Empire Burlesque: The Fate of Critical Culture in Global America (New Americanists)

O'Hara, Daniel T.

Published by Duke University Press Books
ISBN 10: 0822330326 / ISBN 13: 9780822330325
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Synopsis: Empire Burlesque traces the emergence of the contemporary global context within which American critical identity is formed. Daniel T. O’Hara argues that globalization has had a markedly negative impact on American cultural criticism, circumscribing both its material and imaginative potential, reducing much of it to absurdity. By highlighting the spectacle of its own self-parody, O’Hara aims to shock U.S. cultural criticism back into a sense of ethical responsibility.

Empire Burlesque presents several interrelated analyses through readings of a range of writers and cultural figures including Henry James, Freud, Said, De Man, Derrida, and Cordwainer Smith (an academic, spy, and classic 1950s and 1960s science fiction writer). It describes the debilitating effects of globalization on the university in general and the field of literary studies in particular, it critiques literary studies’ embrace of globalization theory in the name of a blind and vacant modernization, and it meditates on the ways critical reading and writing can facilitate an imaginative alternative to institutionalized practices of modernization. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalytical theory, it diagnoses contemporary American Studies as typically driven by the mindless abjection and transference of professional identities.

A provocative commentary on contemporary cultural criticism, Empire Burlesque will inform debates on the American university across the humanities, particularly among those in literary criticism, cultural studies, and American studies.

From the Publisher: "In the spirit of Yeats, his tutelary figure, Daniel T. O'Hara gauges the state of America's imperial anarchy and puts forth an imaginative response, compounded from Foucault, Lacan, and Henry James. This is a defense of literature like no other."—JA, Columbia University

"Empire Burlesque provides a unique perspective on how much the globalism that, properly, should be ‘post-American' is actually another (re)production of America. It is impressive work."—Patrick O'Donnell, author of Latent Destinies: Cultural Paranoia and Contemporary U.S. Narrative

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Title: Empire Burlesque: The Fate of Critical ...
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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