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, Vol. 58, No. 3

The Dream and the Dystopia: Bathetic Humor, the Beats, and Walt Whitman's Idealism


Among the many influences on the Beats, none looms larger than Walt Whitman from whom they adopted an idealistic vision of democratic equality, potent artistic honesty, and forthright sexual expression. In the greedy, conformist, paranoid America of the 1950s, however, the actualization of such a vision seemed terrifically farfetched. The distance between Whitman's vision of America and the dystopia described in "Howl," for instance, animated the Beats' literary project, but it also propagated an abiding sense of ideological doubt. This is one of the primary bases of the Beat ethos. Crucially, when the Beats invoke the distance between Whitman's idealistic dream of democratic vistas and the dystopia of 1950s America, they frequently do so in ways that are comical or that depict characters laughing. Allen Ginsberg, John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder, for example, all wrestled with doubts as to the idealism they inherited from Whitman, and they all associated this struggle with laughter. The distance between Whitman's dream and the Beats' dystopia is hardly a laughing matter, however, making such humor bathetic. Bathos can be defined as the laughable result of straining for a sublime ideal but tripping over hard reality into the absurd. Despite their range of forms and styles, Ginsberg, Holmes, Kerouac, and Snyder all reflect the bathetic impulse emerging from America's failure to manifest anything resembling Whitman's dream.

Rencontres américaines: Encounters between Anglo-Americans and French Americans in Kate Chopin's Short Stories


This article uses a revisionist approach to American local-color fiction -- one that combines historicist or ideological hegemonic readings of local color as imperialistic with feminist, counterhegemonic analyses of the genre as a literature of resistance -- to examine the depiction of Anglo-American characters in Kate Chopin's short fiction in general and of their encounters with French Americans (Creoles and Cajuns) in particular. I argue that Chopin's stories rely solely on the category of cultural affiliation (as opposed to a combination of the categories of race, class, gender, age, and geographical origin) to distinguish between Anglo- and French Americans and thus construct members of both cultural groups as regional characters. However, the texts nevertheless consistently associate Anglo-Americans with metropolitan, hegemonic, and French Americans with provincial, resistant perspectives.This categorization of Anglo-Americans as agents of cultural imperialism and of French Americans as resistant provincials is further confirmed by the texts' regionalist critiques of Anglo-Americans and their local-color depictions of French Americans, which are continuously played off against and most often also balance each other.

American Modernism on Display: Tourism and Literary Form in the Works Progress Administration's Guide Series


Between1936 and 1941 the Federal Writers' Project produced guides to all forty-eight states, Alaska, and Puerto Rico, as well as to several cities and regions. Though numerous well-known and important American authors contributed to the American Guide Series, the books themselves have been almost ignored by literary critics, and scholars working with the American Guides have generally regarded them either as busywork to keep people employed during the Great Depression or as government propaganda meant to forward a particular vision of American patriotism and national bounty. This essay makes the case for reading the American Guides as literary texts, texts that engaged with the genres of regionalism and modernism, and texts that tell us something about the literary scene of mid-twentieth-century America. I start by situating the American Guides within the colonial politics of guidebooks and tourism, considering the ideological work that the guides performed. I then extend that focus to analyze how the texts subvert the guidebook genre's realist representational strategies to embrace an experimentation and epistemological uncertainty that is at the heart of literary modernism. Finally, by focusing specifically on Zora Neale Hurston's role as editor of Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, I draw connections between her literary work and her work for the Federal Writers' Project to argue that such guides present a sort of 'crisis modernism,' a set of texts whose realistic representational strategies belie the epistemological crises that underpinned them. Through such a reading, I argue, we expand our understanding of what mid-century American modernism looked like, and we better interpret the political, cultural, and literary import of the massive undertaking of the Federal Writers' Project.

A Deculturated Pynchon? Thomas Pynchon's Vineland and Reading in the Age of Television


This essay examines Thomas Pynchon's novel Vineland as a take on reading in the 1980s. Vineland's suffusion with popular culture and television references has led many critics to focus on its shift in style and content and to read it either as "Pynchon Lite" or as a critical commentary on contemporary American culture. Few critics, however, have picked up on Pynchon's sustained concern with creating reader-character parallels. Through the figure of Prairie Wheeler, Vineland presents us, I argue, with a sophisticated allegory about the entrapments of superficial reading. Representing what Judith Fetterley has termed the "resisting reader," Prairie guides us through the 1980s Culture Wars in which reading had become a political issue. Under its surface, then, Vineland appears as a highly self-reflective novel that complicates cause and effect in contemporary discussions about reading, mass culture, and television.

Forum: Early American Studies Now: A Polemic from Literary Studies


Responses by Ed White, Stephen Shapiro, Duncan Faherty

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: 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, 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