Founded In    1970
Published   3/year
Language(s)   English, French

Fields of Interest



ISSN   0007-7720

E-ISSN: 1710-114X

Publisher   University of Toronto Press - Journals
Editorial Board

Editor - Priscilla Walton Priscilla L. Walton is Professor of English at Carleton University, and is also an Associate faculty member in Communication and Film Studies. She is the author of Our Cannibals, Ourselves: The Body Politic (Illinois, 2004), Patriarchal Desire and Victorian Discourse: A Lacanian Reading of Anthony Trollope's Palliser Novels (Toronto, 1995), and The Disruption of the Feminine in Henry James (Toronto, 1992). She is the co-author, along with Manina Jones, of Detective Agency: Women Rewriting the Hardboiled Tradition (California, 1999), and, along with Jennifer Andrews and Arnold E. Davidson, of Border Crossings: Thomas King's Cultural Inversions (Toronto, 2003). She co-edited Pop Can: Popular Culture in Canada (Prentice-Hall, 1999), and edited the Everyman Paperback edition of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady.

Editorial Address Canadian Review of American Studies Priscilla Walton Department of English Carleton University Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6

Associate Editors

Sherrill Grace, English, University of British Columbia

Yuko Matsukawa, English, SUNY Brockport

Bruce Tucker, History, University of Windsor

Michael Zeitlin, English, University of British Columbia

Review Editors

Michael Dorland, Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

Jennifer Harris, English, Mount Alison University

Editorial Board

Martha Banta, English, UCLA William Boelhower, American Literature, University of Texas

Gert Buelens, English, Ghent University

Jill Conway, History, MIT

Thadious Davis, English, Brown University

Frances Early, History/Women's Studies, Mount St. Vincent University

Michael Fellman, History, Simon Fraser University

Serge Guilbaut, Fine Art, University of British Columbia

Harry H. Hiller, Sociology, University of Calgary

Linda Hutcheon, English, University of Toronto

Michael Hutcheon, University Health Network, University of Toronto

Victor Konrad, Geography & Environmental Studies, Carleton University

Rob Kroes, American Studies, University of Amsterdam

Yves Laberge, Philosophy, Laval University

Linda Maram, Ethnic Studies, California State University at Long Beach

John S. Martin, English, University of Calgary

Robert K. Martin, Études anglaises, Universite de Montreal

Michèle Mendelssohn, Oxford University

Stuart J. Murray, English, Carleton University

Jeanne Perreault, English, University of Calgary

Ernest Redekop, English, University of Western Ontario

Jean Edward Smith, Political Science, University of Toronto

David Thelen, History, Indiana University

Marcia Valiante, Law, University of Windsor

Mary Helen Washington, English, University of Maryland

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Submission Guidelines and/or Editorial Policies
The journal publishes articles, review articles, and short reviews whose purpose is the multi- and interdisciplinary analysis and understanding of the culture, both past and present, of the United States and of the relations between the cultures of the United States and Canada. We invite contributions from authors in all relevant scholarly disciplines related to the study of the United States, in English or in French.

Please visit for full submission guidelines


» Call for Papers - Death in the Cityscape

Call for Papers - Canadian Review of American Studies
Death in the Cityscape

In contemporary literature, the intersection of the space of death and mourning within the confines of the city acts as a method of critiquing our understood modes of living. Since Plato’s Republic, the uneasy interplay of death and memorialization within the polis has been considered. Theorists like Gillian Rose in Mourning Becomes the Law and Sharon Zukin in Naked City have elaborated upon the discourse of space, death, and mourning within an urban setting. This issue of finding a space within the city for the dead remains with us, and recent American economic turmoil places the urban metropolis and its spaces of decay in sharp focus (seen in novels like Teju Cole’s Open City, television shows like The Wire and movies such as Synecdoche, New York). Where in the city is death (dis)allowed? Under what authority does the city, as a social nexus point, memorialize the dead? How does art work in concert with, or against, accepted practices of mourning and memorializing within the city limits? Can one mourn the passing of a city and, if so, how is this enacted? While this abstract focuses primarily on contemporary American work, we welcome papers related to any period of American urban history.

We invite scholarly articles on this topic in any genre of American studies. Submissions should be no more than 8000 words in length. Abstracts of no more than 250 words will be accepted until December 1, 2014. Completed articles must be submitted by April 1, 2015.

Send abstracts and submissions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Possible topics may include:
- Death’s relationship to identity in the American city
- American Cities Characterized
- Post-9/11 American Cities and Identity
- Death and Mourning in the City
- Death and Public Art
- Memorials and Public Mourning
- Urban American: Recession and After

- African-American
- Children’s Literature
- Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches
- Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies
- Ethnicity and National Identity
- Film and Television
- Gender Studies and Sexuality
- Interdisciplinary
- Literary Modernism
- Popular Culture
- Postcolonialism
- Postmodernism and Postmodern culture
- Theatre Studies
- Twenty-First Century Literature
- Visual Art and Culture

» Canadian Review of American Studies - Volume 44, Number 3, Fall 2014

Now available online…
Canadian Review of American Studies - Volume 44, Number 3, Fall 2014

» Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama’s Time

With the 2012 U.S. Presidential race in its closing stages, this very timely special issue aims to generate a deeper understanding of the U.S. culture wars. The issue contributes to the ongoing debates on whether or not there are culture wars currently underway in the U.S. and, if there are, who is waging these wars and what are the strategies and motivations behind them. The issue addresses four key research questions - Is a culture war really underway in America?; Is this ‘war�(tm) only between activists and politicians?; Who are the main actors in these wars and how do they try to reach their goals?; and Have we been witnessing a ceasefire in (or transformation of) America�(tm)s culture wars since Obama�(tm)s election in 2008? Guest Editor - Fr�(c)d�(c)rick Gagnon

» States of Emergency: Anxiety, Panic, Nation now available


Canadian Review of American Studies


Canadian Review of American Studies is published three times a year by the Canadian Association for American Studies with the support of Carleton University. It publishes essays, review essays and shorter reviews whose purpose is the multi- and inter-disciplinary analysis and understanding of the culture, both past and present, of the United States - and of the relations between the cultures of the U.S. and Canada. It invites contributions from authors in, and outside, all relevant scholarly disciplines, in English and French. Canadian orders include membership in the Canadian Association for American Studies. E-ISSN: 1710-114X ISSN: 0007-7720

COMPLETE ARCHIVE NOW AVAILABLE! Canadian Review of American Studies Online now offers a comprehensive resource for the best work being done in American Studies today. CRAS Online now includes the complete archive of current and previously published articles - more than 1200 articles, reviews and commentaries - going back to 1970(issue1.1). Canadian Review of American Studies is available online at Project MUSE - CRAS Online -


» Visit Journal Web Site

Aesthetics of Renewal; or, Everything Old Is New Again , Volume 44, Number 2, Summer 2014

Aesthetics of Renewal; or, Everything Old Is New Again
The purpose of this special issue, dedicated to proceedings of the conference titled the Aesthetics of Renewal, or Everything Old Is New Again, which took place in 2011, is not to argue that American society and culture lacks originality. Instead, each of the articles included in this issue asks what it means to revive and remake an old aesthetic, idea, image, and so forth from another time period…. (excerpt from Introduction by Maureen Anne Mahoney)

Introduction: What Does It Really Matter If Nothing Is Ever New?

Introduction : Est-ce vraiment important si rien nest jamais nouveau ?

The Inward Turn: American Opera Revisits Americas Past

Many modern American operas revisit canonical American literature (e.g., The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar Named Desire, Of Mice and Men, An American Tragedy, A View from a Bridge, Moby-Dick, McTeague, Margaret Garner) or base themselves on historical events, especially recent ones (e.g., X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Nixon in China, Dr. Atomic). However, what is striking is that the focus of the latter is most often on the remarkable or heroic individual -- as, indeed, it is in what could be called recent "celebrity opera" as well (as in Marilyn or Jackie O) -- thus revealing the enduring power of American exceptionalism to this day. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S01

Doing the Lady Gaga Dance: Postmodern Transaesthetics and the Art of Spectacle in Don DeLillo's The Body Artist

Performances by Lady Gaga, particularly her music video "Bad Romance," exemplify postmodern America's preoccupation with spectacle. They expose how the gaze, as a public-driven or self-imposed zone of terror and destruction, inscribes potentialities of renewal, wherein the subject's authenticity is reasserted through the very process of commodification, or a kind of singeing of the image. Such a notion also lies at the heart of Don DeLillo's novel, The Body Artist. Through the lens of the grieving body artist, Lauren Hartke, DeLillo interrogates body art as a productive, yet potentially commodifying means of renewal whereby corporeal suffering is reduced to a plethora of aestheticized crossings. Examining DeLillo's novel in combination with Gaga's performance art, I argue that such crossings constitute what Jean Baudrillard calls, in his essay "Transaesthetics," "a [postmodern] materialization of aesthetics where ... art mime[s] its own disappearance," but also expose the complex dystopias underpinning America's bad romance with its own renewal. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S02

Performing Vintage: The Cultivation and Dissemination of Vintage Sensibilities at the Brooklyn Flea

"Vintage" as a fashion term is difficult to pin down. While some scholars argue that vintage only applies to fashion items that are at least twenty years old, others argue that it is also an easily manufactured and commodifiable sensibility. This article offers a revised definition of vintage as performance and bridges the fields of fashion studies, cultural studies, and ethnography. Using the Brooklyn Flea in Brooklyn, New York, as my primary research site, I use interviews and in-depth ethnographic observation to provide a new framework through which we can come to understand the Brooklyn vintage phenomenon and observe an example of aesthetic renewal in a vibrant consumption landscape. I suggest that, through this case study and through the lens of performance, we can come to understand vintage as produced in interactions between cultural actors (principally the consumers and purveyors of vintage objects) and disseminated by street-style photographers, who spread images of the flea online to the virtual viewing public. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S03

Cartography and Renewal in Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas

This article explores the ways in which contemporary American writer Rebecca Solnit renews traditional approaches to map making by emphasizing both the imaginative and the communal in cartography, through a combination of maps and storytelling. Presented like a traditional atlas and featuring twenty-two historical or subjective maps of the city, accompanied by essays, Infinite City illustrates not only the huge interest in maps and mapping manifest in American art since the 1960s but also the emergence of an alternative, community-based type of cartography. Inspired by literary models DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S04

How Tonto Became Mr. T: The A-Team and the Transformation of the Western in Post-Vietnam America

The plot of The A-Team is straightforward and repetitive: fugitives from the government for a crime they did not commit, members of a former Vietnam War special-forces unit roam America as mercenaries, using over-the-top, cartoonish violence to protect small business owners from exploitation. The team's positioning as roving gunslingers using interventionist violence to regenerate ideal communities directly references the Western. However, while the self-reflexive artificiality of the team's violence ridicules the Western, the righteousness of the team's perpetual success paradoxically embraces it. This paper argues that The A-Team challenges the Western only as a means to reaffirm it, negotiating post-Vietnam American society's conflicting desires to reject and recuperate the past -- in this case, the myth of "regeneration through violence" that Richard Slotkin argues underpins both the Western and America's national identity. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S05

Joy in Labour: The Politicization of Craft from the Arts and Crafts Movement to Etsy

"You See, Children Were the -- the Raison D'tre": The Reproductive Futurism of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland

This article argues that Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's influential 1915 utopia, ratifies and works to renew the ideologies of a white, racist, male-dominated heteronormativity through the body of the child. Through its obsession with the child, Herland enacts the "reproductive futurism" that queer theorist Lee Edelman recognizes as the heavily guarded, central constituting principle of heteronormative culture. Gilman'stextdoes not provide a new vision for America; rather, Herland enacts a renewal of the same constitutive fears that heteronormative culture seeks to displace onto the body of the child. Gilman's text is, thereby, deeply implicated in the very patriarchal subjugation the author wishes to subvert and in the larger reproduction of a racist and heterosexist hegemony. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S10

Laying Tracks and Tracking Change: An Interrogation of Nostalgia, National Identity, and the Railway in Contemporary Photography

From the time of the earliest photographs commissioned to document the construction of the railway, the camera and the train have enjoyed a mutually beneficial, almost symbiotic, relationship, and despite, or perhaps owing to, the parallel decline of both traditional forms in more recent decades, the two technologies remain remarkably intertwined. This project examines the work of two contemporary artists, Scott Conarroe and Mark Ruwedel, whose photographs depict the enduring presence of the railway industry throughout North America. Exploring the coeval development of photography and the railway and the contribution of both to the construction of national identity in the nineteenth century, I interrogate the two technologies' shared relevance to questions of transportation, communication, and perception in the present, in order to explore how a nation or community is affected by infrastructure that remains from technologies that once were vital to its creation and unification. Providing a critique of the growing literature on nostalgia, I argue that ethical engagement, both within the present and in regards to the past, depends upon an acknowledgement of the heterotemporality of space and the heterogeneity of time. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S07

"I Love Working for Uncle Sam, Lets Me Know Just Who I Am": Culture, the Human Terrain System, and the Inquiry of World War I1

In 2006, twenty-five teams of cultural anthropologists were deployed by the US military as part of the Human Terrain System (HTS). The backlash against the use of academics and the "militarization of culture" was immediate. The American Anthropology Association published a series of works admonishing HTS participants and, in a related move, lifted an almost century-old censure of Franz Boas's 1919 work, "Scientists as Spies." Boas's once-marginalized argument -- that the "scientist who uses his research as a cover for political spying forfeits the right to be classified as a scientist" -- was now recast as an accepted professional principle. This paper explores these two interrelated instances of the contestation of culture in geopolitical military strategies. Placing Boas within a larger history of the use of and conflict over the definition of culture during World War I, I argue that anthropologist-spies were only the tip of the iceberg in his time, just as HTS is in ours. The Paris Peace Talks (1917-9), for example, saw social scientists working with the state on a massive scale to literally redraw the world map. This article focuses on one secretive American organization, the Inquiry, which worked closely with military and state apparatuses, gathering ethnographic/cultural data that helped carve out official state positions and war aims. By situating the HTS as part of this larger historical narrative, we see how the "ethnographic" culture concept came to occupy such a dominant (albeit contested) place in thought. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S08

The Aesthetics of Garbage in Philip K. Dick's Martian Time-Slip

This article suggests that the proliferation of garbage in Philip K. Dick's Martian Time-Slip is not descriptive or predictive but aesthetic. The use of trash in literary and visual art would have been familiar to Dick from the works of Beat poets and assemblage artists circulating in the San Francisco area during the late 1950s and early 1960s, but the specific garbage aesthetic of the novel is based on two principles: the accumulation of found objects and the sacred grotesque, including its suggestion of renewal by inversion. The first principle is inseparable from Dick's analysis of consumer capitalism, while the second highlights the playful inversion of religious imagery and the possibility of renewal arising from the materiality, debasement, and incoherence of trash. While Dick anticipates postmodern trash aesthetics, especially in the framing of accumulated found objects, his emphasis on the sacred grotesque distinguishes his garbage texts from the "palimpsestic" representations of garbage described by Robert Stamand others. DOI: 10.3138/cras.2014.S09

Other Issues

Canadian Review of American Studies 42.3, December 2012 - Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama's Time , Volume 42, Number 3
Fall 2014, Volume 44, Number 3
Special Issue: States of Emergency: Anxiety, Panic, Nation, Volume 42, Number 1
2005, Vol. 35, No. 1