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The American culture-industry of image-making; part I

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This special issue covers the early history of the American culture-industry of image-making up to the twentieth century. It argues that the expansion of print and visual culture into all realms of American economic and political life was not solely a characteristic of a specifically postmodern form of social organization. Rather this process of acculturation, which dates back to the emergence of consumerism in the eighteenth century, coincided with the foundation of the American state. The articles by Eric Homberger and Edith Thornton see the quest for identity as the very factor by which American realist art and culture have developed a social bond. They suggest that the examination of such a search in relation to developing technologies of image reproduction has serious implications for nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American literary authorship. Homberger's and Thornton's investigation forms the basis for the exploration of image-making as a technique of self-fashioning, which the next two issues of the European Journal of American Culture will examine in greater depth in relation to gender and (post-)modernist aesthetics.

Keywords: Adorno; Horkheimer; authorship; culture-industry; image-making; print and visual culture

Document Type: Editorial


Affiliations: 1: University of East Anglia. 2: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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  • The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.
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