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 6.1 Spring 2011, Volume 6, Number 11

"An atheistic American is a contradiction in terms"1: Religion, Civic Belonging and Collective Identity in the United States

Through the analysis of the status and perception of atheists in American history, from the colonial times to the beginning of the 21st century, this article explores the importance of religion in the structuring of Americans' national and civic imaginaries. Starting from the assumption that atheists have always tended to be a distrusted minority in the United States, this essay seeks more precisely to explain how and why not to believe in God came to be regarded through the centuries not only as a moral and social deviance, but also as essentially "un-American" behavior. It further demonstrates that the historical "otherness" of the atheist tends to indicate that religion has functioned as one of the "moral boundaries" of a certain American "imagined community", perceived as an essential warranty of both individual virtue and "good citizenship" and as a basic attribute of the American "self".

Reflections on Social Engineering and Settler-American Literature

While many scholars have examined the composition of national groups -- Homi Bhabha, Benedict Anderson, and Clifford Geertz, among others -- this body of criticism tends to employ macroscopic frameworks that examine broad shifts in social grouping from the perspective of entire communities. What is missing from the dialog is discussion of collective-sentiment dissemination from the perspective of an individual. In a day-to-day, practical sense, what makes a single person believe in or identify with a collectivity? What are moderating factors (age at exposure to myth, monolingual education and public expression, movements from place to place) that might shape such circumstances? This initial framework will examine the makeup of a national group itself from these perspectives to establish a detailed context of inquiry. I will follow this foundation with a discussion of the traditional sociohistoric organization of the United States (that is, residents of the space -- not necessarily citizens of the political region) and its attendant influence on both communal identity and appropriation of rights. These cultural conditions, often set in place by umbrella governing offices, are central to consider when examining the cultural proprietorship of the space itself and its use in collective-identity imaging that hegemonic models use to define residents of that space.

Missions of Patriotism: Joseph H. Jackson and Martin Luther King

The strength and distinctiveness of Jackson's conservative philosophy and his individualistic 'bootstraps' patriotism stood at a fascinating, and peculiarly angled, opposite to the more collective and embracing patriotism of Martin Luther King. This paper discusses the two men's differing views on patriotism and explores how their patriotisms affected conceptualisations of the civil rights movement.

From Crusader to Exemplar: Bush, Obama and the Reinvigoration of America's Soft Power

This paper seeks to examine the rhetorical revitalization of soft power in the Obama Administration's early foreign policy and asks whether the debate over hard and soft power has now become outdated, given the Obama administration's emerging emphasis on "smart power" and the challenges of providing national security in a dangerous and unstable world. Despite promising a sharp break from the Bush Administration, Obama has found himself constrained by the realities of the international system; a deeply ingrained mistrust of the United States, resistance to US power, and the rise of emerging power centres have all served to expose the challenges of translating rhetoric into reality. The paper concludes by arguing that Obama's idealism and soft power instincts often conflict with the pragmatism that is at the heart of the President's approach to foreign policy, and what is often perceived as the malevolent nature of America's global power, but that he should be credited for putting soft power at the centre of US foreign policy, and demonstrating a genuine - if sometimes imperfect - commitment to leading by example.

The legacy of one-room schoolhouses: A comparative study of the American Midwest and Norway

In the history of education the one-room schoolhouse has played an important role in several countries. In the rural areas of the US Midwest and in Norway the one-room schoolhouse was the most common school in the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth. Although the schoolhouses at first sight seem identical there are some interesting points of distinction in their educational history and how their legacy is interpreted, managed, preserved and promoted today. In the Midwest they are a beloved national icon, often listed, embodying national values and virtues. In Norway their story is effectively untold, not a single one is listed on national preservation lists and by no means do they embody national identity, virtues or values. This article offers an explanation for this different treatment.

Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father and African American Literature

This article provides a series of close readings of Barack Obama's autobiography Dreams from My Father. It places the narrative within the history of African American literature and rhetoric and argues that Obama uses the text to create a life story that resonates with central concepts of African American selfhood and black male identity, including double consciousness, invisibility, and black nationalism. The article reads Dreams from My Father as an attempt to arrive at a state of "functional Blackness," which moves away from questions of racial authenticity and identity politics but recognizes the narrative powers of African American literature to shape a convincing and appealing black self.

"For a while they felt better": Negation in A Flag for Sunrise

In A Flag for Sunrise, American novelist Robert Stone explores the metaphysics of empire, attempting to understand what fears, desires, and ontological conditions impel imperialism. Beneath the stories our leaders tell us to justify interventionism, Stone contends, dwell deep - seated, but over - indulged fears that have twisted many into vicious empire - builders and seekers - after - death. Fear eats away at the self: fear of death, fear of the void within, fear of human meaninglessness, fear of groundlessness in a Godless universe impel the agents of empire forward. Charges into the third world arise from these intertwining fears, from the ache within that can only be briefly quieted through acts of brutality, appropriation, conquest. Imperialism, he suggests, grows from a need to fill this void within, or at least to shut one's eyes to it through ferocious activities and desires.

It's a Wonderful Life: Representations of the Small Town in American Movies

As America thinks about itself - its values, its roots, its evolution - a central theme is the small town, cherished as a wholesome refuge, warm and friendly, and derided as dull and provincial, intrusive and nosy. From their inception, movies have served as one of the society's principal means of discourse on the topic, generally lauding small towns during the silent era and the Depression, becoming steadily more critical after the war, and more recently depicting them as faded anachronisms. The reel small town is compared to the real small town, and Simmel's notion of the plight of the individual in modern society provides an organizing principle.

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 10.2 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 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