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Transposing Pedagogic Boundaries: Global America in an Australian Context

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  • Giles Paul

    () (University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Abstract

This article reflects on an interdisciplinary first-year course titled “Global America,” which I have co-taught at the University of Sydney. “Global America” examines how the forces of globalization have shaped the United States, but also how the U.S. projects itself within a global sphere. The article outlines the particular challenges and opportunities involved in teaching such a course within an Australian context, before suggesting new scholarly directions in the field of American studies. One key aim of the course was to reformulate the central issues of globalization as experiential rather than abstract phenomena. In this way, the course used the experience of teaching American texts from an external vantage point to challenge institutional as well as the geographical boundaries. In its traditional interdisciplinary framework, American studies invariably attempts to either export U.S. culture to the world or else to represent American liberalism as a universal value. The paper argues for a more materialist, transnational approach, which attempts to bring local narrative and global compass into a mutually enlightening dialogue. Ultimately, the article reveals how a transnational pedagogy of American studies can help creatively to transpose the boundaries of “Global America” and thus foster a productive state of intellectual defamiliarization.

Suggested Citation

  • Giles Paul, 2015. "Transposing Pedagogic Boundaries: Global America in an Australian Context," New Global Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 9(3), pages 331-350, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:nglost:v:9:y:2015:i:3:p:331-350:n:6
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