Archipelagic American Studies

Book Pages: 496 Illustrations: 39 illustrations Published: June 2017

American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Postcolonial and Colonial Studies

Departing from conventional narratives of the United States and the Americas as fundamentally continental spaces, the contributors to Archipelagic American Studies theorize America as constituted by and accountable to an assemblage of interconnected islands, archipelagoes, shorelines, continents, seas, and oceans. They trace these planet-spanning archipelagic connections in essays on topics ranging from Indigenous sovereignty to the work of Édouard Glissant, from Philippine call centers to US militarization in the Caribbean, and from the great Pacific garbage patch to enduring overlaps between US imperialism and a colonial Mexican archipelago. Shaking loose the straitjacket of continental exceptionalism that hinders and permeates Americanist scholarship, Archipelagic American Studies asserts a more relevant and dynamic approach for thinking about the geographic, cultural, and political claims of the United States within broader notions of America.
Birte Blascheck, J. Michael Dash, Paul Giles, Susan Gillman, Matthew Pratt Guterl, Hsinya Huang, Allan Punzalan Isaac, Joseph Keith, Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Brandy Nalani McDougall, Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo, Craig Santos Perez, Brian Russell Roberts, John Carlos Rowe, Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, Ramón E. Soto-Crespo, Michelle Ann Stephens, Elaine Stratford, Etsuko Taketani, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Teresia Teaiwa, Lanny Thompson, Nicole A. Waligora-Davis


"This book will become seminal for two key reasons at least: (1) it comprehensively demonstrates the Americas are archipelagic; and (2) it pushes relational thinking further than to date, suggesting we are now straining at some older concepts and verging on new theoretical frameworks. In doing so, Archipelagic American Studies both speaks back to American studies and cultural studies, and develops useful theoretical
concerns for island studies scholars, and others invested in wider relational and archipelagic turns." — Jonathan Pugh, Island Studies Journal

“A transformative series of essays. Archipelagic American Studies sets an important new course toward geographic, political, and cultural recognition of Island spaces and places.” — Rebecca Hogue, Contemporary Pacific

"The many essays in this book . . . provide readers with opportunities to rethink their own relationship(s) with archipelagos and how we may situate our work. . . . Transformative." — Emalani Case, Journal of Pacific Studies

"Collectively, the anthology highlights the limitations of US-centric understandings of archipelagos and presents a nuanced display of the lasting impacts and contemporary reaches of US imperialism. . . . I highly recommend the collection to scholars concerned with the Asia Pacific region’ as the editors offer a systematised and organised arrangement of theories and methodologies for thinking like an archipelago."
  — Sylvia C Frain, Asia Pacific Viewpoint

"This book provided me with tools to begin to think about my own group of islands differently, to recentre my concerns and to begin to unravel the consequences of dominant, continental thinking in real-life situations." — Emalani Case, Journal of Pacific History

"As we read Archipelagic American Studies, in fact, we embark on a journey which is full of twists and turns, instructive and rewarding, and for which Roberts and Stephens provide an invaluable road map, a comprehensive introductory essay which enables us to impart meaning and purpose to every stop in our journey in relation to the overarching trajectory of the volume." — Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Journal of American Studies

"Archipelagic American Studies is, overall, an important intervention in and beyond the discipline of American studies. Its remapping of the United States and the Americas at large as an archipelagic formation is a bold gesture that has implications for the many fields concerned with spaces where land and see meet and with the peoples and cultures that inhabit them. The book is a necessary read for anyone interested in decontinentalizing scholarship related to empire and nation." — Natalie Catasús, sx salon

"Archipelagic American Studies offers an expansive, liberating vision of archipelagic, island, and American studies as well as the discourses and material relations that implicate US imperialism and the locations and articulations of power." — Gary Y. Okihiro, author of Island World: A History of Hawai`i and the United States

"Brilliant, transformative, and a model of engaging scholarship, Archipelagic American Studies offers a bracing challenge to reevaluate and reimagine the ways in which we structure knowledge in American studies. A conceptually innovative and highly imaginative work." — Shelley Fisher Fishkin, author of Writing America: Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee

"With some of the best essays collected on the subject. this volume opens up new spaces for the fields of Caribbean and of American studies. This is a pathbreaking edited volume." — Anthony Bogues, Brown University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Brian Russell Roberts is Associate Professor of English at Brigham Young University.
Michelle Ann Stephens is Professor of English and Latino and Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Editors' Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction. Archipelagic American Studies: Decontinentalizing the Study of American Culture / Brian Russell Roberts and Michelle Ann Stephens  1
Part I. Theories and Methods for an Archipelagic American Studies
1. Heurestic Geographies: Territories and Areas, Islands and Archipelagoes / Lanny Thompson  57
2. Imagining the Archipelago / Elaine Stratford  74
Part II. Archipelagic Mappings and Meta-Geographies
3. Guam and Archipelagic Black Global Imaginary / Craig Santos Perez / 97
4. The Archipelagic Black Global Imaginary: Walter White's Pacific Island Hopping / Etsuko Taketani  113
5. It Takes an Archipelago to Compare Otherwise / Susan Gillman  133
Part III. Empires and Archipelagoes
6. Colonial and Mexican Archipelagoes: Remiagining Colonial Caribbean Studies / Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel  155
7. Invisible Islands: Remapping the Transpacific Archipelago of US Empire in Carlos Bulosan's America Is in the Heart / Joseph Keith  174
8. "Myth of the Continents": American Vulnerabilities and "Rum and Colca-Cola" / Nicole A. Waligora-Davis  191
Part IV. Islands of Resistance
9. "Shades of Paradise": Craig Santos Perez's Transpacific Voyages / John Carlos Rowe  213
10. Insubordinate Islands and Coastal Chaos: Pauline Hopkins's Literary Land/Seascapes / Cherene Serrard-Johnson  232
11. "We Are Not Americans": Competing Rhetorical Archipelagoes in Hawai'i / Brandy Nalani McDougall 259
Part V. Ecologies of Relation
12. Performing Archipelagic Identities in Bill Reid, Robert Sullivan, and Syaman Rapongan / Hsinya Huang  281
13. Archipelagic Trash: Despised Forms in the Cultural History of the Americas / Ramón E. Soto-Crespo  302
14. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch as Metaphor: The (American) Pacific You Can't See / Alice Te Punga Somerville  320
Part VI. Insular Imaginaries
15. The Tropics of Josephine: Space, Time, and Hybrid Movements / Matthew Pratt Guterl  341
16. The Stranger by the Shore: The Archipelization of Caliban in Antillean Theatre / J. Michael Dash  356
Part VII. Migrating Identities, Moving Borders
17. The Governors-General: Caribbean Canadian and Pacific New Zealand Success Stories / Birte Blascheck and Teresia Teaiwa  373
18. Living the West Indian Dream: Archipelagic Cosmopolitanism and Triangulated Economies of Desire in Jamaican Popular Culture / Ifeoma Kiddoe Nwankwo  390
19. Offshore Identities: Ruptures in the 300-Second Average Handling Time / Allan Punzalan Isaac  411
Afterword. The Archipelagic Accretion / Paul Giles
Selected Bibliography  437
Contributors  453
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-6346-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6335-4
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