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Publication Date
August 2018
Page Count
256 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9


American Empire, Literary Culture, and the Postcolonial Lens
Hosam Aboul-Ela

Domestications traces a genealogy of American global engagement with the Global South since World War II. Hosam  Aboul-Ela reads American writers contrapuntally against intellectuals from the Global South in their common—yet ideologically divergent—concerns with hegemony, world domination, and uneven development. Using Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism as a model, Aboul-Ela explores the nature of U.S. imperialism’s relationship to literary culture through an exploration of five key terms from the postcolonial bibliography: novel, idea, perspective, gender, and space.

?Within this framework the book examines juxtapositions including that of Paul Bowles’s Morocco with North African intellectuals’ critique of Orientalism, the global treatment of Vietnamese liberation movements with the American narrative of personal trauma in the novels of Tim O’Brien and Hollywood film, and the war on terror’s philosophical idealism with Korean and post-Arab nationalist materialist archival fiction.

Domestications departs from other recent studies of world literature in its emphases not only on U.S. imperialism but also on intellectuals working in the Global South and writing in languages other than English and French. Although rooted in comparative literature, its readings address issues of key concern to scholars in American studies, postcolonial studies, literary theory, and Middle Eastern studies.

About the Author

HOSAM ABOUL-ELA is an associate professor of literature at University of Houston and the author of Other South: Faulkner, Coloniality, and the Mariátegui Tradition.

"Domestications does not merely urge readers to move beyond the old nationalist prejudices of literary studies. More importantly, it offers readers an awareness of the inequalities produced by global capitalism under the aegis of US imperial dominance,  and it models the potential of literary analyses undertaken by scholars in the Global South to register the complexity of cultural historiographies outside the United States."—Donald Pease, founder of the Futures of American Studies Institute