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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» Visit Journal Web Site

Spring/Summer 2009, Vol. 50, No. 1/2

Fugitive Mail: The Deliverance of Henry "Box" Brown and Antebellum Postal Politics

"Fugitive Mail: The Deliverance of Henry "Box" Brown and Antebellum Postal Politics" reconsiders the publication, reception, and revival of The Narrative of Henry "Box" Brown (1849, 1851) the story of a slave who successfully mailed himself from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia, in the context of the postal system's role in the abolitionist movement. Nearly all of the scholarly treatments of Brown's narrative in the last decade emphasize and celebrate the shipment of "Box" Brown as a metaphorical deliverance, a Middle Passage; few Brown scholars explore the role of Adams Express, the private mail service that delivered Brown to freedom in 27 hours. "Fugitive Mail" explores the postal consciousness of Brown and the abolitionist movement to argue that Brown's narrative is far more important as a first-person account of the success of new express mail services in mid-nineteenth-century America than as a traditional escape narrative.

Sacagawea and Son: The Visual Construction of America's Maternal Feminine

Through an analysis of public statues commemorating Sacagawea, I argue that her maternal body has come to symbolize the American frontier and the "birth" of a new nation. Her "willingness" to guide Lewis and Clark on America's most sacred mission into the wilderness has served to sanctify the "civilized" settlement of the fecund "native" land she represents, as does her giving up of her young son to Clark, a self-sacrificial act in keeping with the mythic construct of the maternal feminine, which in this case enables historical realities concerning race, genocide, appropriation, displacement, slavery, and sexual abuse to be submerged.

Interfaith Encounter and Religious Pluralism: J. T. Underland's Mission to Brahmo Samajes of India, 1895-96

This article examines Jabez T. Sunderland's mission to the Brahmo Samajes of India in 1895-96 as an example of the changing relationship between American missionaries and India during the late nineteenth century. Built upon the premise that liberal Christianity was the natural fulfillment of the world's religious development, Sunderland intended to spread the gospel of American Unitarianism among the elite, religious reformers of the Brahmo Samaj. Once in India, however, Sunderland found that the religious culture of the Brahmo Samajes was not simply a reflection of Western thought but rather retained distinctive elements of Hindu tradition. Remarkably, Sunderland and his Brahmo hosts were able to move beyond their differences and formed an alliance based upon shared commitment to religious modernism, social reform and democracy. The article argues that Sunderland's later career as an influential American advocate of India's freedom was based on his encounters with the Brahmos in 1895-96.

Factory Farms in a Consumer Society

Originally developed to describe the industrialization of American agriculture, the term "factory farm" became an increasingly pervasive metaphor in American culture through the 20th Century. From its origins in triumphal narratives of agricultural engineering, the term has extended beyond critiques of agribusiness in recent decades and found expression in critiques of the white-collar workplace and allegories of consumerism and colonialism. This paper chronicles this shift, and argues that the expansive use of the metaphor corresponds to our transformation from a producer to a consumer society. This shift to a consumer society is similarly expressed in food writing from the 20th Century, as Upton Sinclair's focus on the industrial slaughterhouse is replaced with Eric Schlosser's focus on the fast-food franchise. Wide use of the metaphor of a factory farm reveals not only how disciplinary technologies far exceed the confines of specific industrial settings, but also how seemingly unrelated institutions and activities - like working, eating, and political protest - are organized by the same technologies and discourses.

"Up South and Down South": Insurgents and the Political Struggle to Define America

Other Issues

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