Founded In    2008
Published   annually
Language(s)   Multilingual (all titles and abstracts must be in English)

Fields of Interest


Interdisciplinary American Studies including cultural studies, media studies and new media, literature, visual arts, performance studies, music, religion, history, politics, and law

ISSN   1940-0764
Affiliated Organization   UC Santa Barbara's American Cultures and Global Contexts Center and Stanford University's Program in American Studies
Editorial Board

Our editorial board members are Shelley Fisher Fishkin
(Stanford University , USA); Alfred Hornung (Johannes Gutenberg University,
Germany); James K. Lee (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA);
Shirley Geok-lin Lim (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA);
Takayuki Tatsumi (Keio University, Japan); Greg Robinson (Universit� du
Qu�bec � Montr�al, Canada); and Nina Morgan (Kennesaw State University,

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

The Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS) encourages both established and emerging scholars to submit manuscripts throughout the year. Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication provided she or he owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).

Submissions should not exceed 10,000 words, must follow the Chicago Manual of Style, and include an abstract (not to exceed 250 words). All manuscripts are submitted electronically, and we prefer DOC or RTF files (although PDF files are allowed if all fonts are embedded and they are created using Adobe’s PDF Distillerinstead of PDF Writer).

Mailing Address

Journal of Transnational American Studies
American Cultures and Global Contexts Center
Department of English / 2607 South Hall
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3170

E-mail address:
Phone number: (805) 893-8711
Fax number: (805) 893-4622

» Journal of Transnational American Studies newest issue out now (JTAS 9.1)

Important new work in transnational American studies by Westenley Alcenat, David Bradley, Elsa del Campo Ramrez, Nir Evron, Claire Gullander-Drolet, Teishan A. Latner, Eric D. Larson, Jos Liste Noya, Lori Merish, Christen Mucher, Begoa Simal-Gonzlez, Mandala White, Janet Zong York, with a Special Forum introduction by Begoa Simal-Gonzlez and an editors’ introduction by Nina Morgan and Sabine Kim.

» Now out: JTAS’s Special Forum on La Floride franaise: Florida, France, and the Francophone World

This issue of JTAS’s Special Forum 2017 examines Florida in its interactions with France, Haiti, Spain, and the broader French-speaking world. The varied perspectives focus on the 1560s Franco-Spanish conflicts, the French colonial history, the impact of the Haitian Revolution, Quebecois snowbirds, and the Native American presence—enriching existing work on the French Atlantic (Marshall 2009) and offering ways to grasp the socio-cultural meanings of a disavowed French diaspora in the heart of the United States.

» Check out important new and forthcoming scholarship excerpted in JTAS’s Forward section

Forward collects important new work in transnational American studies and presents selected excerpts for JTAS readers. The latest issue features Vince Schleitwiler, Vaughn Rasberry, and Marco Mariano in English translation.

Journal of Transnational American Studies

The Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS) is a peer-reviewed online journal that seeks to broaden the interdisciplinary study of American cultures in a transnational context. JTAS is the first academic journal explicitly focused on what Shelley Fisher Fishkin in her 2004 American Studies Association presidential address called the “transnational turn” in American Studies.

JTAS functions as an open-access forum for Americanists in the global academic community, where scholars are increasingly interrogating borders both within and outside the nation and focusing instead on the multiple intersections and exchanges that flow across those borders. Moving beyond disciplinary and geographic boundaries that might confine the field of American Studies, JTAS is a new critical conduit that brings together innovative transnational work from diverse, but often disconnected, sites in the U.S. and abroad. In order to facilitate the broadest possible cultural conversation about transnational American Studies, the journal will be available without cost to anyone with access to the Internet.

JTAS brings together the vital contributions to transnational American Studies from scholars who focus on topics as diverse as cultural studies, media studies and new media, literature, visual arts, performance studies, music, religion, history, politics, and law, as well as scholarship that deals with ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, and class.

Sponsored by UC Santa Barbara’s American Cultures and Global Contexts Center and Stanford University’s Program in American Studies, JTAS is hosted on the eScholarship Repository, which is part of the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library.


» Visit Journal Web Site

JTAS 9.1, Vol. 9, No. 1

This is a political issue, with a look at activist struggles and how political ideals and ideologies traveled across borders, from revolutionary Haiti’s influence on African American emigration to the West’s first black republic, to Cuba solidarity work recorded in FBI archives, and Puerto Rican independentismo in the US, as well as a critical look at colonial appropriation of Indigenous culture, and the Zionist use of America as trope. Plus a Special Forum exploring globalization in a time of expanding transnational imaginaries.

Collecting Native America: John Lloyd Stephens and the Rhetoric of Archaeological Value

This article focuses on the representations of Maya statues made by archaeologist-explorer John Lloyd Stephens and his artistic collaborator Frederick Catherwood in the 1840s. While Stephens's and Catherwood's trips to Central America, Mexico, and the Yucatn were meant to provide material objects for a Pan-American museum of Native American "antiquities," the statues themselves were never exhibited to the public. Nonetheless, the visual and literary representations of the Maya "idols" circulating across North and Central America as well as Europe incited international interest and dramatically increased similar statues' monetary value. Stephens's valuation of Indigenous objects as possessable historical relics rested on the transformation of Indigenous bodies into laborers and Indigenous homelands into saleable property; their representation as mystical "idols" merely concealed this transformation. What is more, the historical and monetary value of the relics collected by Stephens was eventually surpassed by their textual reproductions. These representations -- rather than the artifacts or communities behind them -- set a persistent pattern for the study and evaluation of Native American "culture" as demonstrated by the textual afterlives of Stephens's work.

'Agrarians or Anarchists?': Cuba Solidarity, State Surveillance, and the FBI as Biographer and Archivist by Teishan A. Latner (Thomas Jefferson University)

In the late 1960s, as thousands of Americans traveled to Cuba to evaluate the nation's evolving revolutionary process, the FBI launched a surveillance campaign designed to prove that travel to the communist island by US citizens represented a threat to national security. Focusing on the FBI's investigation of the Venceremos Brigade, a radical humanitarian organization that sent delegations of Americans to Cuba as volunteers for agricultural and construction projects, this article evaluates the FBI's claims that Cuba was indoctrinating leftwing Americans with revolutionary theory and training them in guerrilla warfare. But while state surveillance was intended to criminalize the Venceremos Brigade in legal terms and demonize it within the popular imaginary, it failed to reveal any prosecutable evidence of criminality. Instead, the FBI's efforts inadvertently transformed it into the group's clandestine biographer, as agents produced a substantial archive of print material on the group. Amassing thousands of pages of surveillance, including rare pamphlets and ephemera, the FBI's unofficial archive unexpectedly confirmed the liberatory and humanist aspirations of the Brigade. Although there is a dearth of scholarship on the Venceremos Brigade, the longest-lived Cuba solidarity organization in the world, the FBI's files remain the most extensive archive on the group ever produced, surpassing any university's holdings. Files on the Venceremos Brigade illustrate the manner in which counternarratives can surface even within the body of the state's archives on grassroots political movements, narratives that are potent enough to challenge the power of the state's evidence deployed against them.

'to transplant in alien soil': Race, Nation, Citizenship, and the Idea of Emigration in the Revolutionary Atlantic

The emigration of African Americans to Haiti throughout the nineteenth century was influenced by the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804). Looking beyond this influence as mere legacy, this article proposes that scholars begin to interrogate the relationship that developed between African American Black Nationalists and Haitian allies. The article explores whether the emigration by African Americans to postrevolutionary Haiti during the nineteenth century was a political rejection of the US. Or was it an opportunity to explore the possibilities of democratic citizenship -- the right to have rights -- that only Haiti had to offer, in the hope of promoting genuine democracy in the United States, as well? Why, in spite of their insistence that they, too, were Americans, did some African Americans accept the invitation by Haitian revolutionaries to board a ship to the island republic? Black emigration, I argue, was not born of racial solidarity. Rather, it was the political consequence of racial exclusion.

Other Issues

Fall 2017, Volume 8, No. 1
Fall 2016, Volume 7, Number 1
March 2015 , Volume 6, Issue 1
Journal of Transnational American Studies, Volume 3, Number 1
Journal of Transnational American Studies: 2.1, Volume 2, Number 1
Inaugural Issue: Journal of Transnational American Studies, Volume 1, Number 1