By James Dunkerley. Published 2006. ISBN 9781900039772
In this extended version of a lecture given in Toronto on diasporas and migration in the Americas, James Dunkerley reviews the academic debate over the study of the Americas – Anglo and Latin alike. Against the claims of “American Exceptionalism” many liberal scholars have promoted the idea of multiculturalism and an international dimension to American Studies but some post-structuralist scholarship evades the challenges of a creative inter-disciplinary approach. Through brief statistical and cultural portraits of the Hispanic population of the USA Dunkerley suggests that neither “disciplinary heroism” nor a universal deconstructionism can by themselves provide an adequate account of the current Hispanic experience and its origins. Equally all the signs of recent years are that the mere championing of the “American Creed” of the Founding Fathers is an exercise in anachronism unless accompanied by recognition of the rapidly evolving social fabric of the USA.