National Stereotypes in Perspective

Americans in France, Frenchmen in America


Volume Editor: William L. Chew III
Since the late 18th century, when they first entered into an alliance during the American Revolution, the French and Americans have had a long and sometimes stormy relationship based on a complex mix of mutual admiration, cultural criticism, and sometimes downright disgust for the “other.” The relatively new interdisciplinary field of imagology, or image studies, allows us to place the dynamics of such a relationship into perspective by grounding its analysis firmly in the study of national stereotypes, in the process providing new insights into the mentality of the observer. For if anything, image studies demonstrate again and again that national character is not–as assumed uncritically for centuries–an innate essence of the “other”, but rather a self-serving functional construct of the observer.

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”…an accessible, engaging, and stimulating collection…” in: MLR, 97.4, 2002, pp. 987-988
William L. CHEW III: ‘Literature, History, and the Social Sciences?’ An Historical-Imagological Approach to Franco-American Stereotypes
The Revolutionary Legacy of Two Sister Republics
Doina P. HARSANYI: The Burdens of a Moderate Revolutionary Land: The Duc de Liancourt’s Exile in America, 1794-1797
Sarah J. PURCELL: Lafayette, Memory, and American Democracy
Tracy N. LEAVELLE: The Osage in Europe: Romanticism, the Vanishing Indian, and French Civilization During the Restoration
Nineteenth Century Societies in Perspective: Justice, Gender and Race
Carlo COLATRELLA: The American Experiment in Criminal Justice and its European Observers
Louis KERN: ‘Slavery recedes but the Prejudice to Which it Has Given Birth is Immovable’: Beaumont and Tocqueville Confront Racism and Slavery in Ante-Bellum America and Orléanist France
Dominique A. LAURENT: The American Civil War in the French Press
Jeannene PRZYBLYSKI: Visions of Race and Nation at the Paris Exposition, 1900: A French Context for the American Negro Exhibit
Bess BEATTY: Outside the Narrow Circle: American Women in France in the Nineteenth Century
Twentieth Century Societies in Perspective: Culture, Gender and Race
Jennifer D. KEENE: French and American Racial Stereotypes during the First World War
William KEYLOR: The Messiah and the Tiger: Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, and the Cultural Stereotypes of America and France at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919
Barbara ZABEL: The Expatriates of the Machine-Age: Josephine Baker and Alexander Calder in Paris
Seth ARMUS: George Bernamos, Emmanuel Mounier, and French Catholic Anti-Americanism
Patrick G. GERSTER: The French Connection: Raoul de Roussy de Sales and the ‘Problem’ of Love in America
Stephen HARP: Advocating Americanization? Michelin in Interwar France
Isabelle GOURNAY: Romance, Prejudice and Levitt’s Americanization of the Middle Class House in France
Notes on the Contributors