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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.

352 pages | 12 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Culture Studies

History: American History

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Media Studies

Rhetoric and Communication


“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

Paul Giles

"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."

Susan Gillman, University of California, Santa Cruz

Table of Contents

Introduction: Globalizing American Studies

Brian T. Edwards and Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar

Part I

1. American Studies after American Exceptionalism? Toward a Comparative Analysis of Imperial State Exceptionalisms

            Donald E. Pease

2. Bodies of Knowledge: The Exchange of Intellectuals and Intellectual Exchange between Scotland and America in the Post-Revolutionary Period

            Kariann Akemi Yokota

3. Ralph Ellison and the Grain of Internationalism

            Brent Hayes Edwards

4. Cold War, Hot Kitchen: Alice Childress, Natalya Baranskaya and the Speakin<ap> Place of Cold War Womanhood

            Kate Baldwin

Part II

5. Circulating Empires: Colonial Authority and the Immoral, Subversive Problem of American Film

            Brian Larkin

6. Scarlett O’Hara in Damascus: Hollywood, Colonial Politics, and Arab Spectatorship during World War II

            Elizabeth F. Thompson

7. Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation: Cultures of Dependency and Border Crossings in Late Porfirian Mexico

            Claudio Lomnitz

8. Transpacific Complicity and Comparatist Strategy: Failure in Decolonization and the Rise of Japanese Nationalism

            Naoki Sakai

Part III

9. War in Several Tongues: Nations, Languages, Genres

            Wai Chee Dimock

10. Neo-Orientalism

            Ali Behdad and Juliet Williams

11. American Studies in Motion: Tehran, Hyderabad, Cairo

            Brian T. Edwards

List of Contributors


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