Politics and Cultures of Liberation: Media, Memory, and Projections of Democracy focuses on mapping, analyzing, and evaluating memories, rituals, and artistic responses to the theme of “liberation.” How is the national framed within a dynamic system of intercultural contact zones highlighting often competing agendas of remembrance? How does the production, (re)mediation, and framing of narratives within different social, territorial, and political environments determine the cultural memory of liberation? The articles compiled in this volume seek to provide new interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives on the politics and cultures of liberation by examining commemorative practices, artistic responses, and audio-visual media that lend themselves for transnational exploration. They offer a wide range of diverse intercultural perspectives on media, memory, liberation, (self)Americanization, and conceptualizations of democracy from the war years, through the Cold War era to the 21st century.
Frank Mehring is professor of American Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen. He teaches twentieth- and twenty-first-century visual culture and music, theories of popular culture, transnational modernism, and processes of cultural translation between European and American contexts. His publications include Sphere Melodies (2003) on Charles Ives and John Cage, Soundtrack van de Bevrijding (2015) and The Mexico Diary: Winold Reiss Between Vogue Mexico and the Harlem Renaissance (2016). In 2012, he received from the European Association for American Studies the biennial Rob Kroes Award, which recognizes the best book-length manuscript in Europe in American studies, for his monograph The Democratic Gap (2014). He organized the first international symposium on Winold Reiss in Berlin (2011) and co-curated exhibitions on Winold Reiss (2012), the Marshall Plan (2013), and Liberation Songs (2014) in New York, Nijmegen and The Hague.
Hans Bak is professor of American Literature and American Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where he directed the American Studies program from 1996-2008. He is the author of Malcolm Cowley: The Formative Years (U of Georgia P, 1993) and the editor of The Long Voyage: Selected Letters of Malcolm Cowley, 1915-1987 (Harvard UP, 2014); he is now writing a full-fledged biography of Cowley. His articles on 20th-century American and Canadian fiction, drama, biography, multiculturalism, and the discipline of American Studies, have appeared in leading European and American journals. He was President of the Netherlands American Studies Association (1990-2000) and the Association for Canadian Studies in the Netherlands (2000-2003), Treasurer of the European Association for American Studies (2000-2004), and served on the International Committee and the Committee on American Studies Departments, Programs and Centers of the American Studies Association.
Mathilde Roza is associate professor of American Literature and American Studies at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where she served as program director for several years. A Fulbright recipient, she engaged in extensive archival research in preparation for a critical biography of American lost generation writer Robert Coates entitled Following Strangers: The Life and Works of Robert M. Coates (South Carolina University Press, 2011). In addition to American modernism and the international avant-garde, her research focuses on processes of identity formation, cultural diversity, contemporary North American ethnic and indigenous writing, and the interplay between culture and politics.
Contributors are: Hans Bak, Birgit Bauridl, Jorrit van den Berk, Jory Brentjens, Eric Christenson, Linda Christenson, Wolfgang Hochbruck, Wiel Lenders, Walter van de Leur, Doug E. McCabe, Frank Mehring, László Munteán, Josef Raab, Marja Roholl, Joost Rosendaal, Mathilde Roza, Eric Sandeen, Léon Stapper,
Notes on ContributorsIntroduction: Politics and Cultures of LiberationPart 1 The Politics and Cultures of Liberation: Marketing, Memory and MediationAn Invasion of a Different Kind: The U.S. Office of War Information and “The Projection of America” Propaganda in the Netherlands, 1944–1945Marja RohollEducating the Nation: Jo Spier, Dutch National Identity, and the Marshall Plan in the NetherlandsMathilde RozaFrom Memory Repression to Memorialization: The Bombardments of Nijmegen 1944 and Mortsel 1943Joost RosendaalPlaying in the Ruins of Arnhem: Reenacting Operation Market Garden in Theirs Is the GloryLászló Munteán“Can Anybody Fly This Thing?” Appropriations of History in Reenactments of Operation Market GardenWolfgang HochbruckOn the Road to Nijmegen—Earle Birney and Alex Colville, 1944–1945Hans BakPart 2 The Soundtrack of LiberationLiberation Songs: Music and the Cultural Memory of the Dutch Summer of 1945Frank MehringThe Reception and Development of Jazz in the Netherlands (1945–1970s)Walter van de LeurSounds of Freedom, Cosmopolitan Democracy, and Shifting Cultural Politics: From “The Jazz Ambassador Tours” to “The Rhythm Road”Wilfried RaussertPart 3 Transnational Re-LocationsMarching Towards Kullman’s Diner: Performing Transnational American Sites (of Memory) in BavariaBirgit M. BauridlThe Promise of Democracy for the Americas: U.S. Diplomacy and the Meaning(s) of World War II in El Salvador, 1941–1945Jorrit van den BerkLiberation and Lingering Trauma: U.S. Present and Haitian Past in Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew BreakerJosef RaabThe Japanese American Relocation Center at Heart Mountain and the Construction of the Post-World War II LandscapeEric J. SandeenPart 4 Transnational Perspectives from the ArchivesThe Cornelius Ryan Collection of World War II PapersDoug McCabe“Quality First!” American Aid to the Nijmegen University Library, 1945–1949Léon StapperThe Marshall Plan: “A Short Time to Change the World”Linda Christenson and Eric ChristensonThe Liberation Route Europe: Challenges of Exhibiting Multinational PerspectivesJory Brentjens and Wiel Lenders
This book is crucial for scholars and students of transnational studies, media studies, literature, history, and cultural studies who are interested in socio-cultural and political constructions of Europe and “America.”