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 12.1 Spring 2017 Special Issue: Eleanor Roosevelt and Diplomacy in the Public Interest, Volume 12, Number 1

Following FDR’s death Mrs. Roosevelt came into her own when she was appointed a delegate to the newly-formed United Nations and was elected as Chairman of its Human Rights Commission where she was the driving force behind the acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a delegate to the UN’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs), Eleanor Roosevelt spoke out in support of European refugees who did not want to return to their country of origin. She “possessed not only a passionate commitment to human rights, but a hard-earned knowledge of the political and cultural obstacles to securing them in a divided world.” This special edition of the European Journal of American Studies aims to examine the way Eleanor Roosevelt gained knowledge of such obstacles and some of the ways in which she used public diplomacy to secure the freedoms she fervently believed people everywhere in the world were entitled to. Her efforts in this regard fall within the many forms of formal and informal diplomacy that constitute as much a part of transatlantic relations as do military planning, state diplomacy, and economic initiatives.viii Indeed, as the different chapters will show, the former American First Lady can be firmly placed among the most influential American public diplomats of the twentieth century and will argue that American cultural diplomacy throughout the world benefited from her activities.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Diplomacy in the Public Interest

Recent scholarly production on transatlantic relations in Europe is greatly interested in the role that social and cultural, not just political and diplomatic encounters, exchanges, and interconnections played in the shaping of the Euro-American relations.i As a consequence, this trend avows the absolute necessity of adopting a broader multidisciplinary approach so as to overcome the ideological dispute between cultural imperialism and cultural transmission in the transatlantic arena.Through such a multidisciplinary approach it is possible to highlight that, being the transatlantic exchanges characterized either by fair interactions or by hegemonic ends, they have nevertheless been participated and molded by a plurality of non-state actors, whose significance can be differently weighed but hardly denied. This begs the question of what has been the role, within this process of cultural exchanges, of those leading individuals who, due to their baggage of personal experience, their intellectual wisdom, and their public prominence, have been able to leave their enduring imprint on the transatlantic relations as a whole. Scholarship tends now to recognize such individuals as actors of cultural diplomacy, or, more generally, as public diplomats. And, if it is true that, as the U.S. Department of State officials argue, cultural diplomacy is "the lynchpin of public diplomacy...[that] reveals the soul of a nation,"Eleanor Roosevelt might rightly deserve a mention apart as someone who greatly contributed to the revelation of that soul."

Eleanor Roosevelt's Peculiar Pacifism: Activism, Pragmatism, and Political Efficacy in Interwar America

In the interwar years, American women have played a major role in shaping both the domestic and the international debate on peace, by spreading pacifist tenets and merging them with the promotion of social justice and human rights. Leading figures of the women's peace campaign such as Emily Balch, Lillian Wald, and Jane Addams have lived their personal struggle for peace as an opportunity to enhance the universal condition of women's lives and at the same time promote workers' rights, international disarmament, and the empowerment of the international institutions. Eleanor Roosevelt was not only an integral part of this interwar pacifist chorus, but she also represented one of its most influential voices. Although her biographers have stressed the impact of this period on her political and intellectual formation, a systematic account of her contribution to the shaping of the American interwar pacifism is still missing and this is precisely the broad scope of my article. I will therefore define Eleanor Roosevelt's peculiar pacifism as one mostly characterized by a prominent inclination toward activism, a pragmatic attitude, and a compelling political efficacy.

First Female Travel Journalist Meets First Lady: Mary Pos and Eleanor Roosevelt Speak on Women's Roles and Intercultural Understanding

Mary Pos, self-proclaimed first female travel journalist from the Netherlands, met Eleanor Roosevelt first in 1937 during a women-only press conference at the White House, and then in 1950 when Roosevelt visited Amsterdam. This essay examines Pos' published and unpublished reports of these encounters in order to see which professional and psychological forces were at work in the transnational and gendered arena of journalism in the late 1930s and early 1950s. Secondly, it will investigate potential correlations between Roosevelt's and Pos' ideas on women's rights and intercultural understanding.

Reframing Eleanor Roosevelt's Influence in the 1930s Anti-Lynching Movement around a 'New Philosophy of Government'

This article looks at Eleanor Roosevelt's role in the 1930s anti-lynching movement. In particular, the article reinterprets the impact of Mrs. Roosevelt's role as conduit between FDR and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People. This article proposes that Mrs. Roosevelt's correspondence should be re-contextualised around a fresh interpretation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's stance on lynching. In light of this, Eleanor Roosevelt's early attempts at domestic diplomacy between FDR and the NAACP did not have entirely positive consequences.

A Trustworthy Collaboration: Eleanor Roosevelt and Martha Graham's Pioneering of American Cultural Diplomacy

The article analyzes Eleanor Roosevelt's intricate and innovative relationship with American arts during a time when Americans did not believe yet in the power of the arts in making (and un-making) political and diplomatic statements. Focusing on the collaboration between the First Lady and the modern dancer Martha Graham, it also proves that their partnership and its valuable and long lasting outcomes qualify them as pioneers of American cultural diplomacy. As the article shows, Roosevelt invited Martha Graham to perform "American Document" at the White House when the USA was contemplating its entrance in the Second World War. Like in the case of Marion Anderson's invitation, Graham's performance of modernism and patriotism was by no means a social event, but a conscientious decision to use the arts in the service of politics and diplomacy. The article follows Roosevelt's visionary involvement in the inception of American cultural diplomacy during the early fifties, when the former First Lady, now a recognized politician and savvy diplomat on her own, used her prestige and connections in helping Graham during her tours in Europe. Accompanied by the American Ambassador David Bruce, Roosevelt attended Graham's opening night in Paris, during the dancer's difficult first European tour in 1950. Subsequently, when Roosevelt's old friend, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, visited Hyde Park in 1952, she orchestrated the Queen's meeting with Graham in New York City. On the occasion of Graham's second European tour, in 1954, the Queen attended one of her performances, which was an unprecedented diplomatic and audience success for the dancer and American diplomacy in Europe. Based on research in archives, as well as public and private collections from the USA, The Netherlands, Britain and France, the article is not only a historical reconstruction of a special collaboration, but also an homage to the two fascinating First Ladies - of politics and dance - who pioneered American cultural diplomacy.

Eleanor Roosevelt at the United Nations: "Diplomacy from Below" and the Search for a New Transatlantic Dialogue

In 1945, Truman appointed Eleanor Roosevelt as a member of the American delegation to the first session of the United Nations in an effort to send a signal to the many associations who wanted to have a role in the redefinition of the post-war democratic order. ER' s commitment to peace and social justice was an expression of internationalism 'from below', which was convinced that the challenge to enlarge and make democracy more inclusive, more respectful of gender, racial, and ethnic differences had to be won not only in the domestic political sphere but also in the international one. The paper will explore the intrinsic contradiction which was at the root of ER' s engagement in the UN. On the one hand, she was conscious of her official status as American officer and the symbol of the American democratic model; on the other, her will to give expression and voice to the questions posed by American and European civic associations and their commitment to democracy, social justice and human rights in the growing Cold War climate provoked tensions and ambiguities that proved difficult to solve.

"And with all she lived with casual unawareness of her value to civilization": Close-reading Eleanor Roosevelt's Autofabrication

Eleanor Roosevelt's presumable modesty and shyness are among her most habitually applauded private characteristics, by academic historians and public educators alike (e.g. Binker and Farrell, Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin), and yet she remains the most powerful American female political agent who has never run for democratic office. This paradox is often understood as part and parcel of Eleanor Roosevelt's enigmatic quality, but doing so mystifies rather than explains the rhetorical and cultural mechanisms that produced ER's audacious modesty as a crucial factor in her success. This article uses methods from literary studies to analyze the rhetorical strategies and transnational reception of Eleanor Roosevelt's self-presentation and reticence, in order to show how these created a position of great 'soft' power for her. I will close-read excerpts from Roosevelt's "My Day" columns and magazine articles against contemporary and later representations of her invisible power and powerful invisibility. First I trace how ER cast an impression of modesty and reticence, and through that, of a seemingly innocent but powerful agency. Then I turn to American and transatlantic receptions of Eleanor Roosevelt's self-presentation in the American and international establishment, focusing particularly on fictional and non-fictional projections of ER as a globally recognized maternal figure or, within the American context, a potential presidential candidate. I argue that what Roosevelt herself once termed "casual unawareness of her value to society" was crucial in the construction of a feminine power position that enabled her to wield unusual influence, both as first lady and as a public intellectual and diplomat. The article, through analyzing discourse and cultural construction, sheds new light on the detailed rhetorical mechanics of how Eleanor Roosevelt put her temperament to work in realizing her ideals.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Radio Broadcasts in France

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote books, thousands of newspaper and magazine articles and was a regular broadcaster. Among the radio programs she hosted, and appeared on, were several for the Voice of America. While she was a US delegate to the United Nations in Paris in 1951 and 1952, Mrs. Roosevelt broadcast a series of weekly radio commentaries aimed at explaining to families in France and other French-speaking countries the workings of the UN and to urge Europeans to work together for peace. These weekly talks generated (as did all Mrs. Roosevelt's broadcasts) a great deal of letters from the public: usually either extremely favorable or vehemently opposed to the views she expressed. The former First Lady saw the role of the VOA as fundamental to "spread[ing] the understanding of the value of our way of life and of our type of government." This paper explores the connection between Eleanor Roosevelt and the official US radio propaganda in Europe in the early Fifties and the extent to which American cultural diplomacy benefitted from her presence on the airwaves.

Conclusion: Eleanor Roosevelt and Her Transatlantic Quest for Equality and Freedom

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 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 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