Location, Context, and Perspective in American Studies
Author: Hones, Sheila
Source: Comparative American Studies, Volume 6, Number 4, December 2008 , pp. 313-328(16)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:This paper is a case-study analysis of the geography of practice as it functions in American studies. Focusing on the Japanese Association for American Studies fortieth anniversary symposium, 'American Studies in Trans-Pacific Perspective', it shows how the event affords two complementary ways of thinking about the geography of scholarly identity, topics, and practices in American studies, one emphasizing positionality and physical location, the other emphasizing interactions and relational contexts. The paper focuses on the second (and less common) spatialization of Americanist practice, arguing that comparative American studies cannot be adequately understood solely in terms of nationally or regionally defined perspectives. The paper draws attention to the significance of other kinds of scholarly interactions across distance by showing how the apparently specific and located perspective performed at the JAAS symposium depended upon, emerged out of, and is still unfolding within complex, long-term exchanges and networks that stretch far beyond the transpacific.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-12-01