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By Reingard M. Nischik (eds.)

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And much like diplomatic relations among the three nations, comparative scholarship on North America has often proceeded in terms of bilateral conversations between the United States and its neighbors, rather than an equitable dialogue involving many different parties. US-based Americanists have shown considerable interest in Mexico, but typically ignore Canada or treat it as an extension of the United States, while those scholars of Mexico and Canada who have written comparatively about the United States rarely take each other as objects of critical interest.

John Carlos Rowe, in contrast, states: “Despite the long history of an ideology of a monolingual United States, revived quite hysterically in recent years . . the United States continues to be a multilingual society with large segments of its population working and living successfully in multilingual contexts” (Rowe 2000b, 24); see also Sollors 1998. 12. Especially in American Studies as well as in Quebec Studies, efforts have been made to also integrate non-English and non-French texts into American and Québécois literature; see Paul 2006; Biron et al.

Its North America is far less integrated than the EU, the entity to which it is most often compared. Whereas European unification was driven by the need to establish peace among formerly warring nations, the motivations behind NAFTA were primarily economic. 9 Unlike the EU, which has created institutions designed to promote a common continental identity, there has been little effort to create a collective sense of North American community. As International Relations scholar Robert Pastor put it in 2002, “more than four hundred million people .

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