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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'De-Americanizing the Global' , Vol. 3, No. 3

Introduction to 'de-Americanizing the global': cultural studies interventions from Asia and the Pacific

De-Americanizing the global? Overcoming fundamentalism in a volatile world

This article discusses the role of different fundamentalisms in the dramatic escalation of the desire to 'de-Americanize' the global in the post-September 11 world. I argue that the line between fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist tendencies in world views is blurred, and that fundamentalism should not be dismissed as something totally alien from the life of liberal-democratic societies. In particular, the current process of US-dominated globalization has tended to produce a rise in fundamentalist ways of thinking in different parts of the world, as people resort to defending their embattled traditions and identities as a mode of resistance against the unsettling forces of globalization. And as the US mode of dominating the world is couched in an American fundamentalist frame, it will inevitably engender and reinforce new anti-American fundamentalisms.

The multiplicity of Hawaiian sovereignty claims and the struggle for meaningful autonomy

There are multiple Hawaiian political claims and entitlements. Is independence appropriate for Hawai`i? Is it appropriate for Hawaiians? These two questions are not one and the same. In the movement today, there are multiple levels of ambiguity about these two claims the right to indigenous self-determination under US domestic law and Hawai`i's right to self-determination under international law as evidenced in the strategic invocation of both. The persistent maintenance of the dual claim reveals a particular sort of political ambivalence having to do with the dilemmas over the exercise of sovereignty in the 21st century. This article examines two different claims one which is specific to Hawaiians as an indigenous people subjugated by US colonialism, and the other which is not limited to the indigenous and focuses on the broader national claims to Hawai`i's independence. Within this latter arena, there are two distinct lines of political activism and legal claims one that calls for de-colonization protocols and the other that calls for deoccupation.

Silk Road nostalgia and imagined global community

The 'Silk Road' has become fashionable nostalgia, expressing longing for a perceived time when universalism was a norm. Popular Silk Road narratives, in documentaries, websites, feature films, tabletop books, and discourses of diplomacy and tourism, romanticize the ancient trading routes as 'our' lost civilization. The Silk Road image also signifies belonging to the newest trade and political networks across Asia. The regional invocation of the 'Silk Road' to signify belonging to Asia might seem to cancel out any claims to longing for common humanity. But both regionalism and universalism are imaginary processes, and their rich intermingling in itself can be exemplary of Silk Road cosmopolitanism.

Communicating globalization in Bombay cinema: everyday life, imagination and the persistence of the local

Bollywood films increasingly portray the life-worlds of India's urban middle class and their transnational connections. Characters in the Hindi-language films use English phrases, cell phones and computers, celebrate Valentine's Day and are seen to frequent exercise clubs and shopping malls. The non-resident Indian, or NRI, symbol of the diaspora, is now a fixture in these films, often the hero and portrayed as part of the familial world and social circle of the urban middle classes. This, combined with the way a large portion of the films depict settings outside India, in Switzerland, Mauritius, the UK and North America, have led critics to question the Indian-ness of the films. This article examines the deterritorialized narrative of Bollywood film for its communication of globalization and transnationalism. It argues that Bombay films address broader debates in the study of transnationalism, such as the significance of the local in a postnational world. The films offer insights into the production of locality by communicating a sense of place as feeling rather than representations based solely on geography or territory, so making a case for a topography of affect as meaningful for a phenomenology of globalization.

War memories across the Pacific: Japanese visitors at the Arizona Memorial

This article investigates Japanese visitors' experiences of the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, based on results gained from fieldwork observations, questionnaires, and personal interviews. Japanese visitors tend to understand the memorial and interpret its significance quite differently from the majority of US visitors. Nonetheless, the memorial clearly functions as a site for enhancing national consciousness for Japanese as well as US visitors, as they become acutely aware of their difference from Americans and in so doing reconfirm their own sense of national identity. While the Japanese understanding of the memorial serves to de-Americanize the significance of one of the most recognized national landmarks in the United States, it simultaneously reinforces the site's function as a national memorial by crystallizing a sense of difference based on national identities and encouraging a historical understanding based on a nationalist framework.

Absent fathers and 'moms', delinquent daughters and mummy's boys: envisioning the postwar American family in Hitchcock's Notorious

This article analyses Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious(1946 USA), paying particular attention to the film's deployment of the figures of the 'absent father' and the 'mom'. The article examines the intertextual relationships that connect these representational figures in the film to a range of other sites within the contemporary culture where anxieties concerning these figures were articulated. The article thus presents a contextualized reading of the film that connects the film to some of the key discourses of its moment and, through this reading, argues for the necessity for film scholars to consider the impact of extrinsic historical influences in shaping the narrative concerns of Hollywood films, and for a shift away from the traditional taxonomic conception of genre toward a more fluid conception that allows genres of discourse to be traced through unlikely groupings of films and other contemporary cultural artefacts.

Other Issues

, Volume 6, Number 3
, Volume 6, Number 2
Critical perspectives and emerging models of inter-American Studies , Vol. 3, No. 4
June 2005, Vol. 3, No. 2
Canada and the Americas , Vol. 3, No. 1