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Introducing Americana

Americana is the undergraduate research journal from the University of Notre Dame’s Department of American Studies. Founded by American Studies major Julianne Downing (Class of 2022), Americana is a student-centered publication. In all aspects of its creation, Americana seeks to achieve these goals:

  • Acknowledge the high-quality and diverse undergraduate research of American Studies (AMST) and the Gallivan Program for Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy (JED) undergraduates 
  • Encourage students to conduct research that explores both popular and academic curiosities relating to American Studies
  • Foster an interdisciplinary conversation between students, past and present
  • Provide opportunities for undergraduate publication

Americana creates an opportunity for AMST and JED undergraduate students to have their work published in an academic journal. By publishing across multiple platforms, Americana widely circulates undergraduate scholarship in the hopes of engaging students outside of the AMST and JED departments. 

Americana includes several genres, including: (1) featured pieces, reflecting exceptional submissions from each issue, and a note from the editors, (2) short informal articles exploring American Studies topics of general interest, (3) longer scholarly essays that reflect academic research conducted in or out of class setting, and (4) multimedia projects. We also invite retrospective pieces, exposing current students to work from alumni, drawing connections between the generations of AMST and JED students. Americana is proud to serve as a unique opportunity for undergraduates to ask questions, pursue academic interests, and strengthen our department’s sense of community.

Americana is supported by the Department of American Studies and The John W. Gallivan Program for Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy. Americana is edited by American Studies majors Julianne Downing (’22) and Mannion McGinley (’23), and advised by Professor Peter Cajka, Director of Undergraduate Studies of the Department of American Studies. 

Now Accepting Spring 2022 Submissions

Submit your work now to be considered for inclusion in Americana
Volume 2, Issue 1 to be published this Spring. Deadline: March 1, 2021.

A Note from the Editors

The launch of Americana marks the launch of a space dedicated to us, the students and alumni of the University of Notre Dame Department of American Studies. We have been so pleased with the excitement already shown through the volume of submissions, and we hope that excitement will only grow as our entire department sees this inaugural issue. We are thrilled to share these papers and projects with you all. This semester our student authors and creators have submitted papers on topics ranging from women’s tennis fashions to Indigenous languages, and creative projects including a playlist, a podcast, and alternative HERE posters.

While Americana is and will continue to be student-created, student-run, and student-centered, we would not have this beautiful journal to share with you without the support of several key faculty and staff members. To Professor Erika Doss—the first person to hear the idea of Americana well before it had a name—who with enthusiasm and no hesitation greenlit the project. To Katie Schlotfeldt, whom we called upon many times for her support and advice, and without whom we would be stuck back in October at some logistical roadblock. To our faculty advisors, Professors Peter Cajka and Richard Jones, who have consistently offered their guidance and expertise, and who have patiently answered many emails that came in the form of uncertain bullet point lists. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Though we may be accessing this site from around the world, we acknowledge our affiliation with the University of Notre Dame and thus our presence on the traditional homelands of Native peoples (even if virtually) including the Haudenosauneega, Miami, Peoria, and particularly the Pokégnek Bodéwadmik, who have been using this land for education for thousands of years, and continue to do so.