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

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)

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 (, Dr Jenel Virden ( and Dr Cara Rodway (

EJAS publishes articles under the Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license. The full terms and conditions of the license can be viewed at

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 (
Jenel Virden (
Cara Rodway (

Contact person responsible for updating content for ASA:
Roxana Oltean (

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 ( 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.


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EJAS 11.2 2016, Volume 11, Number 2

The Land of the Future: British Accounts of the USA at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

This article examines the ways in which British travelers to the USA at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries articulated their different perceptions of a nation which was emerging as a major imperial competitor. Characteristically these responses showed an ambivalent tension between respect for the growing commercial energy of the USA and a suspicion that it was posing an increasing threat to British national self-perception. Works examined here include those which attempt to yoke together the two nations in a common "Anglo-Saxon" destiny. The essay analyzes the expressive means used by writers to depict the USA as a culture of the future. The discussion includes famous figures like Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells, but also covers a range of turn-of-the-century speculative writers like the journalist W.T. Stead.

The Reader in It: Henry James’s “Desperate Plagiarism”

Henry James, who is often cited as the master of realism, nevertheless expresses his reservation about realist representation of love, passion, sexuality and female characters in his critical writings. This article suggests that James's short story entitled "The Story in It" stages this situation through characters' conversations about American and European literature. Focusing on the dynamics of storytelling, which the conversations revolve around, and particularly engaging in Barthes's concept of "desperate plagiarism," the article discusses the possible implications of "it" in the title of the short story. It concludes that "The Story in It" illustrates how storytelling cannot be an innocent act with its contagious nature which results in listeners/readers' partaking in the stories told.

Contradictory Depictions of the New Woman: Reading Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence as a Dialogic Novel

Critical debate pertaining to the themes of gender and marriage in Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (1920) has often focused on May and Ellen as the representation of two contrasting images of female identity: "angelic" and "monstrous" respectively. Drawing on Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of dialogic novel, this article offers an alternative reading. In particular, it aims to examine the previously overlooked complexities in the novel's decentered narrative, notably its dialogic form in which a multiplicity of contending voices and perspectives on women, marriage and divorce are juxtaposed. By adopting this theoretical and methodological stance, the article offers fresh analytical perspectives on the novel and argues that, by depicting Ellen's performances of shifting subjectivities (the rebel who is seeking a divorce, the unfortunate victim of an unfaithful husband, the lover who desires a new life), the novel not only undermines the dominant ideologies of Victorian womanhood but also disrupts the image of the radical, independent New Woman who challenges social conventions.

"Nothing Can Touch You as Long as You Work": Love and Work in Ernest Hemingway's The Garden of Eden and For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway's entire oeuvre -- and many of the biographical examinations of his life -- can be read in terms of the tension between love and work. Although much has been written on sexuality, androgyny, and gender identification in Hemingway's fiction, the theme of work and the relationship between work and romance have been largely neglected. This essay focuses on two novels that center on their protagonists' work, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Garden of Eden, and suggests that the dynamics between male-female relationships and work are essential for understanding Hemingway's imagination of the male artist. The essay investigates why the protagonists devote themselves to their work and explains how the relationship of the protagonists' love interests to their work helps define them. The "work" of these novels differs, but in both cases it is an art that substantiates the protagonists' masculinity in part by forming meaningful, lasting connections with other people; this is true even in the case of Robert Jordan, whose art is destruction by design. Exploring the ironies of work, Hemingway shows that the artist must separate himself from those closest to him in order to execute his work and, through that work, inspire others. The Garden of Eden has received a great deal of critical attention due to its undermining of traditional gender roles, but reading the novel alongside For Whom the Bell Tolls suggests that it further characterizes Hemingway's depiction of the male artist by showing the importance of his relationships to his humanistic pursuit.

People, Place and Politics: D'Arcy McNickle's (Re)Valuing of Native American Principles

Today, societies have intensified their discourse about the concept of "sustainability," a term that has expanded to consider the viability of political and economic systems once believed to be inevitable and inviolable. Of course this is not the first time we have searched for a deeper understanding of the interaction between humanity and its surroundings. By looking at the literary production of one Native American author, D'Arcy McNickle, who reached maturity in the 1930s -- during the Great Depression and the rise of totalitarian governments -- this article considers some implications of the author's vision of the intersections between political power, human rights, and environmental change: the values that drive our decision-making and subsequent actions. By turning to literature, it asks us to listen to the voices of those who may offer alternative ways of understanding what has happened to our world and where we must go to promote its survival.

"Why Don't You Just Say It as Simply as That?": The Progression of Parrhesia in the Early Novels of Joseph Heller

This article combines Foucault's exploration of the ancient Greek concept of parrhesia with the novels of Joseph Heller to attempt to arrive at a more complete critical position for an author whose work, aside from his first novel, is often critically neglected. The article explores the way in which Heller's writing progresses over his first three novels, becoming more explicit in its social critique. It also explores his uses dark humor -- a popular device for comics, authors and filmmakers in the period -- in his first three novels to preach against the way that American systems of a military, political, or corporate nature control the actions of supposedly free citizens, through intricate bureaucratic webs which border or tip into absurdism, and the fear which stems from the underlying covert threat to the citizen's wellbeing.

"The Land That He Saw Looked Like a Paradise. It Was Not, He Knew": Suburbia and the Maladjusted American Male in John Cheever's Bullet Park

This essay explores the issue of masculinity in John Cheever's somewhat critically overlooked novel, Bullet Park (1969), so as to call attention to the inevitable conflict between the conformist ideologies of the postwar corporate world and the dormant desires of the atomized male suburbanite. By way of an interrelated interpretation of contemporaneous sociological and psychological theory, this essay foreparts the dysfunctional dimensions of masculine dejection as being derivative of suburbia's larger malady, which is rooted in the very impossibility of the imaginative "apple pie order" it represents. A detailed interpretation of Cheever's use of the doppelganger narrative will moreover allow for an assessment of the dislocation at the heart of the postwar suburban experience. Bullet Park may be read this way as not only critiquing the prevailing cultural view of suburbia as a pillar of postwar American security, stability, and social adjustment through its portrayal of a disturbing reality of insecurity, instability and maladjustment, but also as directly addressing the fractured principles of America's traditional values and beliefs. Considering this late sixties text by Cheever as such, this essay hence works to highlight in what ways, and to what extent, the author's portrayal of a disenchanted suburban ennui in Bullet Park treads the fault lines of laissez-faire capitalism, whilst furthermore succeeding in uncovering the sources of masculine dissatisfaction in their more true and underground origins.

The Writing of "Dreck": Consumerism, Waste and Re-use in Donald Barthelme's Snow White

This paper examines the relationship between material waste, late capitalism, and the language and structure of Donald Barthelme's fiction, with particular attention to Snow White (1967). Going against established modes of allegorizing the theme of waste in Barthelme's work, I suggest the fruitfulness of a literal reading, and propose that his waste objects are framed as inevitable outcomes of a successful advertising campaign. They are the physical evidence or counterpart to the lexicons of marketing and advertising that so preoccupied the author. Such a reading is particularly apt given that Barthelme's early fiction coincided with the birth of the environmental movement, and builds on recent scholarship in the fields of New Materialism and waste studies. By examining Barthelme's depictions of waste through the dual lens of New Materialism and waste studies, and in relation to the work of his contemporaries as well as the literary experimentations of earlier avant-gardists, the paper establishes the different ways in which Barthelme articulates value.

The State You're In: Citizenship, Sovereign Power, and The (Political) Rescue of the Self in Kazuko Kuramoto's Manchurian Legacy

This article investigates the significance of Kazuko Kuramoto's Manchurian Legacy: Memoirs of a Japanese Colonist (1999) as a life narrative that foregrounds the biopolitical implications of modern subjectivity in the context of the global system of nation states. Using the theoretical insights of, primarily, Giorgio Agamben, Carl Schmitt, and Georg Simmel, I argue that Kuramoto's record of her own experience between Manchuria, Japan, and the United States, showcases the fundamental conflict between the nation and the family as the largest and smallest social circles vying for the individual's allegiance. This discussion will show that the nation-state's claim is preeminent and that the political is fundamental to the construction of a viable subjectivity in the modern world, leaving complete exclusion as the only alternative.

At the Meetin' Tree: Reading, Storytelling, and Transculturation in Daniel Black's They Tell Me of a Home

This article offers a transcultural reading of the issues of cultural trauma and mobility in Daniel Black's novel They Tell Me of a Home (2005). The protagonist, T.L., returns to his agrarian home community, Swamp Creek, in Arkansas, after a ten-year absence in which he received a PhD in black studies in New York. His homecoming foregrounds the cultural clash between the patriarchal black community and the elitist academic world that T.L. represents. This is articulated in the novel at the aesthetic level as the tension between the oral storytelling tradition of the black community and the literary expression favored by T.L. The opposite sides of the cultural clash and their respective modes of cultural production are understood as ways of dealing with the cultural memory of slavery and its aftermaths. The Meetin' Tree, the site of storytelling in Swamp Creek, becomes a transcultural space where these issues are negotiated. T.L. eventually adopts a newfound appreciation for his cultural roots and also initiates a change in the negative attitudes of the community towards education and reading. He thereby becomes a transcultural mediator between these conflicting cultures, aiming to stress and combine their strengths and to negotiate their weaknesses.

Quest/ion of Identities in Suzan-Lori Parks's Post-revolutionary Drama

Inspired both by the Black Arts Movement and the postmodern revolt against it, Parks has concentrated on crafting provocative plays that represent and emphasize the concerns and quest/ion of identities for African Americans. In the present essay, I argue that Parks is interested in questioning the former constructed racial boundaries of blackness and revolutionary ideologies of the Black Arts Movement without turning a blind eye to the concerns of African American community. I show that Parks attempts to escape the traditions of the Black Arts Movement, which depended on conventions of narrative realism and straightforward language to transmit its revolutionary messages. My goal is to show how Parks's plays make use of postmodern aesthetics and paradigms to transform the conventional features of playwriting, create indeterminacies toward dominant systems of oppression and raise the quest/ion of identities for African Americans in a post-revolutionary manner.

Sex and the City: A Situationist Reading of Jens Jorgen Thorsen's Film Adaptation of Henry Miller's Quiet Days in Clichy

This paper will explore the influence of the Situationist International (SI) philosophy upon Jens Jorgen Thorsen's film adaptation of Quiet Days in Clichy (1970). Whilst acknowledging the film's place within a wider changing Danish culture, I will aim to show that the film engages with the key Situationist theories of Dérive, Psychogeography and Détournement and that it reflects contemporary societal issues whilst remaining true to Henry Miller's anarchic and joyful novella. Thorsen was unarguably one of Denmark's most inventive and revolutionary filmmakers and Quiet Days in Clichy can be viewed in relation to his engagement with the concepts of the SI.

Too Far Gone: The Psychological Games of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses

This article uses Jacques Lacan's reading of the Freudian fort-dagame to analyze that most American of cultural constructs, the cowboy, at the time of that figure's fading from the American landscape: the immediate postwar years. With John Grady Cole, the protagonist of All the Pretty Horses (1992), Cormac McCarthy provides a suitably situated subject for this critical endeavor, one whose subjective characteristics become present through dramatically playful division of his maternal imago. These games of psychoanalytical maturation, which emerge from the alternation between psychoanalysis in theory and that theory in critical practice, and which trace their subject's successive relocations to alternative sides of the American-Mexican border, articulate the inevitable though resisted diminishment of Cole's cultural construction.

Smart Geopolitics, Dangerous Ideas: Energy security, Ideology, and the Challenges of American Policy in the Persian Gulf

Both as a superpower and as the West's leading security provider, the US has seen its commitment to the stability of the Gulf region and the preservation of access to its oil supplies increase. US Persian Gulf policy, however, has been shaped not only by pure geopolitical considerations, but also by ideological factors concerning America's status and role in international relations. Until recently, US policy toward the Persian Gulf was distorted by the appeal of America's unchallenged military primacy. Confronted with the contradictions and dilemmas of promoting ideals and protecting the national interest, US policy-makers demonstrated a remarkable penchant for instituting policies that overestimated the potential of America's military power as a tool for creating new political realities and favorable outcomes in the region. Such an approach has proved to be extremely costly and frustrating, while the time seems ripe to explore new strategies. The US should not strive to reshape or control the geopolitics of the Gulf, as both these approaches are unfeasible. The idea of disengagement from the region, moreover, appears delusional even when the implications of the unconventional energy revolution are held into account. Rather, America and its allies should focus their engagement on protecting their interests without becoming part of the region's sources of instability.

Letting Go of Narrative History: The Linearity of Time and the Art of Recounting the Past

This paper argues that we can let go of the conception of narrative history, not because we know history to be something else entirely, but because the conception too often leads to needless confusion about the methodological basics of historical research among both history students and professional historians themselves. One may view history simply as knowledge of the past and as an ongoing discussion between historians (and other interested parties) over the best account of any given past phenomenon. Given that we politically disagree on where exactly history has brought us, the safest epistemological position for a practicing historian is that the past is just as messy as our own present in which we attempt to find political solutions for a better future. Rather than clinging to any inherently narrative character of history, or of historical representation, the practicing historian may well concentrate on explaining the meaning of a given phenomenon in the past and its possible historical significance for the present, and at least attempt to distinguish between these two.

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 11.1 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 10.2 Summer 2015, 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