Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres

Cover of "Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres"

Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres looks at contemporary American(ized) narratives and the audiences they call into being. Bringing together eight very diverse case studies investigating a wide range of media, genres, and modes, it asks how contemporary ‘texts’ encourage ‘imagined communities’ of readers/viewers that operate as ‘public spheres’ of social and political deliberation, self-fashioning, and debate.

In asking this question, the contributions collected in this volume shift perspectives in a number of ways: They question the boundary between the audiences of (often popular and broadly circulating) narratives on the one side and national public spheres on the other; they thus encourage rereading the transnational mobility of American(ized) narratives not simply as a phenomenon of popular culture but as an indicator of emerging transnational public spheres; and they invite us to look closely at the narrative dynamics with which these texts operate their audiences as public spheres.

Herrmann, Sebastian M., Carolin Alice Hofmann, Katja Kanzler, and Frank Usbeck: Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres: The Cultural Work of Contemporary American(ized) Narratives. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2012. Print.