Alternative Americas

is the first and currently only peer-reviewed print journal for MA-level American studies scholars in Europe. It is a platform for the best work done by American studies graduate students below the PhD level. It aims to foster academic exchange among young Americanists across Europe, and to thereby advance the field as well as its genuine European perspective on ‘America’ and its presences and effects around the world.

features a general section in addition to a topical one that brings academic works into a dialogue on one common theme. For the upcoming issue, this topical section will be organized around different notions of "Alternative Americas." Please feel free to send in work to have it considered for publication in if

  • you are a student of American studies (or related fields) at a European university and are looking to publish a paper without a topical restriction.
  • or you are a student of American studies (or related fields) at a European university and are looking to publish a paper on "Alternative Americas."

Please see the following Calls for Papers for details. Please also note our style guide at that will give you many helpful instructions on how to prepare your submission for maximum success.

general academic contributions   due 15 October 2017 html | pdf
topical academic contributions due 15 October 2017 html | pdf

Please see our submission guidelines and FAQ section. Submissions should be directed to

1) General Call for Papers

For the general section of its eleventh issue, seeks outstanding academic writing demonstrating the excellence of graduate scholarship, the range of concerns scrutinized in the field of American studies, and the diversity of perspectives employed. We thus explicitly invite revised versions of term papers or chapters from theses written by students of European Master (and equivalent) programs. For this section, there are no topical limitations. Contributions should be up to 7,500 words (including abstract and list of works cited). The submission deadline is October 15, 2017.

2) Topical Call for Papers on "Alternative Americas"

From ‘flyover country’ to ‘coastal liberals,’ from the ‘American heartland’ to ‘urban elites’—the 2016 presidential election engendered numerous debates about where the allegedly ‘real’ America lies. Beyond displaying political divisiveness, each invocation stylizes a vision of the United States that stands as an alternative to the presumed political and cultural mainstream, each locates ‘real’ America in a different place, and each constitutes an attempt at making alternative voices heard—from Americans who feel un- or misrepresented by politicians or neglected by the media, thus trying to reassert themselves into the public sphere.

‘Alternative’ visions of America and of what it means to be American, often cast as competing with or as polar opposites to a perceived mainstream, loom large throughout US culture and history. Whether their fault lines are drawn between rural and urban, conservative and progressive, or young and old, at their core, they form interventions into the status quo: voicing dissent, spotlighting difference and otherness, making the invisible seen and representing the previously unrepresented, criticizing assumed norms, or unearthing forgotten points of view. Implicitly or explicitly, such alternative configurations also highlight the constructedness of the ‘mainstream’ they position themselves against.

For its eleventh issue, aspeers thus dedicates its topical section to “Alternative Americas” and invites European graduate students to critically and analytically explore American literature, (popular) culture, society, history, and politics through the lens of alternative visions of the US. We welcome papers from all fields, methodologies, and approaches comprising American studies as well as inter- and transdisciplinary submissions, ranging from economy and political science to history, media studies, literary and cultural studies, and beyond. Potential paper topics could cover (but are not limited to):

  • Expressions of counterculture, specific subcultures, or other counter-voices to what is considered (the political) mainstream (e.g., the hippie, Beat, Occupy Wall Street, Tea Party, or alt-right movements)

  • Literary and filmic representations of alternatives, e.g., in fantasy and science fiction, (post)apocalyptic narratives, utopias and dystopias, alternate history, or conspiracy fictions

  • Spotlights on the US beyond the mainland, towards its ‘alternate’ fringes—the border zones of the US with other countries, inter-American relations, etc.

  • Anti-normative and alternative social constructions, e.g., alternative religions or family constellations

  • Camp, queerness, and other concepts questioning the ‘norm’ or the ‘natural’

  • Notions of fact and fiction in journalism and politics (e.g., ‘alternative facts’ and fake news)

  • Deconstructions/‘revisions’ of traditional mainstream genres in various media (music, literature, TV, etc.)

aspeers, the first and currently only graduate-level peer-reviewed journal of European American studies, encourages fellow MA students from all fields to reflect on the diverse meanings of “Alternative Americas.” We welcome term papers, excerpts from theses, or papers specifically written for the eleventh issue of aspeers by October 15, 2017. If you are seeking to publish work beyond this topic, please refer to our general Call for Papers. Please consult our submission guidelines and find some additional tips at

PDF icon cfp_2018_topical.pdfPDF icon cfp_2018_general.pdf