American Quarterly

American Quarterly
Volume 55, Number 2, June 2003


Articles

    Banet-Weiser, Sarah, 1966-
  • Elián González and "The Purpose of America": Nation, Family, and the Child-Citizen
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    Subject Headings:
    • Elián González, 1993- -- In mass media.
    • Mass media and publicity -- United States.
    • Refugee children -- Cuba.
    • United States -- Emigration and immigration -- Government policy.
    Abstract:
      The preoccupation of the North American media with the story of Elian Gonzalez in late 1999 and early 2000 was unprecedented, even given a historical obsession with sensationalism and scandal. The plight of this "innocent" child, perfectly represented in the telegenic Elian Gonzalez, was a continual theme in the media coverage that relentlessly covered every move that was made in the negotiations between US and Cuba. This essay explores the cultural impact of the media story of Elian Gonzalez, focusing on the contradictory media discourses that shape dominant understandings of national identity, ethnicity, and immigration for American media audiences. The story of Elian demonstrates not only how mediated images of the family work to fuse individuals and communities with the nation/state and its project, but also how spectacularized media events speak to deep fears and anxieties about personal identity.
    Gold, Roberta S.
  • The Black Jews of Harlem: Representation, Identity, and Race, 1920-1939
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    Subject Headings:
    • African American Jews -- Race identity -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 20th century.
    • Jews -- New York (State) -- New York -- Identity -- History -- 20th century.
    • Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- Race relations -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      This article examines journalism on Harlem's Black Jews in Ashkenazic and African American newspapers in the interwar years. While Jewish reporters approached Black Jews incredulously and enquired about their true origins, black papers described them in matter-of-fact tones. These disparate journalistic attitudes reflected the two communities' different understandings of the connection between "black" and "Jew." They also stemmed from the unequal opportunities facing the groups during a period of transformation in American ethnoracial classifications. Jews, on the cusp of "becoming white" in mainstream eyes, sought to distinguish themselves from black people, while blacks, confined to the base of the racial hierarchy, received the sects with racial solidarity.
    Heinze, Andrew R.
  • Schizophrenia Americana: Aliens, Alienists, and the "Personality Shift" of Twentieth-Century Culture
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    Subject Headings:
    • Personality and culture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • National characteristics, American -- History -- 20th century.
    • Acculturation -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      Challenging the validity of the influential "Susman thesis" about the rise of a consumption-based cult of personality in early twentieth-century America, this essay argues that the new emphasis on personality should be understood within the context of immigration, ethnicity and race rather than consumption. The "personality shift" derived from critical changes in American psychological thought that coincided with equally critical attempts to interpret personal and national identity in an era of mass immigration and ethnic relocation. The change in popular understandings of personality centered on the dilemma of dissociation and integration in regard to both the individual and the nation.

Exhibition Review

    Brody, David Eric.
  • The Building of a Label: The New American Folk Art Museum
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    Subject Headings:
    • American Folk Art Museum. Building of a label: the new American Folk Art Museum [exhibition]
    • Folk art -- United States -- Exhibitions.

Book Reviews

    Melnick, Jeffrey Paul.
  • Fighting to Become Jews
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    Subject Headings:
    • Staub, Michael E. Torn at the roots: the crisis of Jewish liberalism in postwar America.
    • Jews -- United States -- Politics and government -- 20th century.
    Gennari, John.
  • Truth and Beauty in the Rust Belt
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rotella, Carlo, 1964- Good with their hands: boxers, bluesmen, and other characters from the Rust Belt.
    • United States -- Social life and customs -- 1971-
    Hsu, Hsuan L.
  • Worlding the Archive
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    Subject Headings:
    • Harvey, Bruce A. American geographics: U.S. national narratives and the representation of the non-European world, 1830-1865.
    • American prose literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
    Dinerstein, Joel, 1958-
  • Music, Memory, and Cultural Identity in the Jazz Age
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schneider, Mark R. (Mark Robert), 1948- "We return fighting": the civil rights movement in the Jazz Age.
    • Anderson, Paul Allen. Deep river: music and memory in Harlem Renaissance thought.
    • Daniels, Douglas Henry. Lester leaps in: the life and times of Lester "Pres" Young.
    • African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.
    • African Americans -- New York (State) -- New York -- Music -- History and criticism.
    Mercier, Laurie.
  • Remembering and Redefining Deindustrialized Youngstown
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    Subject Headings:
    • Linkon, Sherry Lee, 1959- Steeltown U.S.A.: work and memory in Youngstown.
    • Russo, John, 1946-
    • Youngstown (Ohio) -- History.
    Nerad, Julie Cary.
  • Race(y) Words and Pictures: Depicting and Demarcating "Natural" Preference
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lemire, Elise Virginia. "Miscegenation": making race in America.
    • American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.



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