Andrew S. Gross
The New American Studies Journal: A Forum is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by Göttingen University Press that provides scholars with an alternative to commercial publishers. Building on the accomplishment of American Studies Journal (ASJ), our new title reflects our intention to provide a forum where different people, with different perspectives and specializations, can come together to discuss matters of cultural and political import. We also plan on opening the journal to different communication formats—such as symposia, recorded talks, and podcasts—that promote dialogue and exchange.
Contributors will notice streamlined submission and review procedures, along with a publishing process that ensures article visibility in scholarly databases and archives. Readers will encounter something more than the digital version of a print magazine. These transformations will take time, but issue no. 72 marks the beginning. Thank you for joining us at our new address to enter a forum of vibrant intellectual exchange.
Our first issue, “American Crises” (April 2022), is labeled issue 72 because the origins of the journal go back over several decades—and several name changes—from its first incarnation as a mimeographed newsletter produced in Stuttgart in the early 1960s.
That newsletter was distributed by the Cultural Affairs Unit of the United States Information Service to teachers in Germany. What began as an aid to classroom instruction grew in scope and circulation through the early 1980s, when the triannual American Studies Newsletter (as it was then called) moved its production to Bonn and began to feature articles by scholars of American studies based in Germany and the United States.
With issue no. 38 (April 1996), the publication changed its name to American Studies Journal (ASJ) and teamed up with the German Association for American Studies (GAAS). Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Grabbe, the president of the GAAS at that time, served as editor on behalf of the association. From summer 1999 (no. 43), the American Studies Journal became the responsibility of the Center for United States Studies at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, where Prof. Grabbe taught British and American studies for many years.
The first issue under Grabbe’s editorship in 1996 was “The Internet: How it Came About—How it Affects Society—How it Influences Education.” A little over a decade later the journal went online as www.asjournal.org, where ASJarticles are still available (along with a more detailed version of this part of the journal’s history). The ASJ was the second American studies journal in Europe to make the transition to electronic publishing (the first was the official journal of the European Association of American Studies).
An editorial team assumed responsibility for the ASJ with issue no. 50 (Fall 2007). Besides Prof. Grabbe, its members included Prof. Dr. Alfred Hornung (Mainz), Dr. Martina Kohl (Embassy of the United States of America, Berlin), and Carsten Hummel, who for many years was in charge of website design and maintenance. The composition of the editorial team changed over the years to include, at various times, Prof. Dr. Torben Schmidt (Lüneburg), Prof. Dr. Carmen Birkle (Marburg), Prof. Dr. Heike Paul (Erlangen). Prof. (apl.) Dr. Maria Moss (Lüneburg) also joined the team at this time, and for many years she has been active as the editor of the American Studies Blog, an important feature of the ASJ and now of the NASJ.
Andrew Gross joined the editorial team in 2015 and helped bring the journal to the University of Göttingen, where he is a professor of American literature. Over a process of several years, which included the publication of a transitional issue (no. 71) at the end of 2021, the publication has transformed itself once again. For this reason, this spring we are pleased to announce the launch of the New American Studies Journal: A Forum. The new editorial team includes Ellen Hinsey, Andrew Majeske, Karin Hoepker, Gulsin Ciftci, James Dowthwaite, Julia Nitz, and Wiebke Kartheus (who, like Gross and Moss, has been an active part of the editorial team for several years).