Virtually American?

Denationalizing North American Studies

1. Edition, 2009
160 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5652-1
Product: Book
Edition: Softcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: Reihe Siegen. Beiträge zur Literatur-, Sprach- und Medienwissenschaft, Volume No.: 162
Available: 17.12.2009

Keywords: Citizenship, Identitätsbilder, Transnationalität, amerikanische Identität, Americanness, Canadian Studies, American Studies

This is a time seemingly without borders, an era of an unprecedented flow of goods, capital, and labor. It is a time, also, in which the very boundaries of our disciplines have fissured out, encompassing spaces well beyond the nation-state. This volume sets out to explore what this opening up of national borders may mean for the disciplines of both American and Canadian studies. At the same time, there may be a need for caution. The credo of a transnational American or Canadian studies may run the risk of glossing over the ways in which particularly after September 11, 2001, borders are being policed, and of losing sight of the specificities attached to citizenship rights or their absence. The denationalization of North American Studies may hence be a deeply ambivalent concept. It may be moored in realities which drive home the point that the nation state is far from obsolete; yet, it may also point at the way in which particularly in the area of minority studies, the transcending of national borders and the forging of transnational alliances could not be more fruitful. Finally, the volume seeks to explore the meaning of „Americanness.“ At a time when both global politics and popular culture seem to be defined by a seeming ubiquity of the US, other spaces and cultural productions run the risk of being mere copies, of being „virtually American“ rather than originals in their own right. This, too, needs to be reassessed in order to arrive, perhaps, at a more dialogic understanding of what „America“ may mean in the world today.