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 2017, Vol. 62, No. 1

Herman Melville's Typee: A Melancholy Look at Civilization and its Other


Melancholy is a distinctive feature of many of Melville's characters, apparent from his first book, Typee. In this autobiographical novel, both the narrator and his companion are represented as melancholy, a feature belonging to the romantic stereotype of the restless outsider. In this article, I intend to show how Melville creatively used this stereotype in Typee to present a detached and critical view of Western society. However, it is the inability of the melancholy subject to identify with the monotonous lifestyle of the Marquesas Islands that avoids reducing the book to a mere antimodern pamphlet. Melancholy appears simultaneously as a product of Western culture and modernity and as a privileged point of departure for a constructive criticism of it, affording a perspective that will prove fruitful not only in this book but also in Melville's subsequent works.

Religion and War Made Strange: Ostranenie in Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five


Kurt Vonnegut was arguably the American twentieth-century specialist in ostranenie (also known as "defamiliarization" and "estrangement"). Nevertheless, this aspect of his work has received very little attention so far. The present article hopes to fill part of this lacuna, concentrating on the way war and religion are made strange in Slaughterhouse-Five (with some mentions of other works such as Breakfast for Champions). The analysis of these effects forms the bulk of the article (part II), flanked by considerations on ostranenie, particularly in the context of Vonnegut's and Shklovsky's war experience (part I), and an overview of Vonnegut's precursors in the ostranenie of religion and war, such as Swift, Twain, and Heller (part III).

Ordinary Madness: Don DeLillo's Subject from Underworld to Point Omega


This article contends that Don DeLillo's novels from Underworld to Point Omega are centrally concerned with changes in the structure of subjectivity under contemporary capitalism. The essay analyzes these developments from a late Lacanian perspective: as a shift from a dominant neurosis to what Jacques-Alain Miller has called "ordinary psychosis". Over the years, a few of DeLillo's critics have problematized a standard account of his characters as postmodern, suggesting that the author was in the process of crafting "a new kind of subjectivity". However, none of these scholars have taken the prominence of psychotic protagonists in his novels as a starting point to analyze DeLillo's fiction. Madness thus plays an important but overlooked role in the author's oeuvre. After briefly considering DeLillo's earlier writing, the discussion concentrates on three representative novels: Underworld, The Body Artist and Point Omega. Where Underworld focuses on paranoia, The Body Artist moves ordinary psychosis to the center of DeLillo's imagination, a development whose social impact is explored further in the final novel. The article counters traditional conceptions of insanity as irrational and pathological with an emphasis on the structural role madness plays in DeLillo. This reassessment counters a critical tradition that often views insanity as a sign of deep-seated illness, or opposes pathology by naively romanticizing it. The conclusion situates the analysis in the broader framework of the medical humanities

Civilization or Savagery in the West? - The West in Native American Letters Written during the Removal Era


This article argues that, in their letters, memorials, and petitions to the federal government, both Cherokee and Seneca proponents and opponents of the removal policy, which sought to resettle all Native Americans to the West of the Mississippi, portrayed the West as a type of absence. Removal's proponents among the two tribes claimed the West to be their salvation and a place where they would be able to become "civilized," just as the policy promised. In these written communications, the West became a sanctuary through an absence of white influences. Cherokee and Seneca opponents of the policy argued that removal was counterproductive and would be unable to make them more civilized. To make their case, they portrayed the West, the place they were supposed to remove to, as an absence of civilization, a place fit only for savages. They also characterised it by contrasting it to their own lands, to which they felt an emotional attachment, and thus described it as the absence of such attachment. Proponents as well as opponents of removal defined the West to suit the argument they sought to make but always described it as an absence, an empty place onto which they projected their own hopes and fears in their letters. However, in doing so, removal's tribal adversaries as well as its advocates among the two tribes insisted on making their own decisions and determining their own destinies, even in a time when they were often depicted as being mere pawns in a larger political play.

Father Trouble: Adam and Aeneas in Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March


Situating Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March in the broader context of the U.S.-American picaresque tradition of the confidence man, this essay explores the multiple ramifications of the precarious notion of fatherhood in the novel. The traditional motif of the orphaned pícaro's inability to found a family is, in Augie March, integrated into a complex web of references, most notably to mythologies of origin and their artistic appropriation in a modernist aesthetics of creatio ex nihilo. Picaresque fiction proves particularly suitable for reflecting on the tensions of individual and social system, affirmation and critique, history and nature under the specific conditions of modern capitalism. This reading foregrounds the dramatization of experience and desire in Augie March and enlists an analysis of the picaresque form for an exploration of the psycho-economic human condition during the Great Acceleration after World War II. It shows the inner contradictions of the self-made man and the capitalist self. Although purporting to overcome the heteronomy of human existence by rooting individual agency in experience and desire, Augie's picaresque self-enactment does not manage to escape the cycle of production and consumption and the related compulsion to define human identity and agency exclusively through difference and repetition. Augie March thus offers a rich reflection on the contradictory expectations vis-ŕ-vis human individuality: we are supposed to act according to our desires and experiences, yet we can never be quite sure about their origins. We moderns see ourselves, like Augie March, as Adam and Eve figures in a post-lapsarian world.

The Whale's Three Jobs: Postsecularist Literary Studies and the Old Testament Hermeneutics of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick


This essay is concerned with Herman Melville's mediation of the wisdom tradition in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. I situate Melville's novel Moby-Dick at the intersection of literary studies, the philosophy of religion, and the transatlantic cultural history of the Bible to challenge older scholarly depictions of Melville as a religiously subversive and irreverently skeptical author. In doing so, I build on recent work by scholars such as Ilana Pardes, Jonathan Cook, and Zachary Hutchins, all of whom have read Moby-Dick as being not only religiously iconoclastic but also productive and even reverent towards the Bible. However, many of these discussions have not addressed to what extent Melville harnesses the skepticism towards religious belief that resides within the Bible itself. Using the example of the Book of Job, a text that has received prolific literary responses in romanticism, as a point of comparison, I show how Melville mediates the language and themes of biblical wisdom to discuss the philosophical problem of theodicy, the question of God's benign character. In response to this issue, Melville, I argue, constructs a tripart typology, in which he contemplates the three distinct vectors of Job's personality (repenter, sufferer, and rebel). In doing so, he produces what theologian D. Z. Phillips has called a "hermeneutics of contemplation" (30): Melville compares critically the biblical book with competing contemporary epistemological schemes, such as secular science, religious orthodoxy, and moral philosophy, to determine its explanatory potential. Advocating an ethos of reverential yet critical inquiry that can be traced to eighteenth-century deist societies, the novel ultimately asserts a nostalgic reverence for the Bible's wisdom epistemology.

Cli-Fi and American Studies: An Introduction (Forum)


Cli-Fi Drama and Performance (Forum)


Cli-Fi and Petrofiction: Questioning Genre in the Anthropocene (Forum)


'On Not Calling a Spade a Spade': Climate Fiction as Science Fiction (Forum)


Cli-Fi and the Feeling of Risk (Forum)


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 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, 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