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 2013: Pragmatism's Promise, Vol. 58, No. 2

Introduction: Back to the Future, or: Why Pragmatism, Why Now?


"Amazing Mazes": The Locus of the Subject in Charles S. Peirce's Pragmatist Epistemology


This article explores how Charles S. Peirce's philosophy might contribute to recent debates dealing with the contemporary 'ontological turn.' What is at stake in these debates is the conception of the human subject in relation to its world. Accordingly, Peirce's notion of this particular relation is of interest, but he never developed one coherent 'theory of the subject' in his philosophical writings. I argue that it is nevertheless possible to identify a subject in Peirce's epistemology, which is located at the intersection of semiotics and pragmatism. The article thus brings together relevant parts from Peirce's writings on semiotics and pragmatism and reconstructs a subject that is situated on the border between both areas and that combines the status of being both a function in a triadic sign relation and a pragmatist subject as agens.

Crime, Guilt, and Subjectivity in Dreiser, Mead, and Lacan


For decades, Theodore Dreiser was seen as an old-fashioned naturalist with narrow-minded deterministic views and modest writing skills. In contrast, this essay focuses on the amazing modernity of his conception of the self in which an individual has to look at others in order to gain a sense of self and then acts in anticipation of what he thinks the reaction of the other will be. Dreiser's intersubjective theory of selfhood bears striking similarities to that of the American pragmatist George Herbert Mead, who formulated his theory of the self at about the same time that Dreiser wrote his novels. Mead's work has been a major influence on sociological theories of self and identity. For Dreiser, Mead's trust in the intersubjective basis of democracy remains illusory, however. His characters need to look at others because they are driven by a deep sense of insecurity. Neither reason nor instinct can provide steady guidance, leading to an incalculable variability of results: on the one hand Carrie Meeber's success as an actress in Sister Carrie, and on the other a murder 'by chance' in An American Tragedy. This novel stands in a long line of works, ranging from Dostoievsky to Richard Wright and Albert Camus, in which an accidental or unmotivated murder poses a major challenge to classical philosophical theories of the subject because such seemingly incomprehensible crimes confront us with a hidden, inaccessible dimension of human subjectivity. Although their theories of self-formation are similar in crucial respects, there is nothing to be found in Dreiser's world of Mead's pragmatist confidence in the possibility of genuine intersubjectivity and the 'progressive' vision of society based on it. As his novels show, very different conclusions can be drawn from the open-endedness of self-formation

Cognitive Style and Perceptual Skill in the Realism of Thomas Eakins: Pragmatism, Cognitive Science, and Art


During the late nineteenth century, new concepts of experience, cognition, and consciousness were being developed and negotiated in both scientific and artistic discourses and practices. Taking the example of Thomas Eakins, a major but also rather controversial American realist painter, the following essay discusses how concepts of perception, cognition, and experience prevalent at the time -- and explicitly those expressed by American pragmatism -- became translated into images that present cognitive syntheses rather than mimetic representations of the real. On a more general level, these historical observations will be used to discuss the potential of current approaches that align cognitive science with art in order to point out some obvious and some not so obvious continuities between nineteenth-century thoughts on cognition and experience and contemporary approaches in cognitive science. The focus of the discussion will be on notions like perceptual skill and cognitive style, as well as more recent concepts such as embodied and enacted cognition.

"The bread of life is better than any soufflé": Wallace Stevens's Poetics and the Extraordinary Ordinary


This essay begins with asking why the 'studies of the everyday' -- currently so popular in the humanities -- have not yet taken pragmatism into consideration despite the fact that pragmatism has traditionally been concerned with the everyday, the common, and the ordinary. It then analyzes Wallace Stevens's everyday poetics as part of the pragmatist tradition, especially as inspired by William James and John Dewey. This perspective helps to see the paradoxical doubleness involved when the ordinary is observed consciously and thus ceases to be ordinary, as it is turned into something extraordinary. Furthermore, it uncovers Stevens's treatment of the ordinary as an expression of his political belief. Through this belief Stevens not only emphasizes democratic impulses but also the importance of becoming a part of an egalitarian collectivity.

Rhetorical Pragmatism and Histories of New Media: Rorty on Kierkegaard on the Internet


This essay begins with Hubert Dreyfus's Kierkegaardian critique of the Internet and then turns to Richard Rorty's neo-pragmatist response, an unpublished text found in the Richard Rorty Papers. After considering these contrasting perspectives, the author proposes a third view, arguing that a rhetorical pragmatist should borrow from both Dreyfus's critique and Rorty's defense. The Internet does enable media users who are unthinkingly complacent in their passionate commitments as well as ones who are complacently unthinking in their detached, everyday busyness. But the Internet also provides its own unique opportunities for thinking critically and for challenging complacency. After proposing this more rhetorically pragmatic view, the author discusses Rorty's published and unpublished comments on Kierkegaard more generally, concluding with Rorty's comparison of Kierkegaard and William James.

Pragmatism's Tragicomic Jazzman: A Talk with Cornel West


In this conversation Cornel West, one of the most versatile and provocative neo-pragmatists, discusses the social, political and cultural foundations for pragmatism, going back to what he calls the spiritual godfathers, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He also explores his own version, prophetic pragmatism, as a form of cultural criticism and social activism that is foremost concerned with everyday people and the underserved. In this context he turns less to classical pragmatists and more to Alain Locke, W.E.B. Du Bois, Randolph Bourne, Josiah Royce as well as to Ralph Ellison, Herman Melville, and Toni Morrison, whom he sees as sharing elements of either his tragicomic or his anti-imperialist version of pragmatism. Beyond offering insights into philosophical and literary writers, he talks about pragmatist philosophy in policy making and politics, especially in regard to Barack Obama, and about popular culture. West here considers jazz as both symbolic democratic action and pragmatic in being flexible, fluid, and not tied to dogma but to a Love Supreme.

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
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, 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