Founded In    1959
Published   quarterly
Language(s)   English

Fields of Interest



ISSN   0026-3079
Affiliated Organization   Mid-America American Studies Association
Editorial Board

Anderson, Crystal
Augst, Thomas
Baldwin, Davarian
Delaney, Kate
Domer, Dennis
Earle, Jonathan
Enstad, Nan
Early, Gerald
Fiorentino, Daniele
Fischer, Iris Smith
Friedensohn, Doris
Graebner, William
Habell-Pallan, Michelle
Hebel, Udo
Hulsether, Mark
Kent, J. Robert
Knobloch, Frieda
Kwolek-Folland, Angel
Lester, Cheryl
Linkon, Sherry
Mason, Carol
Nagel, Joane
Porter, Eric
Roediger, David
Sandeen, Eric
Seago, Alex
Van Arragon, Elizabeth
Wajda, Shirley Teresa
Whaley, Deborah
Yokoyama, Ryo

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Format and style of submissions: Manuscripts need to be in a Word file.  Manuscripts (including endnotes, tables, and references) should be double-spaced with one-inch margins on all sides. All manuscripts should be between 20 and 30 pages, not including endnotes. All footnotes/endnotes should use Arabic numerals, not Roman numerals. All figures should be places at the end of the manuscript. All manuscripts not meeting these standards will be returned to the author for reformatting. Because American Studies uses a double-blind review process, contributors are asked not to put their names on manuscripts; only the title should appear on the manuscript. Contributors agree upon submission that manuscripts submitted to American Studies will not be submitted for publication elsewhere while under review by American Studies. Manuscripts should be prepared following the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, or MLA.
We strongly encourage authors to submit their work using the journal’s online submission system. We encourage authors to submit manuscripts (with a 300 word abstract) electronically. For questions regarding submissions or the online submission system, please contact Chris Robinson at
Photographs and other imagery often enhance the text and the journal considerably; the Editors encourage authors to provide illustrations with their submissions. We do, however, require the following: Electronic images are preferred. Our printer has specified they prefer halftone and color images be at minimum 300 pixels per inch (ppi), while line art should be scanned at 1200 ppi. If possible, images in .PNG or .TIFF are preferred. As nearly all images downloaded from the Internet are in .JPEG or .GIF format and will be 72 dpi, they are rarely acceptable to be printed. Sizing these images to fit the page can cause pixelation, rendering them unrecognizable or warped. If you have trouble finding an image of acceptable quality, please feel free to check online sources such as Flickr. Many images on Flickr are available to the public under a Creative Commons license. If sending physical photographs, please send us good quality, glossy prints or camera-ready line art, ready for press. We will not be able to use images/figures inserted in Word documents. If your submission is accepted, please send us original copies of all images included, along with captions, as well as notes indicating an estimated location for page layout. If we need to edit captions, we will of course check back with you during the proofing process. *Please note that authors are responsible for obtaining permission for any images they wish to use. If permission to reproduce the image is needed, we require the appropriate documentation granting that permission. Where necessary, the appropriate wording granting permission, which will be placed under the photograph or at the end of the article (“Reproduced by permission of . . . .,” etc.) should also be included. Please mail physical images to:
Chris Robinson, Assistant Editor
American Studies
The University of Kansas 1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 213
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7590

American Studies publishes reviews of books, films, or exhibits that deal broadly with American culture and that blur traditional disciplinary lines. We also hope to bring attention to discipline-specific texts with topics or themes that may interest scholars in a variety of fields.
Reviewers are professors, independent scholars, and professionals who hold a PhD or terminal degree in their field.  We assign some books to reviewers as they come in to our office, if we suspect the scholar would offer an insightful review of a particular book.  We also recruit reviewers by publishing a list of new books available for review on our blog, in our e-newsletter, and on social media sites.
Reviews should indicate the nature of the book’s themes and the quality of its scholarship. The review may mention other texts in order to situate the work being reviewed into the debates and conversations in which it takes part; however, we expect that the review focus on the particular book itself.  Reviews are generally 500 words in length, unless otherwise requested by the editors.
In addition to book reviews, we also publish book review essays that frame texts within the context of scholarly patterns and directions.  These are often assigned to specific reviewers by the journal’s editorial team, though individual scholars may propose review essays as well.  We publish review essays in most of our quarterly issues and in our summer reading issue.
At the top of the review, please cite the book as follows: TITLE: Subtitle. By Author Name. City: Press. Year. If you quote from the book, please include a page citation in parenthesis immediately following the quote. Try not to use footnotes. Instead, embed the information in the text. At the end of your review, state your name and institutional affiliation. If the institution is outside the United States, please include the country. If the institution has several campuses, include yours after the institution name.
Reviews should be submitted by e-mail to Justine Greve at


American Studies


American Studies is a quarterly interdisciplinary journal sponsored by the Mid-America American Studies Association, the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of American Studies, and KU Libraries. With an editorial staff from a number of areas of study, the journal offers provocative perspectives on a variety of issues. Frequent special sections and special issues create a space for a broad discussion on a single topic. Articles on pedagogy inform the American Studies classroom. The book review section aims at keeping readers conversant with contemporary scholarship. American Studies first appeared in 1959, and has 1,000 current subscribers. In 2005 it merged with American Studies International, and welcomes submissions with an international perspective. This electronic edition provides free access to the back issues of the journal. The most recent three years are available via print subscription only.
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Fall/Winter 2008, Vol. 49, No. 3/4

The Wild West Turns East: Audience, Ritual, and Regeneration in Buffalo Bill’s Boxer Uprising

In the summer of 1900, the Western world turned its attention to Peking (Beijing), China, where the expatriate community found itself trapped in the Foreign Legations, under siege from soldiers of the anti-western Boxer movement. In an effort to rescue the Legations, the United States, European nations, and Japan formed an international relief force that marched to Peking, routed the Boxers, and lifted the siege. Mere months later, William Cody assembled a reenactment of this military engagement that served as the spectacular grand finale for the 1901 edition of the Wild West. Along with describing this rare portrayal of the Far East in the Wild West, this article possesses two additional objectives. First, it seeks to understand the reenactment by situating it among several interrelated contexts: the closing of the frontier, the encroachment of modernity on everyday American life, and the intensifying imperial ambitions of the United States. Second, the article shifts away from the performance itself so as to explore the peculiarly raucous behavior of audiences. Employing the theories of cultural anthropologist Victor Turner, the article suggests that Americans may have used the performance as a rite-of-passage ritual, aiding their transition from the rugged past to the modern industrial present.

The Incoherencies of Empire: The “Imperial” Image of the Indian at the Omaha World’s Fairs of 1898-9

"The Incoherencies of Empire" examines the conflicting visual representations of Native Americans and the peoples of Cuba, Hawaii, and the Philippines on the fairgrounds of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition and Greater American Expositions held in Omaha, Nebraska in 1898 and 1899. The fairs took place in the midst of the Spanish-American War and its imperialist aftermath, as the nation contemplated taking its first overseas colonies. Whereas the timeliness of the imperial debates inspired fair organizers to create exhibits, such as the "Indian Congress" and various colonial villages, to showcase subjects of American colonial rule at home and abroad, this article argues for the political ambivalence and inconsistencies of these exhibits as instruments of imperial ideologies. Competing agendas of organizers and participants, of those seeking to maximize gate receipts and those dedicated to anthropological study, complicated the makings of an imperial spectacle on the fairgrounds.

"Primitive'" Discourse: Aspects of Contemporary North American Indian Representations of the Irish and of Contemporary Irish Representations of North American Indians

This article explores the complexities of Ireland's relationship with Native Americans and of Na¬tive America's relationship with Ireland. Particularly at the level of imagery and representation, it suggests that this is a set of relationships more complex than contemporary creative and critical work has tended to suggest. In order to exemplify these contrasts and complexities the article explores a number of contemporary incidences of Irish repre¬sentation of and engagement with Native Americans and their history alongside two notable Native American novels and their depictions of Ireland and the Irish, LeAnne Howe's 2001 book Shellshaker and Leslie Marmon Silko's 1999 book Gardens in the Dunes.

"A Fascinating Interracial Experiment Station": Remapping the Orient-Occident Divide in Hawaii

This article examines social science scholarship about interracial marriage and race relations in 1920s and 1930s Hawaii. Prominent members of the 'Chicago School' of Sociology regularly viewed Hawaii as a real world social laboratory where new and unorthodox race relations had taken hold. Hawaii's unusually high rate of intermarriage was seen as important, insofar as it represented a drastic change in customary rules of social distance adhered to in the United States. These scholars argued that Hawaii might serve as a model for more harmonious race relations on the U.S. mainland. While liberal in outlook, Chicago School scholars frequently fell prey to the Orientalist assumptions of their period upholding whiteness as the primary civilizing force in the islands and downplaying patterns of racial division and stratification in Hawaii.

Constituting American Masculinity

"Constituting American Masculinity" analyzes the tensions among competing discourses on modes of manhood during the Constitutional period that lay the ground for the move toward political independence. In particular, the essay takes up the debate over the Constitution to demonstrate how it reframes manhood, deploying insecurity as its engine to catch the confederated states in a masculine double bind. This double bind enlists male citizens into a mandatory political dependency that they can only name independence. The Constitutional moment thus becomes, among other things, a mechanism of democratic imposture that promises equalitarian social and political relations, but that, in a kind of leger-de-main, works to install a hierarchical relation in the name of democracy.

Woman's Temple, Women's Fountains: The Erasure of Public Memory

By the turn of the twentieth century, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) had become the largest and most influential activist group of women the nation had ever seen. With that power, they laid claim to prized public spaces to launch numerous capital construction campaigns, building an early Chicago skyscraper, hospitals, industrial homes, homes for unwed mothers, summer homes at Chatauquas, and drinking water fountains. The monuments, intended to memorialize women and the WCTU, have largely been destroyed or have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer recognized for the significance their builders intended. This article examines the numerous capital projects of the WCTU and the difficulty members of this and similar organizations face when trying to create permanent memorials.

A Cartel in the Public Interest: NCAA Broadcast Policy During the Early Cold War

This article explores the intersection of politics, economics, and culture through a study of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's television broadcast policy. The establishment of broadcast regulations in the 1950s transformed the NCAA from a confederation of semi-autonomous institutions into a powerful governing and policing body. Broadcast regulations further transformed the NCAA into a cartel that fixed the value of football broadcasts by limiting supply in order to gain monopoly profits. Claiming the regulations served the public interest shielded them from a possible U.S. Supreme Court "rule of reason" test. This article finds the NCAA's regulation of the television broadcast market and its process of cartelization was supported by the economic conditions of the television age and the cultural conditions of the early Cold War that made the claim that young men's bodies were in need of athletic intervention funded by college football appear reasonable.

'"You Can't Legislate the Heart'": Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig and the Politics of Law and Order

This article examines the career and legacy of Charles Stenvig, a police lieutenant elected to three terms as mayor of Minneapolis. Stenvig's initial victory as the independent candidate in 1969 following his pledge to "take the handcuffs off the police," marks a decisive shift in Minneapolis' political landscape. This article helps to complicate the history of Minnesota politics by exploring how a self-styled conservative, law and order politician like Charles Stenvig was able to gain office, and by looking at the connections between his career and the rise of the "New Right" as a national political movement. This article focuses on how Stenvig successfully opposed liberalism's perceived reliance on social scientific explanations in addressing issues such as crime. Stenvig argued that these explanations were ineffective in remedying Minneapolis's social problems in the late 1960s and early 1970s. By invoking his close relationship to God and his "street-smart" sensibilities, Stenvig claimed a different type of governing wisdom as Mayor, while disavowing the expertise of the technocrats and University professors who had preceded him in the position. As a police officer only recently removed from the beat, Stenvig affirmed and physically embodied the unmediated, practical knowledge of the street and everyday experience. In his rhetoric Stenvig attacked liberals' attempts to apply theoretical knowledge to "real world" problems, and dismissed the notion that politicians needed to rely on academic professors, business leaders, and community activists in order to govern. This article demonstrates that the cultural resentments attributed to the "backlash" of the 1960s and 1970s were not solely motivated by racism, patriotism, and the desire to maintain traditional cultural values, but also included anger toward presumed liberal expertise.

On Teaching: "Making Globalization Ordinary": Using the Web to Teach Globalization

"Making Globalization Ordinary" examines the challenge posed by globalization to traditional conceptions of the nation-state and offers a case study for how to address these transformations in the introductory American Studies class context. It is particularly geared toward colleges and universities in the Mid-American region where circumstances encourage students to think of globalization as a distant and relatively unimportant problem. It seeks to provide answers to the following questions: How do you teach about globalization in areas where the most destabilizing effects of capitalist transformation seem unrelated to daily life? Where global migrations increasingly affect local conditions, but in ways that are obscured by persistent patterns of ethnic, racial, and class privilege? Where politicians, economic leaders, and heritage industries all tout the timelessness of "local values" and encourage a willful blindness to the global penetration and reconfiguration of the local?

The Class Divide in American Culture in the Early Twentieth Century

Other Issues

Spring/Summer 2009, Vol. 50, No. 1/2
Aaron Douglas and the Harlem Renaissance, Vol. 49, No. 1/2
Winter 2007, Vol. 48, No. 4
Fall 2007, Vol. 48, No. 3
"Homosexuals in Unexpected Places?", Vol. 48, No. 2
Spring 2007, Vol. 48, No. 1
Fall/Winter 2006, Vol 47, No 3/4
Summer 2006, Vol 47, No 2
Indigeneity at the Crossroads of American Studies , Vol. 46, Nos. 3/4
, Volume 52, Number 2