This collection focuses broadly on the role of law in the construction of U.S. borders and takes up an important question raised by the global turn in American studies scholarship: once territory becomes less critical to scholarship in the discipline, what constitutes the frame of American studies?
For this project, a "border" is not simply a territorial boundary. Borders are created through formal legal controls on entry and exit, through the construction of rights of citizenship and noncitizenship, and through the regulation of American power in other parts of the world. Where legal rights are at issue, borders and territory continue to play a powerful role, especially as certain spaces, such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are marked by the U.S. government as outside legal restraints on government power. Yet the law also extends the United States beyond its literal borders, through, for example, efforts to export democracy to the Middle East.
This is the first collection to map the intersection of law and American studies, and it captures the excitement of interdisciplinary work at this intersection.
Table of Contents
Preface, Marita Sturken
Introduction: Legal Borderlands: Law and the Construction of American Borders, Mary L. Dudziak and Leti Volpp
At the Boundaries of Law: Executive Clemency, Sovereign Prerogative, and the Dilemma of American Legality, Austin Sarat
Borders of Identity
Racial Naturalization, Devon W. Carbado
Outlawing "Coolies": Race, Nation, and Empire in the Age of Emancipation, Moon-Ho Jung
Between "Oriental Depravity" and "Natural Degenerates": Spatial Borderlands and the Making of Ordinary Americans, Nayan Shah
Toward a History of Statelessness in America, Linda K. Kerber
In the Shadow of NAFTA: Y tu mama tambien Revisits the National Allegory of Mexican Sovereignty, Mara Josefina Saldaa-Portillo
Borders of Territory
The Edges of Empire and the Limits of Sovereignty: American Guano Islands, Christina Duffy Burnette
Romantic Sovereignty: Popular Romances and the American Imperial State in the Philippines, Andrew Hebard
Where Is Guantanamo? Amy Kaplan
Borders of Power
Canton Is Not Boston: The Invention of American Imperial Sovereignty, Teemu Ruskola
Liberation under Siege: U.S. Military Occupation and Japanese Women's Enfranchisement, Lisa Yoneyama
Between Camps: Eastern Bloc "Escapees" and Cold War Borderlands, Susan Carruthers
The Biopolitics of Security: Oil, Empire, and the Sports Utility Vehicle, David Campbell
"Setting the Conditions" for Abu Ghraib: The Prison Nation Abroad, Michelle Brown
Click here for chapter abstracts.