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For its 2012 issue, Criterion (an undergraduate and master's level student journal) anticipates reserving space for up to four essays exploring issues that relate to transnational American studies. To provoke thoughts on this topic, Dr. Jared Hickman of Johns Hopkins University has provided a prompt, “(Meta) Critiques of ‘Transnational American Studies’.” Authors should not attempt to address all of the issues raised by Dr. Hickman; rather, Criterion hopes this prompt will serve as a springboard for creative and well-focused essays on relevant issues and texts.
Dr. Hickman offers some useful categories of discussion in his prompt. First would be essays that directly reckon with theoretical and methodological reflections, offering either or both a critique of the field and a critique of critiques of the field. Continuing in the same vein would be essays that expose the potential vices—and unsung virtues—of “transnational American studies” by unpacking an exemplary transnationalist reading of a given American text.Essays could offer a counter-reading of a primary text that has already lent itself to transnationalist analysis, perhaps by illuminating a vital national or local context obscured by transnationalist reading or by reinterpreting that text’s investment by or in the transnational. Finally, fresh transnationalist readings of “American” texts—that is, readings that self-critically deploy the transnationalist approach in order to open up an un- or insufficiently seen dimension of a text—are also welcome.
The full prompt can be reached through our website at http://criterion.byu.edu/ by clicking on the "Forum" tab.
Essays submitted for consideration in the 2012 Forum should be between 2000 and 6000 words. The deadline is January 20th, 2012.
Bradley Gerhardt and Dan Giullian,
Co-Editors in Chief,