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Caroline F. Levander and Robert S. Levine

Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405198813.2011.00001.x


Forms, spaces, practices – these are the key terms that this book adopts for conceptualizing the current state and future directions of American literary studies in the twenty-first century. No longer organized exclusively by author, time period, genre, or nation, American literary studies is developing new paradigms and models that revise many of our standing assumptions about literary practice, literary categories, literary production, and the field of inquiry itself. No longer viewing American literature as a canon to be curated or an archive to be recovered and preserved, Americanists increasingly regard their object of study as a dynamic, multimedia, hybrid textual corpus, deploying a wide array of interpretive strategies and methods that help us to reconceive what we thought we knew about the study of American literature. It is the very dynamism of the field at the present moment that the 33 essays comprising this volume collectively represent. In this way, A Companion to American Literary Studies offers a key and timely point of departure from other recent American literary studies collections. A Companion to American Literature and Culture (Lauter), for example, offers genealogical essays on the history of the field, along with essays on the authors and subjects central to American literary study. Rather than mapping out the various fields and subfields of American literary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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