According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a “keyword” is “a word that is of great importance or significance.” On the web, "keywords" organize vast quantities of complex information. Keywords for American Cultural Studies offers these features and more to its readers, providing indispensable meditations on terms and concepts used in cultural studies, American studies, and beyond.
Collaborative in design and execution, Keywords for American Cultural Studies collects sixty-four new essays from interdisciplinary scholars, each on a single term such as “America,” “body,” “ethnicity,” and “religion.” Alongside “community,” “immigration,” “queer,” and many others, these words are the nodal points in many of today’s most dynamic and vexed discussions of political and social life, both inside and outside of the academy.
Here are essays by scholars working in literary studies and political economy, cultural anthropology and ethnic studies, African American history and performance studies, gender studies and political theory.
Some entries are explicitly argumentative, others are more descriptive. Throughout, readers will find clear, challenging, critically engaged thinking and writing. Keywords for American Cultural Studies provides an accessible A-to-Z survey of prevailing academic buzzwords, and a flexible tool for carving out new areas of inquiry. It is equally useful for college students who are trying to understand what their teachers are talking about, for general readers who want to know what’s new in scholarly research, and for professors who just want to keep up.