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Comparative Literature Commons

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2001

Comparative humanities

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Full-Text Articles in Comparative Literature

Twentieth-Century American Literary Historiography, Marietta Messmer Jun 2001

Twentieth-Century American Literary Historiography, Marietta Messmer

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In her article, "Twentieth-Century American Literary Historiography," Marietta Messmer analyzes the ways in which contemporary histories of American literature -- members of a discursive formation that has traditionally privileged a nationalist paradigm -- position themselves in the context of current debates on constructions of post-national cultural identity. Concentrating on the changing conceptualizations of the term "American" employed in these literary histories, Messmer traces briefly the major shifts in historiographical negotiations of American interliterary and intercultural relations throughout the twentieth century. Messmer discusses the ways in which American histories of literature move from an earlier -- albeit reductionist -- interest in defining American literary identity ...