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 2007, Vol. 48, No. 3

The Terror Within:  Obesity in Post 9/11 U.S. Life

This essay is based on the premise that all biological sites are also cultural sites. Its central claim is that understanding the cultural work performed by the public health campaign against obesity is essential to a broader accounting of post 9/11 life in the United States. Through analysis of the relationship between the simultaneous wars against obesity and terror, this essay argues that the "war against obesity" plays a role in sustaining the "war on terror" by contributing to the post 9/11 culture of fear, providing a focus for wartime communal self-sacrifice, and obscuring the toll that the war on terror is taking on minority communities.

From White Supremacy to White Power: The FBI, COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE and the Nazification of the Ku Klux Klan

In the 1960s, the leader of the largest Ku Klux Klan organization in the United States presumed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a meritorious ally engaged in a common battle against Communist subversion. During the 1970s however, Klan organizers transformed a reactionary counter-movement that had failed to preserve white supremacy by terrorizing civil rights organizers and black citizens, into a revolutionary White Power movement that engaged in terrorism against Jews and the Federal Government. Based on a forthcoming article in American Studies, this paper describes how these organizers combined latent revolutionary impulses within Klan ideology with esoteric anti-Semitic and anti-Republican discourses, infusing Christian Americanism-the Klan's particular admixture of white supremacy, anticommunism, nativism, and segregationist theology -with transnational discourses of National Socialist politics, Christian Identity theology, and racial anti-Semitism. This change occurred as American race relations went through a profound transformation. The rise of neoconservatism, which attacked liberalism and the welfare state while eschewing overtly racial rhetoric, was particularly important in this context, as Americans learned to understand race in "nonsystematic, nonstructural terms." Like neoconservatives, Klansmen also shifted focus from racial minorities to the Federal Government, but they clung to biological notions of race. As their former segregationist allies discarded the formal institutions of white supremacy, Klansmen came to realize that it was no longer possible to revive white supremacy or to attract a mass base. They turned to esoteric conspiratorial discourses to cope with this predicament. This development occurred within larger processes of political, social, and cultural restructuring during the most recent wave of globalization. Yet this particular trajectory, from a localized white supremacist vigilantism inspired by white supremacist nationalism, to a transnational cultic milieu of revolutionary terrorists inspired by White Power millennialism, was in no small part due to a successful FBI covert action program called COINTELPRO-WHITE HATE, which exposed, disrupted and helped to vitiate Klan organizations between 1964 and 1971, spurring Klan organizers to fundamentally rethink their rhetorical and organizational strategies.

Cold War Revival:  Neoconservatives and Historical Memory in the War on Terror

Throughout the cold war, neoconservative intellectuals argued that the United States is an inherently virtuous nation engaged a permanent struggle against enemies at home as well as abroad. This essay addresses the ways that contemporary neoconservative voices have tried to revive the narrative of struggle, in part by claiming that the war on terror must be understood as a "present danger" that resembled the cold war. According to these commentators, a victorious strain of American foreign policy was born during the early years of the cold war. After three decades of setbacks and faltering national "will," these principles were supposedly were reanimated by Ronald Reagan, who eventually carried the nation to triumph. By arguing that Americans are capable of restoring abandoned paths to victory, neoconservatives insist that the lessons of the cold war must be revived and applied to the struggle against radical Islam.

Burlesquing "Otherness" in Nineteenth-Century American Theatre: The Image of the Indian in John Brougham's Met-a-mora; or, The Last of the Pollywogs (1847) and Po-Ca-Hon-Tas; or, The Gentle Savage (1855).

On the 19th-century American stage, the call for a "romanticized" representation of the Indian was part of the national effort to produce an indigenous literature. The popularity of such Indian stereotypes as the resistant but rapidly vanishing Noble Savage Metamora and the acquiescent Indian Princess Pocahontas was sustained by a wider political ideology that sought to define the limits and character of a distinctly American national identity. However, the highly sentimentalized Indian stereotypes that dominated the American stage in the 1820s and 1830s gradually turned white Americans' attention from the historical reality of the Indians, whose presence had long required political action, to the imaginative realm of myth and symbol. John Brougham, an Irish actor-playwright who immigrated to America in 1842, quickly captured the essential discrepancy in the perception of the Indian as image/fiction and the native as reality. With his two burlesques, Met-a-mora; or, The Last of the Pollywogs (1847) and Po-Ca-Hon-Tas; or, The Gentle Savage (1855), Brougham signaled the end of the serious Indian dramas of the 1820s and 1830s and awakened the American audience of the time into an awareness of the absurdly false images they had been seen for so long and the excessively sentimentalized acting style they had been applauding. Through their essentially humorous approach to the national image of the Indian, Brougham's burlesques constitute a reliable register of the social, political, and cultural context of mid-19th-century American society. His Indian characters are rendered closer to the lower classes and satirize the dominant political ideology that offered white Americans a world vision and historical sense that blurred their perception of the interaction between myth and history, thus permitting them to celebrate the Indian-symbol while abusing the native.

Jim Crow, Jett Rink, and James Dean: Reconstructing Ferber's Giant (1952-1956)

In the years since Giant's release as a major Hollywood film, its complex portrait of the western hero and twentieth-century racism has been overshadowed by the legend of James Dean as one of America's pre-eminent cultural icons. But ironically, Edna Ferber's construction of the poor white ranch-hand, Jett Rink, and Dean's performance are crucial in understanding Ferber and director George Stevens' confrontation with the darker side of America's frontier myths and Giant's enduring racial legacy. This article examines Ferber and Stevens' critique of postwar masculinity, the ideology of the western, and Texas racism within the context of Jett Rink's transgressive racial hybridity.

2006 MAASA Presidential Address - Infantasia: A Meditation on International Adoption and American Studies

Other Issues

Fall/Winter 2008, Vol. 49, No. 3/4
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
"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