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

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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:
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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

 

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Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012 - Conceptions of Collectivity in Contemporary American Literature, Vol. 57, No. 2

Introduction: Conceptions of Collectivity in Contemporary American Literature


Love Is Not a Game: Waning American Power and the End of Neoliberalism in Peter Mountford's A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism


This essay considers Peter Mountford's novel A Young Man's Guide to Late Capitalism as a recent work of 'world-system literature' focused on the subjective implications of new hemispheric relations in the Americas. In particular, it argues that the limits of neoliberal rational-choice subjectivity explored in this novel are inextricable from its representation of declining U.S. hegemony in Latin American since September 11, 2001. The novel brings these themes together by pitting a maternal oedipal narrative against the demands of rational choice theory. Despite its appearance as a superficial rationalism, the protagonist's game theory logic reveals itself as a symptomatic effect of past trauma, a reference to the shock therapy that was applied to Chile in particular, and Latin America more generally, in the U.S. backed dictatorships of the seventies. Mountford's novel, read in this light, reveals itself as a global allegory about the rise and fall of U.S. power, and the squandering of opportunities for new kinds of political solidarity that are perhaps associated with this historical juncture.

After 9/11: The Fate of Strangers


The commonplace self-image of the United States is one of openness and hospitality: "Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." But post-9/11 America seems to have radically curtailed its welcome to strangers. This essay argues that far from being a complete change of heart, this situation emphasizes one element of a tradition that had always been deeply ambivalent about immigrants and foreign visitors, who have often been welcomed precisely as objects of suspicion. It looks at a sampling of post-9/11 film and fiction that expresses and analyses the double-edged predicament of those arriving in America. Emma Lazarus's famous poem itself invokes the "wretched refuse" of foreign shores in a voice that supposedly contrasts with that of the inhospitable nations of the earth but reflexively suggests a counternarrative in the homeland itself. Among the various films and novels discussed in this essay, Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows and Thomas McCarthy's The Visitor figure prominently.

Fables of American Collectivity Circa 2005: Chris Bachelder's U.S.!, Lydia Millet's Oh Pure and Radiant Heart, and George Saunders's The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil


This essay reads three novels from 2005 and 2006 as responses to a long history in the United States of collective social action and of resistance to it. In particular, it reads them as responses to their time's hostility to Left politics. The essay argues that a common feature of these novels, the turn away from realism, narrowly conceived, and toward the use of the fantastic in constructing alternative or non-realist histories -- what it calls the transhistorical fantastic -- is a response to this hostility and to the fatalism of the Left in the face of it. Reading this turn from half a decade later, in the light of collective action in the Arab Spring's Middle East, Wisconsin's Middle West, and the U.S.-born Occupy Wall Street movement, the essay also sees, in the optimistic insistence in these novels on the possibility of positive social change, a turn toward the future that will emerge as characteristic of very contemporary U.S. fiction.

Teaching and Editing at Worlds' End: Collective Trauma and Individual Witness in American Holocaust Poetry


American poetry movements have regularly sought to solidify their collective self-image and public face as aesthetic and political communities by producing movement anthologies. Later generations often seek to codify the past in the same way. Such anthologies are inherently topical, but one topic -- the Holocaust -- has not served well to instantiate a literary community. It was in the nature of the death camps to obliterate all human meaning and all vestiges of community. As a result, a collection of Holocaust poetry cannot embody contemporary community; if anything, it represents a kind of anti-community. Teaching Holocaust poetry consequently presents severe challenges to the humanistic expectations of students and faculty alike -- and defines the humanities at their most fierce.

Collectivity in Trouble: Writing on HIV/AIDS by Susan Sontag and Sarah Schulman


The HIV/AIDS epidemic has generated literary and artistic works on a scale not far short of that produced by the two world wars. Like war, the epidemic has created alliances, friendships, sexual connections, political and emotional bonding, communities of suffering and death, collaborative art and science, and collective action. In this essay, I explore notions of collectivity and related social formations in the AIDS writings of two American women: Susan Sontag and Sarah Schulman. I argue that their contrasting fictional representations of collectivity and different experiences of collectivity as writers illuminate several problematic aspects of collectivity as a concept and help explain why it remains elusive and often fragile in the realities of everyday life

"To Meet a Broader and Wiser Revolution": Notions of Collectivity in Contemporary Mexican American Drama


This essay discusses the interventions of Cherríe Moraga's dramatic and essayistic work in Chicano/a discourse on collectivity. In her dramatic and essayistic writings, Moraga moves beyond a feminist and queer critique of the patriarchal and heterosexual premises inherent in traditional Chicano cultural nationalism. In Heroes and Saints and Watsonville, Moraga questions a narrow, individualistic definition of cultural identity and emphasizes the importance of collective action for social change. Read from the viewpoint of a Lacanian notion of the tragic, Heroes and Saints argues in favor of both the need for violent resistance to economic exploitation and for a more inclusive definition of Chicano/a collectivity. Exploring the social and economic conflicts between a local Hispanic community and white factory owners, Moraga's Watsonville employs Mexican folk religion and indigenous spirituality in order to introduce a revisionist mythology of communal belonging. Against the background of Jean-Luc Nancy's philosophy of community, Moraga's dramatic vision can be seen to articulate an idiosyncratic communitarian vision that questions and complicates existing accounts of Mexican American collectivity.

Pynchon's Dustbin of History: Collecting, Collectivity, and Care for the Past


The almost endless profusion of historically specific detail is central to the historical consciousness enacted in Thomas Pynchon's long novels. With particular attention to Against the Day, Pynchon's longest novel, considered both in the context of his other works and against other American writing of the early 2000s, this paper argues that we should read collecting both as a topos within the novel and as a description of the novel itself -- as Pynchon's way of creating or imagining collectivity. Reading Pynchon's collections as collectivities is a way of foregrounding the historical politics of the novelistic imagination -- reading for the pluralism and the radical-democratic imagination at the core of Pynchon's distinctive narrative form.

Review Symposium: Loïc Wacquant, Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity (2009)


Reviews by Christa Buschendorf, Susanne Krasmann, Erwin Riedmann, Fritz Sack, and Michael Hirsch

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, 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, 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