The Futures of American Studies

The Futures of American Studies

New Americanists

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Book Pages: 632 Illustrations: Published: October 2002

American Studies, Cultural Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

Originating as a proponent of U.S. exceptionalism during the Cold War, American Studies has now reinvented itself, vigorously critiquing various kinds of critical hegemony and launching innovative interdisciplinary endeavors. The Futures of American Studies considers the field today and provides important deliberations on what it might yet become. Essays by both prominent and emerging scholars provide theoretically engaging analyses of the postnational impulse of current scholarship, the field's historical relationship to social movements, the status of theory, the state of higher education in the United States, and the impact of ethnic and gender studies on area studies. They also investigate the influence of poststructuralism, postcolonial studies, sexuality studies, and cultural studies on U.S. nationalist—and antinationalist—discourses. No single overriding paradigm dominates the anthology. Instead, the articles enter into a lively and challenging dialogue with one another. A major assessment of the state of the field, The Futures of American Studies is necessary reading for American Studies scholars.

Contributors. Lindon Barrett, Nancy Bentley, Gillian Brown, Russ Castronovo, Eric Cheyfitz, Michael Denning, Winfried Fluck, Carl Gutierrez-Jones, Dana Heller, Amy Kaplan, Paul Lauter, Günter H. Lenz, George Lipsitz, Lisa Lowe, Walter Benn Michaels, José Estaban Muñoz, Dana D. Nelson, Ricardo L. Ortiz, Janice Radway, John Carlos Rowe, William V. Spanos


"[A] valuable collection." — Miles Orvell, American Studies

"[R]eally important essays on ideas and methods in American studies. . . . In short, The Futures of American Studies offers the teacher of an introductory graduate seminar a convenient anthology."

— Bernard Mergen, American Studies International

"[T]he authors have interesting points of view and cast light on their subjects." — Ray B. Browne, Journal of American Culture

The Futures of American Studies shapes a farsighted and richly provocative argument about the intellectual space, time, and politics of the cultures of American studies. It's a millennial work.” — Laura Wexler, author of Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U.S. Imperialism

“Fascinating and provocative, this collection is sure to attract wide attention as the latest collective statement of the major directions in which ‘New Americanist’ scholarship is heading.” — Lawrence Buell, author of Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the U.S. and Beyond


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Donald E. Pease is Avalon Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Visionary Compacts: American Renaissance Writings in Cultural Context and editor of a number of books including National Identities and Post-Americanist Narratives and, with Amy Kaplan, Cultures of United States Imperialism, both published by Duke University Press.

Robyn Wiegman is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women's Studies at Duke University. She is the author of American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender and editor of Women’s Studies on Its Own: A Next Wave Reader in Institutional Change, both published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments vii

Futures / Donald E. Pease and Robyn Wiegman 1


What’s in a Name? / Jan Radway 45

The International within the National: American Studies and Asian American Critique / Lisa Lowe 76

The Future in the Present: Sexual Avant-Gardes and the Performance of Utopia / Jose Esteban Munoz 93

Manifest Domesticity / Amy Kaplan 111

C. L. R. James, Moby-Dick, and the Emergence of Transnational American Studies / Donald E. Pease 135


Postnationalism, Globalism, and the New American Studies / John Carlos Rowe 167

Salesman in Moscow / Dana Heller 183

The Humanities in the Age of Expressive Individualism and Cultural Radicalism / Winfried Fluck 211

Autobiographies of Ex-White Men: Why Race is Not a Social Construction / Walter Benn Michaels 231

Color Blindness and Acting Out / Carl Gutierrez-Jones 248


Whiteness Studies and the Paradox of Particularity / Robyn Wiegman 269

Identities and Identity Studies: Reading Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Hammer Man” / Lindon Barrett 305

Hemispheric Vertigo: Cuba, Quebec, and Other Provisional Reconfigurations of “Our” New America(s) / Ricardo L. Ortiz 327

Marriage as Treason: Polygamy, Nation, and the Novel / Nancy Bentley 341

Litigious Therapeutics: Recovering the Rights of Children / Gillian Brown 371

American Studies in the “Age of the World Picture”: Thinking the Question of Language / William V. Spanos 387


Work and Culture in American Studies / Michael Denning 419

“Sent for You Yesterday, Here You Come Today”: American Studies Scholarship and the New Social Movements / George Lipsitz 441

Toward a Dialogics of International American Culture Studies: Transnationality, Border, Discourses, and Public Culture(s) / Gunter H. Lenz 461

American Studies, American Politics, and the Reinvention of Class / Paul Lauter 486

The End of Academia: The Future of American Studies / Eric Cheyfitz 510

Nation dot com: American Studies and the Production of the Corporatist Citizen / Russ Castronovo 536


ConsterNation / Dana D. Nelson 559

Bibliography 581

Contributors 609

Index 613
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2965-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2957-2
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