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By Brian T. Edwards

When Henry Luce introduced in 1941 that we have been dwelling within the "American century," he believed that the foreign approval for American tradition made the realm favorable to U.S. pursuits. Now, within the electronic twenty-first century, the yank century has been outdated, as American videos, track, games, and tv indicates are got, understood, and transformed.

How can we make experience of this shift? development on a decade of fieldwork in Cairo, Casablanca, and Tehran, Brian T. Edwards maps new routes of cultural trade which are cutting edge, sped up, and whole of diversions. formed via the electronic revolution, those paths are entwined with the starting to be fragility of yank "soft" strength. They point out an period after the yankee century, during which renowned American items and phenomena—such as comedian books, youngster romances, social-networking websites, and methods of expressing sexuality—are stripped in their institutions with the U.S. and recast in very diversified forms.

Arguing opposed to those that discuss a global during which American tradition is purely replicated or appropriated, Edwards specializes in artistic moments of uptake, during which Arabs and Iranians make whatever unforeseen. He argues that those items do greater than expand the succeed in of the unique. They replicate an international within which tradition without end circulates and gathers new meanings.
About the Author

Brian T. Edwards is Crown Professor in center East stories and professor of English and comparative literary reports at Northwestern college, the place he's additionally the founding director of this system in heart East and North African experiences. he's the writer of Morocco certain: Disorienting America's Maghreb, from Casablanca to the Marrakech show and a coeditor of Globalizing American stories. His articles were released within the Believer, Public tradition, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

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Additional info for After the American Century: The Ends of U.S. Culture in the Middle East

Example text

American media venues have a continuing interest in this topic, whether in the coverage of the Egyptian revolution or in the popular fascination with books such as Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003) that depict Americans or American culture displaced in the Middle East. 3. There is a history of popular and influential writers, from the developmentalist Daniel Lerner in the 1950s to Thomas Friedman in the 1990s and 2000s to media studies journalist Clay Shirky, who assume a technocentric or cyberutopian determinism.

Even though American culture is very popular there, Morocco pays attention to France and Spain, former colonizers, and the Netherlands and Belgium, where many Moroccans live in diaspora. Iran looks with an intense focus to the United States and Great Britain, against both of which it has political and economic grudges, while its deep cultural connections to South Asia and Southwest Asia suggest that rival global cultures (Bollywood and Hollywood) are operative there. At the perceived center of the Arab world, Egypt—umm al-dunya, mother of the world, as the old moniker described that country—is of yet another order of cosmopolitanism; the popularity of Egyptian fi lms and television shows means that its own cultural products have had an immense regional effect in the Arab world.

These complex events are not only where individual status and wealth are at stake but where the potential lies to reorganize aspects of “the central tokens of value in the society in question” (21). Though I abandon the term, I consider such “tournaments of value” to include periodic large public debates over cultural products and texts, as we will see in a number of cases in subsequent chapters. This approach is related to reception or audience studies but distinct in that the focus on rich and complex discussions of particular texts and on their subsequent uptake in the work of later writers and cultural producers requires the kind of detailed attention of an ethnographer or a literary critic.

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