The principal aim of the Representing American Events series is to provide reliable books that focus on selected key events within American history from the perspective of several different disciplines, including cultural studies, politics and literary studies. In other words, the series aims not simply to provide distinctive interpretations of significant American events, but to provide a cross-sectional analysis of the 'event', offering readers a range of disciplinary perspectives on one particular historical event.
There are many American Studies books that focus upon historical events within the twentieth century. However, for the most part, these books approach the historical events in a diachronic manner, that is looking at multiple historical events and their consequences usually through the perspective of a single disciplinary focus through time. The main innovative aim of this series is to consider a single historical event through the perspective of multiple disciplinary foci, in a more synchronic manner; that is, taking a cross-section of the various discourses that represent the event. The main idea, therefore, is to provide readers with books that analyse the contexts and co-texts of historical events in different disciplines in a cross-sectional manner. These 'events' might have lasted a few minutes (the assassination of John E Kennedy), a few hours (the 9/11 Twin Towers catastrophe), a day (the attack on Pearl Harbor), several days or months (the moonlanding project), or several years (the Great Depression), but in all cases, the 'event' has become something of a landmark in the development of the Unites States in the twentieth century. The series aims to present students with books that are informative about the historical event itself, but that take a lateral perspective on the ways in which the event has been represented in the principal contexts and co-texts of historical, literary, cinematic, political, sociological and artistic discourses. The series also aims to consider the ways in which the 'event' has been represented in subsequent years in these different discourses.