MYTH and also SYMBOL institution THEORIES

The first clearly identifiable institution of AS theory and technique is normally referred to as the "myth and also symbol" approach. These movie critics worked top top the presumption that something prefer the essence of American society could be culled by analysis representative good individual works of the American creativity (though some relocated out the the canon into renowned texts). Myth and also symbol scholars asserted to find particular recurring myths, symbols, and also motifs in plenty of of these functions (the American Adam, the virgin land, the machine in the garden and also so on). Vital figures working in or roughly this technique include Henry Nash Smith, Leo Marx, man William Ward, and, in a revisionist mode, Annette Kolodny, Richard Slotkin, and Alan Tracthenberg. While rather reluctant come theorize their work, each of these authors has actually made at least one programmatic statement and also others have actually tried much more formally to codify, explain, and/or critique your methods and theoretical assumptions.

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All citations in this bibliography are arranged chrono-topically, not alphabetically, to give a sense of theoretical advances emerging over time.

Smith, H.N. "Can American Studies build a Method?" American Quarterly 9 (1957): 197-208, and, contempt revised in J. Kwiat and M. Turpie, eds. Research studies in American Culture. Minneapolis, MN: university of Minnesota, 1960.Generally regarded as the very first important programmatic declare of the myth and also symbol school, this essay suggests for this approach as a conference ground for history, literature and sociology yet is based in humanist assumptions that tend to favor the first two state in this triptych over the third. See likewise the preface come the second edition that Smith"s standard work, Virgin Land, and also his reassessment piece in the Bercovitch and Jehlen repertoire cited in section I.Marks, Barry. "The principle of myth in Virgin Land." American Quarterly 15 (1963):71-76.Trachtenberg, Alan. "Myth, History, and Literature in Virgin Land."Prospects 3 (1977): 127-129.Both Trachtenberg and also Marks (above) effort to elicit the systematic technique and theory behind what Smith claimed to have actually done much more or less intuitively in Virgin Land.Attebery, Brian. "American Studies: A no So Unscientific Method." American Quarterly 48 (June 1996): 316-43.Drawing on the correspondence in between Henry Nash Smith and Leo Marx, Attebery argues that a Dilthey-like hermeneutics underlay the putatively methodless method of Marx and some other myth and symbol scholars. Phone call for as scholars to acknowledge and take on "a various kind the science, one in which interpretation and cross-disciplinary validation replace prediction and experimental verification."Kuklick, Bruce. "Myth and Symbol in American Studies." American Quarterly 24(1972): 435-450.An prominent critique the the myth and also symbol institution for its alleged "philosophical idealism," "elitism," and also lack that sociological grounding.Finseth, Ian. "PREFACE come the HyperText variation of Henry Nash Smith"s Virgin Land: The American West together Symbol and also Myth."Finseth provides an amazing seven stage typology the the provides of "myth" in Smith"s book.Lenz, Guenther. "American Studies--Beyond the Crisis?: recent Redefinitions and the an interpretation of Theory, History, and also Practical Criticism." Prospects7 (1982): 53-113.Lenz reflects that movie critics of the myth and also symbol school have failed to acknowledge the historicity, diversity, and facility practice of the school, instead giving reductive and reifying readings the the admittedly insufficient theoretical works of the legend critics. The generalizes this concept to argue because that a analysis of AS theory that attends to the varied practices that scholars quite than your programmatic explanation in an effort to uncover the logics and epistemologies that have actually governed the ar in various historical eras.Sklar, Robert. "The problem of an American studies "Philosophy:" A Bibliography of brand-new Directions." American Quarterly 27 (1975): 245-262.Important critique of the myth and also symbol school, and also a inspection of then emerging work affected by neo-marxism and centered approximately the ide of "ideology" as a more politically specific alternative to "myth."Slotkin, Richard. "Myth and the manufacturing of History." Bercovitchand Jehlen, eds. Ideology and Classic American Literature. 70-90.Summarizes Slotkin"s certain inflection the the myth strategy as exemplified in his three-volume examine of the frontier myth together imperialist rationale, renewal Through Violence (1973), The Fatal environment (1985), and Gunfighter country (1996). The introduction to the previous gives an earlier, much more Jungian conception that his approach, and also the development to the latter is a slightly various version that the essay cited right here which moves towards a neo-marxist conception the "ideology" to change "myth."Kolodny, Annette. The lay of the Land: an allegory as experience in American Life and Letters. Chapel Hill, NC: university of phibìc Carolina Press, 1975.An vital feminist, mental rethinking that the American pastoral tradition and also the virgin land myth the demonstrates the centrality of sex in shaping united state myth/ideology.Bercovitch, Sacvan, and Myra Jehlen, eds., Ideology and also Classic American Literature.

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NY: Cambridge college Press, 1988.Contains reassessments that their occupational by essential pioneers that myth and also symbol theory and method, including Henry Nash Smith, Leo Marx, Richard Slotkin, and also Alan Trachtenberg, and essays through the following generation of scholars, including Houston Baker, Carolyn Porter, Donald Pease, Michael Gilmore, jane Tompkins, Jonathan Arac, and also Myra Jehlen, the exemplify occupational in the 1980s and 90s that mixed feminist, neo-marxist and post-structuralist theories and also methods.See additionally section I. Top top the family tree of American Studies, essays by Marx, Smith, Tracthenberg, Gunn and Slotkin.