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Building the Outposts of Empire
American servicemen and -women are currently stationed in more than 140 countries from Central America to Western Europe to the Middle East, often living and working on military bases that not only dominate foreign territories but also re-create familiar space that “feels like home”—gated communities filled with rambling subdivisions, franchised restaurants, and lush golf courses.
In America Town, Mark Gillem reveals modern military outposts as key symbols of not just American power but also consumer consumption. Through case studies of several U.S. military facilities—including Aviano Air Base in Italy, Osan and Kunsan Air Bases in South Korea, and Kadena Air Base in Japan—Gillem exposes these military installations as exports of the American Dream, as suburban culture replicated in the form of vast green lawns, three-car garages, and big-box stores. With passion and eloquence he questions the impact of this practice on the rest of the world, exposing the arrogance of U.S. consumption of foreign land.
Gillem contends that current U.S. military policy for its overseas troops practices avoidance—relocating military bases to isolated but well-appointed compounds designed to prevent contact with the residents. He probes the policy directives behind base building that reproduce widely spaced, abundantly paved, and extensively manicured American suburbs, regardless of the host nation’s terrain and culture or the impact on local communities living under empire’s wings.
Throughout America Town, Gillem demonstrates how the excesses of American culture are strikingly evident in the way that the U.S. military builds its outposts. The defense of the United States, he concludes, has led to the massive imposition of tract homes and strip malls on the world—creating mini-Americas that inhibit cultural understanding between U.S. troops and our allies abroad.
Mark L. Gillem is assistant professor of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Oregon. He is also a licensed architect, a certified planner, and a former active-duty U.S. Air Force officer.
American-Australian Relations was first published in 1947. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This new study fills a wide gap in the story of American-Australian relations and is a timely addition to the literature in this field. There has been no comprehensive treatment of the topic before, and it will be of interest to those seeking information that the thorough documentation includes wide use of reports of the American consuls in Australia, and material from Australian parliamentary debates and Australian and American newspapers.
Australia has emerged from the war as an important world power that demands a prominent role in the south and southwest Pacific. At the same time the United States has become more and more deeply involved in Far Eastern affairs. The book gives the background of the development and shows the gradual enlargement of spheres of mutual interest between the two countries, both political and economic, from the end of the eighteenth century down to the problems presented by postwar developments in the Pacific.
Emphasis is placed on the economic and political ambitions of the two countries, and on their resulting agreements and disagreements both in their direct relations and in their relations with the whole Far Eastern region. Dr. Levi points out that the new importance of the Pacific resulting from World War II has proved to both nations their mutual dependence, but at the same time has increased their national interest in ever-widening and overlapping spheres in the Pacific area.
How Documents Matter in Immigrant Literacy
American by Paper reveals how two groups of immigrants who share a primary language nevertheless have very different experiences of literacy in the United States. It describes the social realities facing documented and undocumented immigrants who use everyday acts of writing to negotiate papers—the visas, green cards, and passports that promise access to the American Dream. It is both an ethnography, filled with illuminating details about contemporary immigrant lives, and a critical intervention into two leading—and conflicting—scholarly ideas of literacy and its social role.
Although popular thinking and scholarship have viewed literacy as a method of culturally assimilating immigrants into the nation, Kate Vieira finds that upward mobility and social inclusion in the United States are tied to literacy in complex ways. She draws from extensive interviews with Portuguese-speaking migrants who live and work together in a former mill town in Massachusetts that she calls South Mills: one group from the Azores, who are usually documented, and another from Brazil, who are usually undocumented. She explains how these migrants experience literacy not as a vehicle for assimilation (as educational policy makers often assert) nor as a means of resisting oppression (as literacy scholars often hope) but instead as tied up in papers, particularly in the papers that confer legal status. Papers and literacy are inextricably bound together, both promoting and constraining opportunities, and they shape why and how migrants read and write.
Vieira builds on insights from literacy theories that have long been in opposition to each other in order to develop a new sociomaterial theory of literacy, one that takes into account its inseparable link to paper, forms, and documentation. This point of view leads to a deeper understanding of how literacy actually accrues meaning by circulating, and recirculating, through institutions and the lives of individuals.
The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman
Race, Queer Anatomy, and the Science of Nationalism
A Strategy for Grounded Inquiry
American Historical Explanations was first published in 1980. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In this new edition of American Historical Explanations,Gene Wise expands his examination of historical thinking to include the latest work in American Studies, the new social history, ethnography, and psychohistory. Wise asserts that historians address their subjects through an intervening set of assumptions, or what he calls "explanation forms," similar to the philosophical paradigms that Thomas Kuhn has found in scientific inquiry. Through analysis of historical-cultural texts (including the work of V. L. Parrington, Lionel Trilling, and Perry Miller) he defines the forms used by several groups of American historians and traces the process by which an old form breaks down and is replaced by a new set of assumptions. Throughout, he aims to study the process of change in the history of ideas. His conclusions extend beyond historiography and will be useful for those interested in literature, social sciences, and the arts.
University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers
American Humorists - American Writers 42 was first published in 1964. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.