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A Desire Called America – Biopolitics, Utopia, and the Literary Commons - Fordham Scholarship Online
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A Desire Called America: Biopolitics, Utopia, and the Literary Commons

Christian P. Haines


A Desire Called America examines the relationship between American exceptionalism and U.S. literature. It focuses on how literary works by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William S. Burroughs, and Thomas Pynchon draw on the utopian energies of American exceptionalism only to overturn exceptionalism’s investments in capitalism and the nation-state. The book analyzes what it terms the excluded middle between American exceptionalism and its critique, or the conceptual and libidinal space in which critique and complicity mutually determine one another. The book also offers a theory of the relations ... More

Keywords: American exceptionalism, American literature, biopolitics, commons, labor politics, neoliberalism, social movements, U.S. literature, utopia

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780823286942
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823286942.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christian P. Haines, author
Penn State University