54 journals in 25 countries

Political Cartoons in the EFL and American Studies Classroom

By Christianna Stavroudis
American Studies Journal

» Read the article

Recent Articles

Announcements

09.11.14: Call for Papers - Death in the Cityscape
Canadian Review of American Studies

Call for Papers - Canadian Review of American Studies
Death in the Cityscape

In contemporary literature, the intersection of the space of death and mourning within the confines of the city acts as a method of critiquing our understood modes of living. Since Plato’s Republic, the uneasy interplay of death and memorialization within the polis has been considered. Theorists like Gillian Rose in Mourning Becomes the Law and Sharon Zukin in Naked City have elaborated upon the discourse of space, death, and mourning within an urban setting. This issue of finding a space within the city for the dead remains with us, and recent American economic turmoil places the urban metropolis and its spaces of decay in sharp focus (seen in novels like Teju Cole’s Open City, television shows like The Wire and movies such as Synecdoche, New York). Where in the city is death (dis)allowed? Under what authority does the city, as a social nexus point, memorialize the dead? How does art work in concert with, or against, accepted practices of mourning and memorializing within the city limits? Can one mourn the passing of a city and, if so, how is this enacted? While this abstract focuses primarily on contemporary American work, we welcome papers related to any period of American urban history.

We invite scholarly articles on this topic in any genre of American studies. Submissions should be no more than 8000 words in length. Abstracts of no more than 250 words will be accepted until December 1, 2014. Completed articles must be submitted by April 1, 2015.

Send abstracts and submissions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Possible topics may include:
- Death’s relationship to identity in the American city
- American Cities Characterized
- Post-9/11 American Cities and Identity
- Death and Mourning in the City
- Death and Public Art
- Memorials and Public Mourning
- Urban American: Recession and After

Keywords:
- African-American
- Children’s Literature
- Cultural Studies and Historical Approaches
- Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies
- Ethnicity and National Identity
- Film and Television
- Gender Studies and Sexuality
- Interdisciplinary
- Literary Modernism
- Popular Culture
- Postcolonialism
- Postmodernism and Postmodern culture
- Theatre Studies
- Twenty-First Century Literature
- Visual Art and Culture

08.13.13: aspeers Calls for Papers by American Studies Students at European Universities by 3 November 2013
aspeers: emerging voices in american studies

General Call for Papers

For the general section of its seventh issue, aspeers seeks outstanding academic writing demonstrating the excellence of graduate scholarship, the range of concerns scrutinized in the field, and the diversity of perspectives employed. We thus explicitly invite revised versions of term papers or chapters from theses written by students of European Master (and equivalent) programs. For this section, there are no topical limitations. Contributions should be up to 10,000 words (including abstract and list of works cited). The submission deadline is 3 November 2013.

Topical Call for Papers on “American Anxieties”

In her July 2012 Atlantic article “Trickle-Down Distress,” Maura Kelly argues that anxiety might well be considered a “peculiarly American phenomenon.” And in fact, the interrelation between American culture(s) and notions of individual and collective anxiety—from a sense of unease to the experience of crisis to full-blown panic—has proven to be a stimulating topic of interrogation. Accordingly, anxiety, understood not solely as a state, mood, or emotion but also as a phenomenon indicative of larger social dynamics and as a concept capable of performing cultural work, has continuously gained prevalence in scholarly debates.

aspeers will, therefore, dedicate the topical section of its seventh annual issue to “American Anxieties,” seeking to further explore the topic and the manifold scholarly opportunities and interpretative potential it offers for MA-level American Studies in Europe. Considering the wide range of disciplines that engage with anxiety in its overt and subtle forms, the topic lends itself particularly well to the inherently interdisciplinary approach within the field of American studies. Moreover, many traditional and more recent research foci of American studies can be read as sites of anxieties, thereby shedding light on previously disregarded connections between them. The following thematic clusters, then, might spark but do not delimit ideas for possible submissions:

  identity, culture wars, etc.

  (un)reliability, concepts of truth, role of the media, etc.

  terrorism, fundamentalism, conspiracy theories, anxiety as a disciplinary mode, surveillance/privacy, PRISM, etc.

  sexuality/gender, homophobia and trans*phobia, crises of masculinity, post-feminism, etc.

  nationalism, immigration, political extremism, gun legislation, the Cold War, etc.

  body image, ageism, ableism, etc.

  financial crises, poverty, class/status anxieties, Occupy, etc.

  ecocriticism, global warming, health- or food-related panics, etc.

  Civil Rights, hate crimes, the ‘post-racial,’ Trayvon Martin case, etc.

  hysteria, phobias, madness, neuroses, trauma, etc.

  artistic expression, sentimentalism, horror, gothic, the Other, etc.

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse roles and meanings of anxieties in American culture. We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the seventh issue of aspeers by November 3, 2013. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general call for papers. At http://www.aspeers.com/2014 you can find additional information as well as our submission guidelines.

11.05.12: Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama’s Time
Canadian Review of American Studies

Special Issue - Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama�(tm)s Time
Canadian Review of American Studies 42.3, December 2012
http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/k17082t31j27/

Guest Editor - Fr�(c)d�(c)rick Gagnon

With the 2012 U.S. Presidential race in its closing stages, this very timely special issue aims to generate a deeper understanding of the U.S. culture wars. The issue contributes to the ongoing debates on whether or not there are culture wars currently underway in the U.S. and, if there are, who is waging these wars and what are the strategies and motivations behind them. The issue addresses four key research questions - Is a culture war really underway in America?; Is this ‘war�(tm) only between activists and politicians?; Who are the main actors in these wars and how do they try to reach their goals?; and Have we been witnessing a ceasefire in (or transformation of) America�(tm)s culture wars since Obama�(tm)s election in 2008?

This issue contains:

Introduction: Ceasefire or New Battle? The Politics of Culture Wars in Obama’s Time
Fr�(c)d�(c)rick Gagnon

http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/l5425511p20240t2/?p=96084b25dec64fd0a6a67d3f58bec577&pi=0
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.001

Crusade or Charade? The Religious Right and the Culture Wars
Graham G. Dodds

This article challenges conventional views about the Religious Right and the culture wars in the United States, as it contends that the general topic has often been distorted in important respects. Specifically, it advances several somewhat counter-intuitive claims. It contends that the Religious Right is neither a long-standing nor a monolithic entity; that it is currently relatively dormant; that cultural criticisms associated with religious conservatives are often not driven not by grass-roots populism but are cynically promulgated by mainstream Republican elites for electoral gain; and finally, that even when these efforts succeed electorally, conservative elected officials seldom enact policies that cultural or religious conservatives want. In short, much that has appeared in recent years to be a cultural crusade may, in fact, be a mere charade.
http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/bh1h6765538n8v01/?p=96084b25dec64fd0a6a67d3f58bec577&pi=1
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.002

After the Culture War? Shifts and Continuities in American Conservatism
John Dombrink

Following the 2008 American election, some analysts concluded that the election had signalled an end to the polarization and culture wars that had typified American politics. To some, demographic changes would cause this demise. To others, the moderating of religious groups was crucial. As social conservatives came to grips with the 2008 electoral defeats, some argued for emphasis on culture-war issues to revive their role. Sin No More (John Dombrink and Daniel Hillyard, 2007) had argued that, despite conservative rhetoric, the tide was turning on the core legal and moral issues of the American culture war, moving them toward normalization. It challenged the representation of America as a “centre-right” country. This article analyzes enduring and shifting elements of the American culture war: the broadening of the role of religion, the reduced salience of wedge issues, and the paradox that some forms of polarization are increasing as others are receding.
http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/0448604p301k7658/?p=96084b25dec64fd0a6a67d3f58bec577&pi=2
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.003

Immigration and National Identity in Obama’s America: The Expansion of Culture-War Politics
Rhys H. Williams

The culture-war issues salient in US politics in the 1990s and early 2000s were typified by debates over the legality and morality of abortion and same-sex marriage. Immigration, in contrast, has been an intermittent issue, not as polarized as many others. That changed with the candidacy and then election of Barack Obama to the presidency. While anti-abortion and “pro-family” activism has continued, there is a new public focus on a vision of “America” that depends upon a conflation of race, religion, and national identity. This has helped transform immigration into a highly charged, highly polarized culture-war-style issue and has facilitated the lasting resonance of the construction of Obama as Muslim, as born in Kenya, as not a citizen, and as both a socialist and a fascist simultaneously. Drawing on popular media discourse and material from Tea Party and immigration reform web sites, I explore the construction of American national identity in terms of its ethno-cultural articulations.
http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/346242023880g412/?p=96084b25dec64fd0a6a67d3f58bec577&pi=3
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.004


Understanding Culture Wars through Satirical/Political Infotainment TV: Jon Stewart and The Daily Show’s Critique as Mediated Re-enactement of the Culture War
David Grondin

Recent US culture wars have been waged through televised entertainment news (infotainment TV). The imprint left by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show on mainstream news outlets has been analyzed in political communication studies and media studies. However, no one has so far made a case for Jon Stewart as a protagonist in these culture wars, especially because Stewart himself wants to stay clear of and set himself apart from them. This paper looks at the performativity of these culture wars in infotainment TV as the medium and locus where the culture wars are waged. While I recognize the crucial role played by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show in critiquing news-media coverage of American politics, I nevertheless contend that Stewart can also be seen as a culture warrior, albeit an unwilling one, and that, by giving him a voice, the medium of infotainment TV is turning him into such a warrior. My argument is predicated on the belief that satirical/political infotainment TV is an important locus of the culture wars and must be studied carefully because it plays a political role in mediating their re-enactment. Using this news-media satirical form as epistemological grounding, I first focus on how these culture wars play out in satirical/political infotainment TV and show that infotainment TV, because it is mediated as such, both critiques and re-enacts the culture wars and affects the American journalistic mediascape. I then examine satirical infotainment TV as political practice.
http://utpjournals.metapress.com/content/e6j2542n57j31006/?p=96084b25dec64fd0a6a67d3f58bec577&pi=4
DOI: 10.3138/cras.42.3.005

06.19.12: States of Emergency: Anxiety, Panic, Nation now available
Canadian Review of American Studies

Canadian Review of American Studies - Volume 42, Number 1, 2012
Special Issue: States of Emergency: Anxiety, Panic, Nation
Now available at http://www.utpjournals.com/cras
Although it happened over ten years from this writing (January, 2012), the event we now call ‘‘9/11�(tm)�(tm) still seems to have happened very recently. On that terrible day, I was teaching a large lecture class on the West coast of the United States. By 12:30 p.m. (the scheduled start time), the students would all have known about the attacks and, presumably, I thought as I walked from my office to the other end of campus where the class met, they would choose to spend the day with friends, with family, on the phone, glued to the television, at a bar�“certainly not at a 90-minute class on Mary Rowlandson�(tm)s captivity narrative. I wasn�(tm)t even sure why I was going. There were about 120 students enrolled in that class. I would say about 140 showed up. We talked about the Event for the entire 90 minutes. I will never forget the very first comment made in that meeting: ‘‘We have to recognize we are now in a state of emergency.�(tm)�(tm) ‘‘Now,�(tm)�(tm) he said. Still? One would have to be very daft or very deft neither to recognize nor experience the lingering effects of 9/11 in the everyday life of the United States and Canada today. ‘‘Security�(tm)�(tm) has become the stated goal of policy makers, an aspirational ideal of the managers of the republic where not a category of normalized identity for the managed: Airport security; Border Security; ‘‘Security Moms.�(tm)�(tm) Public discourse encourages greater attentiveness to the monstrous and the mundane: Amber alerts; alertness to the ‘‘suspicious�(tm)�(tm); alertness to unattended bags in train stations. … (excerpt from Introduction States of Exception: Anxiety, Panic, and the Nation by Guest Editor Bryce Traister)

03.16.11: JTAS 3 is now online
Journal of Transnational American Studies

The Editors of the Journal of Transnational American Studies, a peer-reviewed online, open-access journal published by the American Cultures and Global Contexts Center at the University of California-Santa Barbara and the Program in American Studies at Stanford University, are pleased to announce the publication of the journal’s latest issue.

The journal may be accessed without charge at http://escholarship.org/uc/acgcc_jtas.

With contributions from scholars based in Canada, China and Hong Kong, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and all over the United States, JTAS 3 features a symposium by prominent European scholars of American Studies on citizenship and cosmopolitanism, selections from a study on the literature of the field in American history in China as well as the reprint of a particularly timely piece, considering the recent nuclear leak in Japan, on “Memories, Ghosts and Scars: Architecture and Trauma in New York and Hiroshima.”

In addition to new articles that examine questions in American Studies as the field intersects productively and problematically with other national cultures, societies, politics, and histories, the journal contains excerpts from newly published books in transnational American studies (in the Forward section),  and select re-publication of significant contributions to the field (in the Reprise section).

JTAS welcomes submissions of articles and proposals for special forums.  Please consult the Call for Papers section of our website for details:
http://escholarship.org/uc/search?entity=acgcc_jtas;view=call