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Artificial Africas


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About the Author

RUTH MAYER is Professor of American Studies at the University of Hanover, Germany. She has published numerous articles in both English and German on the subjects of race, colonialism, and popular culture.


"Ruth Mayer's erudite and insightful exploration of American culture's imaginings about Africa makes an important contribution to transnational cultural criticism. Although the continent and its concerns are often marginalized in discussions about public policy, Mayer shows that Africa looms large in the American imaginary. From fiction to fashion, from film to futurism, American culture turns to Africa for images and ideals of romantic colonialism, natural innocence, dangerous primitivism, and postmodern despair. Mayer's achievement requires us to rethink the role of stereotypes in our collective cultural life, to ask how and why a relatively small number of images have come to take on such generative power."--George Lipsitz "American Studies in a Moment of Danger"

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