Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Transnational American Studies and the Transpacific Imaginary

Yuan Shu and Donald E. Pease

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pp. 1-36

Previous contributors to the series Re-Mapping the Transnational share the assumption that the significance and import of transnational practices depend on the contexts that articulate them to preexisting geopolitical formations. They have also indicated the difficulty in providing an agreed-on contextual focus for transnationalism’s conflicted terrain. In an effort to provide such a focus, Donald Pease,...

Part 1 Transnational Practices: Outside/Inside American Studies

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1 How Transnationalism Reconfigured the Field of American Studies: The Transnational/Dispora Complex

Donald E. Pease

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pp. 39-63

The transnational turn in American studies has effected the most significant reimagining of the field of American studies since its inception. Transnational perspectives have changed the way Americanist scholars imagine their relationship not just to the field in which they conduct their research, but also to their work, their objects of study, and the disciplinary protocols through which those objects...

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2 Post-Soviet American Studies

Eva Cherniavsky

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pp. 64-83

My focus in this essay is on the proliferation of both American studies and, not incidentally, of American-style universities in the regions of the former Soviet bloc. This proliferation in both the revamped state academies and the new private universities of Eastern Europe and Central Asia is funded in significant measure by the us Agency for International Development (usAID), which reflects, in turns,..

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3 Transnationalism, Planetary Consciousness, and American Studies

Yuan Shu

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pp. 84-106

The 1990s not only witnessed dramatic political changes on the global map, culminating in the collapse of the Soviet and East European Communist bloc, but the decade also experienced the emergence and flourishing of critical discourses, from those about globalization to postcolonial theories. American studies has equally been affected by these changes and thoughts. In 1994, with the publication of Carolyn...

Part 2 Deep Maps, Postracial Imaginaries, Diasporized Networks, and Other Transnational Literary Assemblages

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4 Transnational Mark Twain

Shelley Fisher Fishkin

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pp. 109-137

“Travel,” Mark Twain wrote, “is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”1 Twain, who spent a third of his life living outside the United States, was one of America’s first truly cosmopolitan writers, as at home in the world as he was in his own country. His works traveled widely as well: they have been translated into virtually every...

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5 Racial Memory and the Modern Borders of the Nation-State

Rafa el Pérez-Torres

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pp. 138-155

Discussions about the nexus between race and modernity need to consider how notions of time and historical narratives form often unrecognized borders bounding how we think of ethnicity. Though much new scholarship is undertaken to counteract the trend, there has been a tendency in ethnic studies to view the period prior...

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6 The Other Side of History, The Other Side of Fiction: Form and Genre in Susshu Foster's Atomik Aztex

Ramón Saldívar

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pp. 156-166

Ba rack Obama was elected president of the United States with only 39 percent of the white electorate voting for him. What are we to make of this astonishing fact? One possibility I would like to propose is that the United States has entered not so much a postrace era, but something perhaps even more startling: a postwhite era, by which I mean white politicians can no longer afford to underestimate...

Part 3 Remapping the Transpacific Turn: From the Black Pacific and Oceanic Ecopoetics to Antipodean Transnationalisms

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7 The Manchurian Philosopher: W. E. B. Du Bois in the Eurasian Pacific

Etsuko Ta ketani

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pp. 169-212

There is perhaps no greater cinematic representation of the Cold War symbolism of Manchuria than The Manchurian Candidate (1962), a political science fiction film based on the 1959 best-selling novel of the same name by Richard Condon and starring Frank Sinatra. What this Cold War film represents, among other things...

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8 Toward an Ecopoetics of Oceania: Worlding the Asia-Pacific Region as Space-Time Ecumence

Rob Wilson

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pp. 213-236

This essay aims to invoke the emerging Pacific regional category and the global and local vision of an ocean commons called Oceania to open the American Pacific region—and American Studies—up to stronger modes of translocal solidarity, ecological alliance, and world belonging. At the core will be the projection of an environmental ecopoetics, here articulated via thinking with and beyond the Pacific and...

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9 Antipodean Transnationalism: The Empire Lies Athwart

Paul Giles

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pp. 237-258

While definitions of “transnationalism” remain contested, one relatively common thread among the various conceptual approaches involves an interrogation of the idea of universalism, the idea of there being only one true center of gravity. This involves a skepticism, as Naoki Sakai puts it, about Jürgen Habermas’s equation in The Theory of Communicative Action of the “claim to...

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10 Transpacific Studies and the Cultures of US Imperialism

John Carlos Rowe

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pp. 259-276

We have entered a new stage of scholarship of what was previously designated as “the Pacific Rim,” even though the precise boundaries of the region remain as contested as ever. In my view, this new stage can be characterized as predominantly postcolonial, in which interests revolve around efforts by formerly colonized states to achieve cultural, economic, and political sovereignty in their relation to the Pacific...

Part 4 Decolonizing Knowledge Production for the Pacific Century

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11 Geopolitics of Knowing/Understanding and American Studies: A Decolonial Argument or View from the Global South

Walter D. Mignolo

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pp. 279-310

In my presentation at the symposium on American Studies as Transnational Practice (quoted in the epigraph above), I intended to play devil’s advocate. Properly speaking, I am not an expert in American studies, although I have some knowledge of the historical foundation of the Americas much before the United States of America was founded and its history since. I suppose I was invited to participate in...

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12 Industries of Memory: The Vietnam War in Art

Viet Thanh Nguyen

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pp. 311-339

For many Americans, the war in Viê.t Nam is more than just an object in the rearview mirror of the fabled American automobile, aimed always toward progress and intent on leaving behind a past that is closer than it appears. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have compelled Americans to look in the mirror, checking to see whether that object is a ghost from a horror movie of their own making or something...

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13 Chinamerica: Global Affairs and Planetary Consciousness

Alfred Hornung

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pp. 340-364

In this essay I will focus on the evolution of intercultural relations between China and America since the second half of the nineteenth century. Against the background of major political developments, I will trace the history of cultural interactions at three decisive moments, which correspond to three major movements in literature and the arts of the twentieth century: modernism, postmodernism, and neorealism...

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14 Negociating the Technological Empire: Cosmopolitics, Colonial Modernity, and Early Chinese American Autobiographical Writing

Yuan Shu

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pp. 365-388

Since Asian American studies witnessed a paradigm shift from the domestic to the transnational in the mid-1990s,1 the critical reconfiguration of the field has represented the transnational as a space of liberation and cultivation of ethnic identities from multiple locations and with diverse contacts. As the new critical interest extends to earlier periods, more attention has been focused on early...

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Acknowledgements

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pp. 389-390

This volume is derived from the 2010 Texas Tech University symposium “American Studies as Transnational Practice,” which I organized as the director of the Comparative Literature Program. Bringing leading and rising scholars in American studies—Donald E. Pease, Eva Cherniavsky, and Hsuan Hsu—into a critical dialogue with the leading scholar in Latin American studies and...

Contributors

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pp. 391-394

Index

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pp. 395-408