Scholars in American studies are generally skeptical of the notion of working within or for the nation-state, for three primary reasons: the alleged eclipse of the nation-state by multinational capitalism, the undesirability of limiting American studies parochially to the study of the United States, and the history of collusion between United States intellectuals and the Central Intelligence Agency during the cold war. This essay argues that although contemporary American studies has done well to reject the American exceptionalism that once defined the field and is rightly averse to engaging in covert international propaganda operations, scholars in American studies need to ask whether the field's rejection of the nation-state might not coincide with rather than resist the movements of global capital and thus to reconsider the importance of the state (in the United States and elsewhere) as a site of intellectual engagement and activism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory