This paper argues for a need to re-evaluate the importance of Judy Blume’s work among youths and teens. While discussing the history of “book banning” and more recent debates on the idea of censorship, this author argues that Blume’s work stands as a point of familiarity, comfort and understanding amongst adolescents. The paper finds its primary focus in Blume’s exploration of the idea of sexual normativity and acceptance amongst peers, but the paper also speaks to the broader issues that Blume explores in her texts – diseases, abnormalities, parental association and peer-pressure. Overall, this author asks that both readers and critiques re-examine the social, environmental and literary value of Blume’s work within, what the author seems to argue, is an unaccepting, often sceptical social milieu. The author supports her thesis that Blume’s work has been pivotal as a tool for social affirmation and growth among adolescents by citing letters, opinions and critiques who responses reaffirm their love for Blume’s work.
The Iroquois Confederacy was torn apart by intertribal violence for the first time in its history during the United States’ War of Independence. This paper is an exploration of the external forces that precipitated the brutal and bloody fracture. It describes the social and geographic setting of the period in detail and proceeds to show how various individuals from both sides acted within this setting to manipulate the Iroquois to their advantage. It is a history that is notable for its strong personalities, including an exceptionally influential Iroquois woman, a politically motivated reverend, and a racist military general desperate to win the loyalty of the ‘savages.’ Ultimately, the British were more competent and more resourceful, while the Americans – especially after a heavy-handed and disastrous campaign to force the remaining neutral tribes to join their ranks – lost most of their Iroquois allies by the time the war ended.
This essay investigates the complex duality of the concept of modernity as both lived experience and artistic tenet. It explores Modernism as a socio-economic force and as a literary movement which helped to create the historical image of the early twentieth century. As representatives of American Modernism, Ezra Pound and W. C. Williams expound the Modernist incorporation of aspects of the ironic and the ambiguous, promoting a state of ‘constant flickering’ or a suspension of resolution; offering not explanations or reassurances but contradictions and unsynthesized dialectics. By examining the dynamics of poetic and socio-economic change reflected in the work of Pound and Williams, this essay provides a useful theoretical snapshot of American Modernism, in both an historical and literary-historical context. While the focus of the work is Pound and Williams’ figurations of these ideas, this paper also incorporates several other influences through both American and world poetics.
While discussing the history of “book banning” and more recent debates on the idea of censorship, the author argues that Judy Blume’s work stands as a point of familiarity, comfort and understanding amongst adolescents. The paper finds its primary focus in Blume’s exploration of the idea of sexual normativity and acceptance amongst peers, but also speaks to broader issues that Blume explores in her texts – diseases, abnormalities, parental association and peer-pressure. Overall, the author asks that both readers and critics re-examine the social, environmental and literary value of Blume’s work within, what the author argues, is an unaccepting, often sceptical social milieu. Blume’s work has been pivotal as a tool for social affirmation and growth among adolescents by citing letters, opinions and critiques who responses reaffirm their love for Blume’s work.
This paper traces the problematic role of racial mythologizing from the hierarchical stance of the romanticizing the Beats. In Jack Kerouac´s On the Road (1957) and Brenda Frazer´s For Love of Ray (1971),the story of her tragic relationship with Beat poet Ray Bremser, the narrators of both works are presented as ‘romantic racialists’ following the steps of Oswald Spengler´s controversial theories of the apocalypse of Western civilization. Living with the suppressed Mexican fellahin population, both authors completely deny the harsh reality of living a life of poverty and social degradation. Instead, the Native Mexican population is depicted as uncorrupted, truly happy, and authentic, while the U.S. represents failing humanity. By juxtaposing Frazer´s female experience of Mexican life against the experiences of Kerouac, this paper argues for a gendered reading of Beat literature as both an anti-American escape and the tendency of Western Orientalizing and fetishizing.
In his research into the impact of Pragmatism on American society at the turn of the last century, historian and NeoAmericanist editorial board member Professor Andrew Johnston invariably came across the path-breaking work of German sociologist Hans Joas. Although a preeminent social theorist of his own, and indeed perhaps one of the leading public intellectuals of his generation in contemporary Germany, Joas surprisingly began his career with an intellectual biography of the American philosopher and sociologist George Herbert Mead, one of the founders of Pragmatism. Mead’s early 20th century work on the social origins of the self, which depended on a complex theory of social interaction through the use of what he called “signifi cant symbols,” also made him a towering infl uence in 20th century American sociology despite having never published a major statement of his own theoretical premises. According to Johnston, the most notable aspect of Joas’s work was his determination to revive Mead’s reputation and, in particular, explore how Pragmatism and the sociology of the self might help infuse certain German schools of social theory with a healthy democratic bias. Wanting to know how he had come to Mead in particular, and just what he thought his own recent efforts at rehabilitating a trans-Atlantic dialogue of social theory might mean for both Germany and the United States, Johnston met with Joas in August 2006, while he was fi nishing a year as a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin. The following are exerts of their larger conversation on pragmatism, the transatlantic flow of ideas and American foreign policy/relations.