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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2005, Number 6


Don DeLillos Bilder

The American author Don DeLillo is a master of creating powerful images, which want to be discovered, read and interpreted. To have a closer look at his novel MaoII from the Visual Studies' point of view reveals the complexity of literary images and the diverse references that are evoked. DeLillo plays with the reader's memory of perception, asks fundamental questions about our society ruled by mass media and simply delights with a picturesque style of narration. The central aspects in his novel are photography in general, the visual arts especially by Andy Warhol and the visual representation of mass media, particularly television.

Der Körper im Spannungsfeld der Blicke: Eakins und seine Betrachter in The Gross Clinic (1875)

The presentation that was part of the student symposium 'American Visual Culture—Images and Interpretations' approaches Thomas Eakins' painting with an interest in the manifold modes of viewing that are inherent within the realm of the work itself—and which imply and address the viewer in a peculiar manner. A further aim is to disentangle the powerful and painful relationship of the view and the body as its object that is established in The Gross Clinic.

“Criticizing Americanness in 3D”: Paul McCarthys F-Fort

This essay investigates and documents the particularities of Paul McCarthy's installation F-Fort with respect to the methods of visualisation applied. Thus, the analysis of prefabricated symbols and concepts of heroes leads to a change of perspectives and a deconstruction of classical myths unfolds. At the end of the paper visitors' reactions towards McCarthy's work of art are presented.

Narrative Strategien in der TV-Serie Desperate Housewives

The TV-series Desperate Housewives is desperately loved by fans and desperately hated by critics. American columnist Jennifer L. Pozner accuses the series of portraying every female character as incompetent, in her opinion that is "just good old fashioned Hollywood crap." But why is this "Hollywood crap" so astonishingly successful (25 million viewers in the US, 3 million viewers in Germany) and who is the typical viewer? Why is the (dead) narrator so important and does the TV-Series really reinforce old-fashioned stereotypes or does it present modern, independent housewives? These questions are the main focus of this essay and shall be answered by analyzing typical visual and narrative strategies of the series.

Susan Sontag: Photocritic

Susan Sontag's book On Photography from 1977 marks an important point in the reception of photography. In Regarding the Pain of Others from 2003 she revisits some of the statements she made 26 years earlier. This essay is comparing the main theses of those two works by looking at two pictures that were made on 11 September 2001 and exhibited in the Here is New York exhibition.

"Computer-generated history": Zur paradoxen Dualität von Populärkultur und Zeitgeschichte in Jon Haddocks Screenshots

Jon Haddock's body of work is not only a skillful exploration into the realm of the creative possibilities of Computer-generated Imagery, but also a provocative contemplation on contemporary America. Through a comprehensive analysis of Haddock's series of images entitled Screenshots, this essay argues for an integration of computer and video game culture into the academic discourse of American Visual Culture studies.

“Time-Based Paintings”: Jeremy Blakes Winchester Trilogy (2001-2004)

Sarah Winchester, heiress of the rifle fortune, felt that she was cursed by the spirits of the ones who had been killed by the Winchester rifles. She sought out spiritualists who told her to move west and build a house: The sounds of construction should ward off the ghosts. Thus in 1884 she moved to San Jose, purchased a farm house and immediately began spending her $20 million inheritance on renovating the house, with work continuing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the next 38 years. Construction only stopped on the Winchester Mystery House upon her death in 1922, when the workers immediately stopped building. It is now a Disney-like tourist attraction with guided tours through the oddities of the 160-chamber-mansion built in Victorian style. Jeremy Blake, a young American artist living in Los Angeles, was fascinated by this story and used it as the basis of one of his latest art works called The Winchester Trilogy. The essay shows how Blake created a multimedia video-sound-installation, which equally enthralls and repels its audience with amazing colors and disturbing pictures. Blake dispensed with plot, instead he put emphasis on our visual memory, which is influenced by the many cowboy-, horror- and wild west Hollywood-movies. Thus the Winchester Trilogy not only is an amazing piece of contemporary art but it is also a statement about the American myth of freedom, which has to be protected by the power of weapons.

Stuff That Happened To Me: Visuelle Verfahren in Jonathan Safran Foers Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005)

The essay is based on the manuscript for the presentation I gave at the symposium. It describes visual strategies in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005), connecting them with their tradition in literature, showing the selfreflexivity of the text and providing a, if not the only, useful approach to analyzing them: as visualizations of trauma and at the same time as attempts to overcome the trauma by binding it in a narrative.

Other Issues

2013, Number 14.1,
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