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 2012, 57.3

Unto the Wild: Rhetoric of the Ideal and Poetic Materialism in Thoreau's Walden


Far from being mere light-hearted playfulness or idiosyncratic musing over seasonal change, the latter part of Thoreau's Walden very clearly articulates the defining tensions within Western modernity, in which the desire for scientific knowledge, economic appropriation, and aesthetic enjoyment reached an unprecedented level of intensity. Thoreau here strives to comprehend and redefine man's relation to the world in the context of the triumph of scientific and economic 'modernity.' He meant both to induce his readers to reflect on the terms that characterize our relation to the material world, and to tip the scales toward a new equilibrium, one in which the human desire for dominion is kept in check by an equivalent desire for reverence and wonder. He posed exhaustive challenges to the standard ways we relate to the world, from a perspective that drew on and supported a definition of 'the wild' that is not merely topographical (a separate sphere elsewhere), but also intellectual -- a mental frontier, central to our very existence, relocated as the necessary, nurturing questioning of what we assume is human and defines humanity. Orchestrating his narrative so as to emphasize his distance from two common ways of 'translating' the real (scientific knowledge and economic exploitation), Thoreau thus makes it clear that his environmental advocacy is grounded in a more encompassing regard for the untranslatability of the real, or respect for the autonomy and mystery of a world that emphatically eludes our full grasp.

Cultural Immobililty: Thoreau, Heidegger, and the Modern Politics of Place


Modernity and modernization have often been associated with an increase in mobility and, therefore, an emphasis on space rather than place. Yet there has also been a distinct tradition within modern intellectual history that wants to disengage the self from the maelstrom of constant movement and cultural change. Hence modernity cannot be fully comprehended without attention to this self-imposed lack of mobility that cuts across the realms of philosophy, cultural criticism, political and social thought, religion, and the fine arts. In this essay I focus on two core modern thinkers, Henry David Thoreau and Martin Heidegger, who represent different aspects of what may be called a modern culture of immobility, rather than the staggering mobility and acceleration observed by critics such Paul Virilio, Zygmunt Baumann, or Stephen Greenblatt. What is more, both Thoreau's and Heidegger's emphasis on rootedness and their close attention to particular places and regions reveal a far-reaching modern politics of place whose poststructuralist reverberations inform the 'topoanalysis' of Foucault, Deleuze, and Michel Serres.

Transcendentalism and the Power of Philology: Herder, Schleiermacher, and the Transformation of Biblical Scholarship in New England


A number of critical works have drawn attention to the fundamental impact of Johann Gottfried Herder's and Friedrich Schleiermacher's theological thinking on the formation of the transcendentalist movement. The notion of religious renewal channeled through German biblical scholarship broke new ground, so the argument always goes, by relocating the source for finding divine evidence from the letter into the interior realms to the individual's soul and consciousness. Drawing on rarely discussed and unexamined reviews, writings, and translations by transcendentalist critics such as George Ripley and James Marsh, among others, this article claims that such generalized assessments occlude essential characteristics and functions of the model of spiritual restoration that American critics work out with Herder and Schleiermacher. Through the lens of the German scholars' historical and philological techniques, critics like Ripley, Marsh, and George Bancroft articulate notions of modern revelation premised on educational efforts. The subject they introduce hones its religious integrity through continual critical labor centered on strategies of self-abandonment, empathy, and poetic-philology. Through a number of close readings, I demonstrate how this connection between spiritual revival and learning processes modifies our perspective on the impact of German biblical criticism on the formation of transcendentalism and on the thinking of its major spokesman Ralph Waldo Emerson in the movement's early years.

Artifizielle Lichträume in Edgar Allan Poes "The Man of the Crowd"


This essay explores an aspect of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Man of the Crowd" (1840) which has been largely neglected in literary studies until now: the motif of the gas lamp and the (cultural) consequences of artificial lighting. The bustling crowds in the streets of London at night would be unimaginable without gas lighting. The architecture of these new 'lightrooms' creates landmarks in the dark city which cause a reassessment of visual and cultural experiences. This gives rise to a new type of observer for whom the city, full of illusions, becomes the stage for an illegible crime story. By tracing the history of artificial lighting from the beginning of the nineteenth century, the following analysis of Poe's short story explores the significance of the mobilization and mechanization of the new gaze through gas lighting and can therefore also be

Forum: Der Fall Mathiopoulos


Review Essay: Recent Political and Cultural Interpretations of Transcendentalism: A Pragmatist Critique


Four major and sophisticated analyses of Emerson's and Thoreau's political thinking - Neal Dolan, Emerson's Liberalism (2009), Alex Zakaras, Individuality and Mass Democracy: Mill, Emerson, and the Burdens of Citizenship (2009), Shannon L. Mariotti, Thoreau's Democratic Withdrawal: Alienation, Participation, and Modernity (2010), and Jack Turner, ed., A Political Companion to Henry David Thoreau (2009) -are critically analyzed from the point of view of pragmatism as a political belief system and a philosophical method. A reading of Emerson and Thoreau in terms of the pragmatist consequences and continuities of their thinking reveals the necessary limitations of, on the one hand, historicist interpretations and, on the other, of merely modernist actualizations of transcendentalist political thought which predominate in these publications of the recent past. This review essay argues that a pragmatist hermeneutics would add to and considerably deepen and enrich our appreciation of Emerson's and Thoreau's open-ended and effectively continuing political and philosophical experimentalism.

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 - 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, 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