Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum: An Untimely Meditation on the American Vocation

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Fordham University Press, 2016 - History - 184 pages
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Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum interrogates the polyvalent role that American exceptionalism continues to play after 9/11. Whereas American exceptionalism is often construed as a discredited Cold War-era belief structure, Spanos persuasively demonstrates how it operationalizes an apparatus of biopolitical capture that saturates the American body politic down to its capillaries.

The exceptionalism that Redeemer Nation in the Interregnum renders starkly visible is not a corrigible ideological screen. It is a deeply structured ethos that functions simultaneously on ontological, moral, economic, racial, gendered, and political registers as the American Calling. Precisely by refusing to answer the American Calling, by rendering inoperative (in Agamben's sense) its covenantal summons, Spanos enables us to imagine an alternative America.

At once timely and personal, Spanos's meditation acknowledges the priority of being. He emphasizes the dignity not simply of humanity but of all phenomena on the continuum of being, "the groundless ground of any political formation that would claim the name of democracy."

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About the author (2016)

William Spanos is Distinguished Professor of English at Binghamton University, SUNY.

Donald E. Pease is Ted and Helen Geisel Third Century Professor in the Humanities at Dartmouth College.

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