World Literature and International American Studies: Convergence, Divergence, and Contest


Paul Giles
Department of English
US Studies Centre's International Academic Advisory Committee
University of Sidney

World Literature and International American Studies: Convergence, Divergence, and Contest

Abstract: This paper considers the relation between the institutional formations of World Literature and International American Studies. It compares and contrasts the association between World Literature and Comparative Literature to that between International American Studies and the American Studies movement emerging out of the United States. It goes on to argue that World Literature is anchored to a universalist teleology, one linked historically to an idealist intellectual genealogy. By contrast, International American Studies involves a more materialist, multidirectional emphasis that differentiates it from the U.S. appropriation of globalization to further its own strategic interests.

Keywords: World Literature, Comparative Literature, International American Studies, Globalization


World Literature; Comparative Literature; International American Studies; Globalization

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Published : 2017-06-30

GilesP. (2017). World Literature and International American Studies: Convergence, Divergence, and Contest. Review of International American Studies, 10(1). Retrieved from

Paul Giles
Department of English US Studies Centre's International Academic Advisory Committee University of Sidney  Australia

Paul Giles is Challis Chair of English at the University of Sydney, Australia. He was president of the International American Studies Association between 2005 and 2007. His most recent books are Antipodean America: Australasia and the Constitution of U.S. Literature (Oxford UP, 2014); The Global Remapping of American Literature (Princeton UP, 2011); Transnationalism in Practice: Essays on American Studies, Literature, and Religion (Edinburgh UP, 2010).

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