After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the by Brian T. Edwards

By Brian T. Edwards

When Henry Luce introduced in 1941 that we have been residing within the "American century," he believed that the foreign acclaim for American tradition made the realm favorable to U.S. pursuits. Now, within the electronic twenty-first century, the yank century has been outmoded, as American video clips, song, games, and tv exhibits are bought, understood, and transformed.

How can we make feel of this shift? construction on a decade of fieldwork in Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran, Brian T. Edwards maps new routes of cultural alternate which are leading edge, speeded up, and whole of diversions. formed by means of the electronic revolution, those paths are entwined with the becoming fragility of yankee "soft" strength. They point out an period after the yank century, within which well known American items and phenomena—such as comedian books, youngster romances, social-networking websites, and methods of expressing sexuality—are stripped in their institutions with the USA and recast in very diverse forms.

Arguing opposed to those that discuss an international during which American tradition is in basic terms replicated or appropriated, Edwards specializes in artistic moments of uptake, within which Arabs and Iranians make anything unforeseen. He argues that those items do greater than expand the succeed in of the unique. They replicate a global during which tradition without end circulates and gathers new meanings.
About the Author

Brian T. Edwards is Crown Professor in heart East experiences and professor of English and comparative literary reviews at Northwestern collage, the place he's additionally the founding director of this system in center East and North African reviews. he's the writer of Morocco certain: Disorienting America's Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech convey and a coeditor of Globalizing American reports. His articles were released within the Believer, Public tradition, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

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Let me list four reasons: 1. S. Department of State has invested time and funding in propagating the circulation of American culture. 2. American media venues have a continuing interest in this topic, whether in the coverage of the Egyptian revolution or in the popular fascination with books such as Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003) that depict Americans or American culture displaced in the Middle East. 3. There is a history of popular and influential writers, from the developmentalist Daniel Lerner in the 1950s to Thomas Friedman in the 1990s and 2000s to media studies journalist Clay Shirky, who assume a technocentric or cyberutopian determinism.

Iran looks with an intense focus to the United States and Great Britain, against both of which it has political and economic grudges, while its deep cultural connections to South Asia and Southwest Asia suggest that rival global cultures (Bollywood and Hollywood) are operative there. At the perceived center of the Arab world, Egypt—umm al-dunya, mother of the world, as the old moniker described that country—is of yet another order of cosmopolitanism; the popularity of Egyptian fi lms and television shows means that its own cultural products have had an immense regional effect in the Arab world.

1 In the first decade of the current century, a new generation of Cairo-based writers—those publishing their debut novels in the 2000s—frequently employed innovative forms and linguistic experimentation drawn from a global cultural palette while exploring domestic or local social and political themes. Their work, because of how it seems to anticipate aspects of the uprisings, begs the question of whether and how the new Egyptian novel is democratic. It also offers a stark alternative to the patterns by which Western analysts understood and explained what was happening in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in the country.

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