Empire Burlesque: The Fate of Critical Culture in Global America

Duke University Press, 09.04.2003 - 370 Seiten
Empire Burlesque traces the emergence of the contemporary global context within which American critical identity is formed. Daniel T. O’Hara argues that globalization has had a markedly negative impact on American cultural criticism, circumscribing both its material and imaginative potential, reducing much of it to absurdity. By highlighting the spectacle of its own self-parody, O’Hara aims to shock U.S. cultural criticism back into a sense of ethical responsibility.

Empire Burlesque presents several interrelated analyses through readings of a range of writers and cultural figures including Henry James, Freud, Said, De Man, Derrida, and Cordwainer Smith (an academic, spy, and classic 1950s and 1960s science fiction writer). It describes the debilitating effects of globalization on the university in general and the field of literary studies in particular, it critiques literary studies’ embrace of globalization theory in the name of a blind and vacant modernization, and it meditates on the ways critical reading and writing can facilitate an imaginative alternative to institutionalized practices of modernization. Drawing on Lacanian psychoanalytical theory, it diagnoses contemporary American Studies as typically driven by the mindless abjection and transference of professional identities.

A provocative commentary on contemporary cultural criticism, Empire Burlesque will inform debates on the American university across the humanities, particularly among those in literary criticism, cultural studies, and American studies.


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Ausgewählte Seiten


Edward W Said and the Fate of Critical Culture
Why Foucault No Longer Matters
Lentricchias Frankness and the Place of Literature
Redesigning the Lessons of Literature
The Return to Ethics and the Specter of Reading
Class in a Global Light The Two Professions
Transference and Abjection An Analytic Parable
Ghostwork An Uncanny Prospect for New Americanists
Specter of Theory The Bad Conscience of American Criticism
Empire Baroque Becoming Other in Henry James
Planet Buyer and the Catmaster A Critical Future for Transference

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Über den Autor (2003)

Daniel T. O'Hara is Professor of English at Temple University. He has written and edited a number of books including Radical Parody: American Culture and Critical Agency after Foucault and Lionel Trilling: The Work of Liberation. He is review editor of the journal Boundary 2.

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