55 journals in 25 countries

The Confession of an Uncontrived Sinner: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”

By Małgorzata Grzegorzewska
Polish Journal for American Studies

Brilliant phenomenological analysis of the ticking sound in Poe’s story.

Recent Articles


09.11.14: Call for Papers - Death in the Cityscape
Canadian Review of American Studies

Call for Papers - Canadian Review of American Studies
Death in the Cityscape

In contemporary literature, the intersection of the space of death and mourning within the confines of the city acts as a method of critiquing our understood modes of living. Since Plato’s Republic, the uneasy interplay of death and memorialization within the polis has been considered. Theorists like Gillian Rose in Mourning Becomes the Law and Sharon Zukin in Naked City have elaborated upon the discourse of space, death, and mourning within an urban setting. This issue of finding a space within the city for the dead remains with us, and recent American economic turmoil places the urban metropolis and its spaces of decay in sharp focus (seen in novels like Teju Cole’s Open City, television shows like The Wire and movies such as Synecdoche, New York). Where in the city is death (dis)allowed? Under what authority does the city, as a social nexus point, memorialize the dead? How does art work in concert with, or against, accepted practices of mourning and memorializing within the city limits? Can one mourn the passing of a city and, if so, how is this enacted? While this abstract focuses primarily on contemporary American work, we welcome papers related to any period of American urban history.

We invite scholarly articles on this topic in any genre of American studies. Submissions should be no more than 8000 words in length. Abstracts of no more than 250 words will be accepted until December 1, 2014. Completed articles must be submitted by April 1, 2015.

Send abstracts and submissions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Possible topics may include:
- Death’s relationship to identity in the American city
- American Cities Characterized
- Post-9/11 American Cities and Identity
- Death and Mourning in the City
- Death and Public Art
- Memorials and Public Mourning
- Urban American: Recession and After

- African-American
- Children’s Literature
- Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches
- Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies
- Ethnicity and National Identity
- Film and Television
- Gender Studies and Sexuality
- Interdisciplinary
- Literary Modernism
- Popular Culture
- Postcolonialism
- Postmodernism and Postmodern culture
- Theatre Studies
- Twenty-First Century Literature
- Visual Art and Culture

11.07.18: aspeers Call for Papers by American Studies Students at European Universities by 28 October 2018
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies

1) General Call for Papers

For the general section of its twelfth issue, aspeers seeks outstanding academic writing demonstrating the excellence of graduate scholarship, the range of concerns scrutinized in the field of American studies, and the diversity of perspectives employed. We thus explicitly invite revised versions of term papers or chapters from theses written by students of European Master (and equivalent) programs. For this section, there are no topical limitations. Contributions should be up to 7,500 words (including abstract and list of works cited). The submission deadline is October 28, 2018.

2) Topical Call for Papers on “American Anger”

“If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention”—according to an Esquire/NBC News survey from 2016, “[h]alf of all Americans are angrier today than they were a year ago.” Statements like this mirror a perceived cultural and societal change that transcends simplistic partisan divides and has been accompanied by political battles and heated discourse. Though there has been an increased focus on anger in American public life following the 2016 election season, the mobilization of anger has a history that reaches back much further than current debates might suggest.

While anger is often targeted toward a specific group or specific policies, we want to avoid simple, binary conclusions. Rather, we wish to highlight why this emotion has gained such a prominent space in discussions of American culture and politics. In addition, we aim to go beyond a purely pessimistic outlook and are encouraging contributions that look further into either the positive effects of anger or productive responses to anger. In order to explore the breadth of this concept, it can be particularly helpful to not only focus on the current political situation but also on past and present literary explorations of anger and the manifestations of anger as a cultural practice.

For its twelfth issue, aspeers thus dedicates its topical section to “American Anger” and invites European graduate students to critically and analytically explore American literature, (popular) culture, society, history, politics, and media through the lens of anger in the US. We welcome papers from all fields, methodologies, and approaches comprising American studies as well as inter- and transdisciplinary submissions. Potential paper topics could cover (but are not limited to):

Explorations of anger in literature and in popular culture, e.g. in particular genres such as superhero narratives or protest movies, documentaries, mockumentaries, etc., or in various tones or modes, such as insults, mockeries, or denigrations.

Historical moments that saw a mobilization of anger, such as the anti-Vietnam War movement or the Civil Rights movement, as well as transnational dimensions (such as the transatlantic ‘spillover’) of anger.

The ‘racialized’ narratives of anger—e.g. the trope of the ‘angry black woman’ and the often-evoked image of ‘the angry white man’—as well as inquiries into the gender politics of anger, how anger is ‘gendered’ and how and why women and/or trans and nonbinary people are responding to or experiencing anger.

The economies of creating and circulating anger, e.g. news formats featuring punditry, polemics, etc.

Notions of ‘legitimate’ vs. ‘illegitimate’ anger and whether anger can be addressed in such terms at all.

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse meanings of “American Anger.” We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the twelfth issue of aspeers by October 28, 2018. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general Call for Papers. Please consult our submission guidelines and find some additional tips at http://www.aspeers.com/2019.

10.26.17: JTAS 8.1 is now live
Journal of Transnational American Studies

10.25.17: Now out: JTAS’s Special Forum on La Floride française: Florida, France, and the Francophone World
Journal of Transnational American Studies

10.25.17: Check out important new and forthcoming scholarship excerpted in JTAS’s Forward section
Journal of Transnational American Studies

03.05.15: Polish Journal for American Studies
Polish Journal for American Studies

PJAS is a representative selection of recent Polish contributions to American literature and American studies. The 2014 issue includes 14 articles and 12 book reviews.

02.17.15: SYSJOH Issue38
Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities

12.08.14: Canadian Review of American Studies - Volume 44, Number 3, Fall 2014
Canadian Review of American Studies

Philip Roth’s Mock Lincoln
Brian J. McDonald
This article considers the core political ideas that animate Philip Roth’s McCarthy-era novel I Married a Communist through a critical analysis of the novel’s central character, Ira “Iron Rinn” Ringold. It argues that, with Ira, Roth dramatizes the ambiguity that surrounds both the Lincolnian ideal of individual self-determination and the intractable presence of betrayal in the theory and practice of American liberal democracy. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2013.035

Interwoven Colonial Histories: Indigenous Agency and Academic Historiography in North America
John Munro
Inspired by a recent call for greater integration between histories of capitalism and of Indigenous peoples in the United States, I argue that scholars across American studies should take stock of the ways in which Indigenous history pertains to fields beyond economic history. This article emphasizes Indigenous agency and activism to historicize how Aboriginal history has become (somewhat) more prominent in American studies. In reviewing some of the literature that has helped bring about this still incomplete shift, I look at developments in the settler states of the United States and Canada in order to highlight their shared colonial structures. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2013.037

America on Parade: Thrill’s Affect-Zone and the 2012 NBC Super Bowl Broadcast
Peter Pappas
As a composite consumerism-entertainment phenomenon, the engaging atmosphere of NBC’s 2012 Super Bowl broadcast transcends pure athletic contexts. Thrilling affective intensity saturates the greater performance—integrating sports fandom, patriotism, brand loyalty, celebrity interest, and other compelling narratives—all framed by a pageant of global corporations pitching visions of universal consumerist prosperity. As a consequence, a variety of intra-appropriations between elements of spectacle and of the everyday serve to catalyse appealing instantiations of American socio-cultural identity. The present case study investigates the ways in which a multifaceted, permeating thrill enhances the broadcast event’s societal presence, while simultaneously reifying its cultural representations. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2013.038

Transcending Distances: A Poetics of Acknowledgement in Melville’s “Benito Cereno”*
Yoshiaki Furui
This article examines Herman Melville’s “Benito Cereno” as a transnational text by centring on two key words: the verb “transcend” and the noun “distance.” Through analysis of the trope of distance, this article aims to shed light on a way of imagining the alterity of the other that “Benito Cereno” presents to twenty-first century Americanists. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.002

“No Hostages through These Doors”: Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and the Politics of PEN
Ira Wells
PEN International, one of the world’s first human rights organizations, has long defended the free speech of persecuted writers. The PEN Prison Writing Program, however, has a slightly different agenda, which is to help convicted criminals become writers. The PEN Prison Writing Program “believes in the restorative and rehabilitative power of writing” and encourages “the use of the written word as a legitimate form of power.” But what is the nature of the “power” of the written word? And what, moreover, will this power restore and rehabilitate? When PEN proclaims the “power” of the written word, are they honouring an important strand of America’s liberal intellectual heritage? Are they pledging allegiance to a romantic coupling of art and freedom? Are they inadvertently helping to bind prisoners ever more insidiously to the carceral regime? Or are they claiming something that is actually true? This article addresses these questions through a reading of Thomas Bartlett Whitaker’s prize-winning essay ” DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.001

Construction du discours alarmiste sur l’invasion latina aux États-Unis. L’instrumentalisation de la situation québécoise
Catherine Vézina
Since the end of the 1960s, discourse concerning Mexican immigration to the United States has become more alarmist. In the past few decades, references to the “latino invasion” and the fear of a reconquest of US territory by the “Mexican hordes” have entered the American collective imaginary. At the same time, north of the Canadian/US border, Quebec nationalism, which is perceived as a threat to Canadian unity, became a major issue. This article focuses on how the “Quebec metaphor” is used in the United States to strengthen an anti-Mexican discourse. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.007

Suburbia’s Alien Reek: Contract and Relation in John Cheever’s Bullet Park
Joseph George
Since its establishment in the waning years of World War II, the US post-war suburb has connoted inauthenticity and conformity. But the understanding of authenticity implicit in this characterization presupposes an individualist notion of selfhood and a contractualist approach to social relations—presuppositions that, in turn, lead us to anticipate the very conformity also associated with inauthenticity. This article argues that the fiction of John Cheever adheres, not to the Romantic individualism that underlies normative views of suburbia, but to the process of identity formation described by Martin Heidegger, one that emphasizes relation to the present and factual. Accordingly, it claims that Cheever’s 1969 novel Bullet Park imagines suburbia as a prime space, not for inauthenticity and conformity, but for difference and intersubjectivity. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.008

Sunbelt Scholarship and Silos
Lucas Richert
The last five years have witnessed a series of books exploring the post-World War II rise and growth of the American West and South, an area of the United States sometimes called the Sunbelt. The term, coined in1969 by Kevin Phillips, identified a rather amorphous region that was undergoing rapid transformation and was, therefore, vital for long-term Republican electoral success. However, scholars do not universally accept the “Sunbelt Phenomenon,” nor has the concept produced intellectual consensus. Instead, authors are now rethinking previous methodologies about the United States after World War II and reformulating the configuration of social, political, and economic categories of analysis. The Sunbelt concept is now being renegotiated. In recent years, works by Michelle Nickerson and Darren Dochuk; Jeff Roche; Elizabeth Tandy Shermer; and Kim Phillips-Fein and Julian Zelizer have signalled the energy of the debates as well as the evolving literature as a whole. Problematically, as much as this new literature shows expansion, the scholarship also demonstrates a small, though consequential, silo mentality. DOI: 10.3138/2014.006

08.13.13: aspeers Calls for Papers by American Studies Students at European Universities by 3 November 2013
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies

General Call for Papers

For the general section of its seventh issue, aspeers seeks outstanding academic writing demonstrating the excellence of graduate scholarship, the range of concerns scrutinized in the field, and the diversity of perspectives employed. We thus explicitly invite revised versions of term papers or chapters from theses written by students of European Master (and equivalent) programs. For this section, there are no topical limitations. Contributions should be up to 10,000 words (including abstract and list of works cited). The submission deadline is 3 November 2013.

Topical Call for Papers on “American Anxieties”

In her July 2012 Atlantic article “Trickle-Down Distress,” Maura Kelly argues that anxiety might well be considered a “peculiarly American phenomenon.” And in fact, the interrelation between American culture(s) and notions of individual and collective anxiety—from a sense of unease to the experience of crisis to full-blown panic—has proven to be a stimulating topic of interrogation. Accordingly, anxiety, understood not solely as a state, mood, or emotion but also as a phenomenon indicative of larger social dynamics and as a concept capable of performing cultural work, has continuously gained prevalence in scholarly debates.

aspeers will, therefore, dedicate the topical section of its seventh annual issue to “American Anxieties,” seeking to further explore the topic and the manifold scholarly opportunities and interpretative potential it offers for MA-level American Studies in Europe. Considering the wide range of disciplines that engage with anxiety in its overt and subtle forms, the topic lends itself particularly well to the inherently interdisciplinary approach within the field of American studies. Moreover, many traditional and more recent research foci of American studies can be read as sites of anxieties, thereby shedding light on previously disregarded connections between them. The following thematic clusters, then, might spark but do not delimit ideas for possible submissions:

  identity, culture wars, etc.

  (un)reliability, concepts of truth, role of the media, etc.

  terrorism, fundamentalism, conspiracy theories, anxiety as a disciplinary mode, surveillance/privacy, PRISM, etc.

  sexuality/gender, homophobia and trans*phobia, crises of masculinity, post-feminism, etc.

  nationalism, immigration, political extremism, gun legislation, the Cold War, etc.

  body image, ageism, ableism, etc.

  financial crises, poverty, class/status anxieties, Occupy, etc.

  ecocriticism, global warming, health- or food-related panics, etc.

  Civil Rights, hate crimes, the ‘post-racial,’ Trayvon Martin case, etc.

  hysteria, phobias, madness, neuroses, trauma, etc.

  artistic expression, sentimentalism, horror, gothic, the Other, etc.

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse roles and meanings of anxieties in American culture. We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the seventh issue of aspeers by November 3, 2013. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general call for papers. At http://www.aspeers.com/2014 you can find additional information as well as our submission guidelines.

11.05.12: Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama’s Time
Canadian Review of American Studies

Special Issue - Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama�(tm)s Time
Canadian Review of American Studies 42.3, December 2012

Guest Editor - Fr�(c)d�(c)rick Gagnon

With the 2012 U.S. Presidential race in its closing stages, this very timely special issue aims to generate a deeper understanding of the U.S. culture wars. The issue contributes to the ongoing debates on whether or not there are culture wars currently underway in the U.S. and, if there are, who is waging these wars and what are the strategies and motivations behind them. The issue addresses four key research questions - Is a culture war really underway in America?; Is this ‘war�(tm) only between activists and politicians?; Who are the main actors in these wars and how do they try to reach their goals?; and Have we been witnessing a ceasefire in (or transformation of) America�(tm)s culture wars since Obama�(tm)s election in 2008?

This issue contains:

Introduction: Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama’s Time
Fr�(c)d�(c)rick Gagnon

DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.001

Crusade or Charade? The Religious Right and the Culture Wars
Graham G. Dodds

This article challenges conventional views about the Religious Right and the culture wars in the United States, as it contends that the general topic has often been distorted in important respects. Specifically, it advances several somewhat counter-intuitive claims. It contends that the Religious Right is neither a long-standing nor a monolithic entity; that it is currently relatively dormant; that cultural criticisms associated with religious conservatives are often not driven not by grass-roots populism but are cynically promulgated by mainstream Republican elites for electoral gain; and finally, that even when these efforts succeed electorally, conservative elected officials seldom enact policies that cultural or religious conservatives want. In short, much that has appeared in recent years to be a cultural crusade may, in fact, be a mere charade.
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.002

After the Culture War? Shifts and Continuities in American Conservatism
John Dombrink

Following the 2008 American election, some analysts concluded that the election had signalled an end to the polarization and culture wars that had typified American politics. To some, demographic changes would cause this demise. To others, the moderating of religious groups was crucial. As social conservatives came to grips with the 2008 electoral defeats, some argued for emphasis on culture-war issues to revive their role. Sin No More (John Dombrink and Daniel Hillyard, 2007) had argued that, despite conservative rhetoric, the tide was turning on the core legal and moral issues of the American culture war, moving them toward normalization. It challenged the representation of America as a “centre-right” country. This article analyzes enduring and shifting elements of the American culture war: the broadening of the role of religion, the reduced salience of wedge issues, and the paradox that some forms of polarization are increasing as others are receding.
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.003

Immigration and National Identity in Obama’s America: The Expansion of Culture-War Politics
Rhys H. Williams

The culture-war issues salient in US politics in the 1990s and early 2000s were typified by debates over the legality and morality of abortion and same-sex marriage. Immigration, in contrast, has been an intermittent issue, not as polarized as many others. That changed with the candidacy and then election of Barack Obama to the presidency. While anti-abortion and “pro-family” activism has continued, there is a new public focus on a vision of “America” that depends upon a conflation of race, religion, and national identity. This has helped transform immigration into a highly charged, highly polarized culture-war-style issue and has facilitated the lasting resonance of the construction of Obama as Muslim, as born in Kenya, as not a citizen, and as both a socialist and a fascist simultaneously. Drawing on popular media discourse and material from Tea Party and immigration reform web sites, I explore the construction of American national identity in terms of its ethno-cultural articulations.
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.004

Understanding Culture Wars through Satirical/Political Infotainment TV: Jon Stewart and The Daily Show’s Critique as Mediated Re-enactement of the Culture War
David Grondin

Recent US culture wars have been waged through televised entertainment news (infotainment TV). The imprint left by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show on mainstream news outlets has been analyzed in political communication studies and media studies. However, no one has so far made a case for Jon Stewart as a protagonist in these culture wars, especially because Stewart himself wants to stay clear of and set himself apart from them. This paper looks at the performativity of these culture wars in infotainment TV as the medium and locus where the culture wars are waged. While I recognize the crucial role played by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show in critiquing news-media coverage of American politics, I nevertheless contend that Stewart can also be seen as a culture warrior, albeit an unwilling one, and that, by giving him a voice, the medium of infotainment TV is turning him into such a warrior. My argument is predicated on the belief that satirical/political infotainment TV is an important locus of the culture wars and must be studied carefully because it plays a political role in mediating their re-enactment. Using this news-media satirical form as epistemological grounding, I first focus on how these culture wars play out in satirical/political infotainment TV and show that infotainment TV, because it is mediated as such, both critiques and re-enacts the culture wars and affects the American journalistic mediascape. I then examine satirical infotainment TV as political practice.
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.005

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