The American Studies Journal is a peer-reviewed open-access journal that provides a forum for intellectual debate about all aspects of social, cultural, and political life in the United States of America. It aims to present new and challenging research in the humanities to both academic and non-academic audiences around the world.
Three elements make up the asjournal.org web presence: the American Studies Journal with its offerings of scholarly and methodological content, the ASJ Occasional Papers series as a web space for longer articles that do not fit into the thematically focused issues of the journal, and the American Studies Blog with its topical observations and comments on present-day U.S. society and culture. We hope that our American Studies bouquet appeals to experts and lay persons alike.
No. 63 (2017)
The Plain People: Contemporary Perspectives and Future Prospects
Edited by Sabrina Völz and Maria Moss
This issue of the American Studies Journal is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Plain Anabaptists—mainly Amish and Mennonite groups—in Canada and the United States. The pioneering research presented here seeks to foster contemporary discourses on lesser known or even neglected issues. Ranging from highly critical to very personal accounts, the contributors offer a variety of perspectives on topics, such as Anabaptist influences on American religious pluralism, Amish women’s entrepreneurial endeavors, recent ex-Amish memoir writing as well as Amish-Mennonite international vacationing. The volume concludes with an engaging panel discussion featuring speakers Susan Trollinger, Donald Kraybill, and Ira Wagler on the future of the Amish.
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New OCCASIONAL PAPERS
Having it all and “The Great White House” of Matcham in Henry James’s Last Novels
by Priscilla Roberts
This paper explores the significance of the mansion of Matcham in Henry James’s two final major novels, The Wings of the Dove (1902) and The Golden Bowl (1905). In many ways, these works represent variations on a theme, the first a tragedy, the second a comedy. In each, two impecunious lovers who cannot afford to marry each other encounter the possibility of massively improving their own lives by their ability to attract and charm the possessors of colossal American wealth. In each case, these fortunes constitute a profound source of danger to their American owners and to those who would exploit them, distorting the lives of everyone involved. And in each story, the same exclusive English country house—dazzlingly charming, luxurious, even sybaritic, and ultimately sinister—is the fulcrum of the plot.
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Managing One’s Station: Robert Roberts and the Professionalizing of Domestic Service
by Carolyn R. Maibor
The so-called ‘servant problem’ was a frequent topic of both public and private conversation in the mid-nineteenth century United States. Letters and private journals as well as household guidebooks and periodicals are filled with complaints and advice on how to manage servants. Few contributors to the discussion, however, were servants themselves. Of the few who wrote publicly about their experiences, most were white and from middle-class backgrounds and therefore had a greater sense of security and freedom. Yet these writers have a remarkable predecessor in Robert Roberts who argues for professionalization as a solution back in 1827. That he was an African American man and possibly a former slave make his contribution particularly noteworthy.
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Upcoming ASJ thematic Issues
Cultures of US-American Conservatism
Edited by Susann Koehler and Andrew Gross
Approaching the Field of US Social Movements from a Distance:
A French Perspective
Edited by Sandrine Baudry, Guillaume Marche, and Céline Planchou
What others say about us
Review of the American Studies Journal, ASJ Occasional Papers, and American Studies Blog by Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University, on the ProQuest website.