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 5 (2012) - American Food Cultures, 5

The fifth issue of aspeers centers around the topic of American Food Cultures and showcases the work of four authors currently studying American studies. It also contains four artistic contributions from around the world as well as one article by a professor in the field.



"Could You Not Turn Your Back on This Hunger Country?": Food in the Migration Process of German Emigrants, 1816-1856

This article is concerned with the role that food played in all stages of the migration process of German immigrants to the United States between 1816 and 1856. Extracting information from letters, travel journals, and memoirs, I suggest that lack of food was a great motivation to consider emigration from Germany. Moreover, it was a central topic while the emigrants crossed the Atlantic on sailboats -- a journey that often turned out to be a struggle for survival. In the United States, however, food was plentiful. I examine the ways in which German immigrants described this abundance to their relatives at home and how they utilized food and the food industry to establish their identity in the United States. In a larger sense, this paper seeks to relativize the importance of religious and political motivations for emigration and to point out that the desire to have access to food was instead at the center. It is, furthermore, an effort to describe the beginnings of the food culture of the largest distinct ethnic group of the United States: German Americans.

Graphics: American Food Cultures

“Anything Else?”: Food, Fatness, and Frustration in the Short Stories of Raymond Carver

Essay: Born-Again Carnivorism

"This Disintegrating Force": Reading Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie as a Narrative of Black Upward Mobility

In this essay, I argue that Theodore Dreiser's 1900 novel Sister Carrie can be read as a narrative of African American migration to the Northern cities. Sister Carrie engages with social change at the turn of the century, of which the migration of African Americans and others to large urban centers was a significant part. The novel describes the social fall and ruin of the middle-class figure Hurstwood while it depicts Carrie as an ethnic Other becoming rich and famous. In numerous accounts of Carrie's attitudes and behavior, there are striking similarities to stereotypes of African Americans, which were widely circulated through the era's popular culture. Moreover, the way in which Carrie achieves fame as a Broadway actress echoes the success that a number of black performers were experiencing there for the first time. Through these resemblances, the turn-of-the-century reader could come to recognize an important subtext in Sister Carrie -- the possibility of upward mobility for African Americans moving to places such as New York City or Chicago.

Cakes: Cake Art

Hidden Agendas, Endless Investigations, and the Dynamics of Complexity: The Conspiratorial Mode of Storytelling in Contemporary American Television Series

In this paper, I explore a particular kind of narrative construction pervasive in contemporary American television series. Popular shows such as Lost, Battlestar Galactica, 24, Alias, or Fringe all similarly construct long-running narratives around their protagonists' attempts to solve central underlying mysteries. By doing so, these series amass ever more complex backstories and perpetually complicate their individual webs of intersecting subplots and long-term story arcs. Drawing on narratology, concepts developed in television studies, and Mark Fenster's work on Conspiracy Theories, I argue that the series' success is indebted to a particular way of telling their stories -- which I call the 'conspiratorial mode' -- that makes them ideally suited to operate within the competitive environment of post-network television. This article sketches the narrative structure of these conspiratorial shows, situates them in the context of contemporary television, and considers their curious dynamics of narrative progression and deferral. Finally, its goals are to suggest reasons for the recent resurgence of conspiracy narratives in television beyond and apart from a paranoia that is supposedly widespread in contemporary American culture.

Short Story: The Food is Great

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Series and the ‘Post(-)ing’ of Feminism

Immensely popular with a largely female readership, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series and its male hero Edward Cullen have become literary and cultural phenomena to be reckoned with. However, critical readers -- especially in the blogosphere -- have observed that in terms of gender and sexuality, all is not well in Forks, Washington. This essay seeks to find out if the series indeed "[s]inks [ i]ts [t]eeth into [f]eminism," as one commentator put it (Sax). In recent years, the death of feminism has been proclaimed repeatedly in academia as well as in popular culture. The reasons for the demise of the 'f-word' vary according to the standpoint of the obituary's author: The feminist experiment was either successful enough to render itself obsolete or, by choosing 'unnatural' and subversive goals, stripped itself of its right to exist. Regardless of the particulars of feminism's passing -- was it murder, suicide, or death of old age? -- critics and commentators seem to agree that we now live in a 'postfeminist' age. Against the backdrop of Meyer's novels, I discuss the contested process of 'post(-)ing' feminism and its various theoretical and cultural implications. Focusing on the construction of masculinities and femininities, I relate the novels to issues in contemporary feminism such as alterity, agency, and domesticity.

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 4 (2011) - Nature and Technology, Revisited, 4
aspeers 3 (2010) - Crime and America, 3
aspeers 2 (2009) - Migration and Mobility, 2
aspeers 1 (2008), 1