Post-Nationalist American Studies

Post-Nationalist American Studies

Post-Nationalist American Studies

Post-Nationalist American Studies

Synopsis

"Post-Nationalist American Studies seeks to revise the cultural nationalism and celebratory American exceptionalism that tended to dominate American Studies in the Cold War era. The goal of the book's contributors is a less insular, more trans-national, comparative approach to American Studies, one that questions dominant American myths rather than canonizes them. Articulating new ways to think about American Studies, these essays demonstrate how diverse the field has become.

Contributors are concerned with cross-cultural communication, race and gender, global and local identities, and the complex tensions between symbolic and political economies. Their essays explore, among other topics, the construction of "foreign" peoples and cultures; the notion of borders--territorial, racial, economic, and sexual; the "multilingual reality" of the United States; the place of the Mexican-American War in U.S. history; and the significance of Tiger Woods in today's global market of consumption.

Together, the essays propose a renewed vision of the United States' role in the world and how American Studies scholarship can address that vision. Each contributor includes a sample syllabus showing how the issues discussed in individual essays can be brought into the classroom.

Excerpt

In the fall of 1996, nine scholars participated in the residential research group, “Post-Nationalist American Studies, ” at the University of California's Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) on the Irvine campus: Barbara Brinson Curiel, at that time lecturer in Liberal Studies and Women's Studies at California State University, San Marcos, currently assistant professor of English at Humboldt State University, who had recently earned her Ph. D. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC); David Kazanjian, now an assistant professor of English at Queens College, the City University of New York, at that time a Ph. D. candidate in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley; Katherine Kinney, associate professor of English at the University of California, Riverside; Steven Mailloux, professor of English at the University of California, Irvine; Jay Mechling, professor of American Studies at the University of California, Davis; John Carlos Rowe, professor of English at the University of California, Irvine; George S/nchez, now professor of Chicano Studies at the University of Southern California, and at that time Chair and professor of American Cultures at the University of Michigan; Shelley Streeby, assistant professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego; and Henry Yu, assistant professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. John Rowe developed the idea for this research group from the discussion at a one-day disciplinary forum, “American Studies in the University of California, ” which he had convened at the Humanities Research Institute in October 1994.

In that disciplinary forum, University of California faculty discussed scholarly, curricular, and institutional changes in American Studies nationally, internationally, and within the University of California (UC) system. Such one-day forums often lead to formal applications to the Humanities . . .

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