Kaplan, “Left Alone with
Amy Kaplan’s article is an introduction to the book Cultures of Unites States Imperialism, which explores “the multiple histories of continental and overseas expansion, conquest, conflict, and resistance” that have impacted the
Kaplan begins her article with two quotes, which I think are important to the understanding and comprehension of this text. I have reproduced these quotes below.
One of the central themes of American historiography is that there is no American Empire. Most historians will admit, if pressed, that the
Through significant and underscored omissions, startling contradictions, heavily nuanced conflicts, through the way writers peopled their work with the sign and bodies of the presence—one can see that a real or fabricated Africanist presence was crucial to their sense of Americanness. –Toni Morrison, 1992
Kaplan relates heavily to Perry Miller’s 1959 preface to Errand into the Wilderness. Kaplan recaps the preface to Miller’s book throughout this article. Kaplan presents the argument that when, as a society, we speak of the
In this article, Kaplan argues that Miller’s model of American studies remains today and that we still have a lot to learn. Kaplan expands on this idea by also looking at Toni Morrison and noting that culture impacts
This text relates directly to our course through its analysis of Miller.
Kaplan attributes the beginning of American Studies to Miller, noting:
In the 1956 preface Miller recalls how as a college dropout in the 1920s
he boarded an oil tanker for
Much like the Puritan errand, Miller’s trip to
Miller’s preface argues that to understand a nation one must look at multiple aspects of that nation. He realized this when moving oil in
This article is two-fold: noting Miller’s work in the
American Studies is multi-faceted.