C o n C l u s I o n
acadeMic indiscretions
n Imperial Blues, I fixate on unfixing boundaries that divide
fields and objects of study and on configurations of space and
In short, my project continues with and alongside
scholarship that rethinks the epistemological and ontological
grounds for American studies, shifting the conversation across
disciplines, archives, and geographies. The joining of interests
and objects across disciplines, I argue, forces a certain aca-
demic indiscretion, a productive faux pas performed along the
grain of institutionally discrete disciplines. Part of what disci-
plinary indiscretion has granted me is a way of thinking about
how colonial desire travels back home in the form of migrating
bodies—material but also ideological bodies, in which imperial
logic helps determine sexual, gender, and racial formations in a
place like New York City.1 Because ideas and objects travel back
and forth across the presumed lines of cities and nations, metro-
poles and colonies, the other of the U.S. nation- state might be
found at home, in your neighborhood, or in your bed. These
thoughts can be dangerous if we imagine that the people we will-
fully refuse to acknowledge abroad, the people on whom our
countries visit violence, might have an effect on us here. Our
continued imperial work abroad might in fact be connected to
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