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Session Details

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81. The American Jeremiad at Thirty-Five: The State of the Americanist Field

Thursday, 3 January, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Independence East, Sheraton

A special session

Presiding: Christopher Looby, Univ. of California, Los Angeles

Speakers: Jonathan Arac, Univ. of Pittsburgh; Nancy Bentley, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Nan Goodman, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Gerald Graff, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; Michael P. Kramer, Bar-Ilan Univ.; Patricia Williams, Columbia Univ.

Session Description:

The thirty-fifth anniversary and the 2012 republication of Sacvan Bercovitch's American Jeremiad provide an occasion to reconsider its claims in the wake of the various turns taken by Americanist criticism since 1977. Is there still a place for synthetic, totalizing interpretations of what Bercovitch called "the meaning of America"?


  • American Literature – Twentieth Century

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