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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.

Some of our most-read articles include essays 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: Teaching and Theorizing Transnational American Studies Across the Globe (abstracts due Oct. 31) [call now closed]

JTAS Special Forum coedited by Yuan Shu and Selina Lai-Henderson

What would American Studies look like if the transnational rather than the national were at its center? Since Shelley Fisher Fishkin first challenged us with this question in 2004, scholars in the US and around the globe have redefined the field imaginary, object of study, and methodology of TAS. As transatlantic studies have reshaped the spatially configured Atlantic World, Transpacific Studies have likewise transformed the temporally constructed Pacific from "the Asia Pacific Era" to "America's Pacific Century." While theorizing US empire-building, military intervention, and economic expansion as an extension of the conquest of the Americas, transpacific studies have also promoted decolonization and advocated Indigenous epistemologies in the South Pacific and the Asia Pacific.

Now it is time we shift our attention to how such critical articulations and innovations have played out in our pedagogy and teaching practices around the globe. How do we theorize our teaching i its different forms, modes, and moments mediated by technology? How do we, scholars and instructors in both "the West" and "the Rest," teach and theorize transnational American studies beyond the US? If American Studies was a Cold War product of the 1950s, vis-a-vis Comparative Literature and Area Studies, how have US government-funded programs, centers, and journals worldwide impacted and continued to impact our teaching? How do we relate critical issues in American Studies such as race, gender, class, citizenship, migration and border-crossing to colleagues and students around the world? What does it mean when Asian Americans approach American history the "wrong way," from the Far East of the Asia Pacific to teh Far West of North America, from the West Coast to the East Coast of the US? How do we teach social movements in North America, such as Black Lives Matter, in the Global South? In what ways do transnational American studies continue to matter critically in the era of trump and a Cold War 2.0 between the US and China?

We welcome essays that explore the theoreticl dimensions of teaching transnational American studies, which involve resistance, negotiation, and appropriation for both US and non-US academics. We also look for essays that share personal and empirical experiences based on teaching and theorizing the specific aspects of American studies from thematic focuses such as post-9/11 literature, ethnic American literature, and environmental literature to genre specifics like the graphic novel, video games, Hollywood cinema, and visual and performing arts. Finally, we are interested in special topics ranging from teaching nineteenth-entury Anglo-American representation of the South Pacific to theorizing the Black Atlantic and the Black Pacific, from rereading Vietnam War literature to remapping the current war on terror with special attention to refugee and ecological crises.

Please submit a 250-word abstract by October 31, 2020. The editors will review abstracts and invite full-length essays of 3,500 to 6,000 words including notes and bibliography. Please email abstracts and questions to Dr. Yuan Shu at and Dr. Selina Lai-Henderson at

Call for Papers: Short Essays on the Global Pandemic
CFP now closed (publication Winter 2020) (download CFP)

We invite commentaries of 1,000 to 1,250 words on the pandemic's impact, whether implicit or explicit, on your work as a scholar of transnational American studies. Possible topics include:

-- How are changes in immigration, travel, education, and trade policies in response to the pandemic reshaping transnational perspectives on the US and on American political power?

-- How is US transnational 'leadership' in this global moment of truth arising from the pandemic impacting your research/fieldwork as a teach and scholar?

-- How do US representations of the crisis compare with those in your research territory (Europe, Africa, Austro-Asia, the Americas, and/or Asia) and what do these differences suggest about changes in your research/field/nation and US twenty first-century relations?

-- How are US planning and policies regarding the pandemic viewed in your research/field territory and shaping attitudes toward the US or toward future relationships and expectations?

-- How have US pandemic social and political narratives illuminated fault lines in American society and culture for the scholars in your research field?

-- How has the current pandemic crisis illuminated previously neglected areas of analysis and understanding in transnational American studies, e.g., the significance of the absence of women in US presidential politics?

Please email proposals of one paragraph to Aiko Takeuchi-Demirci ( Full commentaries due end of August for publication in JTAS Winter 2020. The Editors of JTAS hope you will contribute your thoughts and welcome a range of forms, from open-ended questions and comments to poems and short fiction.

Call for Papers: Molecular Intimacies of Empire (abstracts due 1 Aug. 2020) download [call now closed]

This special forum on The Molecular Intimacies of Empire seeks to deepen intellectual connections between New Materialist scholarship (including in environmental humanities, Science and Technology Studies, and material feminism) and transnational American studies by attending to US neo/imperialism's reliance on racialized and uneven molecular intimacies. The concept of the "intimacies of empire" (Ann Laura Stoler) has been tremendously generative in transnational American studies, orienting groundbreaking studies that interrogate such topics as "metroimperial intimacies," "stranger intimacy," "the intimacies of four continents," "the racialization of intimacy," "intimate migrations" and hemispheric "institutions of intimacy" (Victor Mendoza, Nayan Shah, Lisa Lowe, David Eng, Deborah Boehm, Rodrigo Lazo). The Molecular Intimacies of Empire shifts the scale of analysis to empire's mutually constitutive relation with chemical bonds through the simultaneously transnational and "trans-corporeal" (Stacey Alaimo) circulation of foods, flavors, scents, dyes, toxins, plants, pathogens, drugs, chemical processes, and other biological and synthetic materials.

We seek essays and creative works that engage and build on scholarship on the transnational scale of food production and capitalist metabolics (Sidney Mintz, Rachel Lee, Allison Carruth, Alyshia Galvez); the racialization of flavors, scents, and food/scent chemicals such as curry, sucrose, musk, lactose, and monosodium glutamate (Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Erica Fretwell, Sarah Tracy, Robert Ku); the transnational/colonial sourcing, testing, and circulation of pharmaceuticals (Alexa Dietrich, Michael Brown); the uneven geographies of risk that sustain industrial and postindustrial society (Alaimo, Rob Nixon, Michelle Murphy, Vanessa Agard-Jones, Macarena Gomez-Barris); the supposedly unintended biological and ecological effects of chemical and radioactive weapons (Kristen Simmons, Marjin Nieuwenhuis, Edwin Martini, Elizabeth DeLoughrey), and projects of resistance, coalition, and/or futurity grounded in these shifting and frequently toxic molecular intimacies (Jina Kim, Robin Wall Kimmerer). How might we rethink the conditions and/or possibilities of intimacy amidst these "chemical regimes of living" (Murphy)?

Submissions might consider the historical, material, and/or cultural processes that extend US empire and capital accumulation not only across geographic space, but throughout the biochemical constituents to human and nonhuman bodies, minds, and moods; the aesthetic challenges posed by efforts to trace increasing capitalist and military investments in chemosensory processes; and patterns of intersection or divergence between molecular and interpersonal "intimacies."

The editors, David Vázquez and Hsuan Hsu, invite 250-word abstracts due by August 1, 2020. The editors will review abstracts and invite full-length essays and creative works of between 5,000 to 8,000 words in length. Draft full-length essays and creative works will be due no later than February 28, 2021, and should not exceed 8,000 words including endnotes and bibliography.

Please email abstracts to by August 1, 2020. -- Call now closed. Thanks to all who responded.