Founded In    2006
Published   3/year
Language(s)   English
     

Fields of Interest

 

literature, culture, the arts and "American Studies," history, social sciences, and international relations

     
ISSN   1991-9336
     
Affiliated Organization   European Association for American Studies
     
Editorial Board

The Director of this publication is the President of the European Association for American Studies, Professor Philip John Davies, The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, London davies@eaas.eu.

Editor for literature, culture, the arts and “American Studies”: Marek Paryż (Poland)

Associate editors

John Dumbrell (Great Britain)

Andrew Gross (Germany)

Roxana Oltean (Romania)

Jean-Yves Pellegrin (France)

Editor for history, social sciences and international relations: Jenel Virden

Book Reviews Editor: Theodora Tsimpouki (Greece) tsimpouki@enl.uoa.gr

Editor for web presence: Cara Rodway (Great Britain)

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

EJAS publishes both solicited and unsolicited articles. The editors also welcome proposals for special issues.

All submissions should be addressed to the Senior Editorial team in the first instance: Dr Marek Paryż (m.a.paryz@uw.edu.pl), Dr Jenel Virden (J.Virden@hull.ac.uk) and Dr Cara Rodway (cara.rodway@bl.uk).

EJAS publishes articles under the Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license. The full terms and conditions of the license can be viewed athttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/.

Articles must be in English. Contributions should be between 5,000 and 10,000 words, unless previous arrangements have been made with the editors. The article should be preceded by a short abstract. Bibliographical references and general presentation should follow the MLA style sheet for literature, culture and the arts, and the Chicago Manual of Style for history, social sciences and international relations. In-text references should be indicated in the typescript, between parentheses, by giving the author’s surname followed by the year of publication and a page reference if necessary.

All articles will be made anonymous and handed over to two referees whose reports shall be synthesized by the editorial team and provide the basis for acceptance or rejection. In both cases the author shall be given immediate notice. Reports will be provided to authors upon request. Even when an article is accepted, the editorial board reserves the right to ask for changes, both in form and scope.

     
Mailing Address
     

Marek Paryż (m.a.paryz@uw.edu.pl)
Jenel Virden (J.Virden@hull.ac.uk)
Cara Rodway (cara.rodway@bl.uk).

Contact person responsible for updating content for ASA:
Roxana Oltean (roxana.oltean@upcmail.ro)

European Journal of American Studies

EJAS is the official, peer-reviewed academic journal of the European Association for American Studies, a federation of 21 national and joint-national associations of specialists of the United States (http://www.eaas.eu) gathering approximately 4,000 scholars from 27 European countries.

EJAS aims to foster European views on the society, culture, history, and politics of the United States, and how the US interacts with other countries in these fields. In doing so the journal places itself firmly within the continuing discussion amongst Europeans on the nature, history, importance, impact and problems of US civilization. As part of this task, EJAS wants to contribute to enriching the contents, broadening the scope, and documenting the critical examination of “American Studies” in and outside of the United States. EJAS welcomes contributions from Europe and elsewhere and endeavors to make available reliable information and state-of-the-art research on all topics within its broad field of interest. As a matter of policy, the journal will pay particular attention to objects, phenomena and issues less documented or less often debated in the United States, as well as to innovative cultural modes and the diversity of reception of United States culture abroad. Associated with this outlook, it welcomes submissions that elaborate and renew critical approaches, paradigms and methodologies, and that express varied and pluralist views.

While intended for the entire American Studies community, EJAS aims in particular to provide space for the rapid publication of quality scholarship by doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. The journal hopes to constitute a genuine forum for European Americanists of all generations, national origins and disciplinary affiliations.

 

» Visit Journal Web Site

EJAS 10.2 Summer 2015, Volume 10, Number 2

Migratory Subjectivity in E. Jane Gay’s Choup-nit-ki, With the Nez Percés


Due to its unusual publishing history, E. Jane Gay's Choup-nit-ki: With the Nez Percés has not received the critical attention it deserves. Through the book's photographs and text, Gay stages a migratory, polyvocal narrator who rejects the unitary identity that establishes both the writer's and the colonizer's authority. This article studies textual features such as shifting focalization, the splitting of the writing subject into multiple personae, and the humor extracted from social contradictions to show how Gay's book both cites and challenges nineteenth century conventions governing genre and gender. Contemporary theory (Deleuze and Guattari, Braidotti, Butler) provides concepts that can aid our appreciation of the text's originality. Gay's self-presentation cracks the restrictive nineteenth century mold of femininity and liberates the subject, even as, ironically, the author collaborates in the project of imposing on the Nez Perce the constraints legislated through the Dawes Act. Gay's book illustrates the author's ambivalence about the Allotment policy that attempted to end tribal organization on the Nez Perce reservation.

Body Matters: Mina Loy and the Art of Intuition


Intuitive knowledge, which is both mysterious and elusive when set against more dominant models of sense-making in the early 20th century, is critical to the representations of love and intimacy in Mina Loy's famously controversial Love Songs to Joannes. The significance of Loy's representations of intuition -- or the desire to "mean" below the radar -- manifests in the discursive antagonisms for which the poem is best known. As Love Songs strains under the weight of two conflicting world views, we come to see that Joannes's cognitive and individualistic one stands in contrast with the speaker's intuitive and embodied one. The division between scientific and intuitive modes of knowing occurs within a cultural moment whereby reason and fact came to be aligned with scientific and technological achievement, while being wholly cut off from ordinary human experience and its messier insights. For the speaker of the poem sequence, knowledge about the world gained and presented intuitively, through lived experience and through embodiment, cannot be straightforwardly articulated; for certain experiential truths to be shown at all, they must be made to function beyond the privileged ways of knowing and saying that structured the modern world

Making Progress: Ellison, Rinehart, and the Critic


Since Ralph Ellison's death, the draft materials of his second, unfinished novel have become available, in addition to his notes for Invisible Man (1952). This article encourages literary interpreters to exercise restraint in retroactively imposing narrative order and coherence upon the author's incomplete work and working materials. Taking as an example the character Rinehart, who appears in varying forms throughout Ellison's career, this article traces and interrogates the character's treatment in the work of exemplary Ellison critic Adam Bradley to demonstrate that the urge to create a linear interpretive model diminishes not just the character but also Ellison's considerable nuance. Focused character interpretation ultimately makes the larger case that coming to Ellison's archive, as well as his published works, requires flexibility adequate to the author's own mobile habits of thought and composition.

The Rise of the “We” Narrator in Modern American Fiction


Historically, the first-person plural narrator has been rare in US fiction, and it is both enigmatic and technically demanding. Yet an increasing number of American novelists and short story writers have turned to this formal device over the past 20 years and particularly since 9/11. How might one account for this rise in "we" narration, a trend that surprisingly few commentators have identified, questioned or examined at any length? What are the implications of telling a story in this difficult, even risky way? And in light of the formal challenges it poses to reader as well as writer, why have contemporary works of fiction that are told collectively often been critically and commercially successful? In this essay, I will attempt to answer such questions, examining how US writers from William Faulkner to Jeffrey Eugenides, and Kate Walbert to Julie Otsuka have used the collective narrator in short stories and longer fiction and finally reflecting upon the use of "we" in recent American political discourse.

Visioning the Body Mosaic: Enchanted Transracial Selfhood in Postsecular American Literature


Twentieth-century literature and theory have offered no shortage of challenges to the unity of personal identity. What such undertakings leave largely unquestioned, however, is the prevailing understanding of the individual as sealed within the circumference of the physical body. Emerging from a matrix of "postsecular" texts -- by Don DeLillo, Charles Johnson, Tony Kushner, Toni Morrison -- is a counter-argument to such a notion of selfhood. This paper explores the ways in which this recent American literature re-imagines the human self as porous and energetic and capable of deep inter-ontological communion with other open selves across space. Drawing upon a rich history of the "energetic self" in the American imagination, this literature uses the open self as gateway to forms of intersubjective attunement and cross-racial identification that ultimately transcend nefarious racial-identitarian categories.

Vanishing Point: Joan Didion and the Horizons of Historical Knowledge


This critical study situates Joan Didion's memoir Where I Was From in the context of debates about the textuality of history in contemporary culture. In particular the essay is a critical examination of Didion's interest in the concept of origins. What are the politics of historical origins, how might "true origins" be known, and how might a different understanding of such origins facilitate a feminist appraisal of Western American history? The essay argues that Didion's book is an innovative contribution to the genre of the memoir, and to the social history of California and the American West.

Hybridism and Self-Reconstruction in Joyce Carol Oates’s A Widow’s Story


This article analyzes Joyce Carol Oates's hybridism in her 2011 memoir, A Widow's Story, as a powerful means of self-assertion and self-reconstruction. It suggests that to write about her painful experience of bereavement Oates resorts to hybridism -- generic, narrative and typographic in particular -- as it is both a characteristic of her fiction and a means of dramatizing her experience. This hybridism helps her not only express her emotional "derangement" but also recover her identity as a writer. Thus her narrative manifests confusion and continuity, chaos and control, inconsolability and consolation at one and the same time.

Stateless within the States: American Homeland Security after 9/11 and Francis Lawrence's I Am Legend


This essay attempts to place I Am Legend (2007) in the context of American nationalism and aggressive enforcement of the immigration laws after 9/11. The apocalyptic world of I Am Legend reflects the post-9/11 American society that is driven by the urge to make America "one nation" and haunted by the fear of people who might harm the "unity." The film tries to draw a clear boundary between "us" and "them" by completely othering the infected, but in the context of American homeland security after 9/11, it becomes a complex issue to decide where to draw the line. The shifty boundary between "us" and "them" reflects the post-9/11 American dilemma: the United States has to close its border while maintaining its identity as a nation of immigrants. This essay also discusses how geographical markers, instead of racial markers, are utilized to symbolize the infected as the stateless people within the United States.

Nature in Arab American Literature Majaj, Nye, and Kahf


Much critical engagement with works of Arab American literature focuses on cultural identity and political issues, without treating nature in those works. The writings of Lisa Suhair Majaj, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Mohja Kahf, provide rich opportunities to start examining Arab American writings through an ecocritical lens which examines the human relationship to nature, place, and the physical environment. Often, in these works, place is doubled, with the present-day physical environment as well as the place remembered from a past, from which the speaker is separated by trauma or displacement. Nature frequently serves to connect these two places; at other times it serves as a source of spiritual energy that can help the speaker to transcend the rift. The complex treatments of nature and place in these works offer a fluid process that is neither fully separate from cultural politics nor completely defined by it.

U.S. Foreign Policy in the 1990s and 2000s, and the Case of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia)


The foreign policy of the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations in the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) shows U.S. foreign policy under a rather positive light. With consistency and continuity, they were able to implement a multidimensional realistic foreign policy, the main manifestations of which allowed the U.S. to gain, in a few years, solid political, economic, military, and diplomatic leverages. Its vital interests were not at stake in the region and, from the early 1990s onwards, it has been in the position of a potent "challenger" that worked on consolidating its position in order to be influential and powerful when and if necessary. Although it did not become the sole dominant regional power, the U.S. succeeded, mostly in the second half of the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s, in strongly geopolitically penetrating a region with which it previously had no contact and on which it had no major expertise.

"In the interests of all of us...": Theodore Roosevelt and the Launch of Immigration Restriction as an Executive Concern


Theodore Roosevelt enjoys a positive reputation as an innovative and progressive politician. He was the first president in office to explicitly link immigration with the changing welfare system in the United States. Sensing that a system run by the state would replace the private system of welfare and that immigrants were both a key building block and a threat to a strong nation, Roosevelt put the immigration issue high on his political agenda. He wrestled this authority from the hands of Congress and kept the balance between immigration policy and foreign policy while skillfully working public opinion to enable selection at the gate. In keeping a balance between state power and public opinion, between assets and liabilities, between opportunities and threats, he set the basic course of debate and policy for decades to come. Roosevelt can be held responsible for setting in motion a selection process that included racial stereotypes, but he also deserves his reputation as beacon of hope for the immigrant.

Young Adult Pop Fiction: Empathy and the Twilight Series


This analysis of the Twilight series focuses on the role of empathy as a communicative, cross-cultural tool by which the author transmits a message that features human commitment as the key to happiness. It also raises the issue of reader emotional neediness and authorial use of empathy in popular fiction to fuel consumption of the series in order to continue "feeling with" familiar and cherished characters. The readers that have made Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series an international best-seller in the young adult/adolescent pop fiction market reflect the crucial role popular literature plays in their emotional experience. The message behind this pop fiction phenomenon is as ancient as its legendary vampire and shape-shifter characters yet its massive book sales warrant analysis of the author's role in manipulating reader affect to successfully transmit her vision of attaining happiness. The study undertaken here on the role of empathy in the Twilight series attempts to contextualize this book phenomenon within the recent work of two specialists in the area of emotions in literature: Susanne Keen and Patrick Hogan and is also inspired by the underlying current of Martha Nussbaum's work on the human ability to identify with others by means of empathy or compassion which is fomented through reading of fiction. Meyer has "tapped into the moment" in terms of what 21st century adolescents and young adults want to read about. By looking into the Twilight series and invoking features of its on-going plot and main characters it is possible to interpret how emotions are being used by the author to transmit a specific message on human commitment and how, ultimately, it is read and "felt" by the reader. In terms of emotions theory, my analysis works on the premise that pop fiction best-sellers cannot be ignored because they accurately reflect a vast area of human emotional life.

Other Issues

EJAS 12.3 2017 Special Issue: Cormac McCarthy Between Worlds , Volume 12, Number 3
Summer 2017, Volume 12, Number 2
Summer 2017, Volume 12, Number 2
EJAS 12.1 Spring 2017 Special Issue: Eleanor Roosevelt and Diplomacy in the Public Interest, Volume 12, Number 1
EJAS 11.3 2016 Special Issue: Re-Queering The Nation: America's Queer Crisis , Volume 11, Number 3
EJAS 11.2 2016, Volume 11, Number 2
EJAS 11.1 2016 Special Issue: Intimate Frictions: History and Literature in the United States from the 19th to the 21st Century, Volume 11, Number 1
EJAS 10.3 2015 Special Issue: The City , Volume 10, Number 3
EJAS 10.2 Summer 2015 Special Issue: (Re)visioning America in the Graphic Novel, Volume 10, Number 2
EJAS 10.1 Winter 2015 Special Issue: Women in the USA , Volume 10, Number 1
EJAS 9.3 2014 Special Issue: Transnational Approaches to North American Regionalism, Volume 9, Number 3
EJAS 9.2 Summer 2014, Volume 9, Number 2
EJAS 9.1 Spring 2014, Volume 9, Number 1
EJAS 8.1 2013, Volume 8, Number 1
EJAS 7.2 2012 Special Issue: Wars and New Beginnings in American History, Volume 7, Number 2
EJAS 7.1 Spring 2012, Volume 7, Number 1
EJAS 6.3 2011 Special Issue: Postfrontier Writing, Volume 6, Number 3
EJAS 6.2 2011 Special Issue: Oslo Conference, Volume 6, Number 11
EJAS 6.1 Spring 2011, Volume 6, Number 11
EJAS 5.4 2010 Special Issue: Film, Volume 5, Number 4
, Volume 5, Number 3
EJAS 5.2 2010 Special Issue:The North-West Pacific in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Volume 5, Number 2
EJAS 5.1 Spring 2010, Number 5, Volume 1
EJAS 4.3 2009 Special Issue: Immigration, Volume 4, Number 3
EJAS 4.2 Autumn 2009, Volume 4, Number 2
EJAS 4.1 Spring 2009, Volume 4, Number 1
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