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 2011: American Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Vol. 56, No. 4

Introduction: American Comic Books and Graphic Novels


Marvel Comics’ Frankenstein: A Case Study in the Media of Serial Figures


This essay argues that Marvel's Frankenstein comics of the 1960s and 1970s offer a useful case study in the dynamics of serial narration, both as it pertains to comics in particular and to the larger plurimedial domain of popular culture in general. Distinguishing between linear and non-linear forms of narrative seriality -- each of which correlates with two distinct types of series-inhabiting characters -- I argue that Marvel's staging of the Frankenstein monster mixes the two modes, resulting in a self-reflexive exploration and interrogation of the comics' storytelling techniques. Furthermore, I contend that this process sheds light on the medial dynamics of serial figures -- that is, characters such as the monster (but also superheroes like Batman and Superman or other figures like Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes) that are adapted again and again in a wide variety of forms, contexts, and media. Though narrative continuity may be lacking between the repeated stagings of serial figures, non-diegetic traces of previous incarnations accumulate on such characters, allowing them to move between and reflect upon medial forms, never wholly contained in a given diegetic world. Accordingly, Marvel's depiction of the Frankenstein monster leads to a self-reflexive probing of comic books' forms of narrative and visual mediality, ultimately problematizing the very building blocks of comics as a medium -- the textual and graphic framings that, together, narrate comics' serialized stories.

"Out there in the Asylum": Physical, Mental, and Structural Space in Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth


In Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth (1989), Batman travels through Gotham City's most famous residence, where his encounters with its inmates force him to reexamine his own psyche. The house itself has a story to tell, and the history of the Asylum is interwoven with the tale of Batman's dark night of the soul. Underpinning the narrative is a complex examination of the nature of space and the spatial in the graphic novel, and Arkham Asylum uses this examination to self-reflexively interrogate the nature of comic form. Arkham Asylum structures its narrative according to both the layout of the house and to sacred architecture, and it also spatializes sanity and insanity. At the same time, the form of the comic (itself reliant on the readers' negotiation of the arranged spaces on the page in front of them) allows Morrison and McKean to reimagine the potential of the superhero genre and inquire into the nature of the relationship between reader and text.

"Yo, rag-head!": Arab and Muslim Superheroes in American Comic Books after 9/11


The relationship between the United States and the Arab/Muslim world has been problematic, to say the least, and has left its mark on American popular culture in general and on comics in particular. A small number of studies conducted in the 1980s and 1990s about the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in American comics have shown a profusion of negative stereotypes and a conspicuous absence of Arab and/or Muslim heroes. This essay revisits this discourse and examines the ways in which Arabs and Muslims have been portrayed in the most American of all genres -- the superhero comic book -- since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In order to understand how these comics communicate ideas and representations of the 'Arab/Middle Eastern/Muslim' to American readers, this essay conducts a critical discourse analysis based on the idea of the 'Oriental Other.' After 9/11, the number of characters who are portrayed as Arab Muslims, Arab Americans, and American Muslims, both male and female, from the openly devout and zealous to the privately and nominally religious, has increased noticeably. Although such characters seem to have been created to resist stereotypical or racist configurations of Arabs and/or Muslims as terrorists, they nonetheless partake in the 'Othering' of these groups in American public discourse through stereotypes in both visual and verbal communication, and thus often unintentionally reinforce rather than counteract stereotypes of the Oriental Other.

Conquering Silence: David Small's Stitches and the Art of Getting Better


When David Small's graphic narrative Stitches: A Memoir appeared in September 2009, it met instantly with great critical enthusiasm. Moreover, it was selected as a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award and it received no fewer than two Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards in 2010. Critical praise was duly expressed by Rachel Cooke, who reviewed the book for the Guardian following its European release in May 2010, and who went so far as to call Stitches "a triumphant testament of survival." Moving beyond such efforts at labeling a compelling representative of the growing field of graphic narrative, this essay explores the ways in which Small's memoir about his difficult experience of growing up in a repressive family in 1950s Detroit, makes use of and expands the currently budding genre of graphic life writing in order to create a unique aesthetic of traumatic memory recovered in the graphic mode, thereby productively contributing to the overlapping discourses on trauma and memory studies. Arguably, the genre of the graphic memoir proves particularly suitable for negotiating the pressures of the personal environment of the 'autographic I' by presenting a form of 'graphic cure,' even as it exposes a painfully pathological side of life in postwar America.

"Can't Leave Me Behind": Racism, Gay Politics, and Coming of Age in Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby


On three different narrative levels, Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby portrays the coming of age and coming out of its white narrator, Toland Polk, in the American South in the 1950s and 1960s. This graphic novel shows that Toland's personal developments are closely and necessarily linked to racist violence and the politics of the Civil Rights Movement. Analyzing the narrative functions of music, the translinear leitmotif of a crushed head, and Cruse's manipulation of panel frames and gutters, I argue that Stuck Rubber Baby uses these three aspects to connect Toland's biography to black history. The three devices allow Cruse to explore and interrogate the interrelated politics of black and gay liberation. Cruse is careful not to equate racism and homophobia. Picturing the black gay and lesbian characters Les, Esmeraldus, Marge, and Effie as being rooted within the black community, he circumvents the fallacy of stating that both forms of oppressions are analogous and effectively counters common stereotypical assumptions about the prevalence of homophobia in black communities.

Graphic Narratives as a Challenge to Transmedial Narratology: The Question of Focalization


This essay discusses three premises of focalization theory and narrative perspective that bear particular relevance to the question of narrative mediation in visual storytelling, specifically in regard to graphic narratives. These questions include the fundamental distinctions between 'who speaks' and 'who sees,' between the source and the degree of focalization and the entity focalized, and between personal and impersonal vantage points. Inspired by recent developments in focalization theory and transmedial narratology, the essay emphasizes the importance of medium-specific features in graphic storytelling and perspective-taking and ponders the narratological problems that these features create. Designating the degree of deixis in graphic images on the visual level is exceedingly difficult; moreover, many types of focalization in graphic narratives do not fall as easily within the external/internal divide as in literary narratives. In order to develop a truly transmedial concept of focalization, it is important for narrative theory not only to find common ground between different narrative media in respect to their techniques and processes of perspective-taking, but also to develop ways to explain the fundamental differences between verbal and visual focalization or among different varieties of pictorial narration. Graphic narratives present a specific challenge to transmedial narratology, as the medium requires that the reader integrate perceptual information from different semiotic channels in ways that are both similar to, and different from, other forms of multimodal narration.

Graphic Novels as a Teaching Tool in High School and University English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Classrooms


The didactic potential and pedagogical value of graphic novels have caught the attention of American Studies and EFL teaching methodologists, who have realized that graphic novels can, as teaching and learning tools, foster creative communication and intercultural learning. While such advantages of graphic novels have been highlighted repeatedly, these texts have not yet become an integral part of high school and university curricula. Against the backdrop of these reflections, this essay explains how graphic novels can be used to achieve major institutional objectives of foreign language education, facilitate the teaching of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), and increase reading motivation in EFL classes from grade 7 to grades 12 or 13. Since understanding images is a prerequisite for interpreting graphic novels, this essay further emphasizes the importance of developing students' and future teachers' visual literacy, and offers an innovative teaching methodology for courses in the new MA curricula, the 'learning through teaching' approach, according to which students learn matters of relevance -- declarative knowledge and procedural skills -- by teaching other students.

Comics as Poetry: An Interview with David Mack


In this interview, comics book artist-author David Mack (Kabuki: The Alchemy) describes his creative process, discusses his influences, and maps his relationship to his readers, his publishers, and his medium.

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, 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, Vol. 52, No. 4
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