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 9 (2016) - American Youth, 9

With its 2016 issue, aspeers investigates the topic of American Youth. The topical and general contributions constitute a snapshot of the diverse methodologies, theories, and concepts that compose the field of American studies.



White Nostalgia: The Absence of Slavery and the Commodification of White Plantation Nostalgia

Since the 1960s, the United States has experienced a rise in heritage and plantation tourism that plays a significant role in passing on cultural narratives and constructing memories. In cases of plantation tourism, some narratives are constructed that deny the history of slavery or mention it only as a side effect. This absence of critical engagement commodifies a specific type of nostalgia: white nostalgia. White nostalgia exemplifies an attempt to escape issues of race by downplaying their implications and rejecting the legacy of slavery. Plantation tourism sites tend to celebrate personal narratives depicting the antebellum South as a time and place of union and jauntiness despite the fact that their histories are inseparably connected with slavery. Refusing to engage in critical discussions on slavery, these historical plantation sites can be regarded as comfortable spaces of refuge longing for an uncritical and colorblind -- yet unrealistic -- past. In this essay, the commodification of white nostalgia will be investigated by looking at seven plantation websites, thereby examining how white nostalgia not only distorts the history of the antebellum South but also how it sells history without racism and performs memory that distances itself from emotional legacies of slavery.

Playing in the Name of Life: Biopolitics and the American Play Movement

This paper will explore the argumentation made by advocates of the American play movement during the Progressive Era. With reference to Michel Foucault's concept of biopolitics, this paper will show that the argumentation in favor of playgrounds in America's urban centers was, in fact, highly (bio)political. Contrary to what one might assume from taking into account the conventional historiography of the Progressive Era, the political endeavors of the American play movement (serving as an example for many other Progressive sociopolitical efforts) were not solely motivated by its advocacy's charitable character. Analyzed on the basis of the concept of biopolitics, the arguments in favor of public provision of playgrounds will expose the movement's true colors. These were mainly saturated with white, middle-class ideals concerning the act of play and the effects it had on children as well as on society as a whole. On the one hand, the activists sought to counteract the supposedly chaotic living conditions of urban centers by providing playgrounds for mostly immigrant children. On the other hand, they aimed at disciplining the individual bodies of these children through supervised play in accordance with Progressive ideals so that the children would eventually become productive members of society.

American Studies Insights: Three Former aspeers Authors Discuss Postgraduate American Studies

For the current issue, we, the editors of aspeers 9, interviewed three young scholars whose first publications appeared in aspeers. Interested in the postgraduate career track and their broader perspectives of Americanist scholarship, we decided to ask Stephen Koetzing, Kasia Mika, and Klara Stephanie Szlezák to share their insights with our readers.

Apologies or Evasions: A Critical Look at the New York Times's and the Washington Post's Self-Criticism

More than a year after the US invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, both the New York Times and the Washington Post published self-critical articles regarding their coverage of the run-up to the Iraq War. However, an analysis of this coverage in the five days following the UN speech by then-secretary of state Colin Powell shows both papers' bias to be more profound than these pieces acknowledge. This article quantitatively analyzes each newspaper's coverage concerning how much of a platform each paper gives to pro- and antiwar voices, thereby revealing both papers' reporting to be subject to significant prowar bias. A qualitative analysis of the same coverage exposes the various ways in which this bias comes to the fore. Comparing these analyses to the self-critical pieces reveals a lack of acknowledgment of both the severity and the nature of this bias. These findings, which show that the New York Times and the Washington Post downplayed their bias, call into question the ability of these papers to provide balanced news reporting on future proposed military ventures.

Other Issues

aspeers 11 (2018), 11
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 2 (2009) - Migration and Mobility, 2
aspeers 1 (2008), 1