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The Imperialist Imaginary
Visions of Asia and the Pacific in American Culture
John Eperjesi

Available only as an ebook.

Reencounters with Colonialism: New Perspectives on the Americas

2004 • 210 pp. 6 1/4 x 9 1/4"
Cultural Studies / American History

$7.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-665-4

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

"This volume is a striking addition to the literature on postcolonial theory."—Choice

Tracing the construction of an American Pacific.

In a groundbreaking work of “New Americanist” studies, John R. Eperjesi explores the cultural and economic formation of the Unites States relationship to China and the Pacific Rim in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Eperjesi examines a variety of texts to explore the emergence of what Rob Wilson has termed the “American Pacific.”

Eperjesi shows how works ranging from Frank Norris’ The Octopus to the Journal of the American Asiatic Association, from the Socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason to the travel writings of Jack and Charmain London, and from Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon—and the cultural dynamics that produced them—helped construct the myth of the American Pacific. By construing the Pacific Rim as a unified region binding together the territorial United States with the areas of Asia and the Pacific, he also demonstrates that the logic of the imperialist imaginary suggested it was not only proper but even incumbent upon the United States to exercise both political and economic influence in the region.

As Donald E. Pease notes in his foreword, “by reading foreign policy and economic policy as literature, and by reconceptualizing works of American literature as extenuations of foreign policy and economic theory,” Eperjesi makes a significant contribution to studies of American imperialism.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Eperjesi's arguments are original and have the potential to reframe the way we think about the Pacific.”The Journal of American History

“Eperjesi's The Imperialist Imaginary should be recognized for its contribution to the discussion of American imperialism. By bringing together disparate sources, Eperjesi has provided much needed insight into the construction of the ‘American Pacific: and the language used to facilitate its production.’"Pacific Historical Review

“John Eperjesi's book is exemplary of the scholarly insights made possible by the New Americanist Studies. This innovative work… move[s] beyond critiques organized around the territorial space of the nation-state... This excellent study … builds upon the insights of literary theory to great advantage, demonstrating the significant contribution a truly interdisciplinary Americanist Studies can make to analyses of US imperialism… [an] innovative approach to the geography of cultural history.”The China Review

“John R. Eperjesi's The Imperialist Imaginary: Visions of Asia and the Pacific in American Culture comprises a deft, field-challenging intervention into postcolonial American studies . . . Eperjesi proves a theoretically informed scholar who approaches long-standing problems of American geopolitical culture, regional definition, and global history with speculative daring, cultural sophistication, and elegant insight into the workings of economic and cultural imperialism. “Rob Wilson, Professor of Literature, University of California at Santa Cruz and author of Reimagining the American Pacific and American Sublime

JOHN R. EPERJESI is a post-doctoral fellow in the English Department at Carnegie Mellon University.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:07:54 -0500