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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Presentation Details

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America’s 21st Century: Globalization vs. Isolationism

Gabriele W. Weinberger.


The USA as the world’s largest economy and only super power has an economic and technological presence literally in every country around the world.
No country can separate itself anymore from some measure of influence by the US, either directly or indirectly. This includes friendly nations, as well as countries considered neutral and even those seen as hostile, part of what President Bush labeled “the axis of evil”, such as North Korea and the Islamic world.
Paradoxically, most US citizens are at the same time proud of the powerful position their country holds, and largely unaware of the extent of this global influence and its consequences. Despite the country’s geographic connection to its neighbours on the American continent, the USA has maintained a surprisingly large degree of cultural separation and even isolation from the rest of the world.
Since September 11, 2001 there has been a certain shift in the general cultural consciousness of the nation. While the population (especially the post Vietnam and teenage generation) has been severely traumatized by the unprecedented attacks and jolted out of their lull of perceived insularity, the administration has initiated efforts to increase the perception of American security worldwide among its general population.
My presentation will focus on an analysis of the specifics of both the causes of US cultural isolation and the effects of the post 9/11 sociological and political strategies. It details the specific courses of action taken and proposed and their historical and culturally specific roots. It addresses the conflicts between globalizing efforts and efforts to increase the country’s security contained in the course presently pursued.

Presenters

Gabriele W. Weinberger  (United States)
Professor
School of Modern & Classical Languages
Lenoir-Rhyne College

Native of Germany; I lived in England and France before moving to the USA in 1978. Graduate degrees from both Europe (Universität Regensburg, Germany) and the US (Ohio State University). Professor at Cornell University (1988-89); Professor at Lenoir-Rhyne College (1989- present).
Master’s degrees in English and French, PhD in German Studies

Keywords
  • Globalization
  • Cultural Isolation



(30 min Conference Paper, English)