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.

 

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EJAS 11.3 2016 Special Issue: Re-Queering The Nation: America's Queer Crisis , Volume 11, Number 3

LGBTQ social, cultural, and political issues have become a defining feature of twenty-first century American life, transforming on a national, international and transnational scale a number of institutions. For many, such expressions of LGBTQ identity in the public sphere provide evidence of visibility, equality, and true social and political progress. Yet in the past decade, more radical activists and scholars have addressed such changes not as progressive signs of equality and liberation, but as responses directly linked to an authoritative and dominant brand of neoliberal politics. This special issue of the European Journal of American Studies has found its impulse in these debates and seeks to contribute to this conversation by addressing the multitude of America’s queer expressions and dynamics.

Introduction: America’s Queer Past, Present, and Future


Silenced, hidden, censored, hinted, claimed, or celebrated, queer dynamics have always been an
integral part of American culture and history. Much has changed particularly in this still young twenty-first century: films and television shows now feature openly gay characters and themes, which are celebrated by mainstream audiences and achieve both commercial success and win major industry awards; same-sex marriage has emerged as the most important civil rights cause for powerful organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign; the end of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy now allows gay men and women to serve openly; urban campaigners and civic promoters encourage business districts directed to LGBTQ communities as a means for achieving visibility and equality; and multibillion-dollar markets targeting LGBTQ tourists are rapidly increasing. For many, such expressions of LGBTQ identity in the public sphere provide evidence of visibility, equality, and true social and political progress. Yet in the past decade, more radical activists and scholars have addressed such changes not as progressive signs of equality and liberation, but as responses directly linked to an authoritative and dominant brand of neoliberal politics.

Profit, Porn, and Protease Inhibitors: Ronnie Burk's Radical Activism in "Post-AIDS" San Francisco


In early 2000 gay Latino poet Ronnie Burk courted controversy when he posted a quasi-pornographic activist flyer depicting the Executive Director of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation masturbating with a dildo inscribed with AZT on the website of the controversial San Francisco-based offshoot of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. A demonstration against the commodification of HIV/AIDS and its newly emerging treatments, the image indexed the shifting responses to the epidemic in San Francisco at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This article considers the build-up and fallout attending this controversy, offering close readings of Burk's flyer and tracing the image back to its roots in European political pornography, breaking with consensus-based HIV/AIDS discourse that curtails the narration of the epidemic in 1996, the year that the efficacy of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy using protease inhibitors was confirmed.

"My whole life I've been dressing up like a man": Negotiations of Queer Aging and Queer Temporality in the TV Series Transparent


At a time when America is increasingly regarded as a "graying nation," but aging LGBTQ persons often remain marginalized in discourses of aging, the TV series Transparent takes portrayals of queer aging in new directions. Transparent not only redresses this invisibility of older LGBTQ persons, but also questions heteronormative, linear understandings of life courses. The show queers the cultural constructs of aging and temporality in significant ways: by emphasizing the complex intersections of aging, sexuality, and gender identity embodied by the show's aging transgender protagonist; by foregrounding the ways in which various members of the Pfefferman family (especially Maura's daughter Ali) challenge linear trajectories of the life course; and by introducing, in Season 2, a narrative queering of time that interweaves the past with the present.

Un-quaring San Francisco in Milk and Test


This article examines San Francisco's historically diverse queer districts in relation to the homonormativity present in Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008) and Test (Chris Mason Johnson, 2013) as a means to reclaim the city's quare spaces. Milk conceals difference through its spatial depiction of an emerging gay civil rights, where not only "gay" but also a coherent social space for queer people comes to be synonymous with whiteness. Accordingly, the largely gay white male population of the Castro District becomes a monolithic emblem of queer history in the city, and restricts access to the queer histories of the Tenderloin and Mission districts, among others. While it is perhaps unsurprising that Milk, a prestige Hollywood film, engages homonormative depictions of queerness, the fact that Test, an American indie, presents San Francisco in a similar manner demonstrates how pernicious this discourse is and that it persists no matter the industrial formation.

Challenging "La Vie Bohème": Community, Subculture, and Queer Temporality in Rent


Since the 1980s, American film musicals have been increasingly concerned with subjectivities that escape heteronormative categorizations, asserting their gender through a performance that gestures to a major fluidity between gender positions. Rent (Chris Columbus, 2005), adapted from the 1996 cult stage musical by Jonathan Larson, is a paradigmatic example of how this representation of gender is interdependent with the remapping of the chronotopes of the genre to reflect this fluidity. The focus of the film on a group of HIV-positive queer friends in New York in 1989-1990, affected by the loss of loved ones because of the AIDS epidemic and by the on-going gentrification of the Lower East Side, is key to the queering of classical chronotopes. The analysis of some of the musical numbers of the film will show how a linear, historical and essentially heteronormative temporality is substituted by queer alternatives: time is constructed both as an intensified present in response to the AIDS outbreak, and as a sedimentation of different temporalities in connection to non-heteronormative kin relationships. This configuration of time contributes to the shaping of space as a subcultural place where the community is central, conceived as a utopian capitalist solution to the social problems represented in the musical, from the AIDS epidemic in the stage version, closely connected to the local context of the gentrification of the ethnically and socially diverse Alphabet City, to the more universalist solution to the post-9/11 trauma in 2005. The film could be then used as a springboard to critically reflect on the commodification of queer (sub)culture through a process that has brought Rent into the mainstream, in connection to the socio-cultural context of its production and reception.

Un/Detectability in Times of "Equality": HIV, Queer Health, and Homonormativity


As medical advances have made HIV survival possible, narratives of "undetectable" viral loads often fail to account for the multiple layers of racial and political privilege that animate and sustain them. For example, African American men who have sex with men are eight times more likely than whites to be diagnosed with HIV, and one in two gay black men will likely be diagnosed with HIV in his lifetime -- and African Americans face low rates of access to and retention in HIV care. Drawing on dis/ability and queer theory, this article critiques the ways in which "undetectability" discourses proffer AIDS erasure, whiteness, and ideologies of able-bodiedness as central to homonormative LGBT identity politics. Based in normative modes of disciplinary, hygienic sexuality, narratives and realities of carefully managed HIV infection emerge in support of LGBT desires for state recognition. In this process, an emphasis on personal, rather than systemic, responsibility has tied HIV care and survival to grids of racial, political, and ultimately individual privilege. Weighing the ethical residues of LGBT rights "victories," this essay argues that access to the private spheres of marriage, child-rearing, and inheritance has come at the expense of the health of vulnerable populations and breathed new life into specters of homophobia and AIDS stigma.

Un/Detectability in Times of "Equality": HIV, Queer Health, and Homonormativity


As medical advances have made HIV survival possible, narratives of "undetectable" viral loads often fail to account for the multiple layers of racial and political privilege that animate and sustain them. For example, African American men who have sex with men are eight times more likely than whites to be diagnosed with HIV, and one in two gay black men will likely be diagnosed with HIV in his lifetime -- and African Americans face low rates of access to and retention in HIV care. Drawing on dis/ability and queer theory, this article critiques the ways in which "undetectability" discourses proffer AIDS erasure, whiteness, and ideologies of able-bodiedness as central to homonormative LGBT identity politics. Based in normative modes of disciplinary, hygienic sexuality, narratives and realities of carefully managed HIV infection emerge in support of LGBT desires for state recognition. In this process, an emphasis on personal, rather than systemic, responsibility has tied HIV care and survival to grids of racial, political, and ultimately individual privilege. Weighing the ethical residues of LGBT rights "victories," this essay argues that access to the private spheres of marriage, child-rearing, and inheritance has come at the expense of the health of vulnerable populations and breathed new life into specters of homophobia and AIDS stigma.

The American Dream of Authentic Personhood: Homosexuality, Class, and the Normative Individual in U.S. Queer Male Impostor Films (1970-2009)


the relevant stream of queer impostor films signifies a remarkable amount of libidinal investment on the part of U.S. culture in negotiating the relationship between homosexuality, class, authenticity, and as such, normative personhood in general. As extremely concentrated discursive matter on said concepts, such movies offer essential insight into the fluctuations of the moral imagery of (globalizing) US culture: What has homosexuality got to do with inauthenticity, illegitimate class/status identity, and criminality? How has the Homosexual been constructed as antithetical to the American national ethos, and later on perhaps, absolved of such charges? How and to what extent can the ideals of a non-hierarchical individual authenticity, on the one hand, and, on the other, the striving for conventional success and material comfort necessarily hierarchical in their outcome, be reconciled in the concept of the American Dream that wears the taglines of "equality" and "democracy"? Through exploring Something for Everyone (1970), Deathtrap (1982), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) as moral visions on normative personhood, sexuality, and class, my aim is to disentangle some of the inner tensions of, and negotiations around, individual authenticity as essential to the American Dream.

Walking With the Ghost: Sodomy, Sanity and the Secular in Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly


In the last twenty years, there has been a boom in scholarship on Charles Brockden Brown, most of which connects his work to social developments occurring in the early American republic. Brown scholars often read him as a man ahead of his time, as his writing addresses, hints at, or even inverts social mores. The scholarship around Brown's novel Edgar Huntly has concentrated on how the narrative addresses westward expansion and white settlers' relationship with Native Americans or the ways in which Edgar Huntly connects to Revolutionary society. Kate Ward Sugar engages with this narrative in a different way, exploring the dynamic of sleepwalking as a way to address male homosocial bonds. Scholars, though, continue to side step the eroticism within this narrative and the implications of somnambulism's status as a mental illness being tied to an unnamed desire. This paper addresses this gap in the scholarship by integrating a queer and historicist reading of Edgar Huntly to suggest that Brown's use of sleepwalking is done to reflect a social fear of the homoerotic. It is the goal of this paper, then, to explore Edgar Huntly as a narrative that weaves the danger of sodomy to sleepwalking, suggesting an implicit relationship between madness, illness, and same-sex desire. This reading of Edgar Huntly thus not only expands the scholarship on Brown, but more importantly the history of sexuality by pointing towards a social development currently unexplored by scholars of the early American republic.

The Queer Voices of Xavier Dolan’s Mommy


This article examines the vocal materialities of Xavier Dolan's film Mommy (2014). It focuses on the film's swearing, competing diegetic voices, disruptive soundtrack, as well as its scenes of lip synch, play-back, and karaoke, in order to convey queer vocal identifications. The article's interdisciplinary methodology includes audiovisual theories of the voice-object, post-Lacanian psychoanalysis, and revisions of the voice's place in queer theories via critiques of videocentrism.

AIDS, Caregiving and Kinship: The Queer "Family" in Bill Sherwood's Parting Glances


As a counterpoint to the emerging homonormativity of the twenty-first century, this paper seeks to identify and reevaluate the potential of queer chosen families as they are cinematically mediated, and historically located, in the context of the AIDS epidemic. With Bill Sherwood's 1986 film Parting Glances as a case study, the paper argues that the melodramatic mode of these films, with the repetition of tropes such as caregiving, mourning and funerals, ushers an alternative mode of familiality into queer narratives and champions the queer chosen family. In this sense, it is argued that to look at the evolution of queer familial life means to look at a long process of transference of one social modality to another, and the AIDS film specifically as a place where familial relationality is emulated and transformed through relations based in love, friendship and parrhesia.

Strike a Pose, Forever: The Legacy of Vogue and its Re-contextualization in Contemporary Camp Performances


Born from the subcultural nightlife of the 1960s New York, vogue has been in symbiosis with the gay Latino and African American ballroom scene. Due to its popularization in the 1990s, mainly through Jennie Livingston's Paris Is Burning (1990) and Madonna's "Vogue" (1990), the practice of voguing and the scene have moved from the invisible margins to a mainstream site of visibility and have been established as a celebrated tradition in LGBT communities worldwide. By employing a poetics of camp, voguing constantly challenges traditional understandings of gender. In this context, this article examines the re-contextualization of voguing in parallel with vogue's contemporary gay camp politics.

Queering the Virgin: Evangelical World-Making and the Heterosexual Crisis


This interpretive essay reads US evangelical purity culture through queer theory demonstrating that the evangelical investment in virginity now produces the evangelical virgin as a politicized subaltern subject position. Aspects of purity culture including purity balls are theorized as undertaking an unexpectedly queer world making project.

Same-Sex Marriage and Other Moral Taboos: Cultural Acceptances, Change in American Public Opinion and the Evidence from the Opinion Polls


This article analyzes the evolution of gay and lesbian rights and same-sex marriage in American public opinion. It describes how Obergefell v. Hodges, state-level decisions and the public opinion trends can be considered as the outcome of a grassroots coordinated campaign which began more than a decade ago and was able to conquer the majority of Americans. It also focuses on the American public opinion trends related to moral issues, examining if it is true that U.S. citizens are moving leftward. The research shows that the shift toward more liberal attitudes on a number of social values and issues has occurred across the age spectrum, not just among young people, and that when Americans are asked about moral values they are thinking of things other than just the norms surrounding sexual behavior and reproduction issues. Thus, when Americans are largely saying that the overall moral tone of their culture is in bad shape and getting worse, they are only marginally thinking of former taboos such as gay and lesbian marriage and sexual behaviors in general.

The Missing Colors of the Rainbow: Black Queer Resistance


This paper traces the historical context of queer activism and black activism from the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S. in order to show the deep rift between blackness and queerness that comes into full force in a supposedly colorblind nation that more than once claimed that "gay is the new black." This is not only a dangerous analogy that lacks profound grounding, it also leads to a discourse that draws a clear boundary between two separate communities and movements -- one black, one queer. Recent activism by #BlackLivesMatter has challenged the analogy of blackness and queerness by centralizing both in their critique of state-sanctioned violence against black people. The analysis of Nneka Onourah's documentary The Same Difference provides further insight into the complex array of power that affect the lived experiences at the intersection of queerness, blackness, and gender. The documentary generates points of departure through which queerness finds validity as a tool for critical thinking, a way of active resistance, and a basis for community action. Placing the documentary in context, this article reconstructs a paradigm for radical queer politics in the force-field of traditional notions of black masculinity and femininity and queerness as a destabilizer of both, bringing queerness back into a marginal position from which it can be critical of the state.

"Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs": Media Representation and Rhetorical Strategy During Arizona's SB 1062 Controversy


In February 2014, the Governor of Arizona was given one week to decide whether or not to veto SB 1062, a controversial bill that would allow business owners to refuse service to clients whose lifestyle choices offended them. During that week, the bill was widely reported upon, and became a subject of national debate. I draw on rhetorician Kenneth Burke's theory of dramatism to analyze oppositional media discourses around SB 1062 -- in particular the conservative Christian strategy to frame SB 1062 as a matter of religious freedom. To do so, I consider various components of rhetorical exigency such as the role of public participation in political debate, narrative-building, and a process that Crick and Gabriel refer to as "sensual-aesthetic disruption." I argue that it is not only a fondness for oppositional rhetorics, but the promotion of individualism and a lack of appreciation for the idea of the common good that cultivated a political climate that allowed SB 1062 to initially gain support.

Refusing the Referendum: Queer Latino Masculinities and Utopian Citizenship in Justin Torres' We the Animals


The U.S. Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015, which ruled the ban on same-sex unions unconstitutional, created, for the first time, equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in all states, thus changing the civic status of members of the LGBTQ community in important ways, ranging from visitation rights to inheritance law. Justin Torres's 2011 debut novel We the Animals performs Puerto Rican queer masculinity at the precise moment when the first formal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as expressed by then Attorney General Eric Holder, intersect with growing and increasingly aggressive hostility towards Latinx in the United States regardless of their legal status, and when Puerto Ricans on the island continue to be second class citizens ineligible, for example, to participate in presidential elections. In ongoing limbo as an unincorporated territory of the United States, the legal condition of Puerto Rico always already queers the myth of an egalitarian, democratic nation. A queer coming of age/coming out narrative, We the Animals features a first person narrator, the youngest of three Puerto Rican brothers, who grows up in a working class home in upstate New York and emerges as someone who rejects the very values that strive to "normalize" queer life via assimilation into legally defined and sanctioned coupledom. Embracing what José Esteban Muñoz has called a "queer utopia" the nameless narrator rejects the predetermined path of puritanically "virtuous," materialistically productive, culturally assimilated, and politically predictable American masculinity and citizenship, and ends his narrative at the beginning of an alternative queer vision that does not depend on majoritarian approval, but unapologetically celebrates the possibilities of a "queer planet" (Michael Warner). In doing so, Torres, via his narrator, creates a model of queer Latino masculinity that offers an alternative to assimilationist narratives of "Americanization" and encourages us to imagine a utopian space in which civil and human rights are not tied to a compliance with heteronormative lifestyles.

The Empty Child: Dystopian Innocence and Samuel Delany’s Hogg


This essay examines Samuel Delany's novel, Hogg to interrogate the figure of the innocent child and the role of the family in America, especially in mid-century America. The essay contends that the novel, narrated by the unnamed eleven-year-old protagonist who details both his polymorphously perverse sexual exploits as companion to the eponymous Hogg (outcast, murderer and rapist for hire) and acts also as chronicle of Hogg's experiences over 72 hours, destabilizes the ideology of innocence that acts as a utopian foundation to America's national understanding of itself as exceptional.

Dreaming a Radical Citizenship: How Undocumented Queers in the United States Configure Sites of Belonging and Being through Art and Media Technologies


Following the Undocuqueer Movement's practices of social visibility and activism, this article looks at the ways in which their artistic modes of self-inscription (be in the physical form or online circulation) produce alternative queer dwellings, and propose radical modes of belonging.

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 11.2 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 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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2008-2,