American Studies

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Ducktails, Drive-ins, and Broken Hearts

An unflinching look at the triumphs and tragedies of '50s rock and roll, from the biggest stars,
like Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins, to those who barely grabbed the spotlight.

Casseroles, Can Openers, and Jell-O

An “all-you-can-eat” tour of American life in the postwar period, told through the foods we loved.

New York's Great Lost Ballparks

Tells the story of New York's playing grounds, teams, and ballparks of yesteryear.

The Hard Sell of Paradise

Traces the complex and contradictory representations of Hawai’i in popular film and television programs from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Nietzsche in Hollywood

Argues that Nietzsche’s idea of the Übermensch was a central concern of filmmakers in the 1920s and 1930s.

No Jurisdiction

A deeply personal study of post-9/11 film that exposes how genre can frame the shifting meanings of the War on Terror and its impact on American law and culture.

Whiteness at the End of the World

Examines the ways in which post-apocalyptic films express white racial anxiety.

Through the Periscope

Offers a wider approach to Italian American culture, one that stresses both its material, urban components and the creativity of its formal literary codes.

Media-Ready Feminism and Everyday Sexism

Unique empirically grounded analysis of how audiences negotiate sexism and feminism across media, from popular television shows to dating apps.

Enduring Critical Poses

A celebration of Anishinaabe intellectual tradition.

Funny How?

Uses comedy skits, from Monty Python to Key and Peele, to probe how humor works.

Varieties of American Sufism

Participant-observation-based studies that explore a range of Sufi movements operating across the contemporary American religious landscape.

Rumble and Crash

Analyzes six films as allegories of capitalism’s precarious state in the early twenty-first century.

Multicultural Poetics

Argues that multiculturalism and hybridity are key components of the nation’s poetry and its culture.

Passionate Detachments

Investigates the cultural value of film violence.

Trendy Fascism

Explores how white supremacist groups use popular music and culture to teach hate and promote violence.

Historicizing Post-Discourses

Examines how postfeminism and postracialism intersect to perpetuate systemic injustice in the United States.

Invented Lives, Imagined Communities

How Hollywood biopics both showcase and modify various notions of what it means to be an American.

Figures of Memory

Explores how the USHMM and other museums and memorials both displace and disturb the memories that they are trying to commemorate.

Race, Ethnicity, and Place in a Changing America, Third Edition

Uses both historical and contemporary case studies to examine how race and ethnicity affect the places we live, work, and visit. .

The Sitcom Reader, Second Edition

Updated version of an engaging overview of the television situation comedy.

American Dolorologies

Offers a critical history of the role of pain, suffering, and compassion in democratic culture.

A Pedagogy of Witnessing

Explores the curating of “difficult knowledge” through the exhibition of lynching photographs in contemporary museums.

Twenty West

Traces the route, history, and geography of US 20, America’s longest road.

Slouching towards Gaytheism

Argues that homophobia will not be eradicated in the United States until religion is ended.

Indigenous North American Drama

Traces the historical dimensions of Native North American drama using a critical perspective.

Key to the Northern Country

Offers nearly forty years of interdisciplinary scholarship on the Hudson River Valley’s role in the American Revolution.

From the Shahs to Los Angeles

A fascinating look at the lives, culture, and religious and ritual observance of three generations of Iranian Jewish women in the United States.

Potent Mana

Brilliant study of the effects of colonialism on the physical, mental, and spiritual health of Native Hawaiians, and their efforts to decolonize through healing and remembering.

The African Diaspora in the United States and Canada at the Dawn of the 21st Century

Offers important new perspectives on the African Diaspora in North America.

Multicultural Geographies

Geographical perspectives on the changing patterns of race and ethnicity in the United States.

Disciplining Women

An interdisciplinary look Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), the first historically Black sorority.

Measured Meals

Provides an alternative history of nutrition in the U.S. that focuses on the power of scientific language.

The Other Loyalists

Fascinating stories of ordinary people in the Middle Colonies who remained loyal to the Crown.

The Passionate Empiricist

Explores John Quincy Adams’s oratorical work in support of government-funded science.

Caribbean Genesis

Philosophical exploration of Jamaica Kincaid’s entire literary oeuvre.

By the Breath of Their Mouths

Examines the liberating power of speech and its influence on generations of Italian American writers.

Perpetual Adolescence

Explores the arrested development of American culture.

City of Rhetoric

Examines the relationship of civic discourse to built environments through a case study of the Cabrini Green urban revitalization project in Chicago.

The Gita within Walden

Looks at the connections between Thoreau’s Walden and the work that influenced it, the Bhagavad-Gita.

Herman Melville and the American Calling

Argues that Herman Melville’s later work anticipates the resurgence of an American exceptionalist ethos underpinning the U. S.-led global “war on terror. ”

College Life through the Eyes of Students

By Mary Grigsby
Subjects: Sociology

Presents the perspectives of contemporary college students on their lives and educations.

Main Street to Mainframes

Tells the story of Poughkeepsie’s transformation from small city to urban region.

Latino Voices in New England

Compelling stories and striking photographs illustrate the challenges and highlights of Latino/a life in Portland, Maine.

Locating Race

Pinpoints the limits of many current globalization theories in challenging racial oppression, and argues instead for local and situated strategies for resisting racism and imperialism.

Decadent Culture in the United States

The paradoxes of the American decadent movement in the 1890s and 1920s.

Cary Nelson and the Struggle for the University

Scholars engage the ideas and legacy of Cary Nelson in conversations about the corporate university, teaching, poetry, and activism.

The Oprah Affect

Essays explore the broad cultural impact of Oprah’s Book Club.

Feminist Mothering

Essays explore a wide range of contemporary feminist mothering practices.

Taking South Park Seriously

Collection of scholarly essays on the wildly popular Comedy Central show.

Ain't I a Feminist?

Interview-based study of contemporary African American feminist men.

New Morning

Essays and poems explore the contemporary relevance of Emerson’s work and thought.

The Dynamic Individualism of William James

Explores James’s concept of the individual in terms of physiology, psychology, philosophy, and religion.

Unmaking Race, Remaking Soul

Explores the theme of aesthetic agency and its potential for social and political progress.

Sin, Sex, and Democracy

Explores the Christian Right’s use of tailored rhetorics to advance multiple and varied antigay political projects.

Conspiracy Panics

Examines contemporary anxiety over the phenomenon of conspiracy theories.

American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization

Connects the American exceptionalist ethos to the violence in Vietnam and the Middle East.

Edible Ideologies

Contributors explore the relationship between food and the production of ideology.

The American Protest Essay and National Belonging

By Brian Norman
Subjects: Literature

Explores the role of the literary protest essay in addressing social divisions in the United States.

Rules of the Game

Critically examines the quiz show genre in American culture from the 1930s to the present.

Hospital Transports

Edited by Laura L. Behling
Introduction by Laura L. Behling
Subjects: American Studies

Details the reactions of men and women serving aboard a hospital transport ship during the American Civil War.

Oil, Globalization, and the War for the Arctic Refuge

Examines the battle to develop the oil resources of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Humanities, Culture, and Interdisciplinarity

Investigates the changing relationship of humanities, culture, and interdisciplinarity and its impact on humanities disciplines, American culture studies, and undergraduate education.

The New Abolitionists

Edited by Joy James
Introduction by Joy James
Subjects: American Studies
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race

Writings by twentieth-century imprisoned authors examining confinement, enslavement, and political organizing in prison.

Sites of Autopsy in Contemporary Culture

Explores the role and function of the autopsy in Western culture, from Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lecture to The X-Files and CSI.

Murder on Trial

A historical romp through the fascinating subject of murder jurisprudence in the United States from the colonial period to the present, showing how changing social mores have influenced the application of murder law.

Reading Oprah

An analysis of how Oprah's Book Club has changed America's reading habits.

Film Voices

Interviews with prominent filmmakers, actors, and others on the art, craft, and business of moviemaking.

Extreme Virtue

Explores leadership and civic virtue in American culture.

Leaving Little Italy

Provides an overview of the past, present, and future of Italian American culture.

Imagining Italians

Explores changes in American attitudes toward Italy and Italians during a crucial period of U. S. immigration history.

Rediscovering America's Sacred Ground

Sees a way out of the contentious debates over the role of religion in American public life by looking back to the ideas of John Locke and the nation's Founders.

American Diversity

Demographers explore population diversity in the United States.

Writing the Radical Center

Explores the cultural work of two important early-twentieth-century writers: the poet William Carlos Williams and the educator/philosopher John Dewey, both key figures in American democracy.

Michael Jordan, Inc.

Uses Michael Jordan as a vehicle for viewing the broader social, economic, political, and technological concerns that frame contemporary culture.

Postmodern Journeys

Part memoir, part cultural criticism, this fast-paced ride through the postmodern landscape of American popular culture explores how our responses to headline events and popular films help script the ways in which we imagine ourselves and the world around us.

Popular Modernity in America

Examines a wide variety of cultural and technological phenomena that have helped shape American popular culture over the last 150 years.

Drifting on a Read

For almost a century, writers such as Ralph Ellison, Michael Ondaatje, and Ishmael Reed have expressed an affinity for jazz, hearing the music as a model for writing. Jarrett examines their work and the work of others who have brought jazz into languag

Metaphysics

An edited transcript of the great Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce's last year-long course in metaphysics, given at Harvard in 1915-1916.

Thomas Merton's American Prophecy

Presents Thomas Merton as the quintessential American outsider who defines himself in opposition to the world and then discovers a way back into dialogue with that world and compassion for it.

Genealogical Pragmatism

Drawing on the work of popular American writers, American philosophers, and Continental thinkers, this book provides a new interpretation of pragmatism and American philosophy.

Weaving Ourselves into the Land

Examines how both negative and positive stereotypes of the "Indian" have influenced the study of Native American religions.

Georg Simmel and the American Prospect

This first book-length examination of the American reception of German philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel explores the practical and strategic uses of Simmel's ideas.

American Patriotism in a Global Society

Argues that the transformation of our world into a global society is causing a resurgence of tribalism at the same time that it is inspiring the ideology of political holism and global interdependence.

Presidential Campaign Discourse

Focuses on strategies for solving communication problems in presidential campaigns.