Founded In    1999
Published   annually
Language(s)   English, German

Fields of Interest


literary studies, history, popular culture and media cultures, visual culture, political science, sociology, and geography

ISSN   1861-6127
Editorial Board

Editors: Susanne Leikam, Sascha Pöhlmann, Juliane Schwarz-Bierschenk, and Klara Stephanie Szlezák
Address: University of Regensburg
Department of English and American Studies
93040 Regensburg
Phone: +49 941 943 3475
Fax: +49 941 943 3590
Web site:

Submission Guidelines and Editorial Policies

We invite postgraduate researchers to send us their contributions. We especially encourage young American Studies scholars who have just or are about to finish their master’s or doctoral theses to send us their submissions. We welcome papers from the various areas of American Studies, such as literature, history, popular culture and media cultures, visual culture, political science, sociology, and geography.

Papers should be between 6 and 10 pages in length, including a list of works cited. Prospective authors should also include an abstract of no more than 60 words and a brief CV. We refer authors to the guidelines of the COPAS style sheet available on our web site. Authors should submit their manuscripts via email as attached documents in MS Word format. The manuscripts will then be reviewed by the editors. This process takes about 1-2 months. There will be no print journal-style editing process. Responsibility for content and form remains with the author. Authors agree to consider scholarly comments on their papers that are in accordance with the standards and etiquette of critical discussion.

Scholars interested in guest-editing an issue should contact the editors. For further inquiries please also contact the editors.


COPAS: Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies


Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies (COPAS) is devoted to research by young Americanists. The e-journal was conceived as an opportunity for publication in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies and as an easy-to-access platform for scholarly exchange by young Americanists. The publication project originated in the 1999 Postgraduate Forum of the German Association for American Studies (GAAS) in Regensburg. It is located at the Chair of American Studies at the University of Regensburg. The editors are Susanne Leikam, Sascha Pöhlmann, Juliane Schwarz-Bierschenk, and Klara Stephanie Szlezák. COPAS connects its readers and contributors to ongoing and recently completed research projects in American Studies. It publishes papers from the various areas of American Studies, such as literature, history, popular culture and media cultures, visual culture, political science, sociology, and geography.


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2013, Number 14.1,

2013 Guest Editors’ Editorial

The Power of “AH, E/B, Very OOC”: Agency in Fanfiction Jargon

Fannish jargon is extensively used in fanfiction writing, with its terminology pervading the fans' discourse and stories so as to obstruct comprehension for non-fans. My essay discusses the functions of fanspeak in community-building and in fans' claim to status as experts, focusing on the agency fanauthors thus create and demonstrate to the original authors of the meta-text.

Present Women/Absent Men in Siri Hustvedt’s The Summer without Men (2011)

This article analyzes how Siri Hustvedt's protagonist Mia Fredricksen in the novel The Summer without Men (2011) falls ill from the absence of her husband and men in general and how the presence of women helps her to cope with her illness. Mia's illness is seen as a postmodern crisis that must be dealt with by means of narrative expression.

The Welfare Mother and the Fat Poor: Stereotypical Images and the Success Narrative in Sapphire's Push

This article explores how Sapphire's novel Push (1996) operates and complicates stereotypical images about the poor -- Welfare Mother and Fat Poor -- for simultaneously propagating and criticizing the success narrative it employs. The article introduces the image of the Fat Poor, discusses Push as a success narrative, and analyzes the novel's use of the image of the Fat Poor limiting this narrative.

Corporate Power and the Public Good in Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

This essay explores the relationship between the State, the economy, and the individual in Sloan Wilson's novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955). The novel's depiction of the protagonist's experience of the military, corporate culture, and the family suggests that a functioning democracy depends on the hetero-normative family. At the same time the novel draws attention to the negative impact of corporate philanthropy and public relations work on the public sphere.

“Lose Yourself”: Narrative Instability and Unstable Identities in Black Swan

This article discusses narrative instability as a significant dynamic in recent American cinema and focuses on an investigation of the film Black Swan as such a narratively unstable text. After an introduction to narrative instability and its connection to a (post-)postmodern cultural instability in general, I analyze Black Swan as a narratively unstable text that dramatizes previous unstable films' concerns about identity and reality.

"We don't want life to look difficult, do we?": Representations of the Fifties and Self-Reflexive Nostalgia in Mad Men

This article investigates how the TV series Mad Men portrays the Fifties through the lens of self-reflexive nostalgia. Focusing on a close reading of its first season, I look at how Mad Men's self-awareness towards the function of images and advertising in the creation of the Fifties as a cultural construct is often complicated by its nostalgic and conservative politics.

Other Issues

2012, Number 13,
2011, Number 12,
2010, Number 11
2009, Number 10
2008, Number 9
2007, Number 8
, 15.1
, 14.2
2006, Number 7
2003, Number 4
2004, Number 5
2005, Number 6