Simulacrum America

Simulacrum America

The USA and the Popular Media

Edited by Elisabeth Kraus, Carolin Auer


Currently out of stock

Camden House



A collection of articles that analyses the role of the media in America from a deconstructionist viewpoint.
This collection of original essays is a response to the paradigm shift that has taken place in cultural studies in the wake of postmodernism and poststructuralism. Such concepts as 'truth' or 'reality' have been increasingly called into question, since the realization that our experience of 'the real' is always mediated through an "empire of signs," as Roland Barthes put it. After a predominantly optimistic evaluation of the effects of the media in the 1960s (by Marshall McLuhan, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and others), a growing awareness of the total manipulation of society by mass-media imagery has emerged. The very concept of 'representation' has become problematic, witness the influential essay "The Precession of Simulacra" by the French sociologist Jean Baudrillard, in which he defines simulation as "the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal"— the current boom in 'reality TV' comes to mind. In the seventeen years since the publication of Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, ever more sophisticated technologies based on the computer as the simulacrum machine par excellence have offered us powerful new means of manipulating data — and consequently, means of manipulating, editing, and inventing 'reality.' The aim of this study is to unmask false 'representations', showing history, personal and cultural identity (especially gender and racial identities), the simulacrum of speed -- and American 'reality' itself -- to be constructs.


November 1999
271 pages
9x6 in
European Studies in North American Literature and Culture
ISBN: 9781571131874
Format: Hardback
Camden House
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Table of Contents

"Simulacrum as Sub-Text: Fiction Writing in the Face of Media Representations of American History" - Ruediger Kunow
"Simulacrum vs. Death: An American Dilemma in Don DeLillo's White Noise" - Arno Heller
"Experiments on Living Matter or How to Save the Narrative from Extinction--The Unfinished Story of Jean Baudrillard's and Don DeLillo's Cultural Pthology"DeLillo's Cultural Pthology" - Michael Stockinger
"Pop Goes the Novel: Avant-Pop Literature and the Tradition of the New" - Peter Schneck
"(The) Playing Author: Narrativity and Identity in Literature and Interactive Media" - Karin Esders
"Retunr from the Implants: Cyberpunk's Schizophrenic Futures" - Pavel Frelik
"Terminal Notions of What We May Become: Synthfleash, Cyberreality, and the Post-Human Body" - Louis Kern
"`Just Affix My Reality': Pat Cadigan's Constructions of Subjectivity" - Elisabeth Kraus
"Warp 9 to Hyperreality: Information Velocity and the end of the Space Age" - Alen Vitas
"Interrogation from Hyperspace: Visions of Culture in Neuromancer and `War Without End'" - Herbert Shu-Shun Chan
"Pop as Difference Engine: Music, Markets, and Marginality" - Ruth Mayer
"Subverting the Tonto Stereotype in Popular Fiction, Or, Why Indians say `Ugh!'" - Diane Krumrey
"`A Transcript from Real Life': The Simulated Reality of the Social Reportage" - Carolin Auer -- SEE NOTE
"Queering Ethnicity, Queering Sexuality: A Paradigmatic Shift in the Politics of Cinematic Representations of Cheryl Dunye's The Watermelon Woman (1996)"The Watermelon Woman (1996)" - Andrea Braidt
"About Something Queer: Simulated Sexualities in Bound and Showgirls" - Jeanne Cortiel
"Hollywood adn the Decline of European Empire" - John Trumpbour
"The Nation and the Void: Simulacrum America in an American Documentary Film" - Roberta Maierhofer


' A lively collection which sheds much new light on the representational processes at work in contemporary US novels and film.' FOUNDATION: INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION'An excellently edited collection of 17 highly informative, thematically wide-ranging, and methodologically challenging papers.' AMERIKASTUDIEN

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