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-Jürgen 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 - Universität 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 - Universität 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 2010, Vol. 55, No. 2

"She lives where she is not" -- Duplication of Self through the Public Eye and Ida-Entity in Gertrude Stein's Ida

Several statements of Gertrude Stein's suggest that in experiencing publicity one can lose one's identity. In combination with her concept of entity and identity, and her personal reflections on fame, this idea invites one to interpret the twin metaphor in Ida: A Novel (1941) as a depiction of the state of duplication that a publicly well-known person might experience when he finds himself developing an independent, public identity. Seeing that the media are capable of creating personalities or public identities apparently more 'real' than real life and more palpable than fiction, with Ida, Stein seems to have ventured to relocate the position and the function of the novel within this shifting and blending of realities and fiction. Of the few scholars who have deemed this interpretation of the twin metaphor possible, even fewer have ventured a close reading of Stein's Ida with this in mind. On the whole, there is only a small amount of literature on this novel, and the past ten years have, in this respect, been very bare indeed. With this contribution I hope to offer a new look at this one specific aspect of Gertrude Stein's Ida.

Enactment and Performance in Lorrie Moore’s Fiction

September 2009 saw publication of the third novel by one of the most admired writers currently working in the USA: Lorrie Moore, recipient of the prestigious REA and PEN/Malamud Awards for short fiction. This article opens hitherto unexplored routes into Moore's fiction by reading two stories from Moore's 1998 collection Birds of America in light of Judith Butler's theories of performativity. Moore's work is widely praised for its linguistic virtuosity, wordplay, and verbal humor, but to date there has been little analysis of the link between these features of tone and style and her underlying theory of subjective identity. The argument developed here is that Moore represents identity as self-consciously constituted through reiterated linguistic and corporeal acts. In all her fiction, subjecthood is performed through ongoing processes of projection and reception involving language, gesture, embodiment, and motion or metaphors of motion, especially flight. The stories "Willing" and "Charades" reflexively dramatize this process of identity construction by presenting fictional worlds revolving around, respectively, a professional actress and a theatrical game. Both works portray enactment, staging, and consciousness of audience as essential to fully realized and socially viable identity.

Cosmographic Metafiction in Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex

Historiographic metafiction is one of the few postmodern genres that are still highly relevant in contemporary fiction. Its lasting significance can be attributed to the fact that it has been developed further by authors who combine it with other concerns and fictional strategies. The present analysis discusses these contemporary expansive tendencies within the genre by focusing on a text that is particularly significant in this context: Sesshu Foster's first novel Atomik Aztex (2005). This essay argues that Atomik Aztex pushes the boundaries of historiographic metafiction by fusing it with ontological fiction, creating what may be conceived of as cosmographic metafiction. The line of argument opens with a history of historiographic metafiction that focuses on recent attempts to transform the genre. Atomik Aztex is then provisionally classified as historiographic metafiction in order to show afterwards how it exceeds that classification through its incorporation of ontological fiction. Through interworld cross-references that make use of metafictional practices and intertextual references, Atomik Aztex enhances the question of how we imagine history through fiction to the question of how we imagine worlds through history and fiction and at the same time stresses the political aspect of such a literary practice of cosmographic metafiction.

The Return of the Imperial Presidency? The President, Congress, and U.S. Foreign Policy after 11 September 2001

President George W. Bush's assertion of unlimited executive powers that would permit the executive branch to wage the War on Terror as the President in his role as commander-in-chief saw fit -- from the treatment of 'unlawful' enemy combatants at Guantánamo Bay, to the creation of military commissions, to warrantless surveillance -- elicited charges that he was subverting the Constitution and tipping the balance of power among the three branches of government. Presidential scholars like the late Arthur Schlesinger believe that the imperial presidency has been born again as a result of 9/11. Scholars in favor of executive supremacy like John Yoo argue that the new security threats to American national security, in particular terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, render the constitutional system of checks and balances obsolete. The two central questions this article addresses are: Has President George W. Bush put the constitutional system of checks and balances in jeopardy, or did he use his institutional resources of quick executive action properly to protect the nation and the American people against another crippling terrorist attack? Did he successfully expand presidential power as a permanent change to U.S. government, or did his unrelenting push for executive supremacy undercut his explicit goal to expand presidential authority future Presidents can wield as well?

Other Issues

Amerikastudien / American Studies 2013 - Pragmatism's Promise, Vol. 58, No. 2
Amerika Studien / American Studies, Vol 58. No. 1
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012 - Tocqueville's Legacy: Towards a Cultural History of Recognition in American Studies , Vol. 57, No.4
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012, 57.3
Amerikastudien / American Studies 2012 - 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
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, Amerikastudien / American Studies 2008 Vol. 53, No. 2
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