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: Iconographies of the Calamitous in American Visual Culture, Vol. 58, No. 4

Introduction


Pathologizing Bodies: Medical Portrait Photography in Nineteenth-Century America


With the invention of photography in the first half of the nineteenth century, the camera soon became a widely used instrument in the field of medicine. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, photography helped to classify the pathological while defining the 'normal.' In this process the body became a highly de-individualized entity, but the individuality depicted in medical studio portraits reveals a struggle with scientific objectivity. This article engages with medical portrait photography by analyzing the photographs of Dr. James Buckner Luckie's first and second case of successful triple amputation. The series of photographs is unusual because it shows a black man and a white man in a sequence. The pictures are trophies of medical success, but they also visualize the tensions that are characteristic of nineteenth-century American professional medicine: between racist assumptions, scientific discourse, and popular entertainment venues, as for example freak shows.

Epidemic Iconographies: Toward a Disease Aesthetics of the Destructive Sublime


This article addresses a number of evocative nineteenth-century pictorial representations of yellow fever epidemics, including illustrations from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly between the 1860s and the 1880s and photographs taken during and after America's so-called 'splendid little war' in Cuba in 1898. These pictures of diseased and dead bodies, which frequently sensationalized and sentimentalized the epidemics for American readers, constitute complex sites of tension: viewing them generates disgust that might also be accompanied with a morbid delight. These representations of the yellow fever experience embody striking contradictions between the aestheticization of the abject and the moral implications emerging from voyeuristic engagements with disease, death, and suffering that call for close examination. These contradictions provide a point of entry for critical engagement with the politics of aesthetic expression and ensuing ideological conflicts during the period. In order to understand more fully the processes of medical and imperialist power formation in the United States, the article reads these pictures as political instruments that destabilize notions of ethics and aesthetics and conjure up what Miles Orvell, in another context, has described as the 'destructive sublime.'

Visualizing Hunger in a 'City of Plenty': Bread Line Iconographies in the Aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire


The large-scale destruction of San Francisco after the earthquake and fires of 1906 confronted city authorities with the unprecedented task of providing food and water for several hundred thousand survivors. The long bread lines stretching through the ruined city were readily taken up as popular motifs by the masses of amateur and professional photographers and thus emerged as an iconic sight of the 1906 calamity. This article explores various transmedial framings of the bread lines and pays particular attention to the pictorial repertoire, reoccurring patterns and motifs, and the cultural functions performed by these visual representations. It also delves into the questions of the ethics of gazing at destruction and destitution and considers the effect of the sensationalist and voyeuristic visuals on financial aid and charity. Through a close examination of the disaster relief, this analysis also investigates the invisibilities and gaps in the bread line narratives and exposes strategic narrative appropriations of the bread lines as well as the discriminatory processes and the violence that accompanied the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

On-Site Disaster: Exposing Calamity in Twentieth-Century Art Photography


This essay looks at twentieth-century American art photography as an important arena of the calamitous by focusing on scenes of death, decay, and disaster centrally featured in many photographs by a group of well-known artists. It begins by revisiting Walker Evans's work for the Farm Security Administration, which depicts the human and economic disaster of the Great Depression so artfully that one could miss the sobering subject entirely. Next, with Weegee and Robert Frank the essay considers two photographers of the New York School, whose work broke with established conventions of art photography in different ways in their search of a more immediate as well as authentic approach to depicting calamity. It is further argued that a significant step in the history of photography occurred in the 1970s, when William Eggleston, with the help of MoMA curator John Szarkowski, introduced color into art photography and thus produced highly evocative images giving the entire medium a new hue. In its final part the essay turns to the provocative work On This Site by Joel Sternfeld, which combines elements from all previous styles and yet manages to reposition American photography as a politically engaged art, enlisted here to commemorate unknown sites of violent deaths. One leitmotif connecting all photographs included here is the theme of traffic, both as a symbol of individual as well as national progress and simultaneously as a major site of man-made disaster. Moreover, each approach reflects a new way of representing traumatic incidents in the form of visual commemoration, leading to a rather different viewing experience in each case. Finally, each photographic oeuvre discussed below critically resonates with the 'destructive sublime' as theorized by Miles Orvell.

Between Ethics and Aesthetics: Photographs of War during the Bush and Obama Administrations


This essay is concerned with photographs of war during the Bush and Obama administrations and particularly explores how the visual representation of war has developed between the two presidencies. Comparing pictures from Guantánamo and the capture of Saddam Hussein during President George W. Bush's first term in office to photographs from Guantánamo and the killing of Osama bin Laden during President Obama's first term in office, I argue that a careful reframing of the 'war on terror' has taken place during Obama's presidency. Focusing on the disappearance of the enemy's body from sight, I ask what ethical consequences this development entails by setting the question in the context of broader debates about the circulation of pictures of war and suffering.

Forum: Photographing Disaster: Urban Ruins and the Destructive Sublime


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, 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: 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