PJAS 12 Spring-2

Rob Kroes
Decentering America: Visual Intertextuality and the Quest for a Transnational American Studies
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 12 (Spring 2018) pp. 21-30


The planned removal of a Civil War monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the pretext for a white supremacist rally there in August 2017. It brought American fascists back into the streets, marching under the banner of a virulent nativism, of a vicious fear of being removed from the pedestal of their proper place in society. It also brought to the minds of people watching these images on TV older visual repertoires dating back to Nazi-Germany, fascist Italy, and similar racist clashes elsewhere. In such a stream of consciousness, such a chain of visual recollections, national settings-American or otherwise-are transcended. The wandering-and wondering-mind of the observer moves in a space naturally trans-national. The following essay considers the implications of such mental processes for the established forms of discourse among historians.

Keywords: exceptionalism, transnationalism, American studies, phenomenology, intertextuality, historical palimpsests, ideology

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.12/1/2018.02

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