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The Imaginary and Its Worlds

American Studies after the Transnational Turn

The Imaginary and Its Worlds collects essays that boldly rethink the imaginary as a key concept for cultural criticism. Addressing both the emergence and the reproduction of the social, the imaginary is ideally suited to chart the consequences of the transnational turn in American studies. Leading scholars in the field from the United States and Europe address the literary, social, and political dimensions of the imaginary, providing a methodological and theoretical groundwork for American studies scholarship in the transnational era and opening new arenas for conceptualizing formations of imaginary belonging and subjectivity. This important state-of-the-field collection will appeal to a broad constituency of humanists working to overcome methodological nationalism. The Imaginary and Its Worlds: An Introduction • LITERARY IMAGINARIES • Imagining Cultures: The Transnational Imaginary in Postrace America - Ramón Saldívar • The Necessary Fragmentation of the (U.S.) Literary-Cultural Imaginary - Lawrence Buell • Imaginaries of American Modernism - Heinz Ickstadt • SOCIAL IMAGINARIES • William James versus Charles Taylor: Philosophy of Religion and the Confines of the Social and Cultural Imaginaries - Herwig Friedl • The Shaping of We-Group Identities in the African American Community: A Perspective of Figurational Sociology on the Cultural Imaginary - Christa Buschendorf • Russia’s Californio Romance: The Other Shores of Whitman’s Pacific - Lene Johannessen • Form Games: Staging Life in the Systems Epoch - Mark Seltzer • POLITICAL IMAGINARIES • Real Toads - Walter Benn Michaels • Obama Unwound: The Romanticism of Victory and the Defeat of Compromise - Christopher Newfield • Barack Obama’s Orphic Mysteries - Donald E. Pease • Coda. The Imaginary and the Second Narrative: Reading as Transfer - Winfried Fluck • Contributors • Index

312 pages | 6 x 9

Philosophy: Aesthetics


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Table of Contents

The Imaginary and Its Worlds: An Introduction • LITERARY IMAGINARIES • Imagining Cultures: The Transnational Imaginary in Postrace America - Ramón Saldívar • The Necessary Fragmentation of the (U.S.) Literary-Cultural Imaginary - Lawrence Buell • Imaginaries of American Modernism - Heinz Ickstadt • SOCIAL IMAGINARIES • William James versus Charles Taylor: Philosophy of Religion and the Confines of the Social and Cultural Imaginaries - Herwig Friedl • The Shaping of We-Group Identities in the African American Community: A Perspective of Figurational Sociology on the Cultural Imaginary - Christa Buschendorf • Russia’s Californio Romance: The Other Shores of Whitman’s Pacific - Lene Johannessen • Form Games: Staging Life in the Systems Epoch - Mark Seltzer • POLITICAL IMAGINARIES • Real Toads - Walter Benn Michaels • Obama Unwound: The Romanticism of Victory and the Defeat of Compromise - Christopher Newfield • Barack Obama’s Orphic Mysteries - Donald E. Pease • Coda. The Imaginary and the Second Narrative: Reading as Transfer - Winfried Fluck • Contributors • Index

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