Graz boycott

April 7, 2000

There seems to be a certain sanctimony in the debate over whether academics should attend the Graz conference, but it is an aside in George McKay's article that I find personally offensive.

He writes that "after all, American studies started as a propagandist discourse during the cold war, funded by the United States government to soften up European intellectuals for the American way".

This may be true in some places, but not Keele University. I founded the programme, which developed into a fully fledged department of international standing. McKay's "discourse" (dreadfully fashionable word), should be more carefully phrased.

David Adams. Professor emeritus of American studies. Keele University

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