Manifesting America

Manifesting America : The Imperial Construction of U.S. National Space

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In Manifesting America, Mark Rifkin explores how writings by Native Americans and former Mexicans challenge the legal narratives that normalize their absorption into U.S. national space. Demonstrating how the creation and extension of U.S. jurisdiction in the antebellum period functions as an imperial system, the book focuses on Indian removal in the southeast and western Great Lakes regions as well as the annexation of Texas and California. It tracks the confrontation between U.S. law and the self-representations of once-alien peoples subjected to it, showing how U.S. institutions legitimize conquest as consensual by creating forms of official recognition for dominated groups that reinforce the obviousness of U.S. mappings. However, these mappings remain haunted and disturbed by the persistence of the political geographies of indigenous and Mexican peoples made domestic in the process of national expansion. Examining a variety of nonfictional writings (including memorials, autobiographies, and histories) produced by imperially displaced populations, Rifkin illustrates how these texts contest the terms and dynamics of U.S. policy, indexing specific forms of collectivity and placemaking disavowed in official more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 158 x 240 x 24mm | 498.95g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195387171
  • 9780195387179

Review quote

Compels us to think carefully of the rhetorical and legal legerdemain of imperial conquest and the centrality of language in the making of the United States as a hegemonic power. * Southwestern Historical Quarterly * Rifkin's study offers a critical genealogy of the dialectic of incorporation and acquiescence that persists as a central element of U.S. imperial nationalism. This path-breaking study will be widely read and discussed by scholars in American history, Native American studies, and American literary studies. * Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth College * Manifesting America skillfully reorients American studies from its current fascination with the transnational, spotlighting instead processes through which the U.S. incorporated Indigenous and Mexican peoples and their lands into its national imaginary. Rifkin's attention to this discursive naturalization of U.S. authority as non-coercive reinvigorates the critique of empire-building at home. * Chadwick Allen, The Ohio State University * These steady-handed, often tough-minded readings document a genealogy of the interconnections between American Indian and Mexican-American experiences of American imperialism. Drawing on subaltern studies to great intellectual advantage, Mark Rifkin in Manifesting America innovates, re-imagines, and creates new pathways toward including indigeneity in American studies. * Robert Warrior, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign * Manifesting America is an important innovative work that will provoke argument and inspire emulation. Each chapter is compelling and rich in its interweaving of textual readings, history, and theory. * Amy Kaplan, University of Pennsylvania *show more

About Mark Rifkin

Mark Rifkin is an Assistant Professor in the English Department of University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research focuses on U.S. imperial and racial formations, particularly in the nineteenth century. Previously, he has taught at Skidmore College, University of Chicago, Fordham University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and his articles have appeared in American Quarterly, American Literature, American Indian Quarterly, boundary 2, GLQ, differences, Arizona Quarterly, and Cultural more

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