Faculty Book: Ashley Dawson, ed.
Ashley Dawson and Malini Johar Schueller, eds.
Exceptional State: Contemporary U.S. Culture and the New Imperialism
(Duke University Press, 2007)
The contributors in Exceptional State analyze the connections between contemporary manifestations of U.S. imperialism and culture. The latter is defined broadly to include a range of media, literature, and political discourse. The essays include a surprising reading of the ostensibly liberal movies Wag the Dog and Three Kings, an exploration of the rhetoric surrounding the plan to remake the military into a high-tech force less dependent on human bodies, a look at the significance of the popular Left Behind series of novels, and an interpretation of the Abu Ghraib prison photos. They scrutinize the national narrative created to justify the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the ways that women in those countries have responded to the invasions, the contradictions underlying calls for U.S. humanitarian interventions, and the role of Africa in the U.S. imperial imagination. The volume concludes on a hopeful note, with a look at an emerging anti-imperialist public sphere. Contributors. Ashley Dawson is an associate professor of English at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JUN 8, 2007