Keywords for American Cultural Studies, Second Edition

320 pages

December, 2014

ISBN: 9780814708019



Add to Cart Available: 10/16/2015

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Bruce Burgett is Dean and Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell, graduate faculty in the Department of English at the University of Washington, Seattle, and co-director of the UW graduate Certificate in Public Scholarship.  He is the author of Sentimental Bodies: Sex, Gender, and Citizenship in the Early Republic.

All books by Bruce Burgett

Glenn Hendler is Associate Professor and Chair in the English Department at Fordham University, where he also teaches in the American Studies Program. He is the author of Public Sentiments: Structures of Feeling in Nineteenth-Century American Literature.

All books by Glenn Hendler

Since its initial publication, scholars and students alike have turned to Keywords for American Cultural Studies as an invaluable resource for understanding key terms and debates in the fields of American studies and cultural studies. As scholarship has continued to evolve, this revised and expanded second edition offers indispensable meditations on new and developing concepts used in American studies, cultural studies, and beyond. 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.
Designed as a print-digital hybrid publication, Keywords collects more than 90 essays—30 of which are new to this edition—from interdisciplinary scholars, each on a single term such as “America,” “culture,” “law,” and “religion.”  Alongside “community,” “prison,” "queer," “region,” 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. The Keywords website, which features 33 essays, provides pedagogical tools that engage the entirety of the book, both in print and online.
The publication brings together 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. All are clear, challenging, and critically engaged.  As a whole, 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. 
Visit for online essays, teaching resources, and more. 


  • “The second edition of Keywords for American Cultural Studies is a wonderful, deeply engaging volume that will be used productively by a wide audience of students, scholars, and general readers. With an impressive range of contributors, from trusted veterans to insurgent new voices, spanning both print and online essays, Burgett and Hendler have assembled conversation starters, snapshots of important moments in the development of the academic field. There is a seriousness of purpose here, a desire to establish the stakes of scholarly inquiry that radiates from every page.”

    —Jeffrey Melnick, co-author of Immigration and American Popular Culture

  • "This hybrid print-digital edition continues the work of the first, presenting discussions of concepts important in American cultural studies...Entries often branch out in fascinating ways; e.g. 'Space' spans Renaissance philosophy, the literature of Melville and Twain, Sun Ra's music, and protest tactics of the American Indian Movement."