How Far is America From Here?

Selected Proceedings of the First World Congress of the International American Studies Association 22-24 May 2003


How Far is America From Here? approaches American nations and cultures from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It is very much at the heart of this comparative agenda that “America” be considered as a hemispheric and global matter. It discusses American identities relationally, whether the relations under discussion operate within the borders of the United States, throughout the Americas, and/or worldwide. The various articles here gathered interrogate the very notion of “America”: which, whose America, when, why now, how? What is meant by “far”—distance, discursive formations, ideals and ideologies, foundational narratives, political conformities, aberrations, inconsistencies? Where is here—positionality, geographies, spatial compressions, hegemonic and subaltern loci, disciplinary formations, reflexes and reflexivities? These questions are addressed with regard to the multiple Americas within the USA and the bi-continental western hemisphere, as part of and beyond inter-American cultural relations, ethnicities across the national and cultural plurality of America, mutual constructions of North and South, borderlands, issues of migration and diaspora. The larger contexts of globalization and America’s role within this process are also discussed, alongside issues of geographical exploration, capital expansion, integration, transculturalism, transnationalism and global flows, pre-Columbian and contemporary Native American cultures, the Atlantic slave trade, the environmental crisis, U.S. literature in relation to Canadian or Latin American literature, religious conflict both within the Americas and between the Americas and the rest of the world, with such issues as American Zionism, American exceptionalism, and the discourse of/on terror and terrorism.

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AMERICAN STUDIES FROM AN INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN STUDIES PERSPECTIVE Djelal KADIR: Defending America against Its Devotees Amy KAPLAN: The Tenacious Grasp of American Exceptionalism Kousar J. AZAM: Resisting Terror, Resisting Empire Werner SOLLORS: How far from America is America? INTERNATIONAL, TRANSNATIONAL, HEMISPHERIC AMERICA Janice L. REIFF: Through the Fun House Mirror J.P. BRITS: American Diplomats in South Africa and the Emergence of Apartheid, 1948-1953 Allison BLAKELY: The Quest for Cultural Identity in the African Diaspora in the Americas and Europe in the Early Twentieth Century Roland WALTER: Notes on Border(land)s and Transculturation in the ‘Damp and Hungry Interstices’ of the Americas Justin READ: Antropofagismo and the ‘Cannibal Logic’ of Hemispheric American Studies AMERICAN SOCIAL, ETHICAL, AND RELIGIOUS MENTALITIES Kathleen HANEY: Is Truth Defunct? Bernd KLÄHN: True Ethics Mary KUPIEC CAYTON: ‘In All People I See Myself’ COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES, LITERARY COUNTERPOINTS Jerry A. VARSAVA: The End of History? Amaryll CHANADY: Excentric Positionalities Amporn SRISERMBHOK: Approaches to Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman Helena CARVALHÃO BUESCU: How Far is Modernity From Here? Tatsushi NARITA: How Far is T.S. Eliot From Here? Cecilia ENJUTO RANGEL: Cities in Ruins Gönül PULTAR: An ‘American Venture’ Pedro GARCÍA-CARO: Damnosa Hereditas Rodney STEPHENS: American Culture Meets Post-Colonial Insight AMERICAN IDENTITIES Silvia NAVIA MÉNDEZ-BONITO: Juan de Velasco’s (S.J.) Natural History Jerry M. WILLIAMS: Creole Identity in Eighteenth-Century Peru Albena BAKRATCHEVA: Locating the American Voice Carmen BIRKLE: Home away from Home Irene ARTIGAS ALBARELLI: The In-between Space Corina ANGHEL: Reconfiguring Female Characters of the American West Helen M. DENNIS: Homing In? Joshua L. MILLER: Multilingual Narrative and the Refusal of Translation Kirsten TWELBECK: Ty Pak: Korean American Literature as ‘Guilt Payment’ Gavin James CAMPBELL: ‘Buried Alive in the Blues’ Helen McCLURE: How Far is the Canadian Border from America? SPACE AND PLACE IN AMERICAN STUDIES Sheila HONES, Julia LEYDA & Khadija FRITSCH-El ALAOUI: Space and Place in Geography and American Studies Anders OLSSON: Innocents Abroad? Cinzia SCHIAVINI: ‘Is it down on any map?’ Rosario FARAUDO: Willa Cather’s Deep Southwest Dorothea LÖBBERMANN: The Transitional in the American Cities Camilla FOJAS: Schizopolis: Border Cinema and the Global City (of Angels) Marina PETERSON: All the World’s in L.A. Markku SALMELA: New York City as America Dorothea LÖBBERMANN: Transient Figures in New York Notes on Contributors