American Decline

American Identity construction beyond Boundaries

By Shahzada Rahim

Reviewing the book “Beyond the Boundaries: C.R.L James and Post-National Studies” by Christopher Gair

The beginning of 1960s marked the rise of the American Studies as a subject in the academia. The whole discourse of the American Studies was established based upon the metanarrative of the American creed and exceptionalism. Basically, it was the cultural revolution of the 1960s, which played a pivotal role in shaping the discourse of the American Studies as a subject. However, with the beginning of the 1970s, the Cultural Revolution also gave birth to the discourse of “Critical Nationalism”. Nonetheless, it goes without saying that it was the expansion of Critical Nationalism that gave birth to the post-national Studies.

Despite vibrant multiculturalism, America was criticized for its imperialist character. According to Amy Kaplan, American Society and culture in terms of indifference and conflicts, sustains the fiction of an America defined as discrete identity. Moreover, it was the turn from high to popular culture that broadened the scope of post-national studies. Basically, the pop-culture has changed everything nothing remained European instead new trends and rituals were invented and celebrated by the Americans.


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