Founded In    1956
Published   quarterly
Language(s)   English, German
     

Fields of Interest

 

literature, cultural studies, history, political science, linguistics, critical theory, teaching of American Studies

     
ISSN   0340-2827
     
Publisher   Winter
     
Editorial Board

General Editor:
Oliver Scheiding

Review Editor:
Christa Buschendorf

Editorial Board:
Christa Buschendorf
Andreas Falke
Hans-Jürgen Grabbe
Alfred Hornung
Sabine Sielke

Managing Editor:
Damien B. Schlarb

Assistant Editor:
Nele Sawallisch

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

For our full submission guidelines, please visit
https://dgfa.de/american-studies-a-quarterly-2/submitting/
Manuscripts and books for review should be submitted to the editorial office in Mainz. There is no obligation to review unsolicited books.
Amerikastudien / American Studies
Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding
FB 05 Dept. of English and Linguistics Amerikanistik
Johannes Gutenberg - University Mainz
Jakob Welder Weg 20 (Philosophicum II), room 02-229
55128 Mainz, Germany
Phone: +49 6131 39 20 296
Fax: +49 6131 39 20 356
Email: amst@uni-mainz.de
In view of the computerized production of the journal, manuscripts of articles and reviews can only be accepted if submitted as computer files (preferably MS Word) and accompanied by a printout. Please note the following formal requirements:
– Article manuscripts - manuscript text, abstract, notes, list of works cited - should not exceed 60,000 to 70,000 characters (including spaces).
– All articles must be preceded by an abstract in English of no more than 200 words.
– Since Amerikastudien / American Studies follows a blind-review system, articles should contain no references to the author.
– An Amerikastudien / American Studies style sheet is available under http://www.amerikastudien.de/quarterly/
The editorial team gladly provides a MS Word document template file (DOT) that is used for pre-typesetting (preflighting).

     

Amerikastudien / American Studies

ALTTEXT

Amerikastudien / American Studies is the journal of the German Association for American Studies. It started as the annual Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien in 1956 and has since developed into a quarterly with some 1200 subscriptions in Europe and the United States. The journal is dedicated to interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives and embraces the diversity and dynamics of a dialogic and comparatist understanding of American Studies. It covers all areas of American Studies from literary and cultural criticism, history, political science, and linguistics to the teaching of American Studies. Special-topics issues alternate with regular ones. Reviews, forums, and annual bibliographies support the international circulation of German and European scholarship in American Studies.
(www.amerikastudien.de/quarterly/)
Editor: Oliver Scheiding
Address: Amerikastudien/American Studies
FB 05 Dept. of English and Linguistics Amerikanistik
Johannes Gutenberg - University Mainz
Jakob Welder Weg 20 (Philosophicum II), room 02-229
55128 Mainz, Germany
Phone: +49 6131 39 20 296
Fax: +49 6131 39 20 356
Email: amst@uni-mainz.de

 

» Visit Journal Web Site

Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007, Vol. 52, No. 4

Justice Story's Prigg Decision and the Defeat of Freedom


The essay compares the early anti-trafficking and antislavery rhetoric of United States Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story with his authorship of the 1842 Prigg decision returning a black woman, Margaret Morgan, and her children from Pennsylvania into slavery in Maryland. It argues that the contradiction between these two positions was muted due to judicial nationalism that bracketed personal and official opinions. There is an ideological line between Story’s 1820 “Charge to the Maine Grand Jury” and the 1842 Prigg decision, one traced by the absence of active, cognizant black subjects. For Story, blacks represented a passive class without their own will, one requiring rescue from their enslaved situation by action of law. His concept of the rule of law provided a means to display white racial nobility while forging a constitutional vehicle for civilizational advance. In Story’s nationalist jurisprudence, forceful assertion of federal authority, whether through suppression of piracy or slave-trading, was necessary to assure justice for the nation more than justice to individuals. Thus the refusal of witness and narratorial blindness at the heart of Prigg resulted from a fusing of sacrificial nationalism with a racial denial of citizenship and self-determining subjectivity for blacks.

When Communication Fails: Spanish-American Crisis Diplomacy 1898


The essay analyzes the relevance of the legal differences between two kinds of truces during the crisis diplomacy conducted between Washington and Madrid just prior to the Spanish-American War in 1898. Although the different legal terms carried important nuances in meaning and with regard to their political implications, they were frequently used improperly. Such a lack of clarity and precision in the communication between the Spanish and U.S.-American sides aggregated and built up into a mutual misperception as to each other’s actual (vis-à-vis the diplomatically communicated) objectives with regard to the Cuban insurgency. These legal differences affected U.S.-Spanish crisis diplomacy negatively, even if they by themselves neither caused the breakdown of crisis diplomacy nor the war itself. Rather, miscommunication and misperceptions contributed to the failure of the diplomatic efforts at averting the war; the essay will focus on this particular aspect of Spanish-American crisis diplomacy. Other factors were certainly also responsible for the failure to resolve the conflict between the United States and Spain peacefully—from the Yellow Press and public sentiment, humanitarian concerns and missionary ambitions to economic and business interests to Jingoism, military-strategic desires and the rising tide of American Imperialism—and these factors are not discounted. However, given the breadth of the subject, the essay will limit itself to one aspect, the struggle over the particular type of truce for Cuba and how this impacted Spanish-American crisis diplomacy.

The Politics of (Post)modern Form: Tradition, Language, and Narrative Coherence in Good Scent from a Strange Mountain


Robert Olen Butler has been charged with cultural ventriloquism and been given the restrictive label ‘Vietnam War writer.’ Rather than reading Butler’s work from the perspective of any particular theoretical camp, I argue that Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (1992)—his Pulitzer-prize winning short story collection of Vietnamese immigrants living in the American diaspora—participates more broadly in the discourse of modern and contemporary literature. As a narrative practitioner Butler is not intent upon defining his writing through the trends of the academy, but instead allows theoretical and narrative concerns to emerge because they are a ‘natural’ and, aesthetically, fully integrated fit for his vision as a novelist. In part 1 of this essay, I argue that Good Scent demonstrates Butler’s keen awareness of the postcolonial situation as it relates to the immigrant experience. In part 2, I advance that Butler’s formal interest in representation suggests his affinity for the both modernist and postmodern concern with language, mediation, and signifying slippage. In the concluding part 3, I suggest that Butler’s location within a more broadly twentieth-century tradition of short fiction is particularly visible in Good Scent’s narrative cohesiveness, which blends modes of conventional realism with magical realism into a dissonant formal hybrid. The resulting narrative parallax encapsulates not only the cultural schizophrenia of the collection’s inhabitants, but also the (finally, unresolvable) tension between their jarring modes of narrative experience that oscillate between political reality and dreamlike ideality. My overall hope is to make a wide-ranging opening statement about Butler’s superb though neglected collection that will lead to further scholarly dialogue.

On Contested Ground (Zero): Literature and the Transnational Challenge of Remembering 9/11


The cultural memory of September 11, 2001 emerges in an overlap of national and transnational discourses. In light of the simulacral media spectacle of disaster, televised live and hypnotically repeated around the globe, desires for authenticity and re-enactment were as strong as they were difficult to meet. Literature, as a less immediate “technology of memory” (Marita Sturken), has only recently begun to enter the fields of tension between documentary and fictional, objective and sympathetic, and visual and textual modes of representation. In a comparative analysis of a French and an American approach, Frédéric Beigbeder’s Windows on the World (2004) and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), this essay exemplarily examines two literary alternatives to hege(mne)monic narratives of the terrorist attacks. Despite their international trajectories, however, a closer look reveals that these novels offer fundamentally divergent solutions to questions of transnationalism. Outlining their specific political, aesthetic, and ethical agendas against the backdrop of commemoration, I will investigate the purposes to which both texts employ their innovative metamnemonic techniques—including storytelling, iconic layouts, photographs, and editorial intervention—and thus explore how literature may contribute to, or undermine, transnational modes of remembering September 11.

Once Upon a Time in America -- Tocqueville on the Beginning of the End of History


Many authors have already spoken about a presumed end of history. Optimists like Kant, Hegel, or Francis Fukuyama linked their detection of a historical telos with several unrealizable expectations. Pessimists like Rousseau tried to delay the termination of history as long as possible. Alexis de Tocqueville does not belong to either of these sides. His diagnosis refers to a kind of providence, which offers both optimistic and pessimistic visions of democracy. Tocqueville’s insightful analysis of modern democracy marks him as one of our contemporaries. Two hundred years after his birth we still face the two alternatives the French aristocrat had conceived as options for the future: freedom or servitude. With this in mind, Tocqueville’s vision of the USA’s becoming the first political, economic, and cultural power of the world is of special note. The leading role of American democracy therefore also includes both chances and risks.

America as a Delusive Model -- Tocqueville on Religion


The role of religion in modern democracy is Tocqueville’s hidden major topic. Without faith, he considers moral stability for the polity to be lost. The inevitable consequence would be disintegration and despotism. At first glance, America is a shining counter-example. Tocqueville benevolently registers that, unlike Europe, the New World is unreservedly convinced of the necessity of religion. However, the religious foundation of the United States is regarded by him as being more fragile than the flaunted piety. This is due to the Protestant mainstream, which placed greater value on rational self-interest than on religious claims of truth. Therefore, Tocqueville does not consider Protestant doctrines to be a real counterweight to democratic passions but rather their reinforcement. Thus, he puts his hopes on Catholicism. Despite the reactionary attitude of the Roman church in the nineteenth century, he regards its hierarchical constitution as the best guaranty against the hubris of the modern age. Accordingly, a positive end to the democratic story would observe rules different from those obeyed at the successful beginning of the USA.

Other Issues

Amerikastudien / American Studies 2018: Digital Scholarship in American Studies, Vol. 63, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2018, Vol. 63, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2017: Marx and the United States, Vol. 62, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2017, Vol. 62, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2017: Poetry and Law, Vol. 62, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2017, Vol. 62, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2016: Environmental Imaginaries on the Move: Nature and Mobility in American Literature and Culture, Vol. 61, No.4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2016, Vol. 61, No.3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2016: Turkish-American Literature, Vol. 61, No.2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2016, Vol. 61, No.1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2015: Risk, Security: Approaches to Uncertainty in American Literature, Vol. 60, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2015, Double Issue, Vol. 60, No. 2/3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2015: Network Theory and American Studies, Vol. 60, No.1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2014: South Africa and the United States in Transnational American Studies, Vol. 59, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2014, Vol. 59, No. 3,
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2014, Vol. 59, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2014, Vol. 59, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2013: Iconographies of the Calamitous in American Visual Culture, Vol. 58, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2013, Vol. 58, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2013: Pragmatism's Promise, Vol. 58, No. 2
Amerika Studien / American Studies 2013, Vol. 58, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012: Tocqueville's Legacy: Towards a Cultural History of Recognition in American Studies , Vol. 57, No.4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012, 57.3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012 - Conceptions of Collectivity in Contemporary American Literature, Vol. 57, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012, Vol. 57, Vol. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2011: American Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Vol. 56, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2011, Vol. 56, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2011, Vol. 56, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2011, Vol. 56, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2010: African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges , Vol. 55, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2010: Trauma's Continuum -- September 11th Reconsidered, Vol. 55, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2010, Vol. 55, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2010: Poverty and the Culturalization of Class , Vol. 55, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2009, Vol. 54, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2009: American History/ies in Germany: Assessments, Transformations, Perspectives, Vol. 54, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2009, Vol. 54, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2009: Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing, Vol. 54, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008, Vol. 53, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008: Die Bush-Administration: Eine erste Bilanz, Vol. 53, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008, Vol. 53, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008: Inter-American Studies and Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 53, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007 - Teaching American Studies in the Twenty-First Century, Vol. 52, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007, Vol. 52, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007 - Transatlantic Perspectives on American Visual Culture, Vol. 52, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006, Vol. 51, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006 - Asian American Studies in Europe, Vol. 51, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006, Vol. 51, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006 - Multilingualism and American Studies , Vol. 51, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2005, Vol. 50, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2005 - Early American Visual Culture, Vol. 50, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2005 - American Studies at 50, Vol. 50, Nos. 1/2