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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Call for Papers

Currently accepting articles on a rolling submission basis.

We particularly welcome scholarship--both from within and beyond the US--that engages in framing American Studies from a transnational perspective in a critical and self-reflective manner. Every issue of JTAS features individual articles and we also frequently provide special issues focusing on specific themes chosen by guest editors. These Special Forum issues have individual submission deadlines that can be found below.

Some of our most popular articles include work by Belinda Edmondson, Francis Donette, Mimi Sheller, and critical conversations on Redefinitions of Citizenship and Revisions of Cosmopolitanism, New Perspectives on Mark Twain's "The War-Prayer", and Charting Transnational Native American Studies.

See submission guidelines here.

Call for Papers:  Special Forum in the Journal of Transnational American Studies

                                         Global Huck: Mapping the Cultural Work of
                            Translations of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Editors: Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Stanford University, USA), Ronald Jenn (Université de Lille, France), Selina Lai-Henderson (Duke Kunshan University, China), Tsuyoshi Ishihara (University of Tokyo, Japan), Holger Kersten (University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)


Global Huck: This Special Forum will explore the cultural work done by translations of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn around the world. It will examine how a range of social, cultural, political, and historical contexts—as well as the agendas of translators and publishers and the expectations of readers—have shaped responses to the novel outside of the US from its publication to the present.  As of 2019, the novel has been translated into at least sixty-three languages, with multiple editions in many languages.



We particularly welcome contributions in the following areas (but are open to many others):

§  How specific translations handle Twain’s social critique

§  What translators’ and editors’ omissions reveal about their social and political anxieties and blind spots

§  How translations intervene in cultural conversations about childhood, education, authority, race, slavery, morality, religion, language politics, dialect, etc., in various countries at various moments in time

§  Comparative discussions of the illustrations 

§  How translators deal with offensive racial epithets

§  The influence of translations of Huckleberry Finn on later writers in particular countries

§  How translations shape attitudes about the US around the world

§  How Twain’s humor translates

§  Adaptations and uses of the novel in films, anime, music, advertising, popular culture, etc.

Essays may be comparative in nature, or may focus on a particular translation. We also welcome theoretical translation studies essays on transnational issues rooted in translations of Huckleberry Finn; and short essays by translators on the challenges of translating particular passages (such as Pap’s “Call this a govment” rant in Chapter 6 and Huck’s battle with his conscience ending with “All right then, I’ll go to hell!” in Chapter 31).

While we are open to studies of the racial politics of the novel in a broad range of global contexts, we particularly welcome investigations of this topic in

·      the Afrikaans translation by famous anti-apartheid writer André Brink (Capetown. 1963)

·       the Portuguese translation by celebrated São Tomé-born Afro-Portuguese poet José Tenreiro (Lisbon,1973

We also welcome examinations of the cultural politics of neglected translations including

·      the Yiddish translation published in Kiev in 1929

·      Vietnamese versions published in Hanoi and Saigon in the 1960s

·      translations in languages of the former Soviet Union (Armenian, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Tatar, and Turkmen) and languages of the Baltic countries (Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian)

·      translations into languages of the India sub-continent (Assamese, Bengali, Gujarat, Hindi, and Telugu)

Note: Editors may be able to help with locating particular translations. Just write to us to enquire: 


Proposals of up to 400 words should be sent to along with a short bio of the author. We welcome traditional articles of 4,000 to 6,000 words or micro-essays of 1,200 words.



Proposals are due by 1 January 2020

Notification of acceptance by 1 February 2020

Final essays due 15 June 2020                      

Publication will be contingent on acceptance by peer-reviewers and the JTAS editorial board. Essays should be in English. They may include direct quotations in other languages alongside English translations of those quotations.


The first book-length study of Mark Twain published anywhere came out in Paris in 1884, penned by French critic Henry Gauthier-Villard. Scholars who have examined Mark Twain’s international appeal include Archibald Henderson (1911), Roger Asselineau (1954), Howard Baetzhold (1970), Robert M. Rodney (1982), Carl Dolmetsch (1993), Holger Kersten (1993, 1999, 2005), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (1997, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2019), Raphaele Berthele (2000), Judith Lavoie (2002), Tsuyoshi Ishihara (2005), Ronald Jenn (2006), Selina Lai-Henderson (2015), and Paula Harrington and Ronald Jenn (2017). 

Asselineau, Roger. The Literary Reputation of Mark Twain from 1910 to 1950: A Critical Essay and Bibliography. Paris: Librairie Marcel Didier, 1954.

Berthele, Raphaele. “Translating African-American Vernacular English into German: The Problem of ‘Jim’ in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 4, no. 4 (2000): 588–613.

Baetzhold, Howard G. Mark Twain and John Bull: The British Connection. Bloomington: University of Indiana University Press, 1970.

Dolmetsch, Carl. “Our Famous Guest”: Mark Twain in Vienna. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1993.

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher. “American Literature in Transnational Perspective: The Case of Mark Twain.”  Blackwell Companion to American Literary Studies.” Edited by Caroline  F. Levander and Robert S. Levine. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

———. “DEEP MAPS: A Brief for Digital Palimpsest Mapping Projects (DPMPs) or ‘Deep Maps.’” Journal of Transnational American Studies. 3:2.

Winter 2011.

———. Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

———. “‘Originally of Missouri, Now of the Universe’: Mark Twain and the World.”  In Nadja Gernalzick and Heike C. Spickermann, eds. Developing Transnational American Studies. Heidelberg: Winter, 2019.

———. “Transnational Twain.” In American Studies as Transnational Practice, edited by

Donald Pease and Yuan Shu.  University Press of New England, 2015.

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher, editor. The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on his Life and Works. New York: Library of America, 2010.

Gauthier-Villars, Henry. Mark Twain. Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1884.

Henderson, Archibald. Mark Twain. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1911.

Ishihara, Tsuyoshi. Mark Twain in Japan: The Cultural Reception of an American Icon. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2005.

Jenn, Ronald. “From American Frontier to European Borders: Publishing French Translations of Mark Twain’s Novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (1884–1963).” Book History 9 (2006): 235–60.

Jenn, Ronald, and Paula Harrington. Mark Twain and France: The Making of a New American Identity. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2017.

Kersten, Holger. “Mark Twain and Continental Europe.” In A Companion to Mark Twain, edited by Peter Messent and Louis J. Budd. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.

———. “‘Human Natur in a Forren Aspeck’: Mark Twain’s Encounters with German Culture.” Mark Twain Review (The Mark Twain Circle of Korea) 4 (1999): 47–72.

———. Von Hannibal nach Heidelberg: Mark Twain und die Deutschen. [From Hannibal to Heidelberg: Mark Twain and the Germans]. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 1993.

Lai-Henderson, Selina. Mark Twain in China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

Lavoie, Judith. Mark Twain et la parole noir. Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 2001.

Rodney, Robert M., editor and compiler. Mark Twain International: A Bibliography and Interpretation of his Worldwide Popularity. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1982.


Journal: The Journal of Transnational American Studies is a peer-reviewed, open-access online journal sponsored and Stanford University’s Program in American Studies, and UC Santa Barbara’s American Cultures and Global Contexts Center and supported by the UC-Davis Department of American Studies and Department of English. Founded in 2009, JTAS is hosted on the eScholarship Repository of the California Digital Library.

Call for Papers: Special Forum on Transnational Nuclear Imperialisms

Deadline for abstracts: 1 September 2019

Nuclear imperialism is neither an issue of the past that ended with the last atomic explosion, nor a threat looming in a more or less distant future tied to the whims of unpredictable world leaders. It is very much a daily reality, particularly for the Indigenous people whose land has been stolen to conduct nuclear tests, and whose bodies have been exploited to study the effects of radiations on human beings. The US and its allies have forged transnational networks of nuclear imperialism, collaborating while competing to build ever more weapons of mass destruction, unearth ever more uranium from Indigenous soil, and stockpile ever more nuclearized missiles on Indigenous land. These complex transnational alliances resulted in forced relocation, “wastelanding,” human experimentation, and other forms of imperial aggression suffered primarily by Indigenous peoples. However, these Cold War collaborations are mirrored by South-South transnational networks of resistance, uniting Indigenous people from Bikini, Kwajalein, Tureia, Hao, Maralinga, New Mexico, Hammaguir, and beyond. 

This special issue for the Journal of Transnational American Studies calls for submissions exploring the impact of nuclear imperialism on Indigenous communities, and the networks of Indigenous opposition to the nuclear industrial complex forged by America and its allies. How does a transindigenous approach reframe our understanding of US nuclear colonialism? What role does environmental racism play in these alliances? How have anti-nuclear coalitions been—or might be—forged across the lines of language, culture, and nation?

We welcome papers exploring comparative nuclear imperialisms and their effects on American studies. We are particularly interested in analyzing the modalities of transnational grassroots resistance to atomic technologies, be they related to civil or military nuclear activity. This includes, but is not limited to, issues related to uranium mining, submarine routes, nuclear bases, the testing and stocking of missile, the use of depleted uranium, food irradiation, nuclear waste disposal, dumping, and leaking, as well as nuclear testing and nuclear explosions. The radioactive currents produced by these civil and military industries unite American, French, and other empires through new transnational circuits of toxicity.

We seek submissions from scholars and artists interested in exploring the temporalities of nuclear colonialism developed in Indigenous futurism, hegemonic dystopian narratives, and critiques of doomsday speculation. We hope to be in discussion with scholars interested in environmental humanities / Ecocriticism, Indigenous studies, postcolonial studies, critical race studies, diaspora studies, Asia-Pacific studies, Transpacific studies, critical militarism studies, and energy humanities. We would like this issue to reflect the diversity of genres mobilized by Indigenous networks of resistance, and welcome submissions analyzing #DigitalActivism, artworks, oral testimonies, literary work, media narratives, political speeches, and visual cultural production.

Please send 300-word abstracts to Rebecca Hogue and Anaïs Maurer at by September 1, 2019. Full articles of 5,000 to 8,000 words due by January 1, 2020.

Appel à contributions

Journal of Transnational American Studies  

Impérialismes nucléaires transnationaux  

Mots-clés: nucléaire, autochtone, impérialisme, transnationalisme Sud/Sud  

L’impérialisme nucléaire n’est ni un péril dépassé, qui se serait achevé avec la fin de la guerre froide, ni une menace imminente, qui serait plus ou moins d’actualité selon les caprices d’imprévisibles dirigeants mondiaux. C’est une réalité quotidienne, en particulier pour les peuples autochtones dont les terres ont été volées pour servir de sites d’essais nucléaires, et dont les corps ont été exploités pour étudier les effets des radiations sur les êtres humains. Les États-Unis et leurs alliés ont forgé des réseaux transnationaux, alliant collaboration et rivalité pour construire toujours plus d'armes de destruction massive, extraire toujours plus d'uranium des sols autochtones, et stocker toujours plus de missiles nucléaires en terre colonisée. Ces alliances transnationales complexes ont entraîné la délocalisation forcée de nombreuses communautés autochtones, leur assujettissement à des expérimentations scientifiques sur des êtres humains, et la destruction de leur environnement, entre autres formes d'agression impériale. Cependant, ces collaborations entre pays nucléarisés peuvent être mises en miroir avec des réseaux de résistance Sud-Sud, unissant les peuples autochtones de Bikini, Kwajalein, Tureia, Hao, Maralinga, Nouveau-Mexique, Hammaguir, et au-delà.  

Ce numéro spécial de la revue Journal of Transnational American Studies recherche des contributions explorant l’impact de l’impérialisme nucléaire sur les communautés autochtones, et analysant les oppositions au complexe industriel nucléaire de l'Amérique et de ses alliés. Comment une approche transnationale et centrée sur les logiques océaniennes autochtones peut-elle permettre de repenser le colonialisme nucléaire? Quel rôle le racisme environnemental joue-t-il dans ces alliances nucléarisées? Comment les coalitions anti-nucléaires ont-elles été (ou pourraient-elles être) forgées au delà des frontières linguistiques, culturelles, et nationales?

Nous sollicitons des articles explorant l’impérialisme nucléaire dans une perspective comparative, et se proposant de provincialiser les études américanistes.

Nous nous intéressons tout particulièrement à l’analyse des résistances transnationales aux technologies atomiques, qu’elles soient liées au nucléaire civil ou militaire. Ceci comprend, sans toutefois s'y limiter, les questions liées à l'extraction de l'uranium, aux réseaux créés par les sous-marins nucléaires, aux bases militaires nucléarisées, mais aussi au stockage de missiles nucléaires, à l'utilisation d'uranium appauvri, à l'irradiation des aliments, à l'élimination, l’immersion, et les fuites de déchets radioactifs, ainsi qu’aux essais et aux attaques nucléaires. Les réseaux produits par ces industries civiles et militaires unissent les forces impérialistes américaines, françaises, britanniques et autres à travers de nouveaux circuits transnationaux de toxicité radioactive.

Nous faisons appel aux chercheurs s’intéressant aux représentations du colonialisme nucléaire, développées notamment par le futurisme autochtone, les récits dystopiques hégémoniques, et les critiques de la spéculation apocalyptique. Nous souhaitons initier une discussion entre chercheurs spécialisés en sciences humaines environnementales, et se réclamant des études autochtones, postcoloniales, diasporiques, transpacifiques, et militaristes. Nous aimerions que ce numéro reflète la diversité des genres mobilisés par réseaux de résistance des peuples autochtones, et espérons recevoir des contributions analysant #ActivismeNumérique, œuvres d'art, témoignages oraux, œuvres littéraires, récits médiatiques, discours politiques et production culturelle visuelle.

Veuillez envoyer vos proposition de contribution (300 mots) à Rebecca Hogue et Anaïs Maurer avant le 1er septembre 2019, à Les articles complets, entre 5 000 et 8 000 mots, seront à soumettre, en anglais, le 1er janvier 2020.   

Call for Papers:
American Studies within the Post-Arab Spring Context
[call now closed]

Editor: Eid Mohamed (Doha Institute, co-editor of Tahrir Square and Beyond: Critical Perspectives On Politics, Law and Security, Indiana University Press)

The field of American Studies has problematized concepts such as nation and identity, and shown the underlying conditions giving rise to, as well as the damaging effects of American exceptionalism. This Special Forum is envisioned to be aligned with the impact of transnationalism on American studies, as demonstrated through its planned emphasis on multidirectional processes of cultural exchange and transfer. It aims to take American studies beyond its traditional geographical and disciplinary limits, in ways that highlight the critical power of non-American-based paradigms of knowledge. It forwards the call for both new critical vocabularies and scholarship that foregrounds subaltern voices from the global South as the actors and agents of globalized modernity.

This Special Forum is intended to rethink the field of American Studies within the context of current global events– variable, rather than exceptional. It aims to consider what we might gain from global analysis, beginning from spaces of rebellion, exposed by the Arab Spring and sites like Tahrir Square, Zuccotti Park, Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the US, and the 2012 Quebec student protests in Canada. Contributions are welcome by scholars from around the globe who work in American Studies or closely related fields to assay a truly global ambit of analysis, beyond the transnational turn to not only acknowledge the interconnectedness of global developments in political economy but also provide the means to extend and deepen critiques of the myth of American exceptionalism.


We are interested in scholarly works that examine themes related but not limited to the following:


·         The racialization of Islam within a continuum of imperialism and the fight for civil rights and liberation.

·         How cultural texts like film, new media, fiction, or comics transform the public sphere and imagine community to enable or inhibit social change. 

·         How Arabs, Americans, African Americans and other groups construct national and transnational identities in light of local, regional, and global bio- and geo-politics.

·         The heterogeneity of dissenters mobilized by internationalized “threat” and claims to space.

·         What it is to do “American” Studies in a global context, while remaining attuned to interdisciplinary study as shaped by local contexts.

·         The post-Arab Spring dynamics and its impact on American Studies as a field of study and its teaching outside the US.

Please submit manuscripts electronically to the following email address: Submissions should be received by 15 June 2019. (CFP now closed)

Queries can be sent to

Manuscripts should range between 4,000-6,000 words, including notes and works cited, must follow the Chicago Manual of Style, and include an abstract (not to exceed 250 words). Submission should follow the Submissions guidelines for JTAS.

Call for Papers:
Special Forum on Archipelagoes, Oceans, and American Visuality
[now closed]

This JTAS Special Forum asks scholars of the transnational turn to pause in our thinking across nations to contemplate the shifting and suggestive spaces that have both constituted and functioned to unravel national narratives: oceans, islands, and archipelagoes.

For Americanist cultural critics, the continent has been king among geographical forms, and the continental model central to a general practice of Americanist transnational analysis. Yet recent work in US American and hemispheric American contexts has showcased the continental narrative’s erosion when faced with the materiality of oceanic and archipelagic spaces. This forum explores new understandings of transnational relations produced as we invert traditional geographic paradigms and consider the globe not as a collection of continents surrounded by water, but as oceanic space comprising and bordering landmasses. In other terms, what if oceans and the islands they contain were perceived not as negative space around continents but as the positive space that defines postcontinental geography and throws transnational relationships into relief?

As a means of both illustrating and pursuing this possibility, this special forum invites essays and works of art engaging postcontinental frameworks that suggest how the Americas have not only been affiliated with islands, archipelagoes, and oceans, but how the Americas have been unexpectedly constituted by archipelagic and oceanic spaces.

We seek proposals from scholars and artists working in dialogue with these postcontinental frameworks. As land-water assemblages, archipelagoes are both a topic and a model for this forum, which invites scholars from a range of disciplines (including, but not limited to, literature, history, cultural studies, visual arts, and design) to conceive of their areas of specialty in terms of their relation to a larger theoretical project. Specifically, we are looking for submissions that address archipelagoes, islands, and/or oceans in the context of America-related visual cultures including maps, popular illustrations, photography, star charts, visual art, landscape art, television/film, and other media that may range widely in geographical and temporal scope from the American hemisphere to wider planetary oceans and archipelagoes, and from early forgings of Indigenous and settler colonial notions of America to the present day.

For scholarly articles, abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to Mary Eyring ( by 30 June 2017. Full articles are due by 1 December 2017. [CFP now closed]

American Territorialities (A Special Forum of JTAS)

Call for Papers download as PDF Deadline 30 April 2018 [call now closed]

This special forum of the Journal for Transnational American Studies is situated in the context of contemporary critical discussions of the nation-state, transnationalism, and globalization, but insists on a longer historical perspective and places its focus specifically on the United States. It is setting out to explore the historical and contemporary relationship between sovereignty, territoriality, and jurisdiction in the context of US-American colonial/imperial processes. Placing conceptions of territoriality at the center of analysis, the special forum takes as its starting point the definition of territoriality as “spatially defined political rule” (Miles Kahler and Barbara Walter, “Territoriality and Conflict in an Era of Globalization” 5).

As “territorial regimes,” modern nation-states have been described as enforcing the dual principles of “border limitation” and “jurisdictional congruence” (Kahler and Walter 5). Critics have argued that processes of globalization currently necessitate a reconceptualization of territoriality, now perceived as “unbundled” from notions of clear borders and uninterrupted sovereignty and/or jurisdiction. At the same time, earlier periods of American history also provide examples for territory conceived of as dynamic, overlapping, contested, or “unbundled”—both in US imperial endeavors and in movements contesting them. This includes US imperialism’s creation of “fuzzy borders,” but also African Americans’ creation of Maroon societies, past and present Puerto Rican conceptions of independence, or the historical and ongoing movements of Native American and indigenous rights and resurgence. This special forum intends to explore territoriality as “land and water-based practices” (Hōkūlani Aikau, “Following the Alaloa Kīpapa of Our Ancestors”), narratives, and visualizations. We invite contributions that analyze how such texts and practices have been used to create and enforce the US-American nation as “territorial regime,” as well as contributions that highlight how such texts and practices have served—and serve—to contest this regime and envision or create alternatives.

In literary and cultural studies, this special forum seeks to encourage conversations between fields like the study of American imperialism, postcolonialism, Native American studies, border studies, African American studies, and Caribbean, Atlantic, and transpacific studies, which all critically relate to the nation-state as well as the nation as a discursive construct (cf. Vormann, “Who needs American studies?” 390-93). In addressing the questions of borders and jurisdiction, we also ask for contributions from scholars in geography and legal studies interested in exploring the cultural and political specificities of legal texts and maps, or in addressing the way in which stories or songs can function as legal assumptions and practices, as cognitive maps, or as navigational tools.

The special forum invites submissions addressing, but not limited to, the following subjects:

  • The interrelationship of diverse US imperialisms (continental, Caribbean, Pacific, global) seen through the lens of territoriality

  • The territoriality of US imperialism and US nationhood; the relationship of transnationalism and imperialism

  • Conceptualizations of territory in sovereignty and independence movements envisioned by people, peoples, communities, and groups affected by US territorial rule

  • Theorizing water as territory; the cultural, legal, and political representations of the people who enter the US from the sea or who dwell in oceanic areas placed within US sovereignty

  • Non-statist but land- or water-based conceptualizations of nationhood

  • The relation of place-based theories such as extraterritoriality in legal studies or scale theory in geography to theories more current in American studies, such as border theory or archipelagic theory

    Applications should include an abstract of the proposed contribution (about 500 words) and a short CV. Please submit your application by April 30, 2018 to:

Guest Editors:

Prof. Dr. Nicole Waller
American Literature and Culture Department of English and American Studies
University of Potsdam
Building 19, Room 0.19
Am Neuen Palais 10
14469 Potsdam

+49 331-977-4274

Jens Temmen, M.A. Doctoral Fellow
Graduate School
“Minor Cosmopolitanisms“ University of Potsdam Building 2, Room 1.11

Am Neuen Palais 10 14469 Potsdam Germany

+49 331-977-4722