International Forum for U.S. Studies

Reciprocal American Studies/Crossing Borders Project

IFUSS’ Role in the Crossing Borders Project

IFUSS participation in the University of Iowa Crossing Borders Project focused primarily on defining and strengthening Reciprocal American Studies. Made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation, the Crossing Borders Project seeks new ways of conceptualizing “area studies,” in response to changing geo-political relations. Reciprocal American Studies redefines American Studies as an “area study” with a global scholarly community and aims to internationalize American Studies by using a triangulation model. Our goal is to move beyond bi-lateral, center-periphery models by fostering links not only between institutions in the U.S. and institutions elsewhere, but also by facilitating connections among institutions outside the United States. As with the Iowa “Crossing Borders” initiative as a whole, the focus is on the Indian Ocean area, specifically South Africa, Mozambique and India.

To learn more about IFUSS trips to India and South Africa, please see our from Winter 2000-2001 and Spring 2002. Deborah Lombard, a graduate student in American Studies at the University of Iowa, has also written about her experience in South Africa in the International Accents newsletter, Spring/Summer 2002 vol.2 no.2.

The 2002 Crossing Borders Convocation, “Globalization and/or Spaces of Hope.” brought together University of Iowa scholars who participated in the trip to South Africa as well as a number of IFUSS –affiliated international scholars. In order to reflect IFUSS’ participation in the Crossing Borders Project, two of the convocation panels were made up of IFUSS scholars, “Reciprocal American Studies: Transformative Possibilities” and “American Studies Outside the United States: A Form of Globalization?"

Crossing Borders Project


Crossing Borders Convocation 2002 Program 2002 Convocation papers:

Azam, Kouzar J.
Osmania University, Hyderabad, India
“Globalization of American Studies after 9/11: Some ruminations”

Das, Nila.
Department of English, University of Kalyani, India
“New Trends of American Studies in India Under Conditions of Globalization”

Marx, Lesley
University of Cape Town, South Africa
“Keep it Country: The Americanization of my Father.”

Sharma, R.S.
Osmania University, Hyderabad, India
“Cultivating Humanity in the Posthuman: The Promise of Reciprocal American Studies”

IFUSS panelists/paper titles from the 2002 Crossing Borders Convocation:

IFUSS Panel I
Reciprocal American Studies: Transformative Possibilities

Chair: Dr. Jane Desmond, UI American Studies
John McKerley, UI CB Fellow History
“Two Strange Careers"?: Toward New Comparative Histories of the United States and South Africa
Dr. R.S. Sharma, Osmania University, India, English
Cultivating Humanity After the Post Human: The Promise of Reciprocal American Studies
Erica Still, UI Ph.D. Student English
And the Truth Shall Set You Free: South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee
Dr. Sonia Torres, Universidade Federal Fluminense, English and Hispanic Literatures
Crossed Gazes: Transnational Perspectives in American Studies
Discussant: Dr. Virginia Dominguez, UI Anthropology

IFUSS Panel II
American Studies Outside the United States: A Form of Globalization?

Chair: Dr. Rich Horwitz, UI, American Studies
Dr. Kousar Azam, Osmania University, India, Political Science
Globalization of American Studies After 9/11: Emerging Discourses
Dr. Nila Das, University of Kalyani, India, English
American Studies in India Under Conditions of Globalization
Deborah Lombard, UI Ph.D. Student American Studies
Re-enacting Defeat: Boer Leaders Take the Stage
Dr. Lesley Marx, University of Cape Town, South Africa, English Language and Literature
Keep it Country: The Americanization of My Father
Kristin Solli, UI Ph.D. Student American Studies
Internationalization, Globalization, Americanization: International American Studies-On Whose Terms?