American Studies in a Moment of Danger

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Overview

What becomes of "national knowledge" in our age of globalization? If dramatic changes in technology, commerce, and social relations are undermining familiar connections between culture and place, what happens to legacies of learning that put the nation at the center of the study of history, culture, language, politics, and geography? In short, what remains of American Studies? At a critical moment, this book offers a richly textured historical perspective on where our notions of national knowledge-and our sense of American Studies-have come from and where they may lead in a future of new ideas about culture and community.

The America that seems to be disappearing before our very eyes is, George Lipsitz argues, actually the cumulative creation of yesterday's struggles over identity, culture, and power. With examples from statistics and history, poster designs and music lyrics, Lipsitz shows how American Studies has been shaped by the social movements of the 1930s, 1960s, and 1980s. His analysis reveals the sedimented history of social movement contestation contained in contemporary popular music, visual art, and cinema.

Finally, Lipsitz identifies the ways in which the globalization of commerce and culture are producing radically new understandings of politics, performance, consumption, knowledge, and nostalgia; the changing realities present not so much a danger as a clear challenge to a still-evolving American Studies-a challenge that this book helps us to confront wisely, flexibly, and effectively.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816639496
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Critical American Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I American Studies and Social Movements
1 In the Midnight Hour: American Studies in a Moment of Danger 3
2 Sent for You Yesterday, Here You Come Today: Who Needs the Thirties? 31
3 Dancing in the Dark: Who Needs the Sixties? 57
4 Listening to Learn and Learning to Listen: Who Needs the Eighties? 83
Pt. II Race, Culture, and Collective Struggle
5 Like Crabs in a Barrel: Why Interethnic Anti-Racism Matters Now 117
6 The Lion and the Spider: Mapping Sexuality, Space, and Politics in Miami Music 139
7 Not Just Another Social Movement: Poster Art and the Movimiento Chicano 169
8 As Unmarked as Their Place in History: Genre Anxiety and Race in Seventies Cinema 185
Pt. III Facing Up to What's Killing You
9 "Facing Up to What's Killing You": Urban Art and the New Social Movements 213
10 In the Sweet Buy and Buy: Consumer Culture and American Studies 235
11 Taking Positions and the War of Position: The Politics of Academia 271
12 Don't Cry for Me, Ike and Tina: American Studies at the Crossroads 293
Notes 317
Permissions 353
Index 355
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