Presidential Unrealities: Epistemic Panic, Cultural Work, and the US Presidency

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Universitätsverlag Winter, 12.06.2014 - 246 Seiten

This book analyzes and historicizes an important and popular motif in contemporary US political discourse: the notion that politics has become increasingly ‘unreal.’ At the turn of the millennium, the simulated quality of politics in general and of the US presidency in particular has become a major object of concern across a broad range of venues and media: publications in media studies and political science, newspaper editorials, novels, films, and TV shows alike worry over how much or how little we can actually know about the reality of the US president when all our knowledge is based on carefully staged media representations.

Rather than adding another voice to this concern, ‘Presidential Unrealities’ investigates the cultural work such discussions do. Charting their histories and their cultural resonances, the book argues that debating ‘presidential unreality’ provides a crucial vocabulary by way of which the US public negotiates the postmodernization of American culture and society.

 

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Inhalt

Introduction
9
No Textualization without Representation? Situating Presidential
21
The Disciplinary Workings of Cultural Work
32
Conclusion
39
Frank Richs
63
The Librarian
77
Conclusion
97
Hollywood and Californian
101
American Hero as Satire
123
Tale Whacks Reality? Wag the Dogs Take on Social Reality
140
Conclusion
158
The Othering of the Image in The Selling
186
The Nostalgia of FrostNixon
209
Conclusion
226
List of Works Cited
237
Urheberrecht

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Über den Autor (2014)

Sebastian M. Herrmann works at American Studies Leipzig. He is the founding head editor of aspeers, the first and currently only graduate journal for European American studies as well as a grantee of stipends from the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst, the Fulbright Commission, and the DAAD. After the publication of his dissertation on Presidential Unrealities, he received the 2015 Christoph-Daniel-Ebeling Fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society to do research on his new book project on “Early (Big) Data.” He has co-edited Ambivalent Americanizations; Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres; and the Poetics of Politics.

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