Founded In    2003
Published   annually
Affiliated Organization   Polish Association for American Studies
Editorial Board

Managing Editor: Marek Paryz

Editorial Board: Zofia Kolbuszewska, Zuzanna Ladyga, Pawel Stachura, Patrycja Antoszek, Karolina Krasucka

Advisory Committee: Andrzej Dakowski, Joanna Durczak, Jerzy Kutnik, Zbigniew Mazur, Zbigniew Lewicki, Elzbieta Oleksy, Agata Preis-Smith, Agnieszka Salska, Piotr Skurowski, Tadeusz Slawek

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Articles should not exceed 5,000 words, and reviews of current publications 3,000 words.

Please follow the MLA bibliographical convention

Please submit printouts and texts on diskettes in Microsoft Word to:

Marek Paryz
American Literature Department
University of Warsaw
ul. Nowy Swiat 4
00-497 Warszawa, Poland

Deadline for each year’s submissions is open.
Authors of accepted papers will be notified of the publication date.


» Polish Journal for American Studies

New issue of Polish Journal for American Studies.

Polish Journal for American Studies

Thanks to the generous support of the Polish-American Fulbright Committee, Polish Association for American Studies is pleased to announce that starting with the year 2003 Polish Journal for American Studies will be published as an annual academic periodical devoted to various aspects of American civilization and culture. Each issue will include articles and reviews of publications in the fields of American Studies and American literature.


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January 2015, 9

This issue features a biographical study of Benjamin Franklin’s marriage, and articles on Henry James, Hart Crane, John Ashbery, Robert Duncan, Adrenne Rich, Allison Anders, Max Brooks, and religious dissenters in contemporary USA.

The  Colonial  American  Working  Wife  and  Her  Dear  and  Loving  Husband   Absent  upon  Some  Public  Employment:  Deborah  and  Benjamin  Franklin's   Married  Life

Although historians recognize Deborah Franklin's abilities and accomplishments, she invariably suffers in comparison with her famous husband. She seems to have shared the fate of Anne Bradstreet a century earlier, whose worldly spouse, Simon, for years remained object of his wife's tender affection and dutiful supervision of his affairs. The article attempts to examine and evaluate Mrs. Franklin's immeasurable contribution to the Franklin household and business, which enabled Benjamin to act on the international arena and indulge in the frivolities of the contemporary high life, against his egalitarian declarations.

"That  Possible  Immunity  in  Things":  Melancholic  Interiors  and  Secret   Objects  in  Henry  James's  The  Ivory  Tower

Henry James's inability to complete The Ivory Tower is one of the most regrettable failures in the history of the XX century American literature. This unfinished work might have become James's great American novel: both a personal vision and an interpretation of his native land, its landscapes, its people, even its light and its textures. As it is, The Ivory Tower turns out to be an exorcism of the past and an attempt to discover in one's memory something that would give sanction to the present moment. James achieves this by focusing on the novel's objects and interiors and by showing how they evade our interpretive efforts and cognitive pursuits. What remains is the liberating mystery of the ordinary things as they resist the routine of our expectations and preconceptions.

Women and Sculptures: Femininity in Hart Crane's Ekphrastic Poems

The article explores two poems by Hart Crane, "Interludium" and "To the Empress Josephine's Statue," both of which are examples of ekphrasis. Inspired by two sculptures of women, Gaston Lachaise's La Montagne and Vital Debray's statue of Joséphine de Beauharnais, the poems in question are at once representations of works of art and of femininity. It is as such that they are scrutinized in an analysis which focuses on poetry, the visual arts and femininity. The article deals with Crane's use of ekphrasis as a genre, but also with his reflections on time and space, the domains of poetry and sculpture respectively. It also delves into a number of connections evidenced in "Interludium" and "To the Empress Josephine's Statue": the one between creation and procreation, understood as maternity, and thus between art and femininity, as well as the ones between femininity on the one hand, and nature, mysticism, morality and history on the other.

The Poetics of Plenitude and the Poet's Biography: Self-Creation in Some Later Poems by John Ashbery

The article deals with the status of biographical references in John Ashbery's later poetry. It is an attempt to work out an approach that, while keeping the biograph- ical in view, is an alternative to the way in which the biographical has functioned in recent Ashbery scholarship. In discussing Ashbery's strategy, I use the neo-pragmatist idea of aesthetic self-creation, especially a version of it developed by Alexander Nehamas in his writings on aesthetic objects. The term I am developing to discuss the variety of self-creation in Ashbery is "the emerging self," and I see it as a component of a poetics which I am calling the pragmatist ironist poetics of plenitude. The emerging self of the poetics of plenitude, rising over the expanse of a lifetime of poetry writing, is a type of poetic authorial subjectivity whose relation to the empirical facts of the author's biography reverses the relation between poetry and biography found in confessional poetry. The poetics of plenitude shows the biographical fact to be dependent on the poetic element on which it relies for its authenticity. Within the poetics of plenitude, it is the poetic that is the real and authentic.

The Spiritual Work of Art in the Poetry of Robert Duncan

In this essay I argue Hegelian phenomenology helps us to see that language can be a form of postmodern spirituality. I aim to contextualize postmodern poetry in a dialogue between spirituality and art that, I suggest, we can join Hegel in viewing as older than Christianity. Both Phenomenology of Spirit and Robert Duncan's postmodernism show us that language is a spiritual means for transcendence of the self. In the first section of the essay I look at how Duncan used syntactic choices in the writing of poems as the occasion for self-transformation, contrasting the models of poetic structure in two of his books of the 1960s, The Opening of the Field (1960) and Bending the Bow (1968), on the basis of what these two different structural models foreground about Duncan's syntactic decisions. In the second section of the essay, I analyze Hegel's phenomenological narrative of the hymn, focusing on his discussion of the role that language plays in this dimen- sion of spiritual life. In the concluding section, I return to Robert Duncan's later poetry, arguing that Hegel's conception of the hymn can help us to see that Duncan moved in his creative work from using syntax as a means for self-transformation to turning to it as a resource for self-transcendence.

"For the Relief of the Body and the Reconstruction of the Mind": Adrienne Rich's Metamorphoses

By looking at Adrienne Rich's poetic and political transitions, this article attempts to demonstrate how her politics of location galvanized her into writing a "whole new poetry." The source of its newness lies, however, not so much in avant-gardist formal experimentation, but rather in its rootedness in the complexities of lived corporeal experience.It is the body that emerges in Rich's later writingas a primary form of the subject's locatedness - the "geography closest in." Importantly, she views the body as a site of potentiality rather than a passive surface of sociopolitical inscriptions, and refers to corporeal materiality without falling into the trap of naïve essentialism. As I argue, such conceptualization of the body makes Rich's workparticularly interesting from the neo-materialist perspective.

A New Great Awakening: The Tradition of Radical Christian Discipleship and the Current Transformational Moment in the United States

This article argues that the USA has had a lasting tradition of radical Christian discipleship. The revival of interest in a radically understood socio-economic program of the Bible among the newly emerging intentional communities reflects the moral pas- sion of the older faith-inspired reform movements that helped abolish slavery, introduce universal suffrage, and establish civil rights. The reformist goals of the radical Chris- tian movement, sometimes hailed as another Great Awakening, resonate deeply with the demands of the Occupy Generation and its fundamental concern about values and identity. Like the young Occupiers, the faith-based activists for social justice challenge Americans to rethink who they are and who they want to be. Having defined the tradi- tion of radical Christian discipleship, I then proceed to reclaim the legacy of two of its icons -- Ammon Hennacy and Jim Corbett -- as embodiments of two different facets of the phenomenon.

Cinematic Representations of Homegirls: Echo Park vs. Hollywood in Allison Anders's Mi Vida Loca

Allison Anders in Mi Vida Loca (1993) presents various aspects of gang life: from becoming a gang member, through various examples of female sisterhood and betrayal. Not resorting to gangxploitation, Mi Vida Loca is the "first commercial film to focus entirely on Chicana gang members" (Fregoso 97). Anders's project, well-grounded and well-designed, attempts to do away with numerous stereotypes concerning homegirls in L.A. and to portray a credible picture of gang life in Echo Park. At the same time, Anders's approach is relatively "partial in its one-sided view of la vida loca," which in- evitably leads to further stereotyping of Chicana homegirls (Fregoso 97). The purpose of the article is to analyze assets and disadvantages of Anders's representation of Chicana female gang members focusing on the dynamics of the interplay between Hollywood (i.e. Anders's project) and the barrio -- in that case Echo Park, L.A.

The Rising Multitude: Zombie Invasion and the Problem of Biopolitics in Max Brooks's World War Z

This essay outlines the transnational history of the zombie, arguing for the figure's revolutionary potential. Approaching the zombie as a complex social practice, I recall its ritualistic African and Haitian roots, the figure's transposition from Haitian folklore into American ethnographic writings, and its later Hollywood reconfigurations. Insisting on the zombie's proto-biopolitical character, I propose to see the figure's continued cultural currency as predicated on its articulation of political dynamics in the globalized world. Noting the historically inscribed rebellious potential of the zombie, I hold that the newest zombie novels suggest that the zombie horde can be seen as a new political subject in the era of late capitalism -- the multitude, heralded by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. The transnational nature of the zombie multitude is explored in this essay in the context of Max Brooks's World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006), which capitalizes on the possible awareness-raising potential of the modern pop-cultural evocations of the zombie.

Other Issues

, Volume 7
Polish Journal for American Studies 4 2010, 4
Polish Journal for American Studies 3 2009, 3
January 2008, 2
January 2004, 1
Polish Journal for American Studies, Volume 8 2014, Volume 8
Polish Journal for American Studies 5 2011, 5
2012, 6