Chapter

Reconstructing American Studies: Transnational Paradoxes, Comparative Perspectives

Paul Giles

in Transnationalism in Practice

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640492
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652129 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640492.003.0001
Reconstructing American Studies: Transnational Paradoxes, Comparative Perspectives

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This chapter examines the reconstruction of American studies in the context of transnational paradoxes and comparative perspectives. It mentions the views of several influential critics that while American Studies continues to be a popular subject in universities and colleges on both sides of the Atlantic, its methodological direction appears increasingly uncertain. The chapter suggests that comparativist scholars should dissociate rhetoric from ethos and the cultural sign from the freight of moral values lodged within it in order to make manifest textual qualities of the foreign landscape, and therefore the constructed and radically provisional nature of the American experience.

Keywords: American studies; transnational paradoxes; comparative perspectives; methodological direction; rhetoric; ethos; cultural sign; moral values; American experience

Chapter.  9680 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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