Founded In    2003
Published   quarterly
Language(s)   English; though the review carries abstracts in more than one language, as appropriate

Fields of Interest


Interdisciplinary American Studies, spanning all the disciplines within American studies

ISSN   1477-5700
Editorial Board

The Editor of the journal is R. J. Ellis, the Associate Editor Paul Giles, and the editorial board includes Jane Desmond, Ien Ang, Kosar Jabeen Azam, Alfred Bendixen, Gert Buelens, Theo D’haen, Maria Giulia Fabi, Robert Gross, Djelal Kadir, Karen Kilcup, Elaine Kim, Scott Lucas, Lucy Maddox, Maureen Montgomery, David E. Nye, Donald E. Pease, Rafael Perez-Torres, John Carlos Rowe, Christopher Saunders, Werner Sollors, Sonia Torres, Rob Wilson.


Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Essays should be submitted to the editor: R. J. Ellis

Comparative American Studies welcomes submissions; contributors may like to check out the journal’s approach to the fields of American Studies by examining the journal’s past contents ( We would stress that the term ‘comparativism’ is very broadly understood (the emerging term for this is ‘messy comparativism’). In Comparative American Studies it can encompass both/either international (e.g., transnational) and/or US national (e.g., inter-ethnic) levels of comparison. We would also like to stress that our concept of comparativism embraces all disciplines and inter-disciplines.

Review essays should be submitted to the editor, R. J. Ellis:

Reviews should be submitted to the reviews editor, Graham Thompson, who should be contacted first:



Comparative American Studies: An International Journal

Fully refereed, Comparative American Studies features scholarly articles repositioning discussions about American culture and society within an international framework, by taking account of interactions between the U.S. and the world and on comparative rearticulations of the idea of America.

The journal also has a reviews section, and accepts review essays.

It publishes indexes annually:
  Index to volume 1 (2003):
  Index to volume 2 (2004):
  Index to volume 3 (2005):



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Canada and the Americas , Vol. 3, No. 1

Introduction: Canada and the Americas

Canada has long been overlooked in scholarship about the Americas, which has more typically focused on relationships between the USA and Latin America. This special issue seeks to redress this imbalance by locating Canada within the history and culture of the Americas and, in so doing, to provide a compelling rationale for the inclusion of Canada in current articulations of a hemispheric American Studies. While mindful of the danger that a hemispheric American Studies will maintain the USA as its hegemonic center, we argue that such a tendency is only exacerbated by Canadianists’ withdrawal from hemispheric conversations.

Eyeing the north star? Figuring Canada in postslavery fiction and drama

This article argues that a comparative, diasporic poetics is essential to an analysis of ‘postslavery’ literature in Canada. The transnational history of slavery links Canada to other British colonies in the Caribbean as well as to the USA, and contemporary African-Canadian writers share in and draw on a diasporic literary legacy. I focus on the trope of genealogy in three works - George Elliott Clarke’s Beatrice Chancy, Lawrence Hill’s Any Known Blood and Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon - and I argue that the diasporic linkages rehearsed in these texts work to challenge both Canadian national narratives and national isolation in the hemisphere. I also argue for the importance of a comparative, hemispheric approach to the study of these texts, as well as for the importance of putting Canada back into the Americas in studies such as this.

‘C’est moi l’Amérique’: Canada, Haiti and Dany Laferrière’s Port-au-Prince/Montréal/Miami textual transmigrations of the hemisphere

This article explores the trans-American parameters of Dany Laferrière’s provocative sign, L’Amérique, in order to understand its multiple, nuanced, often contradictory valences in the writer’s diasporic Une Autobiographie américaine. It examines Laferrière’s textual transmigrations as movements remapping America and the American: by shifting critical focus onto Antillean and Canadian transmigrant circuits, Laferrière challenges his readers to rethink North American histories, identities, and sites of cultural exchange. The article also explores how Laferrière, as ‘trans-American’, disrupts nationalistic parameters within the Americas - particularly, those of the USA - and maps new spaces for thinking about nation, nationality, and diaspora. Having theorized the import of Haiti in the Americas elsewhere, the article then emphasizes Canada as American, focusing on Laferrière’s Port-au-Prince/Montréal/Miami textual transmigrations and what they reveal about the country and the hemisphere.

‘Lucky to be so bilingual’: Québécois and Chicano/a literatures in a comparative context

Chicano/a and Québécois literatures, both ‘borderland’ phenomena, share many signal features. This article advocates for increased comparative study of these two cultures, and outlines fundamental points for consideration. Perhaps most important is the common history shared by both Chicano/as and Québécois, who lost majority status during the colonial era and became minority cultures, politically and culturally dominated by Anglophone populations. In both cases, resistance to this domination emphasized both religious and linguistic difference, valorizing the Catholic faith and ‘non-standard’ forms of French and Spanish, in the face of considerable prejudice and discrimination. These forms of resistance have had their own outcomes: Catholicism’s often rigid definition of gender roles has inspired a contestatory literary tradition with significant participation from gay and lesbian writers. These writers, including Gloria Anzaldúa and Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood, are among those whose hybrid work features the code-switching and questioning of categories and loyalties characteristic of borderland literature.

Canada-US border narratives and US hemispheric studies

This article analyzes recent English-language narratives about the Canada-US border, which help to move US inter-American considerations beyond their current emphasis on the Latin American-US relationship and which also help redirect Canadian studies from its internally oriented focus toward a larger, hemispheric perspective. In this fiction, the Canada-US frontier symbolizes Canada’s internal diversity, its declining economic, political, and cultural autonomy, and/or its growing relationship to other parts of the hemisphere. Contemporary fiction about the northern frontier thus shifts the cultural nationalist focus on the border as a line of largely cultural distinction between Canadian and US identities toward a more complex emphasis on Canada’s position in the hemisphere in the context of the country’s continuing dependence on the USA.

North of America: Racial hybridity and Canada’s (non)place in inter-American discourse

Canada is one of the largest countries in the Americas, indeed the world. Yet, for such a territorial behemoth, it is barely acknowledged in inter-American discourse. There are two main explanations for this peculiar state of affairs. First, Canada remains extremely ambivalent about its spatial location. Second, hemispheric studies have become increasingly oriented along a US/Hispanic America axis. Even more than Brazil, the other forgotten giant, Canada is seldom considered in continental dialogues, whether they originate in the USA or in Spanish America. This general elision is regrettable for a series of reasons, notably the fact that the Canadian experience can complicate some of the verities about (inter) American life and culture, as is illustrated by racial hybridity.

A passion for extremes: Hollywood’s Cold War romance with Russia

This article examines images of Russians in Hollywood film from 1939 to 1990, with a focus on romantic narratives depicting Russians and Americans in love. The article traces a pattern of attachment to Russia as a trope that helps reveal the changing and contradictory contours of American myths of nationhood. The author argues that films such as Ninotchka, Moscow on the Hudson and The Russia House refashion such myths by rhetorically orchestrating structures of society and history, gender and sexuality, desire and consumption, towards the manufacture of a democratic consensus that links the private body to the national body, or the fulfillment of private individuals to the fulfillment of the national ideal.

Other Issues

, Volume 6, Number 3
, Volume 6, Number 2
Critical perspectives and emerging models of inter-American Studies , Vol. 3, No. 4
'De-Americanizing the Global' , Vol. 3, No. 3
June 2005, Vol. 3, No. 2