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American Studies Association

American Studies and the Culture Wars

From 1998-1999, Janice Radway served as the president of the American Studies Association. In her presidential address, titled “What’s in a Name?” she asked the most direct and potentially destabilizing question a scholar in her position could ask: does what we do, and what we want to do, correspond with the name under which we are doing it? Because of the radicalness of that question, many observers heard Radway asking not, “Are we studying US culture and society? Or is there something larger, more sinuous, less centripetal that we have in common?” but rather, “How soon can we dump the Read more