American Literature ater the American Century. Abstracts due October 10, full essays due November 30

full name / name of organization: 
Northern Arizona University and Arapahoe Community College

The ideology of American exceptionalism has a long history in the expressive arts, especially after Henry Luce's famous 1941 editorial urging Americans to accommodate themselves "spiritually and practically" to the fact that their nation was the "most powerful and vital in the world." At the beginning of the 21st century, however, pundits across the political spectrum have declared the end of the ideology which had maintained the longstanding narrative of the American Century. What changes will take place in American identity and in the form and content of American literature? How has narrative responded to recent history? What is the future of postmodernity? How is the unavoidable link between politics and aesthetics re-shaping American literature? What is the role of memory and nostalgia in revisioning America after the "American Century?" The editors of American Literature after the American Century, a collection of critical essays currently under review, seek 2-3 targeted, specific essays that will contribute to our discussion of literature and American ideology and complete our table of contents. Because this collection aims to focus on more than 9/11 and the so-called "war on terror," we will consider essays that explore the above mentioned themes and any of the following: Arab American identity, gender, literature and literary practice by ethnic American writers, global literary contexts, and literary response to Obama-administration debates, including the war in Afghanistan, healthcare reform, and immigration.
Essays that focus on the following authors are especially welcome: Philip Roth, Sherman Alexie, Nicole Krauss, Marilyn Robinson, Thomas Pynchon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Art Spiegelman (and/or the Graphic Novel), Chuck Palahniuk, Michael Chabon, Ethan Canin, or Richard Russo.
Please send abstracts by October 10 to and Full essays due November 30