The Asian American Century
Warren I. Cohen Harvard University Press, 2002 Library of Congress E169.12.C546 2002 | Dewey Decimal 303.4827305
Warren Cohen reviews the role of the United States in East Asia over the past century, making a convincing case for American influence in Asia as generally positive. He illustrates specific ways in which American culture has affected Asians, from forms of government to entertainment, and offers valuable insights into the nature of cultural exchange. Americanization was most successful when Asians freely adopted cultural elements, while efforts to impose values generally failed, notably in the Philippines. And in a fascinating and eye-opening assessment of the "Asianization" of America, Cohen observes that Asian influences in food, film, music, medicine, and religion are now woven deeply--and permanently--into the American fabric. Indeed, Asians are changing American identity itself: by mid-century, approximately one in ten Americans will boast Asian ancestry.
In this lively look at the cultural bonds that continue to shape the relationship between East Asians and Americans, Cohen invites us to ponder the past and envision the future as the "American century" gives way to one with a decidedly more Asian focus.
From every quarter we hear of a new global culture, postcolonial, hybrid, announcing the death of nationalism, the arrival of cosmopolitanism. But under the drumbeat attending this trend, Timothy Brennan detects another, altogether different sound. Polemical, passionate, certain to provoke, his book exposes the drama being played out under the guise of globalism. A bracing critique of the critical self-indulgence that calls itself cosmopolitanism, it also takes note of the many countervailing forces acting against globalism in its facile, homogenizing sense.
The developments Brennan traces occur in many places--editorial pages, policy journals, corporate training manuals, and, primarily, in the arts. His subject takes him from George Orwell to Julia Kristeva, from Subcommandante Marcos to Julio Cortázar, from Ernst Bloch to contemporary apologists for transnational capitalism and "liberation management," from "third world" writing to the Nobel Prize, with little of critical theory or cultural studies left untouched in between. Brennan gives extended treatment to two exemplary figures: the Trinidadian writer C. L. R. James, whose work suggests an alternative approach to cultural studies; and the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, whose appreciation of Cuban popular music cuts through the usual distinctions between mass and elite culture.
A critical call to arms, At Home in the World summons intellectuals and scholars to reinvigorate critical cultural studies. In stripping the false and heedless from the new cosmopolitanism, Brennan revitalizes the idea.
For many black Americans, the prominence and success of black Cubans in early efforts for independence and abolition highlighted a sense of racial identity and pride, while after U.S. intervention the suppression of Afro-Cuban aspirations created a strong interest among African-Americans concerning Cuban affairs. This collection, edited by a black Cuban and a black American, traces the relations between Cubans and African-Americans from the abolitionist era to the Cuban Revolution of 1959.
The eleven essays gathered here, written by scholars from both countries, heighten our appreciation of African-Americans as international actors and challenge the notion that Cubans had little or no race consciousness. This is the first study of the world capitalist system to track the international consciousness of working peoples, peoples of color, and women. With a focus on two sets of peoples not in state power, Between Race and Empire expands our understanding of "history from below," and reflects current trends in PanAfricanist and African Diaspora studies by tracing a little-studied linkage between two peoples of African descent.
Throughout its history, the nation that is now called the United States has been inextricably entwined with the nation now called Mexico. Indeed, their indigenous peoples interacted long before borders of any kind were established. Today, though, the border between the two nations is so prominent that it is front-page news in both countries.
Douglas Monroy, a noted Mexican American historian, has for many years pondered the historical and cultural intertwinings of the two nations. Here, in beautifully crafted essays, he reflects on some of the many ways in which the citizens of the two countries have misunderstood each other.
Putting himself— and his own quest for understanding—directly into his work, he contemplates the missions of California; the differences between “liberal” and “traditional” societies; the meanings of words like Mexican, Chicano, and Latino; and even the significance of avocados and bathing suits. In thought-provoking chapters, he considers why Native Americans didn’t embrace Catholicism, why NAFTA isn’t working the way it was supposed to, and why Mexicans and their neighbors to the north tell themselves different versions of the same historical events.
In his own thoughtful way, Monroy is an explorer. Rather than trying to conquer new lands, however, his goal is to gain new insights. He wants to comprehend two cultures that are bound to each other without fully recognizing their bonds. Along with Monroy, readers will discover that borders, when we stop and really think about it, are drawn more deeply in our minds than on any maps.
When it comes to the production and distribution of mass culture, no country in modern times has come close to rivaling the success of America. From blue jeans in central Europe to Elvis Presley's face on a Republic of Chad postage stamp, the reach of American mass culture extends into every corner of the globe. Most believe this is a twentieth-century phenomenon, but here Robert W. Rydell and Rob Kroes prove that its roots are far deeper.
Buffalo Bill in Bologna reveals that the process of globalizing American mass culture began as early as the mid-nineteenth century. In fact, by the end of World War I, the United States already boasted an advanced network of culture industries that served to promote American values. Rydell and Kroes narrate how the circuses, amusement parks, vaudeville, mail-order catalogs, dime novels, and movies developed after the Civil War—tools central to hastening the reconstruction of the country—actually doubled as agents of American cultural diplomacy abroad. As symbols of America's version of the "good life," cultural products became a primary means for people around the world, especially in Europe, to reimagine both America and themselves in the context of America's growing global sphere of influence. Paying special attention to the role of the world's fairs, the exporting of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show to Europe, the release of The Birth of a Nation, and Woodrow Wilson's creation of the Committee on Public Information, Rydell and Kroes offer an absorbing tour through America's cultural expansion at the turn of the century. Buffalo Bill in Bologna is thus a tour de force that recasts what has been popularly understood about this period of American and global history.
The creation of a new school system in the Philippines in 1898 and educational reforms in occupied Japan, both with stated goals of democratization, speaks to a singular vision of America as savior, following its politics of violence with benevolent recuperation. The pedagogy of recovery—in which schooling was central and natives were forced to accept empire through education—might have shown how Americans could be good occupiers, but it also created projects of Orientalist racial management: Filipinos had to be educated and civilized, while the Japanese had to be reeducated and “de-civilized.”
In Campaigns of Knowledge, Malini Schueller contrapuntally reads state-sanctioned proclamations, educational agendas, and school textbooks alongside political cartoons, novels, short stories, and films to demonstrate how the U.S. tutelary project was rerouted, appropriated, reinterpreted, and resisted. In doing so, she highlights how schooling was conceived as a process of subjectification, creating particular modes of thought, behaviors, aspirations, and desires that would render the natives docile subjects amenable to American-style colonialism in the Philippines and occupation in Japan.
For Europeans looking across the Atlantic, American culture is often the site of desire, fascination, and envy. In Britain, the rich culture of the American South has made a particularly strong impact. Helen Taylor explores the ways in which contemporary Southern culture has been enthusiastically produced and reproduced in a British context.
Taylor examines some of the South's most significant cultural exports in discussions that range across literature, music, film, television, theater, advertising, and tourism to focus on how and why Southern themes and icons have become so deeply embedded in British cultural life. The enduring legacy of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind can be seen today in the popularity of sequels, revisions, and reworkings of the novel. The conversation between these cultures is further explored in British responses to Alex Haley's Roots, the British theater's special affection for Tennessee Williams's plays, and the marketing of New Orleans as a preferred destination for European tourists. The transformation of Southern culture--itself a hybrid of the European, African, and American--as it circulates back across the Atlantic suggests not only new views of the history, racial politics, music and art of both Britain and the American South, but also an enhanced understanding of the dynamic flow of culture itself.
New concerns with the intersections of culture and power, historical agency, and the complexity of social and political life are producing new questions about the United States’ involvement with Latin America. Turning away from political-economic models that see only domination and resistance, exploiters and victims, the contributors to this pathbreaking collection suggest alternate ways of understanding the role that U.S. actors and agencies have played in the region during the postcolonial period.
Exploring a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century encounters in Latin America, these theoretically engaged essays by distinguished U.S. and Latin American historians and anthropologists illuminate a wide range of subjects. From the Rockefeller Foundation’s public health initiatives in Central America to the visual regimes of film, art, and advertisements; these essays grapple with new ways of conceptualizing public and private spheres of empire. As such, Close Encounters of Empire initiates a dialogue between postcolonial studies and the long-standing scholarship on colonialism and imperialism in the Americas as it rethinks the cultural dimensions of nationalism and development.
To continue doing business in Germany after Hitler's ascent to power, Hollywood studios agreed not to make films that attacked the Nazis or condemned Germany's persecution of Jews. Ben Urwand reveals this bargain for the first time—a "collaboration" (Zusammenarbeit) that drew in a cast of characters ranging from notorious German political leaders such as Goebbels to Hollywood icons such as Louis B. Mayer.
At the center of Urwand's story is Hitler himself, who was obsessed with movies and recognized their power to shape public opinion. In December 1930, his Party rioted against the Berlin screening of All Quiet on the Western Front, which led to a chain of unfortunate events and decisions. Fearful of losing access to the German market, all of the Hollywood studios started making concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, the studios—many of which were headed by Jews—began dealing with his representatives directly.
Urwand shows that the arrangement remained in place through the 1930s, as Hollywood studios met regularly with the German consul in Los Angeles and changed or canceled movies according to his wishes. Paramount and Fox invested profits made from the German market in German newsreels, while MGM financed the production of German armaments. Painstakingly marshaling previously unexamined archival evidence, The Collaboration raises the curtain on a hidden episode in Hollywood—and American—history.
Philippine cinema, the dream factory of the former U.S. colony, teems with American figures and plots. Local movies feature GIs seeking Filipina brides, cold war spies hunting down native warlords, and American-born Filipinos wandering in the parental homeland. The American landscape furnishes the settings for the triumphs and tragedies of Filipino nurses, GI babies, and migrant workers.
By tracking American fantasies in Philippine movies from the postindependence period to the present, José B. Capino offers an innovative account of cinema's cultural work in decolonization and globalization. Capino examines how a third world nation's daydreams both articulate empire and mobilize against it, provide imaginary maps and fables of identity for its migrant workers and diasporan subjects, pose challenges to the alibis of patriarchy and nationalism, and open up paths for participating in the cultures of globality.
Through close readings of more than twenty Philippine movies, Capino demonstrates the postcolonial imagination's vital role in generating pragmatic and utopian visions of living with empire. Illuminating an important but understudied cinema, he creates a model for understanding the U.S. image in the third world.
What does "America" mean to French intellectuals? Is it a postmodern ideal situated beyond history and metaphysics? A source of spiritual decadence that threatens the European tradition? Or is it "Extrême-Occident," the Far
Western site that gives historical reality to the utopias of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment?
Jean-Philippe Mathy offers the first systematic examination of French texts that address the question of America. He shows how prominent French intellectuals have represented America as myth and metaphor, covering the entire ideological spectrum from Maurras to Duhamel, and from Sartre to Aron. The texts themselves range from novels and poems to travel narratives and philosophical essays by Claudel, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Kristeva, and many others.
Mathy deftly situates these discourses on America against the background of French intellectual and political history since 1789. The judgments on American culture that originate in France, he contends, are also statements about France itself. Widespread condemnation of American
materialism and pragmatism cuts across deep ideological and political divides in France, primarily because French intellectuals still operate within a framework of critical and aesthetic models born in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and elaborated in the age of French classicism.
Mathy engages issues central to interpreting the American experience, such as the current controversies over multiculturalism and Eurocentrism. Although Mathy deals mainly with French authors, he does not limit himself to them. Rather, he uses a comparative, cross-cultural approach that also takes in accounts of America by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Junger, Gramsci, and other Europeans, as well as American self-interpretations from Emerson and Dewey to Cornel West and Christopher Lasch.
Because debates on American modernity have played a crucial intellectual role in France, Extrême-Occident is a major contribution to modern French cultural
history. It will be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the main currents of twentieth-century French thought.
When rock star Bono told Oprah Winfrey that America is an ideal that is supposed to be contagious, the talk show host was moved to tears. Such an imagined America, rather than the nation-state USA, is the topic of Fabricating the Absolute Fake. Pop and politics become intertwined, as Hollywood, television, and celebrities spread the American Dream around the world. Using concepts such as the absolute fake and karaoke Americanism, the book examines this global mediation as well as the way America is appropriated in pop culture produced outside of the USA, as demonstrated by such diverse cultural icons as the Elvis-inspired crooner Lee Towers and the Moroccan-Dutch rapper Ali B. This revised and extended edition includes a new chapter on Barack Obama and Michael Jackson as global celebrities and a new afterword on teaching American pop culture.
From the pageantry of Oprah Winfrey’s daytime talk show to the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola empire, American “pop” culture—and the contemporary films, television programs, and cultural objects that determine it—dominates the rest of the world through its hegemonic presence. Does that make everyone a hybridized American or do these elements find mediation within the other cultures that consume them? Fabricating the Absolute Fake applies elements of postmodern theory—Jean Baudrillard’s hyperreality and Umberto Eco’s “absolute fake”, among others—to this globally mediated American pop culture in order to examine both the phenomenon itself and its specific appropriation in the Netherlands, as evidenced by diverse cultural icons like the Elvis-inspired crooner Lee Towers, the Moroccan-Dutch white rapper Ali B, musical tributes to an assassinated politician, and the Dutch reality soap opera scene.
A fascinating exploration of how global cultures struggle to create their own “America” within a post–September 11 media culture, Fabricating the Absolute Fake reflects on what it might mean to truly take part in American popular culture.
“A brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable work of cultural critique. . . . Jaap Kooijman takes seemingly exhausted concepts like “Americanization” and turns them on their head.”—Anne McCarthy, New York University
German Pop Culture sheds new light on the "Americanization" of German culture during the latter part of the 20th century, with special emphasis on post-Unification literature, music, and film. America and its iconography have been instrumental in defining German political and aesthetic culture, especially since World War II, and most recently in the aftermath of September 11.
Surrounding this indisputable phenomena, questions of the role and place of a "popular" German culture continue to trigger heated debate. Embraced by some as a welcome means to break out of the German monocultural mind-set, American-shaped "pop" culture is rejected by others as "polluting" established values, leveling necessary differentiation, and ultimately being driven by a capitalist consumer society rather than by moral or aesthetic standards.
This collaborative volume addresses a number of intriguing questions: What do Germans envisage when they speak of the "Americanization" of their literature and music? How do artists respond to today's media culture? What does this mean for the current political dimension of German-American relations? Can one speak meaningfully of an "Americanized" German culture? In addressing these and other questions, this work fills a gap in existing scholarship by investigating German popular culture from a multidisciplinary, international perspective.
Contributors to this volume:
Winfried Fluck, Gerd Gemünden, Lutz Koepnick, Barbara Kosta, Sara Lennox, Thomas Meinecke, Uta Poiger, Matthias Politycki, Thomas Saunders, Eckhard Schumacher, Marc Silberman, Frank Trommler, Sabine von Dirke
This daring collaborative effort showcases dialogues between international scholars engaged with the United States from abroad. The writers investigate the analytic methods and choices that label certain talk, images, behaviors, and allusions as "American" and how to read the data on such material. The editors present the essays in pairs that overlap in theme or region. Each author subsequently comments on the other's work. A third scholar or team of scholars from a different discipline or geographic location then provides another level of analysis. Contributors: Andrzej Antoszek, Sophia Balakian, Zsófia Bán, Sabine Bröck, Ian Condry, Kate Delaney, Jane C. Desmond, Virginia R. Dominguez, Ira Dworkin, Richard Ellis, Guillermo Ibarra, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Giorgio Mariani, Ana Mauad, Loes Nas, Edward Schatz, Manar Shorbagy, Kristin Solli, Amy Spellacy, and Michael Titlestad.
Hegemony tells the story of the drive to create consumer capitalism abroad through political pressure and the promise of goods for mass consumption. In contrast to the recent literature on America as empire, it explains that the primary goal of the foreign and economic policies of the United States is a world which increasingly reflects the American way of doing business, not the formation or management of an empire. Contextualizing both the Iraq war and recent plant closings in the U.S., noted author John Agnew shows how American hegemony has created a world in which power is no longer only shaped territorially. He argues in a sobering conclusion that we are consequently entering a new era of global power, one in which the world the US has made no longer works to its singular advantage.
American popular culture is everywhere. All over the world, kids wear Levis, radios blare rap songs, television stations broadcast American programs, and Hollywood movies draw huge audiences. Does this massive "Americanization" of the globe represent some sinister form of cultural imperialism? Alternatively, do audiences and consumers in the importing countries accept American movies, music, and television programs because they match local trends and desires? Do receiving communities transform these products to fit their own needs, to the point where they are no longer "American" but in fact have become indigenous? And who is in charge of all of this, anyway? Is it Wall Street, Madison Avenue, the Pentagon, the CIA, or Hollywood? Is it, at least partly, local economic and political elites in the receiving countries? Or is it simply "the people," nationalities be damned? These are the questions at the heart of the essays collected in "Here, There and Everywhere." Essays by 23 authors from 14 countries cover topics from Japan to Spain, Nigeria to Russia, and from West Germany to East Germany (a distance that seemed to be further than travelling to the moon, yet was covered by rock 'n' roll most easily, despite the wall). In five sections, they examine the historical background, the impact of Hollywood, the power of American popular music from jazz to rock 'n' roll and rap, and the popularity of as well as resistance to American popular culture in particular countries.
The Dutch scholar Rob Kroes argues that American culture is "modular,"
continually fragmenting, disassembling, and reassembling itself--and in
the process creating something new. In a series of topical essays that
show why he is one of Europe's leading authorities on American culture,
Kroes probes trends in American advertising, the image of the Vietnam
war in American films, the implications of American vernacular culture as represented in rap music, and other topics.
The influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States throughout the years has impacted our culture, labor force, and economy. Often these individuals are blamed for the perceived ills they bring to this country. Yet few people ever consider the profound influence that the United States has on Mexico.
In this first book to view modern Mexico in the era of NAFTA and globalization, In the Shadow of the Giant offers insight into the land on our southern border.
What we find is a nation that looks more like the United States than even Mexicans themselves could have imagined a decade ago: Rates of obesity are second only to the United States among the world's industrialized countries. Recreational drug use is soaring among young Mexicans, Citigroup owns the largest bank in Mexico Wal-Mart is the country's biggest private employer revealing a vastly different physical and cultural landscape from his days as a young journalist living in Mexico in the mid-1980s. Joseph Contreras tracks the relentless and ongoing Americanization of his ancestral home. Although these changes may seem a natural part of globalization, the country had long prided itself on the social, political, economic, and even spiritual differences that distinguished it from the United States. In addition to embracing our virtues and vices, Contreras argues that our southern neighbor has become a de facto economic colony of the United States.
At a time when immigration looms as a leading hot-button issue in American politics, the time is ripe for examining our influences, for better or worse, on our neighbor to the south.
Behind the ancient artifacts exhibited in our museums lies a secret past—of travel, desire, the quest for knowledge, and even theft. Such is the case with the objects of Mesoamerican culture so avidly collected, cataloged, and displayed by the British in the nineteenth century. Informal Empire recaptures the history of those artifacts from Mexico and Central America that stirred Victorian interest—a history that reveals how such objects and the cultures they embodied were incorporated into British museum collections, panoramas, freak shows, adventure novels, and records of imperial administrators.
Robert D. Aguirre draws on a wealth of previously untapped historical information to show how the British colonial experience in Africa and the Near East gave rise to an “informal imperialism” in Mexico and Central America. Aguirre’s work helps us to understand what motivated the British to beg, borrow, buy, and steal from peripheral cultures they did not govern. With its original insights, Informal Empire points to a new way of thinking about British imperialism and, more generally, about the styles and forms of imperialism itself.
In spring of 1960, Japan’s government passed Anpo, a revision of the postwar treaty that allows the United States to maintain a military presence in Japan. This move triggered the largest popular backlash in the nation’s modern history. These protests, Nick Kapur argues in Japan at theCrossroads, changed the evolution of Japan’s politics and culture, along with its global role.
The yearlong protests of 1960 reached a climax in June, when thousands of activists stormed Japan’s National Legislature, precipitating a battle with police and yakuza thugs. Hundreds were injured and a young woman was killed. With the nation’s cohesion at stake, the Japanese government acted quickly to quell tensions and limit the recurrence of violent demonstrations. A visit by President Eisenhower was canceled and the Japanese prime minister resigned. But the rupture had long-lasting consequences that went far beyond politics and diplomacy. Kapur traces the currents of reaction and revolution that propelled Japanese democracy, labor relations, social movements, the arts, and literature in complex, often contradictory directions. His analysis helps resolve Japan’s essential paradox as a nation that is both innovative and regressive, flexible and resistant, wildly imaginative yet simultaneously wedded to tradition.
As Kapur makes clear, the rest of the world cannot understand contemporary Japan and the distinct impression it has made on global politics, economics, and culture without appreciating the critical role of the “revolutionless” revolution of 1960—turbulent events that released long-buried liberal tensions while bolstering Japan’s conservative status quo.
No nation was more deeply affected by America’s rise to world power than Japan. President Franklin Roosevelt’s uncompromising policy of unconditional surrender led to the catastrophic finale of the Asia-Pacific War and the most intrusive international reconstruction of another nation in modern history. Japan in the American Century examines how Japan, with its deeply conservative heritage, responded to the imposition of a new liberal order.
The price Japan paid to end the occupation was a cold war alliance with the United States that ensured America’s dominance in the region. Still traumatized by its wartime experience, Japan developed a grand strategy of dependence on U.S. security guarantees so that the nation could concentrate on economic growth. Yet from the start, despite American expectations, Japan reworked the American reforms to fit its own circumstances and cultural preferences, fashioning distinctively Japanese variations on capitalism, democracy, and social institutions.
Today, with the postwar world order in retreat, Japan is undergoing a sea change in its foreign policy, returning to an activist, independent role in global politics not seen since 1945. Distilling a lifetime of work on Japan and the United States, Kenneth Pyle offers a thoughtful history of the two nations’ relationship at a time when the character of that alliance is changing. Japan has begun to pull free from the constraints established after World War II, with repercussions for its relations with the United States and its role in Asian geopolitics.
The Jazz Republic examines jazz music and the jazz artists who shaped Germany’s exposure to this African American art form from 1919 through 1933. Jonathan O. Wipplinger explores the history of jazz in Germany as well as the roles that music, race (especially Blackness), and America played in German culture and follows the debate over jazz through the fourteen years of Germany’s first democracy. He explores visiting jazz musicians including the African American Sam Wooding and the white American Paul Whiteman and how their performances were received by German critics and artists. The Jazz Republic also engages with the meaning of jazz in debates over changing gender norms and jazz’s status between paradigms of high and low culture. By looking at German translations of Langston Hughes’s poetry, as well as Theodor W. Adorno’s controversial rejection of jazz in light of racial persecution, Wipplinger examines how jazz came to be part of German cultural production more broadly in both the US and Germany, in the early 1930s.
Using a wide array of sources from newspapers, modernist and popular journals, as well as items from the music press, this work intervenes in the debate over the German encounter with jazz by arguing that the music was no mere “symbol” of Weimar’s modernism and modernity. Rather than reflecting intra-German and/or European debates, it suggests that jazz and its practitioners, African American, white American, Afro-European, German and otherwise, shaped Weimar culture in a central way.
Winner of the John Phillip Reed Book Award, American Society for Legal History
A legal historian opens a window on the monumental postwar effort to remake fascist Germany and Japan into liberal rule-of-law nations, shedding new light on the limits of America’s ability to impose democracy on defeated countries.
Following victory in WWII, American leaders devised an extraordinarily bold policy for the occupations of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan: to achieve their permanent demilitarization by compelled democratization. A quintessentially American feature of this policy was the replacement of fascist legal orders with liberal rule-of-law regimes.
In his comparative investigation of these epic reform projects, noted legal historian R. W. Kostal shows that Americans found it easier to initiate the reconstruction of foreign legal orders than to complete the process. While American agencies made significant inroads in the elimination of fascist public law in Germany and Japan, they were markedly less successful in generating allegiance to liberal legal ideas and institutions.
Drawing on rich archival sources, Kostal probes how legal-reconstructive successes were impeded by German and Japanese resistance on one side, and by the glaring deficiencies of American theory, planning, and administration on the other. Kostal argues that the manifest failings of America’s own rule-of-law democracy weakened US credibility and resolve in bringing liberal democracy to occupied Germany and Japan.
In Laying Down the Law, Kostal tells a dramatic story of the United States as an ambiguous force for moral authority in the Cold War international system, making a major contribution to American and global history of the rule of law.
Do democratic states bring about greater social and economic equality among their citizens? Modern India embraced universal suffrage from the moment it was free of British imperial rule in 1947—a historical rarity in the West—and yet Indian citizens are far from realizing equality today. The United States, the first British colony to gain independence, continues to struggle with intolerance and the consequences of growing inequality in the twenty-first century.
From Boston Brahmins to Mohandas Gandhi, from Hollywood to Bollywood, Nico Slate traces the continuous transmission of democratic ideas between two former colonies of the British Empire. Gandhian nonviolence lay at the heart of the American civil rights movement. Key Indian freedom fighters sharpened their political thought while studying and working in the United States. And the Indian American community fought its own battle for civil rights.
Spanning three centuries and two continents, Lord Cornwallis Is Dead offers a new look at the struggle for freedom that linked two nations. While the United States remains the world’s most powerful democracy, India—the world’s most populous democracy—is growing in wealth and influence. Together, the United States and India will play a predominant role in shaping the future of democracy.
The film star is not simply an actor but a historical phenomenon that derives from the production of an actor's attractiveness, the circulation of his or her name and likeness, and the support of media consumers. This book analyzes the establishment and transformation of the transnational film star system and the formations of historically important film stars--Japanese and non-Japanese--and casts new light on Japanese modernity as it unfolded between the 1910s and 1930s.
Hideaki Fujiki illustrates how film stardom and the star system emerged and evolved, touching on such facets as the production, representation, circulation, and reception of performers' images in films and other media. Examining several individual performers--particularly benshi narrators, Onoe Matsunosuke, Tachibana Teijiro, Kurishima Sumiko, Clara Bow, and Natsukawa Shizue--as well as certain aspects of different star systems that bolstered individual stardom, this study foregrounds the associations of contradictory, multivalent social factors that constituted modernity in Japan, such as industrialization, capitalism, colonialism, nationalism, and consumerism. Through its nuanced treatment of the production and consumption of film stars, this book shows that modernity is not a simple concept, but an intricate, contested, and paradoxical nexus of diverse social elements emerging in their historical contexts.
Best known for his sharp wit and his portrayals of life along the banks of the Mississippi River, Mark Twain is indeed an American icon, and many scholars have examined how he and his work are perceived in the United States. In Mark Twain in Japan, however, Tsuyoshi Ishihara explores how Twain’s uniquely American work is viewed in a completely different culture.
Mark Twain in Japan addresses three principal areas. First, the author considers Japanese translations of Twain’s books, which have been overlooked by scholars but which have had a significant impact on the formation of the public image of Twain and his works in Japan. Second, he discusses the ways in which traditional and contemporary Japanese culture have transformed Twain’s originals and shaped Japanese adaptations. Finally, he uses the example of Twain in Japan as a vehicle to delve into the complexity of American cultural influences on other countries, challenging the simplistic one-way model of “cultural imperialism.” Ishihara builds on the recent work of other researchers who have examined such models of American cultural imperialism and found them wanting. The reality is that other countries sometimes show their autonomy by transforming, distorting, and rejecting aspects of American culture, and Ishihara explains how this is no less true in the case of Twain.
Featuring a wealth of information on how the Japanese have regarded Twain over time, this book offers both a history lesson on Japanese-American relations and a thorough analysis of the “Japanization” of Mark Twain, as Ishihara adds his voice to the growing international chorus of scholars who emphasize the global localization of American culture. While the book will naturally be of interest to Twain scholars, it also will appeal to other groups, particularly those interested in popular culture, Japanese culture, juvenile literature, film, animation, and globalization of American culture.
An ethnohistory detailing the lives of fifteen generations in a Basque-speaking community in Spain and the result of their diverse contacts with the New World. The Basques’ remarkable role in the establishment and exploitation of Spain’s American empire is well known, but until now the impact of these achievements on the Basque Country itself has received little attention. In this pioneering study, Juan Javier Pescador meticulously examines three centuries of social and economic change in the Oiartzun Valley of Gipuzkoa, a typical Basque peasant community altered by its contacts with the New World.
As it seeks to win the hearts and minds of citizens in the Muslim world, the United States has poured millions of dollars into local television and radio programming, hoping to generate pro-American currents on Middle Eastern airwaves. However, as this fascinating new book shows, the Middle Eastern media producers who rely on these funds are hardly puppets on an American string, but instead contribute their own political and creative agendas while working within U.S. restrictions.
The Other Air Force gives readers a unique inside look at television and radio production in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, from the isolated villages of the Afghan Panjshir Valley to the congested streets of Ramallah. Communications scholar Matt Sienkiewicz explores how the U.S. takes a “soft-psy” approach to its media efforts combining “soft” methods of encouraging entertainment programming, such as adaptations of The Voice and The Apprentice with more militaristic “psy-ops” approaches to information control. Drawing from years of field research and interviews with everyone from millionaire executives to underpaid but ever resourceful cameramen, Sienkiewicz considers the perspectives of the Afghan and Palestinian media workers trying to forge viable broadcasting businesses without straying outside American-set boundaries for acceptable content.
As it carefully examines the interplay of U.S. military and economic might with the capacity for local ingenuity and resistance, the book also analyzes the intriguingly complex programming that emerges from this tension. Combining eyewitness reportage with cutting-edge scholarship, The Other Air Force reveals the remarkable creative output that can emerge even from the world’s tensest conflict zones.
While Gertrude Stein hosted the literati of the Left Bank, Mrs. Bates-Batcheller, an American socialite and concert singer in Paris, held sumptuous receptions for the Daughters of the American Revolution in her suburban villa. History may remember the American artists, writers, and musicians of the Left Bank best, but the reality is that there were many more American businessmen, socialites, manufacturers’ representatives, and lawyers living on the other side of the River Seine. Be they newly minted American countesses married to foreigners with impressive titles or American soldiers who had settled in France after World War I with their French wives, they provide a new view of the notion of expatriates.
Nancy L. Green thus introduces us for the first time to a long-forgotten part of the American overseas population—predecessors to today’s expats—while exploring the politics of citizenship and the business relationships, love lives, and wealth (and poverty for some) of Americans who staked their claim to the City of Light. The Other Americans in Paris shows that elite migration is a part of migration tout court and that debates over “Americanization” have deep roots in the twentieth century.
Playing in the Shadows considers the literature engendered by postwar Japanese authors’ robust cultural exchanges with African Americans and African American literature. The Allied Occupation brought an influx of African American soldiers and culture to Japan, which catalyzed the writing of black characters into postwar Japanese literature. This same influx fostered the creation of organizations such as the Kokujin kenkyū no kai (The Japanese Association for Negro Studies) and literary endeavors such as the Kokujin bungaku zenshū (The Complete Anthology of Black Literature). This rich milieu sparked Japanese authors’—Nakagami Kenji and Ōe Kenzaburō are two notable examples—interest in reading, interpreting, critiquing, and, ultimately, incorporating the tropes and techniques of African American literature and jazz performance into their own literary works. Such incorporation leads to literary works that are “black” not by virtue of their representations of black characters, but due to their investment in the possibility of technically and intertextually black Japanese literature. Will Bridges argues that these “fictions of race” provide visions of the way that postwar Japanese authors reimagine the ascription of race to bodies—be they bodies of literature, the body politic, or the human body itself.
Perhaps no one would be more shocked at the steady rise of his literary reputation—on a truly global scale—Than Edgar Allan Poe himself. Poe's literary reputation has climbed steadily since his death in 1849.
In Poe Abroad, Lois Vines has brought together a collection of essays that document the American writer's influence on the diverse literatures—and writers—of the world. Over twenty scholars demonstrate how and why Poe has significantly influenced many of the major literary figures of the last 150 years.
Part One includes studies of Poe's popularity among general readers, his influence on literary movements, and his reputation as a poet, fiction writer, and literary critic. Part Two presents analyses of the role Poe played in the literary development of specific writers representing many different cultures.
Poe Abroad commemorates the 150th anniversary of Poe's death and celebrates his worldwide impact, beginning with the first literal translation of Poe into a foreign language, “The Gold-Bug”into French in 1845. Charles Baudelaire translated another Poe tale in 1848 and four years later wrote an essay that would make Poe a well-known author in Europe even before he achieved recognition in America.
Poe died knowing only that some of his stories had been translated into French. He probably never would have imagined that his work would be admired and imitated as far away as Japan, China, and India or would have a lasting influence on writers such as Baudelaire, August Strindberg, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Tanizaki Junichiro.
As we approach the sesquicentennial of his death, Poe Abroad brings together a timely one-volume assessment of Poe's influence throughout the world.
Edited by C. Richard King University of Illinois Press, 2000 Library of Congress E169.12.P647 2000 | Dewey Decimal 973.92
Scholars from a wide array of disciplines describe and debate postcolonialism as it applies to America in this authoritative and timely collection. Investigating topics such as law and public policy, immigration and tourism, narratives and discourses, race relations, and virtual communities, Postcolonial America clarifies and challenges prevailing conceptualizations of postcolonialism and accepted understandings of American culture.
Advancing multiple, even conflicted visions of postcolonial America, this important volume interrogates postcolonial theory and traces the emergence and significance of postcolonial practices and precepts in the United States. Contributors discuss how the unique status of the United States as the colony that became a superpower has shaped its sense of itself. They assess the global networks of inequality that have displaced neocolonial systems of conquest, exploitation, and occupation. They also examine how individuals and groups use music, the Internet, and other media to reconfigure, reinvent, and resist postcoloniality in American culture.
Candidly facing the inherent contradictions of "the American experience," this collection demonstrates the patterns, connections, and histories characteristic of postcoloniality in America and initiates important discussions about how these conditions might be changed.
Between 1890 and 1924, more than two million Jewish immigrants landed on America's shores. The story of their integration into American society, as they traversed the difficult path between assimilation and retention of a unique cultural identity, is recorded in many works by American Hebrew writers. Red, Black, and Jew illuminates a unique and often overlooked aspect of these literary achievements, charting the ways in which the Native American and African American creative cultures served as a model for works produced within the minority Jewish community.
Exploring the paradox of Hebrew literature in the United States, in which separateness, and engagement and acculturation, are equally strong impulses, Stephen Katz presents voluminous examples of a process that could ultimately be considered Americanization. Key components of this process, Katz argues, were poems and works of prose fiction written in a way that evoked Native American forms or African American folk songs and hymns. Such Hebrew writings presented America as a unified society that could assimilate all foreign cultures. At no other time in the history of Jews in diaspora have Hebrew writers considered the fate of other minorities to such a degree. Katz also explores the impact of the creation of the state of Israel on this process, a transformation that led to ambivalence in American Hebrew literature as writers were given a choice between two worlds.
Reexamining long-neglected writers across a wide spectrum, Red, Black, and Jew celebrates an important chapter in the history of Hebrew belles lettres.
In 1996 over 16 million people visited Tokyo Disneyland, making it the most popular of the many theme parks in Japan. Since it opened in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland has been analyzed mainly as an example of the globalization of the American leisure industry and its organizational culture, particularly the "company manual." By looking at how Tokyo Disneyland is experienced by employees, management, and visitors, Aviad Raz shows that it is much more an example of successful importation, adaptation, and domestication and that it has succeeded precisely because it has become Japanese even while marketing itself as foreign. Rather than being an agent of Americanization, Tokyo Disneyland is a simulated "America" showcased by and for the Japanese. It is an "America" with a Japanese meaning.
Following completion of the U.S. air base in Natal, Brazil, in 1942, U.S. airmen departing for North Africa during World War II communicated with Brazilian mechanics with a thumbs-up before starting their engines. This sign soon replaced the Brazilian tradition of touching the earlobe to indicate agreement, friendship, and all that was positive and good—yet another indication of the Americanization of Brazil under way during this period.
In this translation of O Imperialismo Sedutor, Antonio Pedro Tota considers both the Good Neighbor Policy and broader cultural influences to argue against simplistic theories of U.S. cultural imperialism and exploitation. He shows that Brazilians actively interpreted, negotiated, and reconfigured U.S. culture in a process of cultural recombination. The market, he argues, was far more important in determining the nature of this cultural exchange than state-directed propaganda efforts because Brazil already was primed to adopt and disseminate American culture within the framework of its own rapidly expanding market for mass culture. By examining the motives and strategies behind rising U.S. influence and its relationship to a simultaneous process of cultural and political centralization in Brazil, Tota shows that these processes were not contradictory, but rather mutually reinforcing.
The Seduction of Brazil brings greater sophistication to both Brazilian and American understanding of the forces at play during this period, and should appeal to historians as well as students of Latin America, culture, and communications.
Writing in Life magazine in February 1941, Henry Luce memorably announced the arrival of “The American Century.” The phrase caught on, as did the belief that America’s moment was at hand. Yet as Andrew J. Bacevich makes clear, that century has now ended, the victim of strategic miscalculation, military misadventures, and economic decline. To take stock of the short American Century and place it in historical perspective, Bacevich has assembled a richly provocative range of perspectives.
What did this age of reputed American preeminence signify? What caused its premature demise? What legacy remains in its wake? Distinguished historians Jeffry Frieden, Akira Iriye, David Kennedy, Walter LaFeber, Jackson Lears, Eugene McCarraher, Emily Rosenberg, and Nikhil Pal Singh offer illuminating answers to these questions. Achievement and failure, wisdom and folly, calculation and confusion all make their appearance in essays that touch on topics as varied as internationalism and empire, race and religion, consumerism and globalization.
As the United States grapples with protracted wars, daunting economic uncertainty, and pressing questions about exactly what role it should play in a rapidly changing world, understanding where the nation has been and how it got where it is today is critical. What did the forging of the American Century—with its considerable achievements but also its ample disappointments and missed opportunities—ultimately yield? That is the question this important volume answers.
There is some connexion
(I like the way the English spell it
They’re so clever about some things
Probably smarter generally than we are
Although there is supposed to be something
We have that they don’'t—'don’t ask me
What it is. . . .)
—John Ashbery, “Tenth Symphony”
Something We Have That They Don’t presents a variety of essays on the relationship between British and American poetry since 1925. The essays collected here all explore some aspect of the rich and complex history of Anglo-American poetic relations of the last seventy years. Since the dawn of Modernism poets either side of the Atlantic have frequently inspired each other’s developments, from Frost’s galvanizing advice to Edward Thomas to rearrange his prose as verse, to Eliot’s and Auden’s enormous influence on the poetry of their adopted nations (“whichever Auden is,” Eliot once replied when asked if he were a British or an American poet, “I suppose, I must be the other”); from the impact of Charles Olson and other Black Mountain poets on J. H. Prynne and the Cambridge School, to the widespread influence of Frank O'Hara and Robert Lowell on a diverse range of contemporary British poets. Clark and Ford’s study aims to chart some of the currents of these ever-shifting relations. Poets discussed in these essays include John Ashbery, W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, T. S. Eliot, Mark Ford, Robert Graves, Thom Gunn, Lee Harwood, Geoffrey Hill, Michael Hofmann, Susan Howe, Robert Lowell, and W. B. Yeats.
“Poetry and sovereignty,” Philip Larkin remarked in an interview of 1982, “are very primitive things”: these essays consider the ways in which even seemingly very “unprimitive” poetries can be seen as reflecting and engaging with issues of national sovereignty and self-interest, and in the process they pose a series of fascinating questions about the national narratives that currently dominate definitions of the British and American poetic traditions.
This innovative and exciting new collection will be of great interest to students and scholars of British and American poetry and comparative literature.
Winner of the 2021 Gourmand Awards, Asian Section & Culinary History Section
Filipino cuisine is a delicious fusion of foreign influences, adopted and transformed into its own unique flavor. But to the Americans who came to colonize the islands in the 1890s, it was considered inferior and lacking in nutrition. Changing the food of the Philippines was part of a war on culture led by Americans as they attempted to shape the islands into a reflection of their home country.
Taste of Control tells what happened when American colonizers began to influence what Filipinos ate, how they cooked, and how they perceived their national cuisine. Food historian René Alexander D. Orquiza, Jr. turns to a variety of rare archival sources to track these changing attitudes, including the letters written by American soldiers, the cosmopolitan menus prepared by Manila restaurants, and the textbooks used in local home economics classes. He also uncovers pockets of resistance to the colonial project, as Filipino cookbooks provided a defense of the nation’s traditional cuisine and culture.
Through the topic of food, Taste of Control explores how, despite lasting less than fifty years, the American colonial occupation of the Philippines left psychological scars that have not yet completely healed, leading many Filipinos to believe that their traditional cooking practices, crops, and tastes were inferior. We are what we eat, and this book reveals how food culture served as a battleground over Filipino identity.
The transatlantic crossing of people and goods shaped nineteenth-century poetry in surprising ways that cannot be fully understood through the study of separate national literary traditions. American and British poetic cultures were bound by fascination, envy, influence, rivalry, recognition, and piracy, as well as by mutual fantasies about and competition over the Caribbean.
Drawing on examples such as Felicia Hemans's elaboration of the foundational American myth of Plymouth Rock, Emma Lazarus's ambivalent welcome of Europe's cast-off populations, black abolitionist Mary Webb's European performances of Hiawatha, and American reprints of Robert Browning and George Meredith, the eleven essays in this book focus on poetic depictions of exile, slavery, immigration, and citizenship and explore the often asymmetrical traffic between British and American poetic cultures.
In this series of textual readings and cultural comparisons, M. Wynn Thomas explores Whitman’s amazing ability to appeal across distances and centuries.
The book’s contrasting sections reflect the two locations studied: the first shows Whitman in his time and place, while the second repositions him within the cultures of England and Wales from the late 19th to the late 20th century. In the opening chapter he is placed against the vivid, outrageous background of the New York of his time; the second finds evidence in his poetry of a critique of the new urban politics of the emerging city boss; the third radically redefines Whitman's relationship to his famous contemporary Longfellow. Other chapters deal with the Civil War poet, exploring the ways in which his poetic responses were in part shaped by his relationship to his soldier brother George, and his use of the meteorological discoveries of his day to fashion metaphors for imaging the different phases of the conflict.
The second section ponders the paradox that this Whitman, who was so much the product of his specific time and limited “local” culture, should come to be accepted as an international visionary. The United Kingdom is taken as offering striking instances of this phenomenon, and his transatlantic admirers are shown to have been engaged in an unconscious process of “translating” Whitman into the terms of their own culturally specific social, political, and sexual preoccupations. Some of the connections explored are those between Whitman and Edward Carpenter, the so-called English Whitman; between Whitman and perhaps his greatest English critic, D. H. Lawrence; and between Whitman and the Welsh poets Ernest Rhys, Amanwy (David Rees Griffiths), Niclas y Glais (T. E. Nicholas), Waldo Williams, Glyn Jones, Dylan Thomas, and R. S. Thomas.
This bold and original study, offering new points of entry into understanding Whitman as the product of his time and place as well as understanding the reception of Whitman in the U.K. as a process of cultural translation, should fascinate scholars of Whitman and students of comparative literature.
This unique interdisciplinary essay collection offers a fresh perspective on the active involvement of American women authors in the nineteenth-century transatlantic world. Internationally diverse contributors explore topics ranging from women's social and political mobility to their authorship and activism. While a number of essays focus on such well-known writers as Margaret Fuller, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Eliot, Louisa May Alcott, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, other, perhaps lesser-known authors are also included, such as E. D. E. N. Southworth, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Elizabeth Peabody, Jeannette Hart, and Laura Richards.
These essays show the spectrum of interests and activities in which nineteenth-century women were involved as they moved, geographically and metaphorically, toward gaining their independence and the right to control their lives. Traveling far and wide—to Italy, France, Great Britain, and the Bahamas—these writers came into contact with realities far different from their own. On topics ranging from homeopathy and literary endeavors to politics and revolution, they conversed with others, reaching and inspiring transnational audiences with their words and deeds, and creating a space for self-expression in the rapidly changing transatlantic world.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin broke publishing records and made Harriet Beecher Stowe in her time one of the world’s most famous authors. The book was a bestseller in Britain and was translated into some forty languages. Yet today Stowe tends to be seen wholly in the context of American literary history. Transatlantic Stowe: Harriet Beecher Stowe and European Culture is the first book to consider multiple aspects of Stowe’s career in an international context. The groundbreaking essays of Transatlantic Stowe examine the author’s literary and literal forays in Europe and the ways in which intellectual and cultural exchanges between the Old and New Worlds shaped her work. It was a crucial moment in the transatlantic discourse, a turning of the tide, and Stowe was among the first American novelists to be lionized in Europe---and pirated by publishers---in the same way that European writers had been treated in America.Blending historical and cultural criticism and drawing on fresh primary material from London and Paris, Transatlantic Stowe includes essays exploring Stowe’s relationship with European writers and the influence of her European travels on her work, especially the controversial travel narrative Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands and her “Italian novel” Agnes of Sorrento.Interdisciplinary and itself transatlantic, the collection discusses visual art and material culture as well as literature and politics and includes contributions from Britain, Ireland, and the United States. Together these essays offer new interpretations of Stowe’s most popular novel as well as new readings of her many other works, illuminate the myriad connections between Stowe and European writers, and thus rewrite literary history by returning Stowe to the larger political, historical, and literary contexts of nineteenth-century Europe.
Art historian Henry M. Sayre traces the origins of the term “value” in art criticism, revealing the politics that define Manet’s art.
How did art critics come to speak of light and dark as, respectively, “high in value” and “low in value”? Henry M. Sayre traces the origin of this usage to one of art history’s most famous and racially charged paintings, Édouard Manet’s Olympia.
Art critics once described light and dark in painting in terms of musical metaphor—higher and lower tones, notes, and scales. Sayre shows that it was Émile Zola who introduced the new “law of values” in an 1867 essay on Manet. Unpacking the intricate contexts of Zola’s essay and of several related paintings by Manet, Sayre argues that Zola’s usage of value was intentionally double coded—an economic metaphor for the political economy of slavery. In Manet’s painting, Olympia and her maid represent objects of exchange, a commentary on the French Empire’s complicity in the ongoing slave trade in the Americas.
Expertly researched and argued, this bold study reveals the extraordinary weight of history and politics that Manet’s painting bears. Locating the presence of slavery at modernism’s roots, Value in Art is a surprising and necessary intervention in our understanding of art history.
In this lucid and balanced treatise Alan Jacobs reveals the true parameters of Auden's change after the poet's move to America in 1939. By carefully examining poems that represent transitional moments in Auden's thinking, Jacobs identifies the points at which the tectonic plates of the poet's intellect clashed and the buckles and rifts these pressures caused in Auden's body of work.