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A Concise Companion to American Studies

ISBN: 978-1-4443-1908-8
480 pages
February 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
A Concise Companion to American Studies (1444319086) 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.


Introduction (John Carlos Rowe).

Part I Foundations and Backgrounds.

1. Puritan Origins (Philip F. Gura).

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

3. The Laboring of American Culture (Michael Denning).

4. Is Class an American Study? (Paul Lauter).

5. Religious Studies (Jay Mechling).

6. American Languages (Joshua L. Miller).

Part II Ethnic Studies and American Studies.

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

8. Native American Studies (John Gamber).

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

10. African American Studies (Jared Sexton).

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

Part III The New American Studies.

12. Western Hemispheric Drama and Performance (Harilaos Stecopoulos).

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

14. Culture, US Imperialism, and Globalization (John Carlos Rowe).

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

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

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

Part IV Problems and Issues.

18. Regionalism (Kevin R. McNamara).

19. The West and Manifest Destiny (Deborah L. Madsen).

20. Canadian Studies and American Studies (Alyssa MacLean).

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

22. Popular, Mass, and High Culture (Shelley Streeby).


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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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