Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes
23 Sep - 27 Sep, 2016
- Christopher Bigsby is a professor of American studies and director of the Arthur Miller Centre for American Studies at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, UK. He has won awards for his academic ...
- Ron Clifton is the retired associate vice president of Stetson University and retired counselor in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States. During twenty-five years in the diplomatic service he ...
- Cultural Critic and Professor, Boston College; Highly Acclaimed Author
- Former Professor of American Literature and Civilization, University of Geneva
- Chair, North American Literary and Cultural Studies, Saarland University; Vice President for Europe and International Affairs, Saarland University
Jerusha Hull McCormack
- Former Professor for English Studies, University College Dublin, Ireland
- Alex Seago is dean of communications, arts and social sciences and professor of cultural studies at Richmond, The American International University in London. With an interdisciplinary academic background ...
There are ambivalent, conflicting and contradicting images world-wide of America, its culture, institutions and people… America impacts world wide, and its image is shaped by every available medium. We will describe and discuss the nature and sources of the conflicting images, keeping in mind that the images of America are what they are perceived to be in the eyes of the viewer--no matter what the reality might be. America, its policies and its people, are seen through many different types of lenses. Some of these lenses, such as the most popular television programs, movies, music and theater, strengthen stereotypes which are anachronistic and undesirable. In many parts of the world, however, Americans are most commonly thought of in connection with current issues emanating from foreign affairs or the use of power, whether political, military, economic or cultural, as well as historic and contemporary interventions and involvement. Images are by their very nature an integral part of a country's soft power. Aspects of images and perceptions that the superpowers hold of themselves and of each other, and the image others hold of these nations, will be a part of our discussion about how a country shapes its image and develops its images of other nations. Whether accurate or impressionistic, favorable or not, the image of American culture outside the United States is a matter of great consequence to the conduct of foreign affairs, to international commerce and trade, to receptivity or resistance to all aspects of individual and institutional interaction. A primary goal of the program is to look at the conflicting images of America to better understand how America is perceived world-wide and to determine in turn how such images affect its involvement in world affairs.