"A milestone in cultural studies. . . . As a literary scholar and a Joycean I am delighted at this book's epiphanic metaphors. . . . [It is an] invaluable contribution to scholarship as a paradigm of cultural studies."--Zack Bowen, University of Miami
"A tremendously exciting, innovative work. . . . Provides a lucid, detailed method for carrying out cultural studies."--Mary Lowe-Evans, University of West Florida
In this work Cheryl Herr uses architect Kenneth Frampton's idea of critical regionalism to describe a comparative methodology for cultural studies.
Demonstrating a process of oscillating perspectives--
moving from a "subject" location to an "object" social scene and back again--she details the impact of both immediate social forces and behind-the-scenes institutions on two "heartlands": rural Ireland and the American Midwest. She also provides the tools to understand symmetrical historical/global patterns in Ireland and the Midwest.
Herr strongly supports a crosscultural approach in which every issue is framed by its role in a hierarchy of increasingly global economic institutions. At the same time, she considers the representation of crisis on the local level. She uses creative "found" and "forced" assemblages to illustrate historical processes and provides a strong case for a larger place in the university curriculum for a crosscultural studies methodology.
Cheryl Herr is professor of English at the University of Iowa and author of Joyce's Anatomy of Culture, as well as articles in Critical Inquiry, Journal of Modern Literature, and Novel.
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"Her vision of literar and filmic texts as 'manipulation and cynical contemporary administration' of the world's heartlands by ruthless corporations (165), does indeed enable them 'anew'. This is no mean achievement."
"After reading Critical Regionalism and Cultural Studies, an original and genuinely intriguing book, I will never teach these texts the same way again." -- Novel Novel