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The Global Remapping of American Literature$
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Paul Giles

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691136134

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691136134.001.0001

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American Literature and the Question of Circumference

American Literature and the Question of Circumference

Chapter:
(p.255) Conclusion American Literature and the Question of Circumference
Source:
The Global Remapping of American Literature
Author(s):

Paul Giles

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691136134.003.0008

This concluding chapter argues that global remapping of American literature involves drawing attention to the contingent and historically variable nature of narratives about the relation of America to the rest of the world. It contends that to reconceive American literary studies in global terms is not to reject the significance of spatial location or corporeal embodiment but to make place contingent. It also challenges the idea that a commitment to liberal democracy should be a prerequisite of American studies scholarship. Rather than associating globalization merely with a triumph of flattened market forces and a wholesale rejection of aesthetic values, the chapter suggests that it would be more valuable to consider ways in which social forces of all kinds can represent illuminating lacunae within literary texts, of the kind that have always been accessible to careful critical scrutiny.

Keywords:   globalization, American literature, narratives, American literary studies, place, liberal democracy

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