Performing America Abroad

Transnational Cultural Politics in the Age of Neoliberal Capitalism



What happens to ‘America’ when it does not coincide with the geographical and institutional boundaries of the U.S. nation-state? What does ‘America’ mean when it is performed abroad and circulates among populations and publics outside U.S. national contexts? ‘Performing America Abroad’ explores an unlikely American studies archive: contemporary cultural performances in Austria and Germany which refer to the American cultural imaginary, but enact it with a ‘transnational difference.’

The book discusses the ambivalent cultural politics of these enactments in the context of neoliberal capitalism; specifically, it looks at several cross-racial performances of ‘Indianness’ on various Austrian stages, it examines queer political demonstrators on Vienna’s central Ringstraße, who celebrate the legacy of the 1969 New York Stonewall riots, and it discusses the ‘Americanness’ of a series of theatrical adaptations of Arthur Miller’s 1949 play ‘Death of a Salesman’ in Germany and Austria.