The Myths That Made America : An Introduction to American Studies

IntroductionAmerican Exceptionalism - Some DefinitionsAmerican Studies Scholarship - An OverviewAmerican Studies: Myth Criticism - Ideology Critique - Cultural StudiesStudy QuestionsBibliographyI Christopher Columbus and the Myth of ‘Discovery’Why Columbus?The First Letter from the ‘New World’Columbus as an American HeroWhose Columbus? The Making of an Ethnic Heroand the Columbus ControversyConclusionStudy QuestionsBibliographyII Pocahontas and the Myth of Transatlantic LoveWhy Pocahontas?America is a Woman: A PrefaceThe First Love Story from the ‘New World’?Pocahontas and the Romantic TraditionWhose Pocahontas?Pocahontas, the Survivor - Native American and Postcolonial perspectivesContemporary Commodifications of the Love StoryConclusionStudy QuestionsBibliographyIII Pilgrims and Puritans and the Myth of the Promised LandWhy the Pilgrims and the Puritans?America as Utopia: A PrefaceThe Pilgrims in America: William Bradford’s Of Plymouth PlantationThe Puritans and Their Promised LandThe Pilgrims and the Puritans in Revolutionary America AND THE 19th CENTURYWhere is the Promised Land? The African American ExperienceImmigrant Visions: Inheriting the Promised Land?Modernist Revisions: Blaming the PuritansPuritan Origin versus “Messy Beginnings” in American StudiesConclusion: Burying the Rock or Preparing the Turkey?Study QuestionsBibliographyIV American Independence and the Myth of the Founding FathersWhy the Founding Fathers? Who Fathered America?Seven Founding Fathers - An OverviewRemembering the Founders in the 19th century: John Trumbull’s Painting The Declaration of IndependenceExcursus: The Founding Fathers and the Question of LegitimacyContradictions and Opposition: Black Slaves and Black Protest vs. the Founding FathersFounding Mothers: Gender, Natural Rights, and Republican MotherhoodDispossession and Empire: The Founding Fathers of Mount Rushmore (and beyond)Founders Chic and the Consumption of an American MythConclusion: The Founding Fathers as National Fantasy in Transnational ContextsStudy QuestionsBibliographyV E Pluribus Unum? The Myth of the Melting PotWhy the Melting Pot?“What Then Is The American, This New Man?”Israel Zangwill’s The Melting Pot: Jewish Immigrants and American AlchemyContesting the Melting Pot: Cultural Pluralism vs. Racial Hygiene?Multiple Melting Pots and MiscegenationOut of Many, Many - American MulticulturalismConclusionStudy QuestionsBibliographyVI Agrarianism, Expansionism, and the Myth of the American WestWhy the West?The Agrarian West: The American Farmer and THE Garden MYTH IN THE EARLY REPUBLIC AND BEYOND“Crossing a Continent” and “Winning a Wilderness” - 19th-Century Expansionism, the Frontier, and the ‘Wild’ WestEngendering the American West and Manifest DomesticityA View from the West: Japanese Americans and the West as a Landscape of ConfinementCowboys (and ‘Indians’): The American West in Popular CultureThe Frontier Myth and Political Rhetoric:The Case of the ‘Vietnam War’Conclusion: The Transnational WestStudy QuestionsBibliographyVII Expressive Individualism and the Myth of the Self-Made ManWhy the Self-Made Man?Benjamin Franklin, American ParvenuHoratio Alger and the Popularization of the Success NarrativeCrises of Self-Made Manhood in American Literature Since the 19th Century“Land of Opportunity”? Immigrant Stories of Self-MakingThe Myth of Self-Made Men (and Women) and the African American ImaginationAmerican Cinderellas? The Case of the Self-Made WomanConclusionStudy QuestionsBibliography
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