Lutherstadt Wittenberg, 4 December 2007

Dear Friends of the ASJ,

The planning and designing stage of the electronic American Studies Journal was over when we launched our state-of-the-art website inMarch, 2007, and published a “Best of ASJ” collection, presenting as issue no. 49 some of the articles that had appeared in print during the last ten years.

According to the astronomic calendar, Winter begins in Central Europe on 21 December at 1:42 p.m. – a mere 16 days from today. But the point is: We are still in the Fall season. And so the editors proudly present American Studies Journal, no. 50 (Fall 2007). Keagan LeJeune, Professor of Folklore and English at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and nine American Studies colleagues from the U.S. and Germany have contributed to a collection of articles on “The Outlaw and the American Cultural Landscape,” painting a colorful canvas with scenes from the mid-nineteenth century, the 1920s and 1930s, and the present time.  We thank the authors for entrusting us with their work. We hope that they will be rewarded with the attention of American Studies students and scholars around the world. As our web statistics show, we already have about 2000 individual visitors every month.

Since the ASJ has come alive again, it is high time to thank two individuals who made the electronic relaunch possible: Dr. Martina Kohl, Cultural Affairs Specialist in the Cultural Section of the U.S. Embassy at Berlin, first suggested that the Journal be revived and coordinated the support that we received from the Public Affairs branch of the Embassy. And Carsten Hummel, doctoral candidate at the Center for United States Studies of Martin Luther University, not only devoted his considerable talent as a web designer to the project but also meticulously prepared the present issue. For errors that may remain, the editors take responsibility. We welcome corrections, suggestions, and submissions from our readers. Don’t hesitate to approach us!

Best regards,

Hans-Jürgen Grabbe

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