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A Concise Companion to American Studies

ISBN: 978-1-4051-0924-6
480 pages
May 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
A Concise Companion to American Studies (1405109246) cover image


A Companion to American Studies is an essential volume that brings together voices and scholarship from across the spectrum of American experience.
  • A collection of 22 original essays which provides an unprecedented introduction to the "new" American Studies: a comparative, transnational, postcolonial and polylingual discipline
  • Addresses a variety of subjects, from foundations and backgrounds to the field, to different theories of the “new” American Studies, and issues from globalization and technology to transnationalism and post-colonialism
  • Explores the relationship between American Studies and allied fields such as Ethnic Studies, Feminist, Queer and Latin American Studies
  • Designed to provoke discussion and help students and scholars at all levels develop their own approaches to contemporary American Studies
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors x

Acknowledgments xvi

Introduction 1
John Carlos Rowe

Part I Foundations and Backgrounds 17

1. Puritan Origins 19
Philip F. Gura

2. Cultural Anthropology and the Routes of American Studies, 1851–1942 36
Michael A. Elliott

3. The Laboring of American Culture 59
Michael Denning

4. Is Class an American Study? 74
Paul Lauter

5. Religious Studies 92
Jay Mechling

6. American Languages 124
Joshua L. Miller

Part II Ethnic Studies and American Studies 151

7. Blood Lines and Blood Shed: Intersectionality and Differential Consciousness in Ethnic Studies and American Studies 153
George Lipsitz

8. Native American Studies 172
John Gamber

9. The Locations of Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies 190
Richard T. Rodríguez

10. African American Studies 210
Jared Sexton

11. Reckoning Nation and Empire: Asian American Critique 229
Lisa Lowe

Part III The New American Studies 245

12. Western Hemispheric Drama and Performance 247
Harilaos Stecopoulos

13. Postnational and Postcolonial Reconfigurations of American Studies in the Postmodern Condition 263
Donald Pease

14. Culture, US Imperialism, and Globalization 284
John Carlos Rowe

15. Sugar, Sex, and Empire: Sarah Orne Jewett’s “The Foreigner” and the Spanish-American War 303
Rebecca Walsh

16. The Rapprochement of Technology Studies and American Studies 320
David E. Nye

17. The World Wide Web and Digital Culture: New Borders, New Media, New American Studies 334
Matthias Oppermann

Part IV Problems and Issues 351

18. Regionalism 353
Kevin R. McNamara

19. The West and Manifest Destiny 369
Deborah L. Madsen

20. Canadian Studies and American Studies 387
Alyssa MacLean

21. The US University under Siege: Confronting Academic Unfreedom 407
Henry A. Giroux

22. Popular, Mass, and High Culture 432
Shelley Streeby

Index 453

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Author Information

John Carlos Rowe is USC Associates’ Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He has written and edited many books, including The Vietnam War and American Culture (1991), Post-Nationalist American Studies (2000), Literary Culture and U.S. Imperialism: From the Revolution to World War II (2000), and The New American Studies (2002).
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"There is no more masterful guide to the field of American Studies than John Carlos Rowe.  In this volume, he brings together some of the most articulate scholars in the field to map out the key issues defining American studies scholarship at its most exciting and relevant.  This book is an impressive introduction to the key issues of the field today." Marita Sturken, New York University

"The stunning and compelling essays collected in this comprehensive volume by John Rowe provide an essential guide to the transformation of the field of American Studies for the 21st century." George J. Sanchez, University of Southern California

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