Comparative Cultural Perspectives for the Study of the Americas: New Work by Imbert and McClennen and Fitz
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This review article covers two new volumes of scholarship dedicated to the comparative study of the Americas: Patrick Imbert's Trajectoires culturelles transaméricaines (Ottawa: Les Presses de l'Université d'Ottawa, 2004) and the edited volume by Sophia A. McClennen and Earl E. Fitz, Comparative Cultural Studies and Latin America (West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2004). The latter volume is the revised and updated book form version of the thematic issue Comparative Cultural Studies and Latin America, edited by Sophia A. McClennen and Earl E. Fitz in CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 4.2 (2002): ). These books represent a new wave of innovative approaches to the study of the Americas, such as inter-American, postcolonial, and transatlantic studies, that are committed to moving beyond traditional scholarly paradigms and their implicit value systems and intellectual hierarchies. Both books understand the construction of culture as a set of multiple discourses and they (re)imagine the New World from trans-American and inter-American perspectives. They emphasize the relevance of minor cultures in the modification of European universal thinking, history, and literary discourses through a full reconsideration of the field of literature in the context of culture (thus, by extension, within the field of comparative cultural studies). In an effort to push the traditional boundaries of comparative approaches to the study of culture and literature, these books challenge Eurocentrism by arguing that the cultures of the Americas provide their own rich comparative context, one which, in many cases has later had a pivotal influence on European culture.
Originally published open access by CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 2006, Volume 8, Issue 1. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.1297
del Río Gabiola, Irune. "Comparative Cultural Perspectives for the Study of the Americas: New Work by Imbert and McClennen and Fitz." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 8.1 (2006): Available from: digitalcommons.butler.edu/facsch_papers/491/