According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a “keyword” is “a word that is of great importance or significance.” On the web, keywords organize vast quantities of complex information. Keywords for American Cultural Studies offers these features and more to its readers, providing indispensable meditations on terms and concepts used in cultural studies, American studies, and beyond.
Collaborative in design and execution, Keywords for American Cultural Studies collects sixty-four new essays from interdisciplinary scholars, each on a single term such as “America,” “body,” “ethnicity,” and “religion.” Alongside “community,” “immigration,” “queer,” and many others, these words are the nodal points in many of today’s most dynamic and vexed discussions of political and social life, both inside and outside of the academy. Read essays from the book.
Here are essays by scholars working in literary studies and political economy, cultural anthropology and ethnic studies, African American history and performance studies, gender studies and political theory.
Some entries are explicitly argumentative, others are more descriptive. Throughout, readers will find clear, challenging, critically engaged thinking and writing. Keywords for American Cultural Studies provides an accessible A-to-Z survey of prevailing academic buzzwords, and a flexible tool for carving out new areas of inquiry. It is equally useful for college students who are trying to understand what their teachers are talking about, for general readers who want to know what’s new in scholarly research, and for professors who just want to keep up.
Contributors: Vermonja R. Alston, Lauren Berlant, Mary Pat Brady, Laura Briggs, Bruce Burgett, Christopher Castiglia, Russ Castronovo, Eva Cherniavsky, Krista Comer, Micaela di Leonardo, Brent Hayes Edwards, Robert Fanuzzi, Rod Ferguson, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Elizabeth Freeman, Kevin Gaines, Rosemary Marangoly George, Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Sandra M. Gustafson, Matthew Pratt Guterl, Judith Halberstam, Glenn Hendler, Grace Kyungwon Hong, June Howard, Janet R. Jakobsen, Susan Jeffords, Walter Johnson, Miranda Joseph, Moon-Ho Jung, Carla Kaplan, David Kazanjian, Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren, Eric Lott, Lisa Lowe, Eithne Luibhéid, Susan Manning, Curtis Marez, Meredith L. McGill, Timothy Mitchell, Fred Moten, Christopher Newfield, Donald E. Pease, Pamela Perry, Carla L. Peterson, Vijay Prashad, Chandan Reddy, Bruce Robbins, David F. Ruccio, Susan M. Ryan, David S. Shields, Caroline Chung Simpson, Nikhil Pal Singh, Siobhan B. Somerville, Amy Dru Stanley, Shelley Streeby, John Kuo Wei Tchen, Paul Thomas, Priscilla Wald, Michael Warner, Robert Warrior, Alys Eve Weinbaum, Henry Yu, George Yúdice, and Sandra A. Zagarell.
“Keywords for American Cultural Studies can and should be used as an essential handbook, but it really is more like a treasury of the intellect, bulging with sharp insights and lasting revelations.”
Andrew Ross, author of Fast Boat to China
“Filled with lively and incisive contributions from leading scholars in the field, Keywords for American Cultural Studies will serve as a touchstone for American Studies and related fields for years to come.”
Penny Von Eschen, University of Michigan