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.


» Visit Journal Web Site

aspeers 3 (2010) - Crime and America, 3

With its 2010 issue, aspeers focuses on crime in America as well as the disciplinary ‘contact zones’ between the study of crime and American studies. Being always both a real-life act and a larger discursive construct, ‘crime’ proves to be an immensely productive concept for a variety of fields and questions.


Introduction: Crime and America

Art Project: Embroidered Tags

The Ever-Ticking Bomb: Examining 24ís Promotion of Torture against the Background of 9/11

Drawing on the theory of collective trauma and the increased display of torture on TV since 2001, this paper investigates how the repercussions of 9/11 serve as a basis for the popularity of the TV series 24 and how its success impacts the cultural and political landscape of the US. This article argues that 24 justifies and promotes the use of torture as a method of interrogation and cites evidence of references to the series in political and juridical discourse. It shows how national trauma may increase the appeal of extreme violence against suspected terrorists and how 24's conflation of fact and fiction falls on fertile ground in a post-9/11 culture of fear. Examples from 24 are used to give insight into the way the audience is confronted with so-called ticking bomb scenarios in order to increase acceptance for the criminal and unethical behavior of 24's protagonist Jack Bauer. Furthermore, I will cite government reports and observations from military instructors as examples of the influence Jack Bauer's use of torture has had on soldiers and interrogators in Iraq and Afghanistan. In order to complement the existing evidence of a political bias towards the legitimization of torture in 24, my article inspects statements from the creators and writers of 24 and scrutinizes their choice to respond to criticism within a subplot of the seventh season.

Poem: John White Defends


Photography: L.A. Crash

From Shakespeare’s Kings to Scorsese’s Kingpins: Contemporary Mob Movies and the Genre of Tragedy

Following a path established in Robert Warshow's chapter on "The Gangster as Tragic Hero," this article attempts to look at connections between the ancient genre of tragedy and contemporary mob movies. On the one hand, there are structural parallels when it comes to plot, which adheres to the formula of decline, brought about by erroneous judgments. On the other hand, mobsters are often portrayed as powerful, ruthless tyrants who retain a kind of Shakespearean grandeur. Using examples from films by Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, and Ridley Scott, my argument links contemporary American crime drama to the origins of tragedy (as laid out by Aristotle in Poetics) and some canonical examples of the genre, like The Merchant of Venice. Having established this theoretical framework, I shall offer a detailed discussion of Martin Scorsese's The Departed, one of the most successful mob movies in recent years. In this film, Scorsese toys with the tragic genre both on the level of plot and with regard to his flawed characters, who struggle to overcome guilt and tragic hubris, yet cannot escape their inevitable tragic downfall.

Poem: Grace Before Meals

Farbrekhers in America: The Americanization of Jewish Blue-Collar Crime, 1900-1931

The mass immigration of Eastern European Jews between 1880 and 1924 -- some two and a half million came to the United States -- caused a thorough change in the nature of New York Jewry. Following wealthier German uptown Jews, it was now marked by poor Polish or Russian Jews living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Jewish quarters functioned as the hinges between Eastern Europe and the US for many immigrants. Crime was a shade of it. Jews only constituted a small minority of American society; their Americanized criminal structures, however, became one of the most influential factors of modernization of crime from the fringes to the center of American society. Through the development of the Jewish underworld, the exclusion of and the cooperation with criminals of a different ethnic background, as well as the professionalization and the struggle for respectability, the phenomenon of Jewish blue-collar crime itself experienced an Americanization. Additionally, this process of Americanization was key not only to the rise but also to the downfall of Jewish American blue-collar crime in New York.

Art Project: Freeze revisited

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 2 (2009) - Migration and Mobility, 2
aspeers 1 (2008), 1