Self-Determination, Subaltern Studies, and the Critical Remapping of U.S. Empire
More than tracking the cultural logic of "manifest destiny," the introduction develops an analysis of the friction between U.S. legal geography and the presence of countervailing socio-spatial formations which persist even in the wake of occupation. Attending to the insertion of Native American and Mexican populations into the terms of U.S. jurisdiction runs against the grain of the current transnational turn in American Studies, which often highlights movement across national borders at the expense of discussion of the (re)production of domestic space and its effects on prior forms of governance and land tenure. Employing the concept of self-determination and principles from subaltern studies, it lays out an interpretive methodology that addresses the textual production of internalized groups as a vehicle of collective self-representation while examining the ways such texts are marked by the imperial pressures of U.S. policy as well as class and regional tensions.
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