[Plenary 2] Dang Ngoc Sinh


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[Plenary 2] Dang Ngoc Sinh

  1. 1. English Department University of Languages and International Studies - VNU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học Country Studies Division by Dang Ngoc Sinh American Studies and the Development of Methods
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>what is American Studies? </li></ul><ul><li>The development of methods in American Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học
  3. 3. <ul><li>1. What is American Studies? </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học <ul><li>American Studies is a branch of learning </li></ul><ul><li>American Studies is the study of the USA </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;the study of American culture, past and present, as a whole” and “‘culture’” as the way in which subjective experience is organized “ Henry Nash Smith (1957) </li></ul><ul><li>“ A field of interdisciplinary teaching and research” ( Marx, Leo – Boston review) </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ American Studies is the academic area of inquiry that seeks an integrated and interdisciplinary understanding of American culture”. (US History Encyclopedia) </li></ul>1. What is American Studies?
  5. 5. <ul><li>Rooted in the traditional disciplines of literature and history, </li></ul><ul><li>has evolved from its establishment in the 1930s to include artifacts, methodologies, </li></ul><ul><li>and practitioners drawn from a wide variety of disciplines within the humanities. </li></ul><ul><li>(US History Encyclopedia) </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>education-related (including teaching English language and American Studies, library, educational administration...), </li></ul><ul><li>business (administrative, managerial...) </li></ul><ul><li>social services (including social work and religious professionals) </li></ul><ul><li>communications (public relations, journalism), </li></ul>1. What is American Studies? Opportunities & satisfactions
  7. 7. <ul><li>public service (including government) and law, </li></ul><ul><li>and museums and cultural institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Students also pursue M.A. or Ph.D. degrees in American Studies or in such related fields as English, history, politics, law, or economics </li></ul>1. What is American Studies? Opportunities & satisfactions
  8. 8. DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học <ul><li>The development of Methods in American Studies </li></ul>Attebery, Brian. &quot;American Studies: A Not So Unscientific Method. American Quarterly 48 (June 1996): 316-43
  9. 9. <ul><li>Can &quot;American Studies&quot; Develop a Method? </li></ul><ul><li>( Henry Nash Smith. 1957) </li></ul><ul><li>American Studies – Defense of an Unscientific Method . (Marx, Leo.[1969-70]) </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học <ul><li>The development of Methods in American Studies </li></ul>
  10. 10. “ No one can say exactly what American Studies is, ... because scholars in the field are free to follow their own personal visions.” (Leo Max as cited in &quot;PARADIGM DRAMAS&quot; IN AMERICAN STUDIES: A CULTURAL ANDINSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF THE MOVEMENT by GENE WISE, 1979) <ul><li>The development of Methods in American Studies </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>“ The field has thus not emerged as a discipline, but as an arena for disciplinary encounter and staging ground for fresh topical pursuits. It embraces America in a Whitmanish hug, excluding nothing and always beginning”. </li></ul><ul><li>(Stanley Bailis, The Social Sciences in American Studies, 1974 as cited in Christopher Moses) </li></ul><ul><li>The development of Methods in American Studies </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Vernon Louis Parrington ‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning “ Main Currents in American Thought”-1927 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Perry Miller’s “Orthodoxy in Massachusetts” (1933) and “The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century” (1939), </li></ul><ul><li>F.O. Matthiessen’s “American Renaissance” (1941) </li></ul><ul><li>Ralph Barton Perry's “Puritanism and Democracy” (1944) </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Nash Smith (“ Virgin Land” , 1950) </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol »
  13. 13. <ul><li>R. W. B. Lewis' “The American Adam” (1955), </li></ul><ul><li>John William Ward's “Andrew Jackson: Symbol or an Age” (1955), </li></ul><ul><li>Leo Marx (with “ The Machine in the Garden ”), 1964 </li></ul><ul><li>Alan Trachtenberg's “Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol” (1965) and THE INCORPORATION OF AMERICA ) </li></ul><ul><li>(According to Wise ) </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol »
  14. 14. Vernon Louis Parrington <ul><li>“ In his work, Parrington was to construct an immensely usable past. </li></ul><ul><li>His work was usable not just in the obvious sense of making the past relevant to urgencies of the present. </li></ul><ul><li>It was usable also in offering a way to create order and direction from masses of disparate materials on the whole history of American experience”. ( GENE WISE ,1979) </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol »
  15. 15. <ul><li>American Studies: a unique and interdisciplinary approach examining the “ambiguous relation between works of art and the culture in which they occur” </li></ul><ul><li>As a historical text, the article displays the subtle but underlying belief that literature can “objectify the memories and dreams of its public,” </li></ul><ul><li>(1957) </li></ul>Henry Nash Smith « Myth and Symbol »
  16. 16. <ul><li>“ individual instances [can] embody whatever uniformities may exist in a culture, and that a really exhaustive knowledge of the concrete case – a work of art, a specific situation, a career – might well lead to the recognition of aspects of the culture which have previously escaped attention” </li></ul>Henry Nash Smith See: Christopher Moses. AMERICAN STUDIES: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY « Myth and Symbol »
  17. 17. <ul><li>“ ...this myth-symbol school sought to define what was essentially &quot;American&quot; about America”. (US History Encyclopedia) </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol » there is a single holistic&quot;American Culture,&quot; expressed in &quot;The American Mind” GENE WISE, 1979
  18. 18. <ul><li>“ the assumption that something like the essence of American culture could be determined by reading representative great individual works of the American canon (though some moved out of the canon into popular texts)”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Myth and symbol scholars claimed to find certain recurring myths, symbols, and motifs in many of these works </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol »
  19. 19. <ul><li>“ American culture can be read as a common language comprised of myths and symbols, obtainable, in part, by reading elite and popular American literature”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ These myths and symbols were &quot;collective representations rather than the work of a single mind&quot; (Roger Chapman) </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol »
  20. 20. <ul><li>“ Smith hoped to isolate the conscious and unconscious thinking underlying westward movement, extracting it from literary sources and the testimonials of politicians, railroad agents, and writers” (Roger Chapman) </li></ul>« Myth and Symbol »
  21. 21. “ symbol-myth-image scholars were prone to generalize through grand intellectual abstractions -&quot;the anonymous popular mind,&quot; &quot;the widespread desire of Americans,&quot; &quot;the imagination of the people,&quot; (Leo Max as cited in &quot;PARADIGM DRAMAS&quot; IN AMERICAN STUDIES: A CULTURAL ANDINSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF THE MOVEMENT by GENE WISE, 1979) « Myth and Symbol »
  22. 22. “ Usable past” <ul><li>focussed mainly on a canon of “dead white Protestant men” and “high” cultural history. </li></ul><ul><li>the study of American literature from its role as an appendage to Anglo-Saxon literature, and instead to study it &quot;onnative grounds,&quot; as it were </li></ul><ul><li>The American Mind can theoretically be found in anyone American. But it comes to most coherent expression in the country's leading thinkers ( Christopher Moses ) </li></ul>
  23. 23. “ Usable past” <ul><li>The American Mind is an enduring form in our intellectual history. Its distinctive themes -Puritanism, Individualism, Progress, Pragmatism, Transcendentalism, Liberalism -run through virtually the whole of America's past. </li></ul>
  24. 24. The problems of the Myth and Symbol school <ul><li>Smith's narrative of American westward expansion was too tidy: </li></ul><ul><li>He left out important details, such as the fact that the so-called </li></ul><ul><li>virgin land was already inhabited. </li></ul><ul><li>his decision not to criticize literary conventions depicting the </li></ul><ul><li>land as female shows his failure to address issues of gender . </li></ul><ul><li>Literary critic Donald E. Pease classified the myth and symbol </li></ul><ul><li>approach as &quot;official nationalism.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>(Roger Chapman) </li></ul>
  25. 25. The problems of the Myth and Symbol school <ul><li>Bruce Kuklick: </li></ul><ul><li>certain myths and symbols could be proven >< not necessarily prove that yesteryear's texts speak for today. </li></ul><ul><li>facts of experience >< a product of fantasy. </li></ul><ul><li>=> the myth and symbol scholars provided rich material for future comparative studies . (Roger Chapman) </li></ul>
  26. 26. The problems of the Myth and Symbol school <ul><li>“ In a 1970 reissue of Virgin Land, for example,Henry Nash Smith confessed that he had used his ordering terms &quot;myth&quot; and &quot;symbol&quot; in a naive and contradictory fashion twenty years before”. GENE WISE, 1979 </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học
  27. 27. <ul><li>the violence of westward expansionism </li></ul><ul><li>the &quot;free land&quot; was actually stolen land. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;my own attitudes were influenced by the basic myth or ideology of America to a greater extent than I had realized.&quot; (Smith) </li></ul><ul><li>But many of his overall observations about the enduring myths and symbols of the frontier remained convincing. (Roger Chapman) </li></ul>The problems of the Myth and Symbol school
  28. 28. <ul><li>John Gast, &quot;Westward – American Progress&quot; (1872) </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>John Vanderlyn, &quot;The Death of Jane McCrea&quot; (1804) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Examination of a Witch, by T.H. Matteson 1853.
  31. 32. <ul><li>Leo Marx : American Studies before divide and after divide </li></ul><ul><li>American studies in the BD era : “myth </li></ul><ul><li>and symbol” school. </li></ul><ul><li>American studies in the AD era: many </li></ul><ul><li>changes </li></ul>The development in American Studies after Myth and Symbol 
  32. 33. Changes in American society and in the World <ul><li>“ The Movement” in the U.S.: </li></ul><ul><li>Civil right movements </li></ul><ul><li>The assassinations of President Kennedy, </li></ul><ul><li>and Martin Luther King </li></ul><ul><li>Vietnam War - the university confrontations </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Nixon’s criminal Watergate conspiracy </li></ul><ul><li>By 1976 the war was over, Nixon had resigned, </li></ul><ul><li>the spirited radical Movement had disintegrated. </li></ul>
  33. 34. Changes in American Studies methods <ul><li>the discipline was very much shaken by the social and cultural revolution ushered in with the civil rights movement, and Vietnam. </li></ul><ul><li>historical “consensus” narratives and the homogenized portraits of a periods’ “mind” and “spirit,” were being challenged from both within and outside the academy. ( Christopher Moses ) </li></ul>
  34. 35. <ul><li>Scholars and activists alike called for an examination of America’s “denied” past, including slavery, colonialism, and immigration, and for a reorientation towards popular culture, feminist, and minority studies. ( Christopher Moses ) </li></ul>Changes in American Studies methods
  35. 36. <ul><li>“ The heyday of the written literary text, the finely preserved government document, and the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male was gone”. ( Wise, Gene) </li></ul><ul><li>several recent inquiries in the field have employed a comparative, cross-cultural approach Multiculturalism </li></ul>Changes in American Studies methods
  36. 37. <ul><li>The movement: &quot;Culture Therapy 202&quot; –Robert Merideth late in the 1960s. </li></ul><ul><li>rise of the counterculture => Merideth's </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Culture Therapy 202&quot; an “effort to articulate a </li></ul><ul><li>response to those events” </li></ul><ul><li>Merideth's pamphlet and published in 1969. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Subverting Culture: The Radical as Teacher.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Wise (1979) </li></ul>Changes in American Studies methods
  37. 38. <ul><li>&quot;The primary purpose of the radical as teacher is to subvert a corrupt culture asit is internalized in his students.&quot;29 Culture study -academic analysis of what America is -should besubordinated to culture therapy--thelarger-than-academic, radically human act of healingwounds caused by the culture's corrupting influence”. </li></ul><ul><li>as cited by Wise (1979) </li></ul>Changes in American Studies methods
  38. 39. <ul><li>Diversified approaches applied to American culture today. </li></ul><ul><li>Four basic divisions of social thought working on the field of American Studies: (According to Reed) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social sciences, and material culture; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marxism and cultural materialism; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poststructuralism and postmodern theories; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Sexuality and Disability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>studies. </li></ul>
  39. 40. <ul><li>“ We look upon America from a variety of different, often competing, perspectives -popular culture, black culture, the culture of women, youth culture, the culture of the aged, Hispanic-American culture, American Indian culture, material culture, the culture of poverty, folk culture, the culture of regionalism, the culture of academe, the culture of literature, the culture of professionalism, and so on.” ( Wise, Gene) </li></ul>
  40. 41. <ul><li>“ Multidisciplinary […] juxtaposition of various disciplines, sometimes with no apparent connection between them, e.g. music + mathematics + history”. (Angelique Chettiparamb) </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary approach to American Studies </li></ul>Multidisciplinary
  41. 42. DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học <ul><li>Interdisciplinary approach to American Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary […] an adjective describing the interaction among two or more different disciplines. </li></ul><ul><li>This interaction may range from simple communication of ideas to the mutual integration of organising concepts, methodologies, procedures, epistemologies, terminologies, data leading to an organisation of research and education in a fairly large field. </li></ul><ul><li>(Angelique Chettiparamb) </li></ul>
  42. 43. <ul><li>An interdisciplinary group consists of persons trained in different fields of knowledge (disciplines) with different concepts, terms, methods and data organised by a common effort working on a common problem with continuous intercommunication”. (Angelique Chettiparamb) </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary approach to American Studies </li></ul>
  43. 44. <ul><li>Allied fields (Reed) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Sciences: the influence of anthropology and </li></ul><ul><li>sociology in AS </li></ul><ul><li>neo-marxism first becomes a significant force in </li></ul><ul><li>AS in the late 1960s and early 70s </li></ul><ul><li>American Studies focusing on the differences or </li></ul><ul><li>communality of people. Reed names this category as </li></ul><ul><li>Gender, Sexuality, Race, Ethnicity and Disability studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary approach to American Studies </li></ul>
  44. 45. American Studies in the global context <ul><li>Recent experience has occasioned a different sense of the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>The polarity of New World versus Old has collapsed, and America is placed in a category with other modern industrialized cultures. ( Wise, Gene) </li></ul>
  45. 46. Internationalism in American Studies <ul><li>American Studies in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>American Studies in Asia </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học
  46. 47. Conclusion <ul><li>American Studies = many approaches, schools and theories. </li></ul><ul><li>Complicated but beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>New theories and methods may arise. </li></ul>
  47. 48. <ul><li>Thank you ! </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học
  48. 49. References <ul><li>Buell, F. Nationalist Postnationalism: Globalist Discourse in Contemporary American Culture . Ameriacn Quarterly , 50:3. 548-91 </li></ul><ul><li>Christopher Moses . American Studies: An annotated bibliography </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Marx, Leo. 2003. Believing in America: An Intellectual Project and a National Ideal . Boston Review (December 2003/January 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Reed. T.V. Theory and method in American cultural studies. http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/chap22.html. Date accessed April 5 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard P. Horwitz. 2007. Teaching About Method . A version of this essay also appears in American Studies 31:1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 101-116. </li></ul><ul><li>Richard P. Horwitz. Coming to Terms With International American Studies </li></ul><ul><li>• Copyright © 2007 A version of this essay also appears in The Fulbright Difference, 1948-1992, ed. Richard T. Arndt and David L. Rubin (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1993), pp. 459-468. </li></ul><ul><li>Roger Chapman.2000. Review Henry Nash Smith. Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth . (American Culture Studies Program, Bowling Green State University) Published on H-Ideas (July, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, HN. 1957. &quot;Can 'American Studies' Develop a Method?&quot; American Quarterly 9 (1957): 197-208 </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, Henry Nash. Chapter 9: The Western Hero in the Dime Novel, in Virgin Land (Harvard University Press, 1950), http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/chapter9.html </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, Henry Nash. Chapter 11: Garden of the World, in Virgin Land (Harvard University Press, 1950). http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/HNS/chap11.html. </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, Henry Nash. Chapter 22: Myth of the Garden and Turner’s Frontier Hypothesis, in Virgin Land (Harvard University Press, 1950). </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Trachtenberg, A. “White City” The Incorporation Of America , Ch 7. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.wsu.edu/~amerstu/tm/myth.html </li></ul><ul><li>• </li></ul><ul><li>Wise, Gene. 1979. Paradigm Dramas’ in American Studies: A cultural and Institutional History of the Movement. American Quarterly, v. 31 n. 3 [1979]. </li></ul>DIVISION OF COUNTRY STUDIES ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Khoa Anh - Tổ Đất Nước Học