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Transnationalism in PracticeEssays on American Studies, Literature and Religion$
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Paul Giles

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640492

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640492.001.0001

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Reconstructing American Studies: Transnational Paradoxes, Comparative Perspectives

Reconstructing American Studies: Transnational Paradoxes, Comparative Perspectives

(p.19) Chapter 1 Reconstructing American Studies: Transnational Paradoxes, Comparative Perspectives
Transnationalism in Practice

Paul Giles

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the reconstruction of American studies in the context of transnational paradoxes and comparative perspectives. It mentions the views of several influential critics that while American Studies continues to be a popular subject in universities and colleges on both sides of the Atlantic, its methodological direction appears increasingly uncertain. The chapter suggests that comparativist scholars should dissociate rhetoric from ethos and the cultural sign from the freight of moral values lodged within it in order to make manifest textual qualities of the foreign landscape, and therefore the constructed and radically provisional nature of the American experience.

Keywords:   American studies, transnational paradoxes, comparative perspectives, methodological direction, rhetoric, ethos, cultural sign, moral values, American experience

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