Globalizing American Studies
The discipline of American studies was established in the early days of World War II and drew on the myth of American exceptionalism. Now that the so-called American Century has come to an end, what would a truly globalized version of American studies look like? Brian T. Edwards and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar offer a new standard for the field’s transnational aspiration with Globalizing American Studies.
The essays here offer a comparative, multilingual, or multisited approach to ideas and representations of America. The contributors explore unexpected perspectives on the international circulation of American culture: the traffic of American movies within the British Empire, the reception of the film Gone with the Wind in the Arab world, the parallels between Japanese and American styles of nativism, and new incarnations of American studies itself in the Middle East and South Asia. The essays elicit a forgotten multilateralism long inherent in American history and provide vivid accounts of post–Revolutionary science communities, late-nineteenth century Mexican border crossings, African American internationalism, Cold War womanhood in the United States and Soviet Russia, and the neo-Orientalism of the new obsession with Iran, among others.
Bringing together established scholars already associated with the global turn in American studies with contributors who specialize in African studies, East Asian studies, Latin American studies, media studies, anthropology, and other areas, Globalizing American Studies is an original response to an important disciplinary shift in academia.
“A timely collection that will receive a good deal of critical attention within the academic worlds of American studies, cultural studies, and comparative literature. There can be little doubt of the volume’s currency.” —Paul Giles, University of Sydney
"Globalizing American Studies is strikingly ambitious, aspiring to something more than the usual collection of ‘postnational’ or ‘hemispheric’ approaches to the field. The twelve essays, from scholars in film and postcolonial studies as well as Latin American and Middle Eastern studies and with case studies from fields not typically represented under the American studies rubric, are rigorously interdisciplinary, innovatively comparative, and theoretically integrated in their differing conceptions of the international impulse of American studies."