Introduction

Literature and music in the Americas

Authored by: Wilfried Raussert , Giselle Liza Anatol

The Routledge Handbook to the Culture and Media of the Americas

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138479821
eBook ISBN: 9781351064705
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351064705-1

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Abstract

As a handbook, this volume can be used to introduce “students” of all ages to the complexities of Inter-American Studies. It is designed to rethink the Americas as interconnected geographical spaces, cultures, and peoples since, as is too often the case, subjects throughout the Americas use the term “American” to refer only to the United States. This tendency essentially cements the role of the U.S. as a neocolonial agent by failing to acknowledge the very presence of Canada and Mexico on the North American continent, and Central and South American nations and those of the Caribbean basin as sharing the same hemisphere – not only the continental landmass but also its waterways and other natural resources. Furthermore, the conceptualization of the U.S. as the only America fails to acknowledge the crucial contributions that populations throughout the Americas have made, and continue to make, to each other’s knowledge bases and cultures – particularly, for this portion of the volume, their music and literature. The essays in this collection encourage a different way of understanding the Americas within a global perspective, beyond a U.S.-centric vision of influence and power that perceives an orientalized Latin America, exoticized Caribbean, and passive Canada solely as the weaker, dependent, derivative, and colonized parts of the Americas.

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