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):



» Visit Journal Web Site

, Volume 6, Number 2

Reading Nature: Emerson, Cuvier, Lyell, Goethe and the Intricacies of a Much-Quoted Trope.

Whilst Emerson's visit to the Paris Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle in 1833 apparently ignited within him a serious and long-term interest in natural science, his relationship to the work of naturalists Georges Cuvier, Etienne Geoffroy, George Lyell, and Charles Darwin remained superficial. The analysis of a trope Emerson shares with nineteenth-century discourse on nature and the natural sciences reveals the rifts between Emerson's hermeneutical assumptions and the position of the leading naturalists of his time. If, for Emerson, the eclectic hunter of ideas, the natural sciences were of significant influence, it was an influence rooted in misreading.

Internationalizing the US Ethnic Canon: Revisiting Carlos Bulosan

The quasi-autobiographical writing of Carlos Bulosan, a migrant farmworker from the US colony of the Philippines from the 1930s to the 1950s, was discovered by ethnic activists during the US Civil Rights struggles. Once adopted as canonical texts in the US academy from the 1980s on, Bulosan's radical edge was blunted in critical readings of his work, his subversive tendencies sanitized to promote a conformist multiculturalism. We need to recover a submerged decolonizing strand in the history of Filipino deracination, sedimented in Bulosan's testimonies. This essay seeks to excavate those oppositional impulses in Bulosan's works by re-contextualizing them in the anti-colonial revolutionary movement of Filipinos dating back to the revolution of 1896; to the Filipino-American War together with the peasant insurgencies during the first three decades of US occupation (1899-1935); and in the popular-front mobilization during the US Great Depression up to the onset of the Cold War. Re-situated in their historical-biographical milieu and geopolitical provenance, Bulosan's oeuvre acquires immediacy and resonance.

Sui Sin Far's American Words

This essay offers readings of three stories from Sui Sin Far's 1912 collection Mrs. Spring Fragrance: the title story, 'The Americanizing of Pau Tsu', and '"Its Wavering Image."' Each of these stories treats an episode of romance in a multiracial society as, simultaneously, a problem of reading and of writing in a contested culture. Each turns on a quoted passage from a poem, by Tennyson, Ban Jieyu, and Longfellow, respectively. (For the latter two stories, the sources have not previously been identified in published criticism.) Analysis of Sui Sin Far's subtle and transformative engagements with literary works from several national traditions both reveals new complexities in her fiction and has the potential to revise current views of literary history.

Losing the Faith: British Historians and the Last Best Hope

This essay explores the ways in which historians in Britain developed American history, focusing on attitudes towards the founding of the American republic. With reference to such historians as Goldwin Smith, Lord Acton, Winston Churchill, and Denis Brogan, the essay traces how they helped legitimate the United States as a subject of serious study, and the ways in which their work informed the creation of American Studies in Britain. Historians and students in Britain came to respect the ideals on which the American republic had been founded: against the backdrop of international fascism and communism the United States represented freedom and political progress. More recently, however, British ideas about American exceptionalism have faded, as international organizations have developed alternative protectors of democracy and liberty. The erosion of an American ideal once held dear by British historians symbolizes the end of a particular kind of American history in Britain.

Reading Azar Nafisi in Tehran

Over the past few years, partially as a result of the success of Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran, a cluster of memoirs have been written by members of the Iranian diaspora. Almost all of them become deeply enmeshed in the politics of rendering Iran from a transnational perspective. Hence, in these memoirs, representation is regularly interwoven with other aims and projections, which militate against accuracy. In this article, an attempt will be made to show that Reading Lolita in Tehran is a work of one who has 'Westernized' her outlook; Nafisi constantly confirms what orientalist representations have regularly claimed: the backwardness and inferiority of Muslims and Islam. This article will attempt to show that Nafisi has produced gross misrepresentations of Iranian society and Islam and that she uses quotes and references which are inaccurate, misleading, or even wholly invented.

American Studies in Germany (Particularly West Germany) Between the Cold War Period and the Early Twenty-First Century -- Reminiscences of a Participant Observer

Other Issues

, Volume 6, Number 3
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
Canada and the Americas , Vol. 3, No. 1