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1968-2008, da ieri a domani

Numero 37

Autunno 2008 - Anno XV

A cura di: 
Bruno Cartosio e Fabrizio Tonello
1968-2008, da ieri a domani

Americhe diverse - p. 5

Bruno Cartosio, Fabrizio Tonello
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2008: l’anno dei democratici? - p. 7

Fabrizio Tonello

The American elections of November 4, 2008 will take place in a political moment when everything favors the Democrats: an impopular President, an impopular war, a faltering economy. This will translate in large gains in Congress, where the Democrats could add 10 or 20 seats to their already solid majority (236-99) in the House, and hope to win 5 or 6 seats in the Senate. However, the Presidential election remains competitive, with neither candidate obtaining a significant advantage in the polls. John McCain and Barack Obama are two candidates very different from the politicians who led the US during the last twenty years, and this explains part of their success. Whoever wins in November will lead the country in a new direction.

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Digital Obama - p. 22

Oliviero Bergamini

This essay discusses how and how much Barack Obama’s campaign for the democratic nomination has benefited from an extensive and extremely adroit usage of the Web as a means to widely scatter the candidate’s views, to keep in constant touch with the supporters, and to gather an enormous number of small contributions from the public who accessed the candidate’s site. “Barack Obama might be the John Kennedy of the Internet”, Phil Noble said a propos of Obama’s innovative competence in making use of the Internet during the campaign – comparing it to the competence JFK developed with regard to the TV. Bergamini does not underestimate the intrinsic importance of Obama’s personality, charisma and ideas, yet he stresses the conviction, supported by his own analysis, that it was mainly thanks to the Internet that Obama arrived to lead both in publicity and fundraising which won him, in the end, the democratic nomination.

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Aborto verbale: Barack Obama e l’offesa alla paternità nera - p. 37

Tyrone Simpson

In this essay, the author reflects on his own anxieties about becoming a parent in order to illustrate how the American cultural discourse about absent and neglectful black fathers—a discourse recently reproduced by the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Barack Obama—registers real life psychological effects on working class African Americans. The author reads Obama’s willingness to reprimand black fathers on Father’s Day as a gesture of political expediency that is unbecoming of putative political messiah who has pledged to bring a new and visionary political culture to the White House.

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Gli anni Sessanta, lontani e vicini - p. 45

Bruno Cartosio

In the course of the 2008 democratic primaries the presence in the electoral competition of two frontrunners like Barack Obama, an African American, and Hillary Clinton, a woman, has elicited frequent references in the public discourse to the Sixties, seen as the times when the presence in the American society of racial and sexist discrimination were tackled frontally by mass social movements. All commentators agree that the United States has changed since then, even though not everyone acknowledges that change as a legacy of those turbulent years. The essay examines how and in what occasions the sixties were evoked during the campaign, discusses the symbolic significance of the two candidacies, and reaffirms the decisiveness of the struggles to desegregate the South, gain the civil rights and the right to vote for the black people and of the women’s liberation movement in bringing about a new sensitivity to the themes of racial and sexual discrimination and creating the conditions for today’s change.

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“Hanoi Jane”: sesso, genere e tradimento nell’America post-Vietnam - p. 60

Jerry Lembcke

The essay examines the central role played by Jane Fonda, aka “Hanoi Jane,” in the gendering of America’s memory that the war was lost on the home front. It includes material that debunks commonly-held beliefs about Fonda’s 1972 trip to Hanoi, a content analysis of POW memoirs, a reinterpretation of Fonda’s image in the 1968 film Barbarella, and a sketch of “Hanoi Jane’s” biography.

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Testo a fronte

Le battute poetiche di Robert Hershon - p. 71

Riccardo Duranti
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Poesie di Robert Hershon - p. 72

Robert Hershon, Riccardo Duranti
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Per una critica liberal e pragmatica. Acolloquio con Nina Baym - p. 82

Giorgio Mariani
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Gli inganni del cervello. Intervista a Richard Powers - p. 91

Valeria Gennero
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Intervista a David Leavitt - p. 97

Stefania Consonni
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Contraddizioni convergenti: American Studies e comparatistica - p. 105

Djelal Kadir

This essay, originally a speech delivered at an international conference held in Naples in 2004, aims at simultaneously rethinking the current state of American Studies and the new tendencies of comparative literature. The author reads the recent state of crisis in the two disciplinary fields as the effect of their internal contradictions and investigates some of them. The common predicament of American Studies and comparative literature fosters a joint analysis of the two disciplines, leading to the emergence of an “isomorphic paradox” in both. The trajectories of the two fields, split between globalizing processes and particularizing counter-forces, may thus intersect in spite of their different aims, and this reciprocal tension may become the starting point of a fruitful cross-analysis and a negotiation.

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