How Far is America From Here?

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

Theo D’HAEN, Paul GILES, Djelal KADIR, and Lois PARKINSON ZAMORA (Eds.) Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2005, 636 pp.

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.

Table of Contents

American Studies from an International American Studies Perspective

Djelal KADIR: Defending America against Its Devotees
Amy KAPLAN: The Tenacious Grasp of American Exceptionalism: A Response to Djelal Kadir
Kousar J. AZAM: Resisting Terror, Resisting Empire: The Evolving Ethos of American Studies
Werner SOLLORS: How far from America is America?

International, Transnational, Hemispheric America

Janice L. REIFF: Through the Fun House Mirror: The Fulbright Teaching Experience in Germany
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: American Morality in (Post-)Modern Times
Mary KUPIEC CAYTON: “In All People I See Myself”: The New American Spirituality and the Paradoxes of Cultural Pluralism

Comparative Perspectives, Literary Counterpoints

Jerry A. VARSAVA: The End of History? Contemporary World Fiction and the Testing of American Ideologemes
Amaryll CHANADY: Excentric Positionalities: Mimicry and Changing Constructions of the Centre in the Americas
Amporn SRISERMBHOK: Approaches to Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman
Helena CARVALHÃO BUESCU: How Far is Modernity From Here? Brazil, Portugal: Two Novels in Portuguese
Tatsushi NARITA: How Far is T.S. Eliot From Here?: The Young Poet’s Imagined World of Polynesian Matahiva
Cecilia ENJUTO RANGEL: Cities in Ruins: The Recuperation of the Baroque in T.S. Eliot and Octavio Paz
Gönül PULTAR: An “American Venture”: Self-Representation and Self-Orientalization in Turkish-American Selma Ekrem’s Unveiled
Pedro GARCÍA-CARO: Damnosa Hereditas: Sorting the National Will in Fuentes’ La Muerte de Artemio Cruz, and Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49
Rodney STEPHENS: American Culture Meets Post-Colonial Insight: Visions of the United States in Salman Rushdie’s Fury

American Identities

Silvia NAVIA MÉNDEZ-BONITO: Juan de Velasco’s (S.J.) Natural History: Differentiating the Kingdom of Quito
Jerry M. WILLIAMS: Creole Identity in Eighteenth-Century Peru: Race and Ethnicity
Albena BAKRATCHEVA: Locating the American Voice: Space Relation as Self-Identification in Henry David Thoreau’s Vision
Carmen BIRKLE: Home away from Home: The Construction of Germany and America in Elsie Singmaster’s The Lèse-Majesté of Hans Heckendorn (1905)
Irene ARTIGAS ALBARELLI: The In-between Space: Ekphrasis and Translation in the Poems “Objetos y apariciones,” by Octavio Paz and “Objects & Apparitions,” by Elizabeth Bishop
Corina ANGHEL: Reconfiguring Female Characters of the American West: Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping
Helen M. DENNIS: Homing In? – The Critical/creative Transformation of a Genre
Joshua L. MILLER: Multilingual Narrative and the Refusal of Translation: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee and R. Zamora Linmark’s Rolling the R’s
Kirsten TWELBECK: Ty Pak: Korean American Literature as “Guilt Payment”
Gavin James CAMPBELL: “Buried Alive in the Blues”: Janis Joplin and the Souls of White Folk
Helen McCLURE: How Far is the Canadian Border from America? A Case Study in Racial Profiling

Space and Place in American Studies

Sheila HONES, Julia LEYDA and Khadija FRITSCH-El ALAOUI: Space and Place in Geography and American Studies
Anders OLSSON: Innocents Abroad? The U.S. and the World in National Geographic
Cinzia SCHIAVINI: “Is it down on any map?” Space Symbols and American Ideology in Melville’s Typee
Rosario FARAUDO: Willa Cather’s Deep Southwest
Dorothea LÖBBERMANN: The Transitional in the American Cities: Introduction
Camilla FOJAS: Schizopolis: Border Cinema and the Global City (of Angels)
Marina PETERSON: All the World’s in L.A.: Public Concerts in the Global City
Markku SALMELA: New York City as America: Examples from Auster and DeLillo
Dorothea LÖBBERMANN: Transient Figures in New York: Tourists and Street People

This event has ended