Founded In    1999
Published   monthly
Language(s)   English

Fields of Interest


history, politics, foreign relations, literature, culture, film and television

ISSN   1753-5794
Editorial Board

Hannah Durkin, John Horne, Ceren Sengezer, Ben Offiler.  Associate Editors include Michelle Aaron , William Boelhower, Richard Crockatt, Mario Del Pero, Richard Ellis, Ali Fisher , Danielle Fuller, Chris Gair, Michael Heale, Sheila Hones, Matthew Jones, Liam Kennedy, Anouk Lang, Kaeten Mistry, Scott Lucas, David Ryan, Maria Ryan, Giles Scott-Smith, Bevan Sewell, Antonio Varsori, Paul Woolf, Chris Emery, Euan Gallivan.

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Articles should be sent to and should be 5,000-7,000 words in length, excluding notes and bibliography. Book, film, television, and web reviews should be approximately 750 words.  For articles we recommend the use of either Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.) or MLA (6th ed.) citation guidelines. All text based articles to be sent in Microsoft Word format.  See website for further details

Mailing Address

Main contact editor
Ben Offiler, email

Journal’s Contact Information
The Editors,
49th Parallel,
Department of American and Canadian Studies,
School of Historical Studies,
The University of Birmingham,
B15 2TT,

49th Parallel: An Interdisciplinary Journal of North American Studies

49th Parallel is an interdisciplinary e-journal devoted to American and Canadian studies and looks to promote innovative and challenging academic work. The journal takes its name from the 1,270 mile border separating USA and Canada, and in this sense is keen to encourage dialogues and debates which transcend the boundaries of customary theoretical approaches to the culture, history, and politics of the North American continent. 

49th Parallel was established in 1999 at the University of Birmingham as a peer-review journal for a broad range of American Studies subjects, including history, politics, foreign relations, literature, culture, film and television.  It has since expanded and published its 24th issue in 2010.  It is run by post-graduates from both Birmingham and Nottingham and we encourage submissions from postgraduates and early-career researchers, as well as more established scholars, which is reflected in the range of published articles.  Previous editors include Chris Emery, Euan Gallivan, Joseph Roper, Eva Rus, Mark Straw, James Boys and Andrew Johnstone.


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Spring 2011, Issue 25

49th Parallel presents Issue 25, Spring 2011. Articles cover a range of subjects including the future of American literature, UFOs and government censorship, and David Lynch’s Inland Empire.  The issue also includes book and documentary reviews, as well as a roundtable video from 49th Parallel’s February 2011 relaunch, entitled Beyond the Frontier.

Post-American Literature

The end of the "American Century" (and the beginning of a new, as yet unlabeled one) provides an opportunity to reflect on the aims, functions, and effects of a literary culture industry that not only belonged very much to the twentieth century, but had a hand in creating it. The critics and scholars who helped form American literary studies in the immediate postwar era did so in the service of an ideology of triumphant Americanism typified by Henry Luce's famous label, and the revisionist New Americanist critics later reinforced this ideology, which involves an almost religious faith in transcendent, nationalist principles. In our era of globalisation, what is needed is a much more worldly, world literature. "American literature" is itself a twentieth-century phenomenon, and one wonders whether there really can even be a meaningfully American literature after the American Century. The time has arrived for a post-American literature.

A History of Government Management of UFO Perceptions through Film and Television

Our paper shows that the US government (principally the Pentagon) saw the explosion of interest in UFO sightings in the 1940s as not merely a public relations problem, but something that initially raised serious questions about national security, which therefore affected the way that it chose to work on related film projects. It documents numerous cases, most apparent between the 1950s and 1970s, where it has altered scripts and otherwise refused to cooperate with major screen entertainment productions for these reasons. It also highlights an aberrant film, UFO's: Past, Present and Future (1974) that inexplicably received extensive Pentagon support despite being a documentary that was highly sympathetic to the UFO/extra-terrestrial hypothesis, which therefore suggests that the government has had mixed and non-transparent motives when it comes to media cooperation over this issue.

An Old Tale: The Marriage of Lodz and Los Angeles in David Lynch’s Inland Empire

David Lynch's work contains some of the most distinctive spaces in modern cinema. In his latest film, Inland Empire (2006), the most symbolic product of American sprawl, Los Angeles, meets its spatial predecessor: the centripetal European industrial city, in the form of the Polish city of Lodz. Through the unexpected marriage of these two places, Lynch incorporates fascinating cultural and historical threads, as well as undermining regular conceptions of both cinema and architecture. This article seeks to explicate Inland Empire's transatlantic pairings, via diverse figures including Frank Gehry, Susan Sontag and Andrzej Wajda. What emerges is "an old tale" which offers new insights on both Inland Empire and Lynch's career as a whole.

Other Issues

, Issue 24