AmeriQuests: Narrative, Law and Society is a forum for writing and research about real and metaphorical quests towards America, defined as either an absolute but unachievable objective, or as some place in the Americas. A peer-reviewed, multi-and inter-disciplinary e-journal, AmeriQuests: Narrative, Law and Society was founded by Robert Barsky to contribute in original and creative fashions to the law, the humanities and the social sciences in ways that promote social justice and humanistic studies. Contributions may focus on questions of dislocation, relocation, displacement, homelessness, American dreams and border crossings of all sorts, from the geographical and the social to the psychological. AmeriQuests: Narrative, Law and Society also features special issues, student issues, book reviews and discussion sections to add to its immediacy, its allure and its relevance. AmeriQuests: Narrative, Law and Society consciously interacts with the Law and Society movement, as well as work in literature and law, worldwide. Submissions are accepted on an on-going basis in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

AmeriQuests Volume 12, Number 2 Issue Cover Vol 12, No 2 (2016-17): Worker Self Management on Production, by Lawrence B. Cohen. Edited with introductions by by Robert F. Barsky and Jonathan Cohen, and commentary from Kevin Davis and Gary Roth. This manuscript, written in the late 1940s, offers intimate details regarding the workings of a local union, and provides significant insight into worker decision making. It's hereby presented for the first time, accompanied by commentary that helps situate it within its historical context. The manuscript and the commentaries offer illuminating insights for workers and scholars concerned with shifting power relations in the workplace. This issue also offers commentary on Donald Trump's Executive Orders of January 2017 in regards to refugee rights and sanctuary.

AmeriQuests Volume 12, Number 1 Issue Cover Vol 12, No 1 (2015): Baudelaire, Migration and Cultural Modernisms Edited by Andrea Mirabile and Daniel Ridge, this issue emerges from the second and third conferences on Cultural Modernisms, held at the W.T. Bandy Center, Vanderbilt University. These articles discuss aspects of the migration and reception of modernisms, in Europe and Latin America. Commentaries on the migrant crises in Europe and the Americas, by Robert Barsky and Julius Grey, speak to current issues in border crossings

AmeriQuests Volume 11, Number 2 Issue Cover Vol 11, No 2 (2014): Illegality Regimes: Mapping the Law of Irregular Migration , Edited by Juan M. Amaya-Castro (VU University) and Bas Schotel (University of Amsterdam). Recent years have seen the development of increasingly sophisticated legal and policy approaches to address the phenomenon of irregular immigration. Many states have moved beyond traditional means of law enforcement, such as criminalization, without necessarily abandoning them. In addition, they have begun to employ other areas of law (such as administrative law and labor law) in pursuit of controlling irregular immigration. For example, the verification of legal residence status, by means of ID-controls, has become increasingly necessary in the day to day life of all people: citizens and non-citizens alike. Private citizens, and not government agents, are evolving into the primary enforcers of these policies, as they have been made legally responsible for the control of legal residence status, for example in the case of employment. These legal and policy instruments have sometimes been justified with reference to economic theories, such as 'attrition through enforcement', the broken window theory, and most recently 'self-deportation', a term that ironically originated in a stand-up sketch performed by two Hispanic comedians in the mid '90s. Among economic scholars, a debate about the (lack of) effectiveness of these policies has been growing the last couple of years, and this special issue offers a more rigorous analysis by legal and other social science scholars of these responses to irregular migration.

AmeriQuests Volume 11, Number 1 Issue Cover Vol 11, No 1 (2014): Cultural Modernism in the Americas I: Québec , edited by Robert F. Barsky, Michel Pierssens and Daniel Ridge. This special issue focuses upon the emergence of modernity in Québec, and the ways in which this process was influenced by French modernism. Many of the contributions were originally discussed during an international conference held in the W. T. Bandy Center at Vanderbilt University, home of a remarkable collection of works from the modern period. Future issues of AmeriQuests will document related themes as they apply to Latin America, Italy and Japan, on the basis of conferences planned around the theme of how French modernism's themes and approaches have been understood and assimilated in regions beyond France.

AmeriQuests Volume 10, Number 1 Issue Cover Vol 10, No 1 (2013): The Crises of Capitalism This issue features two seminal works, by Marc Angenot and Julius Grey, that contribute to and expand the field of literature and law by bringing to bear historical and political perspectives from two of Canada's most powerful and crucial voices. In addition, the issue continues AmeriQuests longstanding work in the Americas, in the publication of new fiction, and an on-going commitment to reviewing new titles relating to the missions of the journal.

AmeriQuests Volume 9, Number 1-2 Issue Cover Vol 9, No 1-2 (2012): The Legacies and Futures of the Humanities in North America and Beyond

AmeriQuests Volume 8, Number 1 Issue Cover Vol 8, No 1 (2011): Approaches to the Americas This issue features works that review and assess where we are in Comparative Literary Studies and, through a wide array of book reviews, offers an overview of current approaches to postcolonial studies, and laws relating to obscenity.

AmeriQuests Volume 14, Number 1 Issue 

Volume 7, number 2, "Dance Across Americas" and "The Beat Generation's French Connection. "Dance Across Americas" features a series of three articles on different aspects of dance in the Americas. Guest Editor: Marsha D. Barsky. Inspired by the Beat Generation, this issue also features a group of creative works that speak to the various intersections the Beat writers had with France and with French writers, edited by Robert Barsky. Finally, the growing book review section is devoted to recent works on the intersection between literature and the law.

AmeriQuests Volume 13, Number 1 Issue 


Volume 7, Number 1. “Radicalism in Quebec and the Americas.” This special issue, edited by Robert Barsky, aims to recall, assess and promulgate ideas of radicalism in the Americas, with a special focus on the particularities of Quebec. This issue focuses upon the idea of "America" as an absolute but unachievable objective, and therefore it contains some creative work that expresses ideals and dreams for worlds imagined in time, space and imagination. This issue is dedicated to the memory of Howard Zinn, with whom we communicated about the issue in the course of its preparation, and who died just as we were going to press. We deeply regret his passing.

AmeriQuests Volume 6, Number 1 Issue Cover

Volume 6, Number 1. The cover art titled "Big Smoke"© (artist Charly Palmer) depicts - Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing World Champion in his famous fighting pose. Before and since Johnson's victory in 1908, Black Masculinity has been socially constructed many times over. From villain to hero, from margin to center and back on ideas of manhood, fatherhood, sexuality, political leadership, violence, popular culture, sports, music, education, and psychology, this issue, "On Manliness: Black American Masculinities" Edited by Gilman W. Whiting and Thabiti Lewis, is a timely collection that brings together authors from numerous academic disciplines to investigate Black manhood in 2008, particularly in light of Election 2008. For more information on other works by the artist visit:

AmeriQuests Volume 5, Number 2 Issue Cover

Volume 5, Number 2. In War Inc. Seymour Melman sought to introduce a new generation of readers to his lifelong critique of the operation of the war economy in the United States, and the ongoing process of deindustrialization that has destroyed much of America’s once formidable manufacturing industries. Aimed at a wide variety of readers, the book draws on and synthesizes Professor Melman’s prior research and books, especially Pentagon Capitalism, The Permanent War Economy, and Our Depleted Society. It also extends some of the arguments and research of his major 2001 study, After Capitalism: From Managerialism to Workplace Democracy.

*For those familiar with Melman's work and interested in discussing it, or its relation to the life and work of Zellig Harris, please contact

AmeriQuests Volume 5, Number 1 Issue Cover

Volume 5, Number 1. This special issue is devoted to comparative literary studies, and features examples of such work in the Americas setting, as well as a special commentary section which includes contributions from some of its leading practitioners. Readers are invited to comment on articles, or offer up their own sense of comparative literary work; a discussion section will be mounted to create dialogism within and beyond this issue.

AmeriQuests Volume 4, Number 1 Issue Cover

Volume 4, Number 1. This open issue includes work by Arnold Reisman, who notes in his article that Felix Haurowitz, the great biochemist, survived extermination because, starting in 1933, Turkey offered refuge for many intellectuals who were fleeing the Nazis. America was out of reach for the likes of Haurowitz because of restrictive immigration laws and widespread anti-Semitic hiring and gender bias at its universities.

AmeriQuests Volume 3, Number 2 Issue Cover

Volume 3, Number 2, "Quests Beyond the Ivory Tower: Public Intellectuals, Academia and the Media" Edited by Saleem Ali and Robert Barsky, this special issue of AmeriQuests is comprised of papers and commentaries which were first presented to the MIT Communications Forum entitled “Public Intellectuals and the Academy.” The authors have aggrandized and edited their respective contributions with an eye to creating a collection that approaches this complex subject from a range of perspectives, East and West.

AmeriQuests Volume 3, Number 1 Issue Cover
The image for Volume 3, Number 1, the special issue on "Quebec and Canada in the Americas," is the cover of the Refus globale manifesto: "In 1948, Paul-Emile Borduas, then a little-known painter on the international scene, living in the Province of Quebec, Canada, together with sixteen friends and students, proclaimed publicly a new era in terms of art and social attitudes by publishing a manifesto that they called Refus global." [excerpt from "Borduas -- Then and Now"]

AmeriQuests Volume 2, Number 1 Issue Cover
This photo "Let my mami drive legally" for the Volume 2, Number 1, From the Culture of Borders to Border Cultures issue was taken by Chalene Helmuth in Nashville, TN during the immigration demonstrations of April 2006. The Commentary section of this issue contains her description of a recent conference on "The New Latino Immigration".

AmeriQuests Volume 3, Number 1 Issue CoverThe cover image for Volume 1, Number 1, 'The Paycheck,' is excerpted from "The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers," a photographic and text exhibit created by Rick Nahmias. Recorded in over forty towns across California, the exhibit profiles the stories and lives of the people who supply over half the nation's produce. For more information on the artist, image, or exhibit visit © Rick Nahmias. All Rights Reserved.


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Vol 12, No 2 (2017): Workers and Decision Making on Production, by Lawrence B. Cohen

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'Workers and Decision Making on Production', by Lawrence B. Cohen, edited by Robert F. Barsky and Jonathan Cohen

AmeriQuests: Narrative, Law and Society (1553-4316)