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> en-US (Department of Scientific Journals, Ksiegarnia Akademicka Publishing) (Author’s Support) Tue, 07 Jun 2022 09:06:08 +0200 OJS 60 Front Matter Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Back Matter Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Primeiro Comando da Capital and Comando Vermelho <p>The era of the military junta left a legacy of draconian laws and inhumane prison conditions. The lack of effective reforms led to the rise of the prison gangs Comando Vermelho in the city of Rio de Janeiro and Primeiro Comando da Capital in the city of São Paulo. Ineffective state government policies based on relocation of problem prisoners and initial denial of their existence not only accelerated the expansion of the CV and PCC gangs in the prisons themselves but also enabled them to infiltrate the favelas. Members of the Comando Vermelho and the Primeiro Comando da Capital gangs took advantage of inequalities and racial discrimination that had existed since colonial times to maintain a negative image of the state and white elites while gaining support and potential recruits. The cocaine boom of the 1980s and the associated development of the narco-business provided the gangs with a lucrative source of income, but at the same time became a flashpoint between them, generating conflicts. Parallel with the emergence of organized crime, a multidimensional phenomenon called narco-culture arose and began to permeate popular culture. Though it, members of gangs and drug cartels sought to legitimize and gain social acceptance for narco-business, drug consumption, and their own criminal operations at the expense of lowering the authority of the state.</p> Kamil Jański Copyright (c) 2022 Kamil Jański Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Food Is Different During the Pandemic <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has left no area of human life unaffected and the food system in its global, regional, or micro manifestations is not an exception. The images of empty store shelves caused by lockdowns stirred a lot of anxiety among consumers in the so-called First World. At the same time, thousands of miles away, in the developing and underdeveloped countries, where having a meal is never taken for granted, people suffered the harshest consequences of any pandemic-related instability in the food system. Both these realities deserve intellectual reflection, with the former being far more intricate than its media portrayals and therefore will be explored further in this work. This paper aims to study the COVID-19 impact on food systems in developed countries such as the United States and Canada, as well as the challenges to the food security they face during the pandemic. It offers a top-down approach, starting with the definition of food security, and highlighting some crucial aspects of food access and food availability, which has been compromised by the spread of coronavirus in the two countries. Detailed analysis of responses to the pandemic-related food security problems in both countries will be offered as well. The right to food is presented here as a human right, and the links between that right and the concept of food security are brought out. The pandemic wreaked havoc on food security in many parts of the world, including the affluent, but at the same time revealed its fragility and the need for continuous monitoring, re-assessment, and improvement through more effective food programs. The emerging sliver of hope for a more just postpandemic food system should not be ignored.</p> Anna Jastrzębiec-Witowska Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 The Squash that Conquered America: Pumpkin Symbolism in the United States <p>Pumpkin has always played an important role in American culture. Throughout history, it carried a plethora of meanings and connotations. Since European arrival to the New World, the meaning of the squash changed drastically from a product crucial for survival due to its practical features to the one that carries primarily a symbolic meaning. The shift happened by series of small changes with a significant impact of fall holidays: Thanksgiving and Halloween. Thanks to them, the squash began to be associated not only with the seasonal traditions, but with America itself. The pumpkin constantly appears in cultural texts such as poems and graphics, usually as a symbol of the fall or one of the holidays of that part of the year, although some representations depict it as an emblem of the American nation. Its association with the United States is now recognized across the world. At the same time, pumpkin significance extends and evolves into new forms. In modern America, it is not the pumpkin itself that reminds of the fall, but the spice based on a pumpkin pie. Thus, pumpkin becomes a link in a chain of symbolic references.</p> Maciej Kapek Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Post-9/11 Dilemma over the Priority of National Security or Civil Liberties in Marvel Comics (2001-2004) <p>The article contains an analysis of comics from Marvel Comics, published between the second half of 2001 and the end of 2004. With the mixed methods approach (quantitative and qualitative research), the criterion for the analysis is appearance of and references to the socio-political dilemma of the conflict between ensuring national security and respecting civil liberties. It was one of the most important topics of debate for American society after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in the sphere of politics and law in the US. The analysis aims to discover the number of comics that dealt with the subject of this post-9/11 dilemma, as well as to categorize individual stories, with the use of Jonathan Culler’s over-interpretation, as supporting the priority of national security or advocating for the importance of civil liberties. With these data, it will be possible to determine the political tone of individual comics, as well as to establish the views of the artists working for Marvel Comics and their attitudes to the policy pursued by the administration of President George W. Bush. The article uses studies conducted as part of doctoral research from the unpublished dissertation <em>Terrorism, politics, and civil liberties in the American comics after September 11, 2001, based on a comics analysis of Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Image Comics</em>.</p> Dawid Przywalny Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 New Decorums <p>Whitman’s olfactory metaphors are key tropes in his poems but they have been neglected so far. Furthermore, Emerson’s reaction to them sheds light on the relation between the two men, and shows that we need to expand our research on them through the incorporation of various ‘olfactory perspectives.’ This essay is about olfactory reading of <em>Song of Myself</em>—reframing it through a lens of the sense of smell. It will show that Whitman’s exploration for new poetic diction and the semantic of Whitman’s materialization into a poet—both are correlated—necessitate frequent usages of olfactory metaphors. With the inclusion of various olfactory viewpoints, the essay shows that Whitman’s metaphors of this kind portray his transformation into a mythical poet and smooth out this transition. Through his ‘celebrations’—calling body odor the fragrance and enjoying it, coming into contact with the atmosphere, and calling breath ‘smoke’— Whitman metamorphoses into a mythical poet, while all these celebrations are effected by his verbal fiat through olfactory metaphors, which finally enables him to communicate with ‘a spirit,’ which spreads his ‘barbaric yawp.’ All of these are fruition of Whitman’s ‘new decorums.’</p> Kiyotaka Sueyoshi Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200 Marilyn Monroe’s On-screen Spectrum of Femininity: Types and Nature of Her Movie Characters <p>The article makes an attempt to create a typology of movie characters played by Marilyn Monroe. Her film roles are classic examples of typecasting. Since Monroe was a type of a sexy blonde, that was what she played in her movies. Whether it was a comedy or drama, her sexiness defined the entire character. However, the attributes of the sex bomb Marilyn combined with other features: of an innocent child, a lost and helpless girl, a sensitive and tender woman. These three types of characters: a child-woman, a female buddy, and a woman-partner, make up the full picture of Monroe’s femininity with which viewers interact during the cinematic mystery and which create an artistic, social and cultural phenomenon called ‘Marilyn Monroe.’</p> Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel Copyright (c) 2022 Tue, 07 Jun 2022 00:00:00 +0200