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The haunting of the South: American geopolitical identity and the burden of Southern history
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2007 (English)In: Geopolitics, ISSN 1465-0045, E-ISSN 1557-3028, Vol. 12, no 3, 400-425 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The evocative figure of a South haunted by its troubled past is a staple of representations of the region, and such representations not only create a problematic identity for the region but simultaneously produce a privileged national identity through the process of internal orientalism. This article connects internal orientalism with the notion of the double Janus to explain the similarities between America's attitude toward Southern history and its assertion that Japan and Germany bear historical burdens of their own. The inward-looking face of the double Janus is informed by the discourse of internal orientalism and gives Americans an opportunity to judge an internal spatial Other (the South), particularly with regard to the region's history (as a result American geopolitical identity is cleansed from the historical burdens that are construed as Southern). This practice as a righteous judge of the Other serves the US hegemon and its outward-looking face of the double Janus in that the rhetorical practices deployed to discuss Japanese and German history have been honed through the assessment of the burdens of Southern history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 12, no 3, 400-425 p.
Keyword [en]
nationalism, geopolitics, internal orientalism, US South, American national identity
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Political Science; Geography; History
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121207DOI: 10.1080/14650040701305625ISI: 000249215600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-121207DiVA: diva2:304643
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-19 Last updated: 2016-04-18

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