Every Humanities eBook is 40% off! Stock up today >>

The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature

Editors: Nischik, R. (Ed.)

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41390-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41389-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-349-49006-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

A first of its kind, The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature provides an overview of Comparative North American Literature, a cutting-edge discipline. Contributors make important interventions into multiculturalism in North America and into U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border literatures.

About the authors

Rachel Adams, Columbia University, USA Mita Banerjee, University of Mainz, Germany Georgiana Banita, University of Bamberg, Germany Julia Breitbach, University of Konstanz, Germany Jutta Ernst, University of Mainz, Germany Florian Freitag, University of Mainz, Germany Monika Giacoppe, Ramapo College of New Jersey, USA Eva Gruber, University of Konstanz, Germany Christina Kannenberg, University of Konstanz, Germany Jean Morency, University of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada Caroline Rosenthal, University of Jena, Germany Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Arizona State University, USA Katja Sarkowsky, University of Münster, Germany Sabine Sielke, University of Bonn, Germany Marie Vautier, University of Victoria, Canada Lorraine York, McMaster University, Canada


“The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature will appeal to scholars and students interested in the manifold interrelations and transactions between the literatures of north America. Its articles are highly informative, well written and researched. They all summarize important debates and research traditions in their respective fields. The Handbook will also be helpful for readers with a specific interest in the politics that have shaped American studies as a discipline in the last couple of decades.” (Julia Straub, Anglia, Vol.135 (2), June, 2017) 

(Translated from German)

“The present volume, edited by the Americanist and Canadianist Reingard Nischik (Konstanz), pursues the ambitious and original goal of surveying and analyzing the various North American literatures from a comparative and transcultural perspective. ... It is a concise, readable, carefully edited, and t

hematically coherent handbook, which furthermore capably joins theoretical considerations and concepts to the analysis of extensive text corpora from various languages and cultures. It thus lays the foundations for further comparative as well as inter- and transcultural research and the didactic treatment of the literatures of North America.” (Hans-Juergen Luesebrink, Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien, Volume  66, 2017)

“Reingard M. Nischik has assembled a rich, informative, and critically astute collection of essays, which will be an indispensable reference work for Canadianists, Americanists and students of world literature alike. Meticulously researched and carefully edited, the chapters in this Handbook offer innovative approaches to their subjects, while at the same time providing a reliable compendium of information on cultural-historical backgrounds and developments. ... the volume combines comprehensiveness and detailed analysis in a remarkably balanced manner.” (Martin Löschnigg, Anglistik, Vol. 27 (1), March, 2016)

“This collection provides those in Canada and the United States who work on Canadian and American literature and culture with the opportunity to see what their field looks like from the other side of the Atlantic. … Reingard M. Nischik … has brought together seventeen essays that work together to demonstrate the viability of comparative North American literature.” (Susan Ingram, University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. 58 (3), 2016)

“This volume offers exciting and insightful approaches to the study of American and Canadian literatures … . The essays included all open up interesting and wider perspectives that will provide food for thought for all future students of (not only comparative) North American literatures.” (Martin Kuester, Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, Vol. 168 (2), 2016)

“[T]his volume is an outstanding contribution to comparative studies on the US and Canada . . . R

eingard Nischik's introduction to comparative North American studies should be required reading for scholars working in this field.” (Susan Castillo Street, Comparative American Studies, Vol. 13 (1-2), June, 2015)

“The volume is ambitious, even groundbreaking, and deserves serious scholarly attention.” (Andrea Caba, Canadian Literature, No. 222, Autumn, 2014)

"An admirably edited volume, The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature is a highly useful collection that will encourage practitioners of American Studies and Canadian Studies to think of their fields as mutually enriching and not shaped by immovable geopolitical definitions. Taken together, these essays demonstrate the enormous potential derived from a look across not only physical but also disciplinary boundaries." - Christoph Irmscher, Provost Professor of English, Indiana University, USA

"This wide-ranging collection of essays performs the long-overdue task of bringing American Studies and Canadian Studies into productive critical conversation. Through its astute understanding of the cultural conditions that have shaped the development of these areas and its transnational remapping of 'Comparative North American Literature,' Nischik's collection will help to transform both the American and Canadian fields." - Paul Giles, Challis Professor of English, University of Sydney, Australia

"Reingard Nischik's editorial acumen and comparative vision have produced a volume that should be essential reading for those interested as much in American as in Canadian literature, as well as in hemispheric studies. Not merely a 'handbook' that invites us to read these literatures through each other and across various thematic rubrics, thanks to the high caliber of the contributors, this book also makes a major critical intervention in how to read comparatively and through different critical lenses that will have a lasting significance." - Smaro Kamboureli, Avie Bennett Chair in Canadian Literature and Professor of English, University of Toronto, Canada

"Provocative, comprehensive, and a pleasure to read. Collectively, the essays in this handbook develop new perspectives on hemispheric American studies, North American studies, continental studies, and globalization. And with its important emphasis on Canada, the expertly written essays in this handbook press us to rethink the very terms of transnational American studies." - Robert S. Levine, Distinguished University Professor of English, University of Maryland, USA, and co-editor of Hemispheric American Studies and general editor of The Norton Anthology of American Literature

"The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature is rare and exciting: it both surveys and defines what we mean by comparative literature in North America and is a groundbreaking and stimulating critical intervention that, at every turn, shapes and determines the direction of its field. Its comparative readings of Canadian, U.S. and Mexican texts bring alive debates about nation and territory, identity and belonging, and about what we mean by North America. The essays here provide a scintillating examination of the intellectual and cultural territory of North American literature and provide new models for traversing the contested ground that it occupies." - Nick Selby, Professor of American Literature, University of East Anglia, UK

"The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature is the product of a rich and rewarding international collaboration. Under Nischik's expert direction, a new and brave step has been taken in the emerging (and flourishing) field of comparative North American cultural studies. All the new and necessary Canada/US bases are ably covered by this innovative collection: multiple perspectives (national, transnational, postnational, hemispheric, global), peoples (Indigenous, diasporic, multicultural), languages and literatures (Anglophone, Francophone), in addition to all the historical, political, and economic contexts that come into play." - Linda Hutcheon, University Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, University of Toronto, Canada

"Nischik's The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature is a timely and exciting multidisciplinary intervention in the field of comparative Nor

th American literary and cultural studies. The volume includes work by Humanities scholars from Germany, Canada and the USA who provide clear methodological parameters for new approaches to the field that resist narrow national concepts of North American culture as defined by traditional borders, disciplines, and familiar bilateral comparisons. Especially promising is the contributors' focus on literature and the arts as a way to avoid entrenching dominant narratives of identity by opening out investigation to include minority literatures, histories, and experiences. The result is a volume that celebrates cultural diversity through diverse analytical approaches." - Sherrill Grace, OC, University Killam Professor of English, University of British Columbia, Canada

"A unique group of scholars from Germany, Canada, and the US under the overall guidance of Reingard Nischik addresses North American cultures and literatures in comparative perspective. Much is to be gained from the new disciplinary framework this collection proposes - Comparative North American Studies - and much is to be learned from this superb collection about individual and collective constructions of identity and difference in North America that it so brilliantly probes and analyzes." - Heike Paul, Professor of North American Studies, FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg, Germany

"In The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature, Nischik brings together essays by scholars from universities in Germany, the United States, and Canada to create a comprehensive and illuminating overview of the exciting field of comparative studies of the literatures of North America. These essays unsettle long-standing conceptions of literature from diverse places as they present models for continental studies. Troubling concepts of nation and border, the writers consider texts in surprising juxtapositions. Multiculturalism and regionalism take on new parameters when seen as continental phenomena. Transnational and global perspectives provide new contexts for understanding texts and imbue texts from marginalized cultures with unexpected values." - Carol L. Beran, Professor of English, Saint Mary's College of California, USA

"This excellent collection of essays offers a fresh and insightful approach to literary and cultural production in 21st century North America. Its proposal for a Comparative North American Studies framework promises to enrich Canadian Studies - as well as American Studies, hemispheric studies, and global studies - with its clear and articulate discussion of these fields, and of related issues such as colonization/decolonization, nation and nationalism, Indigenous cultures, immigration, multiculturalism, citizenship, regionalism, borderlands, and technology." - Christl Verduyn, Davidson Chair and Director, Centre for Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University, Canada

"Covering a range of subjects, this volume is a unique project that demonstrate

s an ex


al discussion of borders. Moreover, undergrads, particularly in literature and cultural studies classrooms, will especially benefit from this collection." - Sara Humphreys, Assistant Professor of English, Trent University Oshawa, Canada

Table of contents (17 chapters)

  • Comparative North American Studies and Its Contexts: Introduction

    Nischik, Reingard M.

    Pages 3-31

  • Imagining North America

    Adams, Rachel

    Pages 33-45

  • Multiculturalism in the United States and Canada

    Sielke, Sabine

    Pages 49-64

  • Comparative Race Studies: Black and White in Canada and the United States

    Gruber, Eva

    Pages 65-84

  • Comparing Indigenous Literatures in Canada and the United States

    Sarkowsky, Katja

    Pages 85-102

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41390-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-137-41389-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-349-49006-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide

Services for this book


Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Palgrave Handbook of Comparative North American Literature
  • R. Nischik
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Softcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
X, 417