Irina Bauder-Begerow and Stefanie Schäfer, Learning 9/11: Teaching for Key Competences in Literary and Cultural Studies. Reviewed by Wolfgang Hochbruck
Jul28

Irina Bauder-Begerow and Stefanie Schäfer, Learning 9/11: Teaching for Key Competences in Literary and Cultural Studies. Reviewed by Wolfgang Hochbruck

IRINA BAUDER-BEGEROW and STEFANIE SCHÄFER, Learning 9/11: Teaching for Key Competences in Literary and Cultural Studies (Heidelberg: Winter, 2011), 302 pp. Reviewed by Wolfgang Hochbruck Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.3 (2014) This is a fascinating collection of essays. Simultaneously, it is a puzzling conglomerate of didactic and educational contentions and hypotheses. The very title, Learning 9/11, seems to state a necessity...

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Daniel Horowitz, Consuming Pleasures: Intellectuals and Popular Culture in the Postwar World. Reviewed by Günter Leypoldt
Jul28

Daniel Horowitz, Consuming Pleasures: Intellectuals and Popular Culture in the Postwar World. Reviewed by Günter Leypoldt

DANIEL HOROWITZ, Consuming Pleasures: Intellectuals and Popular Culture in the Postwar World (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2012), xii + 491 pp. Reviewed by Günter Leypoldt Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.3 (2014)   Almost from its eighteenth-century beginnings, the rise of a commercialized literary market has polarized critics into despisers and defenders—those who associate ‘mass culture’ with the mindless consumption...

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Anja Werner, The Transatlantic World of Higher Education: Americans at German Universities, 1776-1914. Reviewed by Annette G. Aubert
Jul28

Anja Werner, The Transatlantic World of Higher Education: Americans at German Universities, 1776-1914. Reviewed by Annette G. Aubert

ANJA WERNER, The Transatlantic World of Higher Education: Americans at German Universities, 1776-1914 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2013), xiii + 329 pp. Reviewed by Annette G. Aubert Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.3 (2014) In the nineteenth century, a total of 9,000 to 10,000 American students attended Germany’s best universities. A growing number of German and American scholars have been exploring how the influences of German...

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Werner Sollors, The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s. Reviewed by Christa Buschendorf
Jul28

Werner Sollors, The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s. Reviewed by Christa Buschendorf

WERNER SOLLORS, The Temptation of Despair: Tales of the 1940s (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2014), 400pp. Reviewed by Christa Buschendorf Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.3 (2014) Distance may distort our view on history. In the case of the post-World War II era, the success story of German economic recovery and democratic reeducation has come to dominate our understanding of the emergence of the postwar order. We focus on the...

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Carl H. Nightingale, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities. Reviewed by Maria Daxenbichler
Jul28

Carl H. Nightingale, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities. Reviewed by Maria Daxenbichler

CARL H. NIGHTINGALE, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 2012), 536 pp. Reviewed by Maria Daxenbichler  Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.3 (2014)   In Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities, Carl H. Nightingale traces the development of urban segregation from ancient cities to the twenty-firstcentury. He argues that from the seventeenth century onward, race became the...

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Miles Orvell and Klaus Benesch, eds., Rethinking the American City: An International Dialogue. Reviewed by Gerd Hurm
Jul28

Miles Orvell and Klaus Benesch, eds., Rethinking the American City: An International Dialogue. Reviewed by Gerd Hurm

MILES ORVELL and KLAUS BENESCH, eds., Rethinking the American City: An International Dialogue (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2014), 245 pp. Reviewed by Gerd Hurm Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.3 (2014) Paradoxes provide great tools for challenging well-trodden mental paths and for creating alertness in slumbering minds. Henry David Thoreau’s classic “The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us” awakens readers into...

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Reiner Smolinski and Jan Stievermann, eds., Cotton Mather and Biblia Americana – America’s First Bible Commentary: Essays in Reappraisal. Reviewed by Tibor Fabiny
Jun01

Reiner Smolinski and Jan Stievermann, eds., Cotton Mather and Biblia Americana – America’s First Bible Commentary: Essays in Reappraisal. Reviewed by Tibor Fabiny

REINER SMOLINSKI and JAN STIEVERMANN, eds., Cotton Mather and Biblia Americana – America’s First Bible Commentary: Essays in Reappraisal (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck and Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic 2010), 593 pp. Reviewed by Tibor Fabiny Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) Written between 1693 and 1728, Biblia Americana, the longest book of the most prolific American Puritan Cotton Mather (1663-1728), had to wait for...

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Edward Watts and David J. Carlson, eds., John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. Reviewed by Klaus H. Schmidt
Jun01

Edward Watts and David J. Carlson, eds., John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. Reviewed by Klaus H. Schmidt

EDWARD WATTS and DAVID J. CARLSON, eds., John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture (Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2012), xxxiv + 319 pp. Reviewed by Klaus H. Schmidt Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) In many a review, claiming the importance of the volume under discussion is little more than a rhetorical strategy. In the case of John Neal and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, it simply...

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Philip F. Gura, Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel. Reviewed by Philipp Schweighauser
May25

Philip F. Gura, Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel. Reviewed by Philipp Schweighauser

PHILIP F. GURA, Truth’s Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), 352 pp. Reviewed by Philipp Schweighauser Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) When Philip F. Gura, the author of Jonathan Edwards: America’s Evangelical (2005) and editor of Early American Literature, publishes a book subtitled “The Rise of the American Novel,” this marks an event in Early American Studies. And...

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François Specq, Laura Dassow Walls, and Michel Granger, eds., Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon. Reviewed by Johannes Voelz
May25

François Specq, Laura Dassow Walls, and Michel Granger, eds., Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon. Reviewed by Johannes Voelz

FRANÇOIS SPECQ, LAURA DASSOW WALLS, and MICHEL GRANGER, eds., Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon (Athens: U of Georgia P, 2013), 310 pp. Reviewed by Johannes Voelz Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) In June 2009, Thoreau scholars from the United States and Europe (mostly France) convened in Lyon—“the first ever such meeting on European soil devoted to Thoreau,” as the organizers insist...

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Susanne Rohr and Miriam Strube, eds., Revisiting Pragmatism: William James in the New Millennium. Reviewed by Martin Klepper
May18

Susanne Rohr and Miriam Strube, eds., Revisiting Pragmatism: William James in the New Millennium. Reviewed by Martin Klepper

SUSANNE ROHR and MIRIAM STRUBE, eds., Revisiting Pragmatism: William James in the New Millennium (Heidelberg: Winter, 2012), 233 pp. Reviewed by Martin Klepper Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) It is true, as Susanne Rohr and Miriam Strube suggest in the introduction to this volume, that American pragmatism in general and William James in particular still count as something of an embarrassment in mainstream European...

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Kathryn Hume, Aggressive Fiction: Reading the Contemporary American Novel. Reviewed by Birgit Däwes
May18

Kathryn Hume, Aggressive Fiction: Reading the Contemporary American Novel. Reviewed by Birgit Däwes

KATHRYN HUME, Aggressive Fiction: Reading the Contemporary American Novel (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2012), 200 + xiii pp. Reviewed by Birgit Däwes Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) When Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho was published in 1991, Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley called it “a contemptible piece of pornography, the literary equivalent of a snuff flick.” The entire latter part of the text, he writes,...

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Miriam B. Mandel, ed., Hemingway and Africa. Reviewed by Nicole J. Camastra
May18

Miriam B. Mandel, ed., Hemingway and Africa. Reviewed by Nicole J. Camastra

MIRIAM B. MANDEL, ed., Hemingway and Africa (Rochester: Camden House, 2011), 426 pp. Reviewed by Nicole J. Camastra Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) Despite Ernest Hemingway’s discovery of Africa as an adult, he connected the continent to the importance of childhood in the writer’s imagination. For example, his protagonist of the posthumously published The Garden of Eden (1986), David Bourne, writes a short story based on...

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Sebastian M. Herrmann, Carolin Alice Hofmann, Katja Kanzler, and Frank Usbeck, eds., Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres: The Cultural Work of Contemporary American(ized) Narratives. Reviewed by Michael Butter
May12

Sebastian M. Herrmann, Carolin Alice Hofmann, Katja Kanzler, and Frank Usbeck, eds., Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres: The Cultural Work of Contemporary American(ized) Narratives. Reviewed by Michael Butter

SEBASTIAN M. HERRMANN, CAROLIN ALICE HOFMANN, KATJA KANZLER, and FRANK USBECK, eds., Participating Audiences, Imagined Public Spheres: The Cultural Work of Contemporary American(ized) Narratives (Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2012), 172 pp. Reviewed by Michael Butter Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) The volume under review synthesizes two highly productive research paradigms that have informed much work in...

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Ulfried Reichardt, Globalisierung: Literaturen und Kulturen des Globalen. Reviewed by Sigrun Meinig
May12

Ulfried Reichardt, Globalisierung: Literaturen und Kulturen des Globalen. Reviewed by Sigrun Meinig

ULFRIED REICHARDT, Globalisierung: Literaturen und Kulturen des Globalen (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2010), 252 pp. Reviewed by Sigrun Meinig Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014) In dem Studienbuch Globalisierung: Literaturen und Kulturen des Globalen von Ulfried Reichardt bringt das im Zentrum stehende Phänomen eine spezifische Perspektive mit sich. Diese liegt in “ [der] entscheidende[n] Einsicht [...], dass wir von...

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Christof Mauch and Sylvia Mayer, eds., American Environments: Climate—Cultures—Catastrophes. Reviewed by Michael Basseler
May12

Christof Mauch and Sylvia Mayer, eds., American Environments: Climate—Cultures—Catastrophes. Reviewed by Michael Basseler

CHRISTOF MAUCH and SYLVIA MAYER, eds., American Environments: Climate—Cultures—Catastrophes (Heidelberg: Winter 2012), 195pp. Reviewed by Michael Basseler Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.2 (2014)   This collection of essays, based on a 2010 conference at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, displays some of the most recent approaches in environmental humanities by addressing “the connection between...

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Ann-Stephane Schäfer, Auctoritas Patrum? The Reception of the Church Fathers in Puritanism. Reviewed by Tibor Fabiny
Jan07

Ann-Stephane Schäfer, Auctoritas Patrum? The Reception of the Church Fathers in Puritanism. Reviewed by Tibor Fabiny

ANN-STEPHANE SCHÄFER, Auctoritas Patrum? The Reception of the Church Fathers in Puritanism, Mainzer Studien zur Amerikanistik 58 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2012), 449 pp. Reviewed by Tibor Fabiny Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) At first sight, the project seems to be too ambitious, as it proposes to discuss the appropriation of patristic literature by the Puritans in England and New England. The topic presupposes...

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Billy J. Stratton, Buried in Shades of Night: Contested Voices, Indian Captivity, and the Legacy of King Philip’s War. Reviewed by John McWilliams
Dec17

Billy J. Stratton, Buried in Shades of Night: Contested Voices, Indian Captivity, and the Legacy of King Philip’s War. Reviewed by John McWilliams

BILLY J. STRATTON, Buried in Shades of Night: Contested Voices, Indian Captivity, and the Legacy of King Philip’s War (Tucson: U of Arizona P, 2013) 149 pp. Reviewed by John McWilliams Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) During the last forty years, the Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (the much abbreviated title by which The Soveraignty and Goodness of God [1682] is now commonly known) has...

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Daniel Nagel, Von republikanischen Deutschen zu deutsch-amerikanischen Republikanern: Ein Beitrag zum Identitätswandel der deutschen Achtundvierziger in den Vereinigten Staaten 1850-1861. Reviewed by Charlotte A. Lerg
Dec15

Daniel Nagel, Von republikanischen Deutschen zu deutsch-amerikanischen Republikanern: Ein Beitrag zum Identitätswandel der deutschen Achtundvierziger in den Vereinigten Staaten 1850-1861. Reviewed by Charlotte A. Lerg

DANIEL NAGEL, Von republikanischen Deutschen zu deutsch-amerikanischen Republikanern: Ein Beitrag zum Identitätswandel der deutschen Achtundvierziger in den Vereinigten Staaten 1850-1861 (St. Ingbert: Röhrig Universitätsverlag, 2012), 619 pp. Reviewed by Charlotte A. Lerg Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) “Im Rückblick erscheint es zwangsläufig, dass sich die Achtundvierziger früher oder später einer amerikanischen Partei...

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Hannes Bergthaller and Carsten Schinko, eds., Addressing Modernity: Social Systems Theory and U.S. Cultures. Reviewed by Alexander Starre
Dec15

Hannes Bergthaller and Carsten Schinko, eds., Addressing Modernity: Social Systems Theory and U.S. Cultures. Reviewed by Alexander Starre

HANNES BERGTHALLER and CARSTEN SCHINKO, eds., Addressing Modernity: Social Systems Theory and U.S. Cultures (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011), 372 pp. Reviewed by Alexander Starre Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) Niklas Luhmann’s standing in American academic circles over the past decades in many ways suffered from bad timing. The heyday of American cybernetics, which lasted from the New York Macy Conferences in the late 1940s...

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Mike Chasar,  Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America. Reviewed by Timo Müller
Dec12

Mike Chasar, Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America. Reviewed by Timo Müller

MIKE CHASAR, Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America (New York: Columbia UP, 2012), 336 pp. Reviewed by Timo Müller Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) Mike Chasar’s rewarding study takes its cues from the observations that much more poetry was read and written during the modernist period than we assume today and that the canonical masterpieces we associate with the period comprise only a small segment...

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Philipp Dorestal, Style Politics: Mode, Geschlecht und Schwarzsein in den USA, 1943-1975. Reviewed by Steve Estes
Dec12

Philipp Dorestal, Style Politics: Mode, Geschlecht und Schwarzsein in den USA, 1943-1975. Reviewed by Steve Estes

PHILIPP DORESTAL, Style Politics: Mode, Geschlecht und Schwarzsein in den USA, 1943-1975 (Bielefeld: Transcript, 2012), 370 pp. Reviewed by Steve Estes Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) Years after the Black Power era, professor and activist Angela Davis met with a young man who at first did not recognize her. When she explained who she was, the young man exclaimed: “Oh, Angela Davis—the Afro.” For Davis, it was humbling...

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Tomasz Basiuk, Exposures: American Gay Men’s Life Writing Since Stonewall. Reviewed by Dominika Ferens
Dec10

Tomasz Basiuk, Exposures: American Gay Men’s Life Writing Since Stonewall. Reviewed by Dominika Ferens

TOMASZ BASIUK, Exposures: American Gay Men’s Life Writing Since Stonewall (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2013), 398 pp. Reviewed by Dominika Ferens Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) Tomasz Basiuk’s Exposures: American Gay Men’s Life Writing is an ambitious literary analysis of a representative body of autobiographies written in the last fifty years—the first monograph of this scope in English. The decision to begin the...

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René Dietrich, Revising and Remembering (after) the End: American Post-Apocalyptic Poetry Since 1945 from Ginsberg to Forche. Reviewed by James Berger
Dec08

René Dietrich, Revising and Remembering (after) the End: American Post-Apocalyptic Poetry Since 1945 from Ginsberg to Forche. Reviewed by James Berger

RENÉ DIETRICH, Revising and Remembering (after) the End: American Post-Apocalyptic Poetry Since 1945 from Ginsberg to Forche (Trier: WVT, 2012), 254 pp. Reviewed by James Berger Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) Literary studies of the apocalyptic imagination since 1945 are usually studies of narrative, for the representation of apocalyptic endings has most commonly taken the form of the novel or popular film. Such studies...

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Sarika Chandra, Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism. Reviewed by Johannes Voelz
Dec08

Sarika Chandra, Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism. Reviewed by Johannes Voelz

Sarika Chandra, Dislocalism: The Crisis of Globalization and the Remobilizing of Americanism (Columbus: Ohio State UP, 2011), 312 pp. Reviewed by Johannes Voelz Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) Since the 1990s, scholars in American Studies have tried to come to terms with the challenges globalization poses for a field traditionally organized around the nation-state. If transnationalism has seemed to turn this identity...

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Susan M. Schweik, The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public. Reviewed by Andrea Zittlau
Nov27

Susan M. Schweik, The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public. Reviewed by Andrea Zittlau

SUSAN M. SCHWEIK, The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (New York: New York UP, 2009), 429 pp. Reviewed by Andrea Zittlau  Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) In this fundamental text, Susan Schweik connects discourses within the field of disability studies with an analytic approach to law and its ultimate consequences. The exhibition of disabled bodies in freakshows has been discussed extensively in the last decades,...

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Thomas G. Walker, Eligible for Execution: The Story of the Daryl Atkins Case. Reviewed by Anthony Santoro
Nov27

Thomas G. Walker, Eligible for Execution: The Story of the Daryl Atkins Case. Reviewed by Anthony Santoro

THOMAS G. WALKER, Eligible for Execution: The Story of the Daryl Atkins Case (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2008), 284 pp. Reviewed by Anthony Santoro Amerikastudien / American Studies 59.1 (2014) The recent history of the American death penalty has been characterized by a number of rapid shifts. The most notable shift occurred between 1972 and 1976, between the U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration that the death penalty was unconstitutional...

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