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Reading America: Text as Cultural Force

Author: 
Guillen, Matthew
Credentials: 
Ph.D, LL.D, Professor Anglo-American Law, University of Paris(Paris XII)

Is there a unique visual infrastructure that keeps and defines a culture? Professor Guillen discusses a culture built entirely on the visual modality and, most significantly, on that province of the visual we negotiate through the written word. Although this work analyzes features critical to the American legal tradition from its origins in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence to recent Supreme Court decisions---substantially exploring Judge Scalia’s “originalist” movement and Posner’s law and economics theories---the presiding agency remains the power of the written language to provide scaffolding to American culture. Writing, it is argued, contours: our worldview, our laws, morality,science,social problems, and affects film, media,broadcasting,comics and literary criticism. The effects of our national formation and the literature that sprung up to discuss the new nation and define its people have directly led to the evolution of our idiosyncratic legal and philosophical perspectives. The title of this work purposely carries a double meaning since it proposes to deal with a “reading of” American culture through its legal and cultural legacy as well as concluding with questions revolving around a well informed American “readership” essential for the preservation of the culture as well as the continued existence of a national collective conscience.

Table of Contents:
Chapter1: READING AMERICA
Chapter2: NATION MYTHS
Chapter3: MANUSCRIPT CULTURE AND THE ADVENT OF PRINT
Chapter4: AMERICAN CIVILIZATION
Chapter5: ORIGINALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS
Chapter6: NEW YORK AND THE CULTURE OF WEALTH
Chapter7: MELVILLE’S WALL STREET
Chapter8: “BARTLEBY”AND 19TH CENTURY TORT LAW
Chapter9: AN EPISTEMOLOGY OF SKEPTICISM
Chapter10: ISABEL ARCHER AS UNREFLECTIVE THOUGHT
Chapter11: AMERICAN LEGAL DISCOURSE
Chapter12: LAW AND POPULAR CULTURE
Chapter13: CINEMA,MEDIA AND THE SPECTATOR
Chapter14: COMIC BOOKS AND JUVENILE CRIME
Chapter15: TEXT,AIRWAVES AND CONTENT REGULATION
Chapter16: MEDIATIZED NATIONAL INTEREST
Chapter17: A NEW LEFT AND NOVELS OF IDEAS
Chapter18: SKINNER,DERRIDA,BAUDRILLARD AND SUBVERSION
Chapter19: THE ENTROPIC WORD
Chapter20: LANGUAGE AND RESPONSIBILITY
Chapter21: THE POLITICS OF CULTURAL ATAVISM
Chapter22: BILINGUAL INEQUALITIES
Chapter23: EDUCATION REVALORIZED
Chapter24: LIFE,DEATH AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Chapter25: CONCLUSION. Bibliography, Index

Market: 
American Cultural Studies, Language and Literature, Literacy Studies, American legal history, linguistic theory
Release Date: 
10/2006
ISBN: 
Cloth: 1-933146-29-X
Price: 
$84.95
Trim Size: 
6 x 9
Pages: 
680
Index: 
Yes
Bibliography: 
Yes
Illustrations: 
None
CIP: 
Yes
Publisher: 

ACADEMICA PRESS
1727 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036

Irish Research Series: 
No