As a discipline, American Studies has certainly been one of the most dynamic fields not only of research but also of teaching. This volume argues that one reason for this dynamism lies in the refusal of American Studies practitioners, both in the U.S. and around the globe, to separate life from art and criticism. Fields such as postmodernism, life writing, ethnic studies, or ecocriticism derive their potential precisely from the politicized interrelation of personal experience and critical practice. To acknowledge this potential, many scholars of American Studies explore the complex ways in which their own location may inform their work. It is from this tension between lived experience and the textualization of this experience that American Studies derives its greatest productivity. This volume sets out to trace some of these issues, highlighting the many ways in which American Studies scholars have been "living American Studies," extending their fields beyond the narrow boundaries of traditional academia.