’: Vaudeville Performers, Transnational Circuits, Research Challenges”

Josiah Heyman (Professor of Anthropology, Endowed Professor of Border Trade Issues, University of Texas at El Paso, USA), “Relationship through Inequality and Difference: The U.S.-Mexico Border Case”


The program on Saturday, August 30, features a “Spotlight Session​,” with two renowned scholars from the United States.

Spotlight Session on North American Borderlands

Carlos G. Vélez-Ibáñez (Arizona State University): The Southwest North American Region:  An Incipient Ecological and Economic Heuristic

Edward A. Avila (Eastern New Mexico University): “What ‘We’ Do Abroad: Humanitarian Interventionism and Neoliberal Governmentality in Chicana/o Literature and Film”

You can find the conference program here.

Cultural Activities

All conference participants are welcome to join the opening reception hosted by the City of Turku on Thursday, August 28. The reception is held in the heart of the city, at the Turku City Hall (street address: Aurakatu 2), a beautiful neo-Renaissance building located on the bank of the River Aura.

On Friday, August 29, the conference participants have the opportunity to sail from Turku to the island of Loistokari with the Steamship s/s Ukkopekka. The conference dinner will be held on this scenic island, accompanied by live music and dancing on the peer.

On Saturday, August 30, the conference closes with a visit to the Turku Castle. The Jokke River Trolley​ will take us along the River Aura to the Castle, where we will travel back in time and hear about the daily life and festivities in medieval Turku.


Practical Information

Registration for the conference is now open, with an early bird deadline on June 30, 2014. The final registration deadline is August 1, 2014

For general inquiries, please contact Johanna Leinonen at johlei[at]

The JMC is looking forward to welcoming you in Turku!