Ad Americam <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Ad Americam: Journal of American Studies</em> is an open-access interdisciplinary journal edited once a year at Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Ad Americam publishes double-blind peer-reviewed articles by scholars on North and Latin American history, politics, law, culture, sociology and comparative studies.</p> Księgarnia Akademicka Publishing Ltd. en-US Ad Americam 1896-9461 Front Matter Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 Back Matter Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 “Barren, Silent, Godless“ <p>This paper proposes to explore how, through apocalyptic destruction, a characteristically American landscape in Cormac McCarthy’s <em>The Road</em> has undergone the process of removal of identity, and has, therefore, reverted into the hostile wilderness that marked Early American experience in its attribution of meaning to space. Considering Leo Marx’s “The idea of nature in America,” the journey delineated by both protagonists can be located as the heir to a Puritan tradition and/of American Nature. Yet, in the diegetic postapocalyptic landscape, human senses grow dim and biblical Words grow unspoken, as the potential for civilization turns into silence and a return to dust — and, most importantly, ash. If a characteristically American identity has been obliterated, how can meaning, if any, be found in the same material space it once held? Where can references to the past reside? Ultimately, if a dystopian destruction of both identity and the material plane has subverted American utopian anxiety, in what ways has the possibility of considering American mobility through space in search for meaning turned void? McCarthy’s novel appears to provide no answer. However, as Toni Morrison stated — in “Unspeakable Things Unspoken,” — “a void may be empty, but is not a vacuum.”</p> Gonçalo Dias Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 5 13 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.01 #NeverAgainMSD and the March for Our Lives Movement <p>The United States gives citizens the right to own guns and has developed a specific culture of gun presence in everyday life. However, this privilege raises many controversies, and gun-related deaths are one of the most common causes of death in the U.S. Media often report on tragic shootings in the country. Nonetheless, there is still no clear regulation of legal issues in the field of gun control. This text is devoted to the issue of the March for Our Lives (MFOL) social movement created by a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The movement was established in response to a shooting that occurred at the school on February 14, 2018. The massacre caused shock almost all over the United States and gave rise to a series of great demonstrations in favor of gun control, which turned into the March For Our Lives social movement. Why did this movement appear after the events at the Parkland school, and what was its formation like? Did the term “potential tipping point” in the context of gun control and MFOL come true? What is the balance between the organizers’ assumptions and the actual results? This text analyzes the events of 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and attempts to answer the question about the essence of the March for Our Lives movement.</p> Marek Dziobak Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 15 32 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.02 Food-Insecure from the Start <p>The 2022 infant formula crisis has brought a new meaning to food insecurity, generally understood as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food” (USDA Economic Research Service, Definitions of Food Security). The problem has been affecting a specific social category: people caring for infants. As expected, it exacerbated food insecurity and food worries among low income and minority families, but also impacted families commonly perceived as the middle class. There are no easy solutions to the problem which combines post-pandemic supply disruptions with a decadeslong market concentration in the domestic formula sector, with four companies controlling around 90% of the market supply and virtually none coming from other countries due to steep import tariffs on the most formula (Horsley). Throughout the spring and summer of 2022, the formula crisis served as a proxy for the interplay of economic, political, and social conflicts extant in the United States. Besides direct conflicts, like those between formula manufacturers, families in need of formula, and breastfeeding advocates, there are also post-2020 presidential election conflicts between those who accepted the results and those who rejected them. These conflicts will be examined here, as well as the responsibilities of government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that important food staples such as baby formula meet stringent safety criteria, which — given the current shape of the U.S. food system — could lead to depletion of these very supplies when problems arise. While the blame game continues and becomes political, with fingers being pointed at manufacturers, government agencies, the Biden administration and even the babies of migrants detained at the U.S. borders, no longterm policies preventing such a crisis in the future have been established. The measures implemented by the Biden administration to alleviate the problem, including 26 events of Operation Fly Formula to transport infant milk to the U.S. from various parts of the world, reduced the crisis only to a certain extent. Much bolder steps against market concentration in the milk formula sector and towards a smarter imports policy and better hygiene standards in production facilities must be taken to increase the food security of infants and young children in the United States.</p> Anna Jastrzębiec-Witowska Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 33 55 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.03 Canadian Federal Policies and the Inuit Youth Suicide Crisis <p>Since the late 1980s, an unusually high number of suicides and cases of self-harm has been recorded among the Indigenous inhabitants of the Canadian Arctic, the Inuit. The statistics on child and adolescent suicides are particularly drastic. This situation appears to be primarily a symptom of historical trauma which was acquired due to the colonization and assimilation processes and passed down from generation to generation. Federal policies, such as forced relocations and residential schools, have directly contributed to the severing of family ties and the abandonment of traditional lifestyles. Over the years, the federal government tried to address the issue of the Inuit youth suicide crisis through various proposals. The best strategies to end the suicide crisis seem to be the respect and incorporation of Indigenous leadership, upholding local traditions and ceremonies, as well as investing in psychological support and family therapy for the first inhabitants of the Arctic. To effectively address the problem, the solution must be comprehensive and Inuit-specific rather than symptom-focused. This article discusses how particular federal policies and programs in northern Canada have impacted the communal well-being of the Inuit, and it outlines the most important strategies aiming at decreasing suicide rates among Inuit youth.</p> Gabriela Kwiatek Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 57 70 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.04 The Problem with a Peremptory Challange – a Tool of Racial Discrimination Within American Jury Selection Process <p>Jury duty serves as one of the fundamental pillars of American democracy, for it encourages direct citizen participation. Yet, the process of selecting its members is characterised by a flaw in form of a peremptory challenge — a tool with considerable potential for abuse since it permits covert discrimination against members of visible minority groups. Despite not being a procedural right protected by the Constitution of the United States, peremptories have entered the canon of provisions thought to be necessary for preserving the fairness of trial due to their long history of employment in the legal system. In the late 1980s, the Supreme Court in Batson v. Kentucky ruled the exclusion of jurors solely on the basis of their race to be unconstitutional and established the first preventative procedural standard against dubious usage of peremptories in form of the Batson Rule. The effectiveness of the said standard remains questionable, for it did not successfully deal with racial discrimination during voir dire but only enabled to formally object to the questionable juror’s strike. This paper aims to put racial discrimination within the American jury system into a historical perspective, analyze the arguments of both the supporters and the opponents of further peremptory challenge usage and consider probable alternatives that might be implemented to successfully prevent discriminatory practices within the American jury selection process.</p> Iga Machnik Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 71 81 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.05 From Ipanema Across the Ocean – Brazil’s Image Abroad Through Music <p>Brazilian music carries strong characteristics of its people and has become one of the most recognizable features of the country abroad. In this study, I analyze how Brazil is pictured overseas by the means of music as an element of soft power of the country. Nonetheless, I bring attention to the importance of self-awareness of the Brazilian identity and its relations with the image that the country has abroad. I address the issue through analysis of the cases of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carmem Miranda, bossa nova, and heavy metal. In this analysis, the role of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also taken into account. I suggest that Oswald de Andrade’s anthropophagic idea can apply to the reflections of Brazilians towards their image abroad.</p> Carlos Panek Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 83 99 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.06 Québec Separatism in the Polish Weekly Newspaper Czas [Polish Times] <p>Some processes in every country’s history are significant and well-known to any scholar who is interested in the subject. In the history of Canada, there are many processes of this kind, for example relations with the Indigenous People or attitude towards immigrants. Québec separatism is one of these processes. There are a lot of publications and vivid discussions about this issue, however, they lack opinions from ethnic groups other than English speakers. This paper presents the history of Québec separatism from 1960 to 1980 seen through the eyes of Poles in Canada and expressed in <em>Czas</em> [<em>Polish Times</em>] — a weekly newspaper published by the Polish Diaspora in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is a city in the prairies distant from Québec and the second largest agglomeration of Poles in Canada after Toronto. Czas was the only newspaper in that area which shaped the opinions of Polish speakers. The author used content analysis to best show the various aspects of research. This paper aims to present different views on Québec separatism that changed over time from ignorance through compromise, warnings, and danger to the first separatist referendum in 1980. The elaboration proves that even though there were not many original articles about Québec separatism in Czas — many of them were reprints from other papers, the Polish Diaspora was involved in keeping Canada united. It was a result of devotion to the Land of Maple Leaf as well as a reflection of the situation in Poland.</p> Kamila Przygoda Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 101 114 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.07 Eviction Moratorium in the New York State During the COVID-19 Pandemic <p>The work aims to analyze and compare the development of the legal solutions for the eviction crisis that were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic in the New York State by each branch of the authorities. The issue will be studied by analyzing documents introduced by the legislature, executive branch and judiciary, dealing with the prohibition of evicting tenants from residential and commercial premises during the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper will analyze short-term solutions in the form of ordinances, as well as long-term solutions in the form of laws. Furthermore, it will try to demonstrate the minor contradictions, problems, and complexities involved with the bifurcation of the introduced legal solutions, and to show that eviction moratoria in the New York State did not provide total protection and assistance to tenants, as well as that their solutions were rather short-term. The paper will also present solutions from the federal level and compare them to state solutions in order to show the difference in approach. The article will also demonstrate that acting at the state and local level, on a smaller scale, is more effective because it is easier to reach a specific group of stakeholders. Moreover, a change in the nature of legal solutions introduced at the state level will be observed, which was caused by the change of a governor general of the New York State and the Supreme Court’s ruling that one of the laws was illegal — the paper will show how this ban was circumvented by the new state authorities.</p> Aleksandra Rachwał Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 115 128 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.08 The American Revolutionary Spirit <p>The formation of Whitman’s poetics can be explained from various perspectives: mystical experience, Transcendentalism, politics, sexuality, and so on. Among these factors, the essay aims to study Whitman’s poetics in the context of politics, especially concerning the continuation of the spirit of ’76 — the American Revolutionary spirit. The essay emphasizes the influence of Jefferson on Whitman, particularly Jefferson’s ward system — the link so far overlooked — and argues that it has bearing on Whitman’s poetics. Jefferson sought the continuation of the American experiment of self-government, and, in this context, proposed a ward system — the county subdivision into smaller units. I will demonstrate that Whitman the Journalist showed great interest in Jefferson’s ward system, and that this new link puts Whitman’s poetics in a new light; Whitman’s “interior American republic” is a further subdivision of Jefferson’s “ward republic.” Before Whitman sought to solve the paradox of the individual and mass as well as the states and federal government — as the essay argues — Whitman, like Jefferson, needed to grapple with the paradox of the revolutionary spirit which includes contradictory elements, i.e. the spirit of the new and the concern with stability based on it.</p> Kiyotaka Sueyoshi Copyright (c) 2023 2023-11-29 2023-11-29 24 129 145 10.12797/AdAmericam.24.2023.24.09