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
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
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
The editorial team gladly provides a MS Word document template file (DOT) that is used for pre-typesetting (preflighting).


Amerikastudien / American Studies


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.
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


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Amerikastudien / American Studies 2016: Environmental Imaginaries on the Move: Nature and Mobility in American Literature and Culture, Vol. 61, No.4

Imagining a Mobile Sense of Place: Towards an Ecopoetics of Mobility

This essay starts out from the observation that in American literature there is a growing body of environmentally significant poems that are invested both in place and geographical movement. Because their green resonances are not so much compromised as they are productively complicated and intensified by this double-orientation, such poems challenge all-too stable notions of place and place-connectedness as ecological ideals, from the perspectives of a genre that is uniquely suited to transcend place and time without necessarily relinquishing literature's referential dimension. Combining some of the questions asked in recent ecocriticism with the concerns of mobility studies, this essay explores how American poetry engages with the shifting place of human and nonhuman creatures in an increasingly mobile world. Using Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and a spectrum of contemporary poets as examples, the essay argues that such poems, in spite of their notable differences, all engage similar strategies that enable them to envision and express a distinctly mobile sense of place. Most prominent among these interrelated poetic strategies are the evocation of topographies as substantially marked by nonhuman mobility, the focus on personas whose environmental insights are critically informed by their movement, and references to a more broadly mobile culture. This notion of a mobile sense of place lies at the heart of what I call an "ecopoetics of mobility" -- an ecologically sensitive mode of poetic expression that conceives of natural phenomena and human-nonhuman interactions as both place-oriented and fundamentally mobile.

From Planar Perspectives to a Planetary Poetics: Aeromobility, Technology, and the Environmental Imaginary in Contemporary American Poetry

Late modernity is often associated with the uneven pressures of globalization, increasing technologization, and an intensification of migratory, economic, and cultural flows that alienate the subject, frequently figured as a traveler, from the natural world. Contemporary American poetry, in particular by ethnic poets invested in histories of displacement, explores these tensions by evoking travel by plane. Going beyond common themes in poems of flight, these texts interrogate the desire for place-attachment in a highly mobile world, and the peculiar perspectives on the natural environment open to the air traveler. In this essay I analyze selected poems about aeromobility from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, arguing that they are not only plane poems but also 'planetary poems.' Drawing from recent critical discourses on 'the planetary,' I demonstrate how these texts combine considerations of racial, ethnic, and cultural difference with ecological sensibilities and thus evoke complex glocal environmental imaginaries. As a reading of Ed Roberson's collection To See the Earth Before the End of the World (2010) shows, recent American poems of flight are centrally concerned not only with questions of mobility, but also with the role of technology in our current age of global conflict and environmental change. Contemporary poetry of aeromobility thus makes possible a (techno-)critical reexamination of traditional, planar perspectives on nonhuman environments and allows for an exploration of the revisionary potential of an eco-ethical, anti-imperialist planetary poetics.

From "Wall-Flower" to "Queen of the Forest": Frontier Migration, Nature, and Early Ecofeminism in Caroline Kirkland's A New Home, Who'll Follow? (1839)

In The Land Before Her: Fantasy and Experience of the American Frontiers, Annette Kolodny asserts that women's literature claimed the West "as a potential sanctuary for an idealized domesticity" (xii) rather than imagining the "[m]assive exploitation and alteration of the continent" (xiii). Kolodny cites Caroline Kirkland's A New Home, Who'll Follow? (1839) as a key example of how women's narratives imagined the triumph of domesticity in the 'wilderness.' This essay argues that Kirkland articulates mobility -- understood as "socially produced motion" (Cresswell 3) according to the "new mobilities" (Urry) paradigm proposed by recent work in cultural geography -- as a basis for transformed notions of both home and the natural environment. Analyzing its environmental imagination, I explore how A New Home, on the one hand, casts migration as fundamental for a sensitized perception of the environment that challenges patriarchal notions of subduing the land as much as traditional ideas of domesticity. Kirkland undermines the conceptual binary between movement and domesticity in ways that question the environmental implications of both. At the same, her western "removal" obscures the simultaneous removal of Native Americans in the 1830s and 1840s, erasing the 'Indian' not only from 'civilization,' but also from 'natural' American landscapes. The article discusses the environmental implications of a pioneer woman's account of the frontier as fundamentally tied to effects of migration and relocation.

From an Ethics of Proximity to an Ethics of Connectivity: Risk, Mobility, and Deterritorialization in Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior

This essay discusses the participation of Barbara Kingsolver's climate change novel Flight Behavior in the ethical discourse of anthropogenic climate change by paying particular attention to the connection between the representation of geographical mobility and the experience of place. It approaches climate change as a global risk and the novel as a risk narrative that explores the spatial instabilities and transformations caused by climate change. It argues that the novel's focus on mobility - both nonhuman and human - and on deterritorialized place creates an environmental ethical space that transcends traditional notions of an ethics of proximity, which are based on concepts of place as bounded. Instead, Flight Behavior suggests an ethics of connectivity, a globalized ethics that recognizes mobility and processes of deterritorialization as fundamental to any assessment of the meanings and consequences of the climate change risk.

Made to Move, Made of this Place: Into America, Mobility, and the Eco-Logics of Settler Colonialism

This essay examines how mobility, settler colonial structures of invasion, and invasive environmental practices produce a settler colonial eco-logic of mobility, which the documentary Into America: The Ancestor's Land (2012) by Nadine Zacharias and Angelo Baca (Navajo/Hopi) both displays and disrupts. The film documents the expulsion of Helen Yellowman, Angelo's grandmother, and her family from their land in the 1950s in connection to environmental pollution and disregard of Navajo traditions. Furthermore, it places this case within a history of discursive and physical removals of Indigenous peoples that follow a settler colonial logic of elimination. Indigenous removal in turn is shown to be predicated on a dominant version of settler mobility centered on invading, acquiring, exploiting land -- and abandoning it in pursuit of new land. The film's own journey eastward, counter to the settlers' westward invasion, uncovers the history of removal, recovers relationships to the land and environment rooted in Indigenous thought and practices, and thus troubles what Mishuana Goeman terms a "settler grammar of place." It does so specifically by using the visual grammar of film to reframe conventional signifiers of mobility as specifically Indigenous: the road movie genre, the car, the road, and the map. To this end, the film uses a map that recasts U.S. regions as Indigenous national territories defined by distinct natural environments, suggesting a responsibility to the land based in Indigenous sovereignty. As it challenges unmarked settler formations and their destructive environmental practices, Into America indicates alternative kinds of mobility on the land that interrupt settler colonial eco-logics, and it highlights the interlocking aspects of environmental politics and decolonization within Indigenous movements that possess a transnationally unsettling force.

"Zombies Don't Recognize Borders": Capitalism, Ecology, and Mobility in the Zombie Outbreak Narrative

Outbreak scenarios negotiate fears of a lack of control over the human and non-human environment and over increasingly instable borders in an age of globalization. Recently, the zombie genre has incorporated the outbreak narrative, combining it with the apocalyptic. In the zombie outbreak narrative, the critique of capitalist exploitation of humans and the natural environment is centered on the figure of the zombie who combines fears of environmental catastrophe and global migration. Marc Forster's World War Z (2013) provides an example of this, as it refers to a sense of global environmental crisis in its credit sequence, while visualizing the break-down of borders and the subsequent 'migration' of bodies (zombies) in the main film. It thus aligns itself with a feeling of threat from both environmental disasters and global capitalism by envisioning the 'migrating' living dead as at once the retaliation of a human-made 'unnatural nature' and a stand-in for a foreign surplus laboring population. Rather than sticking with the genre's inherent critique and apocalyptic vision, however, the film suggests in an epilogue that an American-controlled military-scientific world order is the answer to the problems we are facing, be they related to migration, natural viruses, or unequal capitalist relations.

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, 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 - 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