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 2018: Digital Scholarship in American Studies, Vol. 63, No. 2

Introduction: The Challenge and Promise of Digital American Studies

Jonathan Edwards and Thomas Foxcroft: Pursuing Stylometric Traces of the Editor

Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) is a major figure in early American culture. Yet in spite of a plethora of studies on Edwards's numerous religious and philosophical publications, the relationship between him and Thomas Foxcroft (1697-1769), his editor and literary agent, has yet to be extensively studied. The aim of our article is to discuss and quantitatively measure the extent of Foxcroft's impact on Edwards's writings. To this end, we have adopted the stylometric methodology. In our research, we conducted our analysis with two quantitative methods: word frequencies are compared between various texts using the Delta procedure; then, the "rolling classify" method is employed to look for particular traces of the editor's signal in consecutive segments of several of Edwards's treatises. Our main experiment, preceded by a trail that tests how divergent Edwards's and Foxcroft's stylometric signals are, revealed that Edwards's late, most influential works exhibited numerous traces of his editor's textual fingerprint. We managed to identify these fragments and in this article we study them in the context of the historical evidence on Foxcroft and Edwards's cooperation, including their opulent correspondence. These results of our research have two consequences. The first is that we have now produced a quantitative confirmation of the extent of the collaboration between two major colonial authors. The fact that the quantitative agrees well with the historical evidence shows, secondly, that editorial traces can indeed be found with stylometry, perhaps to a greater degree than we might have anticipated.

Exploring Transatlantic Print Culture through Digital Databases

This essay examines how building 'boutique' digital relational databases can help scholars investigate the transatlantic reprinting of American literature in the nineteenth century. Relational databases allow researchers to organize data about books in ways that resist the categories of author and first edition that have traditionally structured literary and bibliographic inquiry. They instead encourage greater attention to the groupings in which texts were circulated, consumed, and understood in their moments of production and reproduction. After outlining the reprinting of American literature in nineteenth-century Britain, we suggest how the databases' relational structure enables researchers to navigate the networks of books, authors, and publishers into which a reprint could situate a work. Two projects that have employed databases differently to investigate transatlantic reprinting -- Katie McGettigan and Paul Raphael Rooney's "Nineteenth-Century Publishers' Series in the British Library" and Marie Léger-St-Jean's Price One Penny -- demonstrate both the possibilities and limitations of databases in print culture research. Overall, we argue that transforming print artifacts into digital database records is a form of remediation that echoes characteristics of a transatlantic culture of reprinting, facilitates new perspectives on nineteenth-century print culture, and relies upon real-world networks between scholars, archivists, and collectors.

Decentralizing the Digital Archive: Reconstructing Margaret Fuller's Transnationalism

Based on research done for the Margaret Fuller Transnational Archive (MFTA), this essay examines the network of European public intellectuals surrounding the American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate in the 1840s. The article discusses the creation of a collaborative, multilingual, and international Digital Humanities (DH) project and reflects on the reconstruction of an archive -- with its connections, ramifications, and potential future development. The MFTA is a collaborative DH project that includes scholars from multiple institutions. It aims to portray networks and clusters of publications involving Margaret Fuller and some of her correspondents. The archive has two primary components: an Omeka digital archive of Fuller's correspondence for the New York Tribune and a Neatline exhibit that spatially and temporally maps Fuller's travels throughout Europe from 1846-1850, during the Italian Risorgimento. In order to emphasize the transnational nature of Fuller's writings, the archive also focuses on the circles of political and cultural figures she came in contact with, such as Cristina di Belgiojoso and Giuseppe Mazzini.

The Explorative Value of Computational Methods: Rereading the American Short Story

This article explores the use of computational methods to study stylistic and content shifts of the nineteenth-century short story. It is generally assumed that the modern American short story somehow represents the democratic discourse of the United States. This paper argues that an explorative computational approach can help us to reconsider the connections between the textual patterns of the short story and U.S.-American modernity. We offer a critical, digital perspective on the distribution of certain indicative linguistic features across 123 short stories from 1840 to 1916. We used methods from computational linguistics to automatically annotate the texts with various linguistic properties (named entities and direct speech, for instance). The quantitative results of automated text processing are presented against the backdrop of the major social, economic, and cultural developments of the time. Our findings provide further insights on the tensions between processes of individualization and economic dependencies during the nineteenth century, especially with respect to the publishing industry. In addition, we propose that the more experimental nature of a macro-analytical perspective can direct our attention to texts or groups of texts that remain underestimated as to their literary value or exemplary nature for a certain topical, structural, or linguistic pattern. In this vein, the article offers a close reading of Thomas Bailey Aldrich's short story "Mademoiselle Olympe Zabriski," which features an above-average number of proper names within the corpus. When re-read in the light of quantitative results, we see the text comment humorously on 1870s class issues in New England. Thus, the article offers an example of how humanities research can benefit from quantitative approaches. To conclude, the article promotes the gains of digital literary analysis for future research in American Studies.

Digital Photographic Grammar: Mapping Documentary Photographs

In this essay, I argue that the cultural legacy of the European Recovery Program has not yet been grasped: a visual matrix that was designed to translate, mediate, and communicate abstract political and economic concepts as easily understandable narratives. Transnational studies have long emphasized processes of mediation, migration, hybridization, and circulation as key elements of international and transcultural encounters and confrontations. DH provides us with new tools and methods to put the processes of dissemination, circulation, and mediation at the center of our work on transnationalism. One of the innovative opportunities that text and image mining offer concerns semi-automatic and computer-assisted searches and filters. This aspect is particularly useful in addressing issues related to the circulation and distribution of images in national and international media such as newspapers, magazines, or books and can then lead the researcher to explore more refined computational research methods and questions. Tracing the circulation of images and identifying its photographic grammar helps us to better understand the pace of changes in the United States and Europe, and to map systematically the transformative power of the U.S. recovery program on a regional, national, and transnational level. How can we move from a practical digital revolution to a new way of thinking about and creatively engaging with material, charts, clusters, patterns or maps generated or distilled via digital algorithms? In this article, I argue for a systematic outline of a photographic grammar that can be applied to documentary photographic archives in the twentieth century. After discussing the combination of photographic grammar and rhetoric as well as photographic grammar and mapping, I will outline a systematic approach to address the opportunities, challenges, and shortcomings of a semiautomatic digital search that investigates the dissemination of photographs. As photographic grammar and the semi-automatic clustering of the Marshall Plan's visual rhetoric will show, one lesson that needs to be re-learned when we talk about a United States of Europe or a new Marshall Plan for Africa or Europe is that it was not only the economic dimension that turned the Marshall Plan into a commonplace myth of success but also the visual narrative that provided its cultural script.

Other Issues

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
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