Description/Abstract of your Event:
American patriotic culture has often stifled, if not outright suppressed, radical voices and movements. The left, as a tradition of political critique problematizing American assumptions about history, identity, and community, has been especially vulnerable to the charge of anti-Americanism. Moreover, many of the left’s most important intellectual and political traditions—transcendentalism, anarchism, Marxism, and cosmopolitanism—offer criticisms of nation-state centered forms of democratic politics, and at least implicitly encourage dissent from patriotism. And yet, American radicals have always sought to reconstruct patriotism to deepen American democracy, often with considerable success: many of the ideas and institutions now considered unproblematic features “the American way” began as radical notions purveyed by a reviled left. Thus, a perennial challenge for left politics has been to simultaneously engage and subvert the ideology of Americanism. In this panel, we invite activists, educators, artists, and critics, all of whose work uniquely opens up spaces for challenging American national identity, to explore with us the historical, theoretical, and political dimensions of the left’s entanglement with American nationhood.