Many of the paradigm shifts and changes in the literary scene of recent years are either closely linked to the literary and cultural practices in North, Central and South America or build on developments in the political, cultural, and social life in these hemispheres (keywords: digital cultures, transnationalism, and inter-/transmediality). A journal on American literatures, which examines these cultural factors in their literary expressions, therefore appears more than timely. As an independent art form, literature is able to register, trace, and narrativize complex cultural developments such as digitization, migration, globalization, trans- and interculturality as well as visuality and intermediality. The literatures of North, Central and South America play a crucial role in the aesthetic negotiation of these complex global processes, channeling them into cultural practices and imbuing them with recognizable aesthetic patterns of representation.

 

The online journal AmLit American Literatures offers a publication forum for scholarly essays from the fields of American, Canadian, and Latin American literary studies that deal with fictional, non-fictional, and graphic texts as well as book reviews. The unique philosophy of the journal is its focus on current questions and discourses in literary studies, especially with regard to the research areas ‘Digital Literature & Cultures’, ‘Transnational & Border Studies’ and ‘Visuality & Trans-/Intermediality.

 

Questions of central relevance include: What significance do literary texts have within global social change? How have the functions of literature changed in the course of these developments, and with which theoretical instruments can we rethink ‘the literary’ today? Which innovative narratives and aesthetic forms are enabled by digitization and intermediation?

 

The methodological orientation of the journal encompasses all major branches of literary studies (African American & Ethnic Studies, Gender, Feminist & Queer Theory, Marxist Theory, New Historicism, Postcolonialism, Socio- Linguistics, Structuralism and Poststructuralism, etc.).

From a thematic point of view, AmLit connects works in a transdisciplinary dialogue on an international level, but places special emphasis on American Studies, Canadian Studies, and Latin American Studies scholars in Europe.

 

The target group for this publication is the academic community, with scholars and advanced students from all European countries, but potentially also from the USA, Canada, Africa, Asia, Australia and Central and South America. The abovementioned thematic links are reflected in the organizational composition of the General Board, which includes representatives of different countries (Austria, Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, UK, Georgia).