Founded In    2007
Published   annually
Language(s)   English

Fields of Interest


interdisciplinary american studies scholarship

ISSN   1865-8768
Editorial Board


Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Detailed submission guidelines are available at:
- Articles should not exceed 10,000 words in length (including notes, abstract and works cited) and must be written in English.
- Contributors must be enrolled in an MA(equivalent) program at a European University at the time of submitting.

Mailing Address

American Studies Leipzig
Beethovenstr. 15
04107 Leipzig

aspeers: emerging voices in american studies

The editors at aspeers recognize the quality and importance of work being done at the graduate level in European American Studies Institutions.
Advanced students all over Europe produce outstanding and innovative American Studies scholarship. However, many excellent student theses, essays, and papers are not receiving the attention they deserve.

Therefore, aspeers seeks to give emerging scholars a voice: A platform to showcase their work beyond the graduate classroom and a forum for discussion and exchange. We believe that such wider circulation of graduate scholarship has great potential to further energize the field of American Studies. At the same time, aspeers offers emerging scholars the unique opportunity to publish and get recognition for their research at an early point in their careers.

For more information please reference our call for papers (, or visit our website at

aspeers is a project within the American Studies MA Program at the University of Leipzig, Germany. With most members of the reviewing editorial staff being MA candidates, it currently is the only peer-reviewed publication channel for graduate students in European American Studies programs.


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aspeers 2 (2009) - Migration and Mobility, 2

The second issue, with its focus on questions of migration and mobility, marks aspeers‘s shift towards topical issues. Like no other narrative, the idea of America as a nation of immigrants has shaped US identity, and investigating its impact is an integral part of American studies scholarship.



Poem: Blue yet defining

Bilocated Identities: Taking the Fork in the Road in Against The Day

Offering one of the first critical receptions on identity in Thomas Pynchon's latest novel beyond the reviews, this paper seeks to show that bilocation, a fictional disposition affecting personal mobility in Against The Day, brings up the question of what we are by suggesting what we could be. It investigates how the novel redefines and enlarges concepts of identity by exploring several aspects of sameness and selfhood exposed to a very special kind of migration: Being in two places, countries, or worlds at the same time, a multiplicity of characters in Against The Day opt for the excluded middle when a fork in the road presents itself. The paper investigates these new forms of identity in the novel and explores their impact on philosophical concepts such as the notion of a seamless continuity of identity, the role of subjectivity for identity, and the concept of a narrative identity.

Poem: a well dressed man


Photography: Suburban Jungle, from the Tiger’s Perspective

The Ellis Island Experience: Through the Eyes of Lewis Hine

In a historical approach, this article examines the way immigration was captured by means of a medium that was just as new and astonishing as the social upheavals brought about by modernity of which immigration itself was a key factor: photography. To this purpose, photographs taken on Ellis Island by Lewis W. Hine, one of the major photographers of his time, are described, analyzed, and interpreted. After a short introduction to the photographer's method and approach to the subject, an in-depth analysis of four examples from his Ellis Island series shall help to elucidate in how far his visualizations of the migration process convey a remarkably wide array of factual and emotional aspects linked to this chapter of US history. Not only do the photographs give a vivid impression of the daily proceedings immigrants and officials were involved in, they also shed light on the immigrants as not merely masses of foreigners but as human beings. It is Hine's aim of countering prevalently negative opinions and images as well as the focus on the individual immigrant experience that makes his work social photography and thus situates his photographs on the threshold between social documentation and art.

Short Story: Memory Lane

Photography: Paris and Coney Island

Hardened Borders: A Case Study on Inefficient Solutions to the Immigration Problem in El Paso

With the rising controversy over illegal immigration, Mexican migration to the US twirls into the spotlight. In 2005 the majority (56 percent) of the 11.1 million unauthorized aliens were of Mexican origin (Passel i) -- a signal to the US government that the source of the problem is illegal Mexican migration. The solution pursued in the last two decades by the US government was the fortification of the US-Mexico border. The following article argues that hardened borders between the US and Mexico are not a viable solution to unauthorized Mexican migration. The fallacies of the framework for immigration since 1986 are examined by means of a conducted case study on the borderplex of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. The case study illustrates the social, economic, and kinship cross-border ties which contribute to the porosity of the border. Furthermore, it investigates stepped-up border enforcement programs, such as Operation Hold-the-Line, and new modes of entry resulting from the US Customs and Border Protection's latest strategies to deter illegal migration.


Other Issues

aspeers 11 (2018), 11
aspeers 9 (2016) - American Youth, 9
aspeers 10 (2017), 10
aspeers 8 (2015) - American Health, 8
aspeers 7 (2014) - American Anxieties, 7
aspeers 6 (2013) - American Memories, 6
aspeers 5 (2012) - American Food Cultures, 5
aspeers 4 (2011) - Nature and Technology, Revisited, 4
aspeers 3 (2010) - Crime and America, 3
aspeers 1 (2008), 1