Founded In    1976
Published   semiannually
Language(s)   English, German

Fields of Interest


Literatures in English, cultural studies (of the Anglophone world), English linguistics

ISSN   0171-5410
Editorial Board

Editor: Bernhard Kettemann

Editorial board members: Walter Bernhart; Peter Bierbaumer; Alwin Fill; Gudrun Grabher; Arno Heller; Walter Hölbling; Allan James; Christian Mair; Annemarie Peltzer-Karpf; Werner Wolf; Wolfgang Zach

Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik (AAA)

The journal’s main purpose is to demonstrate and celebrate the diversity of English and American Studies, providing a medium for its different branches, especially in the Central European academic context (but not restricted to it). Topics thus range from literary studies to linguistics, from theoretical to applied, from text-focused to culturally-oriented, from novel to film, from textual to contextual, from England to Australia and from the USA to South Africa.


2005, Vol. 30, Nos. 1/2

Impure Bodies: American Pornography and Lesbian Corporeality

This paper focuses on erotic corporeality in lesbian-feminist pornography and how it may be said to participate both in the feminist and the pornographic tradition. Insistently calling upon “the truth” about sexuality, American lesbian pornography both celebrates and dismisses experiential knowledge about corporeality, essentially disassembling its own point of departure, the female body – only to make it whole again as the original flesh in the end. Yet the desirous lesbian gaze in the pornographic text also subverts this harmonious conclusion. In the pornographic act, the performance ultimately eclipses the real and slips away from the self’s desire, the center of the truth that justifies its existence. This moment of eclipse becomes tangible in the early short stories of Pat Califia, which together inaugurate and delimit American lesbian pornography as an independent genre.

“But what does the Bible really say?” A Critical Analysis of Fundamentalist Discourse

This paper examines how the perspective of fundamentalism – more specifically that of American Christian-evangelical fundamentalism – is created and maintained by looking at its discourse. We argue that three strategies play an essential role in this, namely intertextual immunization, i.e. the use of quotes from the Scriptures to legitimize one’s own views, polarisation, i.e. the conceptualization of the world in terms of binary oppositions – with a strong emphasis of the negative side of the latter – and radicalization, i.e. the conceptualization of the world in terms of extremes. We describe the uses and effects of these strategies in detail, illustrating them with authentic examples from Internet texts.

Intermedial Relations: Contemporary British Poetry and the Mass Media

This article investigates intermedial relations between contemporary British poetry and the most frequently used mass media. By applying analytical categories which have recently been developed to explain the transgression of media boundaries in prose fiction, it becomes evident that poets employ similar textual strategies to imitate or enact other media and thus to create the illusion of experiencing those media. As the discussed examples of a musicalization, televization and filmization of poetry show, intermediality is a phenomenon that can be proved in its intricate textual manifestations. British poets adopt intermedial strategies to voice their criticism of certain media products and habits of reception. In doing so, they assert poetry’s social function of being a critical metadiscourse.

Witness to/for the Persecution: Of Race, Religion, Mel Gibson and Stirred-up Passions

The adaptation of the gospels into other genres has always been a problematic feat with its own complex hermeneutics. This paper touches on three different adaptations of the Passion story: a traditional spiritual sung across Black America on Good Fridays entitled Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?; the Oberammergau Passionsspiel with its checkered Rezeptionsgeschichte; and, finally, Mel Gibson’s controversial 2004 blockbuster movie The Passion of the Christ, still stirring debate here in the US. In some ways, Gibson’s film offers to many millions of viewers a two-hour ‘witnessing’ experience comparable to the day-long theatrical experience offered to small audiences at tiny Oberammergau every ten years. But is this a time condensation (and audience expansion) devoutly to be wished? America’s divided response to Gibson’s adaptation reveals the way race, religion and aesthetics currently divide our nation.

A Voice of One’s Own. Language as a central element of resistance and a means of re-constructing indigenous identities in Patricia Grace’s fiction

Even though the world seems to be moving together in linguistic terms (with English asserting its position as the central lingua franca), the former colonies are taking a step towards liberating themselves from the overpowering influence of the British and their language, not the least by re-discovering their own expression in literature. One distinctive post-colonial voice belongs to the New Zealand author Patricia Grace, herself of Maori and Pakeha descent. Although she writes in the language of the colonisers, the language she uses in her fiction (for her narrators as well as for her characters) constitutes a form of resistance against the superimposed culture of the Pakeha, and also facilitates/enables her characters' re-definitions of themselves as Maori. This paper will analyse these forms of resistance as well as the questions how far language is used to reflect the female characters' development of their personal identities and how they come to develop their own voices.

The Language of Islamic Fundamentalism

This paper analyses the ideologies implicitly conveyed by texts written by Islamist organizations and distributed via the internet, drawing upon the categories of discursive strategies proposed by Kettemann and Marko in their exemplary examination of Christian-evangelical fundamentalist discourse in the USA (this volume). I show that intertextual immunisation, polarisation and radicalisation are not restricted to Christian-evangelical fundamentalism, but can also be found in Islamic fundamentalism. Although the analyses reveal some differences – e.g. Islamist discourses put more emphasis on global political conflicts than on society-internal moral issues, the attempt to create internal coherence in the Muslim community is more foregrounded, and radicalization is more clearly intended to promote the readiness to commit violence against the external enemy – the two types of texts also show significant similarities, suggesting that on a deep (discursive) level the two fundamentalisms seem to work along the same lines.

Shifting foci in language description and instruction: Towards a lexical grammar of progressives

This paper refers to selected results from a large-scale corpus-driven analysis of progressives in spoken British English and in the language of teaching materials used in the EFL classroom. It starts from the observation that existing accounts of the progressive either lack a broader empirical basis or mainly focus on written language data. While the larger study deals with a wide range of context and function features of progressive forms in spoken English and so-called 'school' English, the analytic focus in the present paper is on only one particular co-selection phenomenon: progressives and future time reference. Patterns of progressive use will be isolated and the adequacy of existing linguistic and pedagogical descriptions of this construction will be discussed. Of particular interest in this context is the role that the choice of different lexical items plays in a grammatical construction. It will be explored whether co-selection patterns are strongly lexically determined or valid for progressives in general.

Upgrading, downsizing and Co.: revitalising a moribund word formation pattern in 20th century English?

This paper investigates to which extent the word formation pattern which prefixes verbs with the particles up or down to derive new verbs has been productive in present-day English. Four approaches are used to investigate the problem. First, a dictionary-based investigation is carried out. Then, a large computer corpus is consulted and the corpus-based measures of productivity proposed by Harald Baayen (1992) are applied. A qualitative study is undertaken to determine constraints that may limit the productivity of the pattern. Finally, a native speaker judgement test is carried out to investigate the acceptability of up + verb and down + verb formations. The findings of the four procedures suggest that the pattern has indeed been productive in present-day English. However, it also emerges that what appears to be simple prefixation at first sight turns out to be the result of more complex word-formation processes than was originally assumed.

Corpus-based approaches to learner interlanguage: case studies based on the International Corpus of Learner English

This article deals with two aspects of learner language. It first outlines the advantages of present-day learner corpora over the 1970s’ error collections as well as their potential and limitations for foreign language pedagogy. In two case studies, the German and Italian components of the International Corpus of Learner English are then employed to demonstrate the usefulness of this corpus for the study of transfer and learner universals. The analysis of verb/adjective/noun + preposition combinations and text connectors shows the great influence of native language interference on advanced learners’ productions. At the same time it becomes evident that the absence of native language transfer does not necessarily imply the existence of learner language universals.