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On Reconfiguring American Studies:
Seeking Holistic Perspectives in Times of Crisis

Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

This paper addresses the relevance of ‘reconfiguring/inventing’ American Studies in a moment of crisis. Based on his personal experience in teaching American Studies, the author argues that the reshaping of American Studies bears implicitly or explicitly the nostalgia of the avant-garde, and aims to launch a holistic perspective on the symbolism of America. The internationalization or even globalization of American Studies has had a great impact on other cultures and cultural areas, contributing to the enhancing of pro-American or anti-American attitudes reflected in the critical lenses through which one looks at America. The study of ‘the American way of life’ as a paradigm of modernity may provide not only Americanists all over the world but also a larger audience with deeper insights on the culture of efficiency and self-sufficiency, modernization and democratization.

Keywords: American Studies, cultural symbolism, intellectuals, globalization, modernization, democratization



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