<span class="smallCaps">introduction</span>: Introduction Imagining North America

Adams Rachel

in Continental Divides

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226005515
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226005539 | DOI:
introduction: Introduction Imagining North America

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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Maps are not just guides to the world as we know it; they can also be projections of the way we desire or fear it to be. The discussion of maps is a point of departure for a book that seeks to rethink the geographic imaginary of American cultural study by shifting its borders and providing new frames of analysis. This book is inspired by, and seeks to contribute to, what has been called the “transnational turn” in American literary and cultural studies. It aspires to a genuinely comparative view of North American borders that locates them in relation to one another and to borders in other parts of the world. Historically, the study of slave narratives has emphasized the U.S.–Canadian border, locating freedom to the north and idealizing Canada as the slaves' Promised Land.

Keywords: maps; American cultural study; Continental Divides; transnational turn; North American borders

Chapter.  10142 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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