The future of American studies requires scholars to know the work we want our work to do; to frame our scholarly relations not as competition but as accompaniment; to insist that we infuse our ideas and activism with moral judgment and wisdom; to clarify the significance of different aspects of our scholarly lives; to acknowledge that our work speaks for us but also for others; and to recognize the dialogic and dialectically related nature of our views of American society. The success of American studies depends not only on what scholars know but also on how we go about knowing.