We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Imaginary and Its Worlds

American Studies after the Transnational Turn

Laura Bieger

Publication Year: 2013

The Imaginary and Its Worlds collects essays that boldly rethink the imaginary as a key concept for cultural criticism. Addressing both the emergence and the reproduction of the social, the imaginary is ideally suited to chart the consequences of the transnational turn in American studies. Leading scholars in the field from the United States and Europe address the literary, social, and political dimensions of the imaginary, providing a methodological and theoretical groundwork for American studies scholarship in the transnational era and opening new arenas for conceptualizing formations of imaginary belonging and subjectivity. This important state-of-the-field collection will appeal to a broad constituency of humanists working to overcome methodological nationalism.

The Imaginary and Its Worlds: An Introduction * LITERARY IMAGINARIES * Imagining Cultures: The Transnational Imaginary in Postrace America - Ramon Saldivar * The Necessary Fragmentation of the (U.S.) Literary-Cultural Imaginary - Lawrence Buell * Imaginaries of American Modernism - Heinz Ickstadt * SOCIAL IMAGINARIES * William James versus Charles Taylor: Philosophy of Religion and the Confines of the Social and Cultural Imaginaries - Herwig Friedl * The Shaping of We-Group Identities in the African American Community: A Perspective of Figurational Sociology on the Cultural Imaginary - Christa Buschendorf * Russia's Californio Romance: The Other Shores of Whitman's Pacific - Lene Johannessen * Form Games: Staging Life in the Systems Epoch - Mark Seltzer * POLITICAL IMAGINARIES * Real Toads - Walter Benn Michaels * Obama Unwound: The Romanticism of Victory and the Defeat of Compromise - Christopher Newfield * Barack Obama's Orphic Mysteries - Donald E. Pease * Coda. The Imaginary and the Second Narrative: Reading as Transfer - Winfried Fluck * Contributors * Index

Published by: Dartmouth College Press

Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (142.1 KB)
pp. 1-3

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (28.7 KB)
pp. 4-5

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.3 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more

The Imaginary and Its Worlds: An Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (87.7 KB)
pp. vii-xxviii

This collection of essays is dedicated to conceptualizing the imaginary as a critical tool for the study of American literature and culture after the “transnational turn.” Without a doubt, the “transnational turn” (a term coined by Shelley Fisher Fishkin) is here, and here to stay: the field of “transnational American studies” ...

Part I: Literary Imaginaries

read more

1 | Imagining Cultures: The Transnational Imaginary in Postrace America

pdf iconDownload PDF (91.1 KB)
pp. 3-22

In this essay I address the matter of the “cultural imaginary” and of the significant contributions to our understanding of it in the work of Winfried Fluck in two contexts: in relation to the question of literary form and in relation to history. Doing so also allows me explain the reasons for what I take to be a radical turn in twenty-first-century fiction ...

read more

2 | The Necessary Fragmentation of the (U.S.) Literary-Cultural Imaginary

pdf iconDownload PDF (85.8 KB)
pp. 23-41

Insofar as the idea—or myth—of distinctive national cultures still maintains any credible explanatory power, to what extent does it reinforce a view of (U.S.) national literary history as distinctive and/or coherent? That is the basic question with which this essay wrestles. I argue that although the explanatory power is not trivial, ...

read more

3 | Imaginaries of American Modernism

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.6 KB)
pp. 42-64

In American literary and cultural history, “modernism” has been considered a phenomenon of uncertain status—even after it was academically institutionalized by the New Criticism of the 1950s. On the one hand, it had long been considered a provincial extension of European developments, since even its leading protagonists— ...

Part II: Social Imaginaries

read more

4 | William James versus Charles Taylor: Philosophy of Religion and the Confines of the Social and Cultural Imaginaries

pdf iconDownload PDF (81.9 KB)
pp. 67-83

Nietzsche’s diagnosis of the modern existential condition as a continuous loss of the once cosmic centrality of human existence appears to be accompanied by a complementary and opposing tendency of growing anthropocentrism and sociocentrism. The anthropocentric reductionism in the nineteenth-century interpretation of religious phenomena ...

read more

5 | The Shaping of We-Group Identities in the African American Community: A Perspective of Figurational Sociology on the Cultural Imaginary

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.0 KB)
pp. 84-106

Benedict Anderson’s concept of the nation as “imagined community” is based on an understanding of the relation of society and individual which has been very common in Western thinking since the Renaissance. As the sociologist Norbert Elias explains in his study The Society of Individuals, we have come to refer ...

read more

6 | Russia’s Californio Romance: The Other Shores of Whitman’s Pacific

pdf iconDownload PDF (89.2 KB)
pp. 107-126

On the morning of March 28, 1806, an envoy of the Russian American Company, Nikolai Petrovitch Rezanov, decided to ignore the Spanish ban on trade with foreign ships and sailed right into the harbor of San Francisco. “Knowing the suspicious nature of the Spanish government,” he wrote, ...

read more

7 | Form Games: Staging Life in the Systems Epoch

pdf iconDownload PDF (166.7 KB)
pp. 127-174

A modern society comes to itself by staging its own conditions. A modern world is a self-conditioning and self-reporting one. If, prior to the nineteenth century, society could not describe itself, now it cannot stop describing itself. Or, as the great science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem neatly put it, “In the Eolithic age there were no seminars ...

Part III: Political Imaginaries

read more

8 | Real Toads

pdf iconDownload PDF (74.3 KB)
pp. 177-191

The real toads of my title are first and foremost the ones invented by Marianne Moore in her poem “Poetry,” living in “imaginary gardens” and, eventually, abandoned there by Moore when she cut the poem to three lines: “Poetry / I too dislike it / Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in it, after all, a place for the genuine” (Moore). ...

read more

9 | Obama Unwound: The Romanticism of Victory and the Defeat of Compromise

pdf iconDownload PDF (95.8 KB)
pp. 192-214

Barack Obama’s 2008 mandate was crushed by the midterm elections of 2010, in which his party lost control of the House of Representatives and of state legislatures and governorships all over the country. This reversal did not prevent his re-election in 2012, but he did not win decisively or broadly enough for a renewed mandate to be assumed. ...

read more

10 | Barack Obama’s Orphic Mysteries

pdf iconDownload PDF (93.1 KB)
pp. 215-236

This essay constitutes an effort to explain the state fantasy with which Barack Obama hegemonized an alternative to the biopolitical settlement normalizing George W. Bush’s global war on terror. In what follows, I argue that Obama has not displaced but presupposed Bush’s homeland state of exception ...

read more

Coda: The Imaginary and the Second Narrative: Reading as Transfer

pdf iconDownload PDF (113.4 KB)
pp. 237-264

One of the most puzzling aspects about literary criticism and literary scholarship is that critics and scholars never seem to be able to agree on the meaning and significance of a literary text. This strange phenomenon is by no means restricted to notoriously difficult, ambiguous, or enigmatic texts like Hamlet or The Turn of the Screw. ...

Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (42.4 KB)
pp. 265-268

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (42.0 KB)
pp. 269-272


E-ISBN-13: 9781611684063
E-ISBN-10: 1611684064
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611684186

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Re-Mapping the Transnational: A Dartmouth Series in American Studies

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • American literature -- History and criticism -- Congresses.
  • Transnationalism in literature -- Congresses.
  • Culture in literature -- Congresses.
  • Literature and transnationalism -- United States -- Congresses.
  • Transnationalism -- United States -- Congresses.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access