Founded In    1956
Published   quarterly
Language(s)   English, German

Fields of Interest


literature, cultural studies, history, political science, linguistics, critical theory, teaching of American Studies

ISSN   0340-2827
Editorial Board

General Editor:
Oliver Scheiding

Editorial Board:
Christa Buschendorf
Andreas Falke
Hans-JŘrgen Grabbe
Alfred Hornung
Sabine Sielke

Assistant Editors:
Tanja Budde
Patricia Godsave

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

Manuscripts and books for review should be submitted to the editorial office in Mainz. There is no obligation to review unsolicited books.
Amerikastudien / American Studies
Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheiding
FB 05 Dept. of English and Linguistics Amerikanistik
Johannes Gutenberg - Universit├Ąt Mainz
Jakob Welder Weg 18 (Philosophicum), Zi 02-579
55128 Mainz, Germany
Phone: +49 6131 39 22 357
Fax: +49 6131 39 20 356
In view of the computerized production of the journal, manuscripts of articles and reviews can only be accepted if submitted as computer files (preferably MS Word) and accompanied by a printout. Please note the following formal requirements:
– Article manuscripts - manuscript text, abstract, notes, list of works cited - should not exceed 60,000 to 70,000 characters (including spaces).
– All articles must be preceded by an abstract in English of no more than 200 words.
– Since Amerikastudien / American Studies follows a blind-review system, articles should contain no references to the author.
– An Amerikastudien / American Studies style sheet is available under
The editorial team gladly provides a MS Word document template file (DOT) that is used for pre-typesetting (preflighting).


Amerikastudien / American Studies


Amerikastudien / American Studies is the journal of the German Association for American Studies. It started as the annual Jahrbuch für Amerikastudien in 1956 and has since developed into a quarterly with some 1200 subscriptions in Europe and the United States. The journal is dedicated to interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives and embraces the diversity and dynamics of a dialogic and comparatist understanding of American Studies. It covers all areas of American Studies from literary and cultural criticism, history, political science, and linguistics to the teaching of American Studies. Thematic issues alternate with regular ones. Reviews, forums, and annual bibliographies support the international circulation of German and European scholarship in American Studies.
Editor: Oliver Scheiding
Address: Amerikastudien/American Studies
FB 05 Dept. of English and Linguistics Amerikanistik
Johannes Gutenberg - Universit├Ąt Mainz
Jakob Welder Weg 18 (Philosophicum), Zi 02-579
55128 Mainz, Germany
Phone: +49 6131 39 22 357
Fax: +49 6131 39 20 356


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Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008, Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008 Vol. 53, No. 2

‘Declining’ the (American) Sublime: Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”

Literary scholars usually locate the work of Stephen Crane at the threshold between naturalism and modernism. In his story “The Open Boat,” however, Crane uses the concept of the sublime as the unrepresentable in a proto-postmodern fashion to ironically and self-reflectively juxtapose it to naturalism’s claim to depict life as authentic as possible. He thus ‘declines’ the sublime—in the double sense of the word as objecting to, and as grammatical declension of—as he dramatizes the different degrees and stages of distance and the resulting impossibility of representation, according to his dictum “A man is sure to fail at it [honesty], but there is something in the failure.” This echoes the conceptualization of the sublime of a philosopher who is at the threshold of modernity and postmodernity—that of Theodor W. Adorno.

Amy Lowell’s Peasant Dance: Transcribing Primitivism in “Stravinsky’s Three Pieces ‘Grotesques,’ for String Quartet”

Like many other modernist writers, American poet Amy Lowell turned to music as an inspirational source and aesthetic model for her writings. Her poem “Stravinsky’s Three Pieces ‘Grotesques’ for String Quartet” will serve here as a paradigmatic illustration of Lowell’s intermedial endeavor to transcribe a piece of music into the poetic medium. However, Lowell does not only transpose the sounds and rhythms of Stravinsky’s piece into her experimental poem. By applying a functionalist approach to intermedia studies, the essay reveals that Lowell’s poem also takes up cultural implications related to the concept of primitivism in Stravinsky’s work and translates this concept into the particular context of American modernism. Consequently, Lowell’s musicalized poem both imitates and interprets the original musical text it draws upon, transforming not only its semiotic material, but also its cultural connotations.

‘From Language to Life is Just Four Letters’ Self-Referentiality vs. the Reference of Self in Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2

This paper will read Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2 (1995) as a self-reflexive autobiography that consciously examines the fundamental problems of life-writing. Additionally, it will demonstrate how this novel, although clearly a text that can be labeled ‘postmodern,’ nevertheless diverges from many postmodern theories on autobiographic texts by re-emphasizing the relevance of referentiality as a meaning-giving element. Powers initially reduces his autobiographic self to a purely textual subject, only to expose the limitations of such an act by contrasting his own textuality as an ‘author function’ with the dilemma of a disembodied computer network that is supposed to understand works of literature. Eventually, the novel articulates a complex critique of what Powers defines as “postmodern solipsism” and asks for a “reengagement with the world’s living concepts.” The concluding part of the paper will examine the narratological implications of this reengagement with referentiality for Powers’s entire oeuvre.

Urban Dwellers: Women Writers Who Left Eastern Europe Never to Arrive in the United States

A recurrent question in American literary studies remains unanswered: “Where are the Eastern European writers?” Women writers in particular seem to be missing. To use Thomas Gladsky’s words: “[E]ven to this date, no Yezierskas, Kingstons, Angelous, or Morrisons have emerged to capture the unique story of the Slavic woman” (6). Leaving the definition of the category “Slavic woman” to Gladsky, this article seeks to reach conclusions that will unveil reasons for the curious omission of Eastern European voices, in particular those of women writers, in current discussions on transnationalism, migration, and ethnic categories in the context of literature. At the same time it highlights the (lost) tradition of Eastern European women’s writing by reading Iva Pekßrkovß’s Gimme the Money (2002) against the backdrop of turn-of-the-twentieth-century writers Anzia Yezierska, Mary Antin, and Elisabeth Stern in the first part and Ludmila Ulitskaya’s The Funeral Party (2001) and Dubravka Ugresic’s Thank You for Not Reading (2003)with reference to Cold-War dissident writing and the special position of Vladimir Nabokov’s oeuvre in the second part of the text. The article concludes with two examples of non-migrant American writers’ perspectives on Eastern Europe. Issues concerning post-socialist studies are discussed under the light of these predicaments.

Introduction to “Casting America’s Outcasts”

Casting America’s Outcasts: Casting America’s Outcasts: A Dialogue between Russell Banks and Lo´c Wacquant

Other Issues

Amerika Studien / American Studies Vol. 58. No. 1,
Tocqueville's Legacy: Towards a Cultural History of Recognition in American Studies, Vol. 57, No.4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012, 57.3
Conceptions of Collectivity in Contemporary American Literature, Vol. 57, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012, Vol. 57, Vol. 1
American Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Vol. 56, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012, Vol. 56, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2011, Vol. 56, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2011, Vol. 56, No. 1
African American Literary Studies: New Texts, New Approaches, New Challenges , Vol. 55, No. 4
Trauma's Continuum -- September 11th Reconsidered, Vol. 55, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2010, Vol. 55, No. 2
Poverty and the Culturalization of Class , Vol. 55, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2009, Vol. 54, No. 4
American History/ies in Germany: Assessments, Transformations, Perspectives, Vol. 54, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2009, Vol. 54, No. 2
Appropriating Vision(s): Visual Practices in American Women's Writing, Vol. 54, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008, Vol. 53, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008 - Die Bush-Administration: Eine erste Bilanz, Vol. 53, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008 - Inter-American Studies and Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 53, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007, Vol. 52, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007 - Teaching American Studies in the Twenty-First Century, Vol. 52, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007, Vol. 52, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2007 - Transatlantic Perspectives on American Visual Culture, Vol. 52, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006, Vol. 51, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006 - Asian American Studies in Europe, Vol. 51, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006, Vol. 51, No. 2
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2006 - Multilingualism and American Studies , Vol. 51, No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2005, Vol. 50, No. 4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2005 - Early American Visual Culture, Vol. 50, No. 3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2005 - American Studies at 50, Vol. 50, Nos. 1/2