Fabricating the Absolute Fake

America in Contemporary Pop Culture - Revised Edition

Jaap Kooijman

Fabricating the Absolute Fake

Jaap Kooijman

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

230 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $46.50 ISBN: 9789089645593 Published February 2014 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
In Fabricating the Absolute Fake, Jaap Kooijman explores the ways people around the world interpret and attempt to reproduce “Americanness.” Tracing the ways America has been appropriated by pop culture produced outside the United States, he examines such icons as the Elvis-inspired performer Lee Towers and the Moroccan-Dutch rapper Ali B. This revised edition features a new chapter on Barack Obama’s global celebrity and an afterword on teaching American pop culture. Like the first edition, it will prove an illuminating resource for scholars of American culture and popular cultures the world over.


Fabricating the Absolute Fake

1. We Are the World

America’s Dominance in Global Pop Culture

2. The Oprahification of 9/11

America as Imagined Community

3. The Desert of the Real

America as Hyperreality

4. Americans We Never Were

Dutch Pop Culture as Karaoke Americanism

5. The Dutch Dream

Americanization, Pop Culture, and National Identity

6. Yes We Can, This Is It

America and Celebrity Culture


Let’s Make Things Better


Teaching the Absolute Fake




Review Quotes
Anna McCarthy | New York University
“A brilliant, thoroughly enjoyable work of cultural critique, this book teaches us that interpreting the behemoth of American popular culture does not have to involve a polarized choice between naïve celebration and disgusted condemnation. Kooijman takes seemingly exhausted concepts like Americanization and turns them on their head . . . he demonstrates just how flexible the signifiers of Americanness can be when they circulate globally, materializing in surprising forms across film, television, and other popular media.”
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