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The contributors to this volume argue that for too long, inclusiveness has substituted for methodology in American studies scholarship. The ten original essays collected here call for a robust comparativism that is attuned theoretically to questions of both space and time.
States of Emergency asks readers to engage in a thought experiment: imagine that you have an object you want to study. Which methodologies will contextualize and explain your selection? What political goals are embedded in your inquiry? This thought experiment is taken up by contributors who consider an array of objects - the weather, cigarettes, archival material, AIDS, the enemy, extinct species, and torture. The essayists recalibrate the metrics of time and space usually used to measure these questions. In the process, each contributes to a project that redefines the object of American studies, reading its history as well as its future across, against, even outside the established grain of interdisciplinary practice.
The contributors are Srinivas Aravamudan, Ian Baucom, Chris Castiglia, Russ Castronovo, Wai Chee Dimock, Nan Enstad, Susan Gillman, Rodrigo Lazo, Robert S. Levine, Anne Mc Clintock, and Kenneth Warren.
Introduction The Study of the American Problems Russ Castronovo Castronovo, Russ Susan Gillman Gillman, Susan 1
Rogue States and Emergent Disciplines Srinivas Aravamudan Aravamudan, Srinivas 17
Migrant Archives: New Routes in and out of American Studies Rodrigo Lazo Lazo, Rodrigo 36
Toxicity and the Consuming Subject Nan Enstad Enstad, Nan 55
Past Burning: The (Post-) Traumatic Memories of (Post-) Queer Theory Christopher Castiglia Castiglia, Christopher 69
Paranoid Empire: Specters from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib Anne McClintock McClintock, Anne 88
Taking the Measure of the Black Atlantic Kenneth W. Warren Warren, Kenneth W. 116
Cicero's Ghost: The Atlantic, the Enemy, and the Laws of War Ian Baucom Baucom, Ian 124
World History according to Katrina Wai Chee Dimock Dimock, Wai Chee 143
American Studies in an Age of Extinction Robert S. Levine Levine, Robert S. 161