Title page for ETD etd-10262005-155109

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hulsey, Dallas
Author's Email Address dallashulsey@gmail.com
URN etd-10262005-155109
Title The Iconography of Nationalism: Icons, Popular Culture, and American Nationalism
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Carle Freedman Committee Chair
Alexandre Leupin Committee Member
Elsie B. Michie Committee Member
Rick Moreland Committee Member
William Gouvier Committee Member
  • bobbie ann mason
  • jacques lacan
  • robert coover
  • louis althusser
  • george orwell
  • popular culture
  • lauren berlant
Date of Defense 2005-09-01
Availability unrestricted
The Iconography of Nationalism: Icons, Popular Culture, and American Nationalism develops a model of cultural icons, defining icons as highly visible, culturally variable, and overdetermined auratic images. Situating icons within the context of mass reproduction technologies and American nationalism, this study seeks to demystify the simple images presented by infantile, national, and scapegoat icons in literature, film, and political rhetoric. This dissertation argues that icons participate in the American nationalist project by channeling citizens’ political and patriotic feelings through seemingly simple images. While acknowledging that icons are necessary to construct what Benedict Anderson calls “the imagined community” of the nation, this study complicates a quick and easy reading of an icon’s manifest content and uses narrative to reveal the latent content in images like Marilyn Monroe, Barbie, Mickey Mouse, Elvis Presley, Pocahontas, Uncle Sam, Big Brother, and Adolf Hitler.
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