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.


» Visit Journal Web Site

2008, Number 9

How the Other Half Dies: Narrating Identities in Shelley Jackson’s Half Life

Shelley Jackson’s first novel Half Life (2006) creates a complex parallel world that is populated by Siamese twins who coexist with one-headed people. Using Brian McHale’s distinction of modernist and postmodernist fiction, this essay argues that the narrative strategies employed in Half Life conflate the epistemological and ontological, and thereby indicate one way of moving beyond postmodernism.

"Children aren't everything": Maternal Ambivalences in Nella Larsen's Fiction

Placing Nella Larsen‘s two novels within specific maternal discourses of the 1920s, this essay will show how Quicksand (1928) questions predetermined roles for black women by portraying maternity‘s destruction of a woman who is afforded no other avenue of self-expression. Passing (1929) revolves around the relationship between passing and reproduction, deconstructing clear-cut racial boundaries and rendering distinct white and black racial discourses of maternity entirely obsolete.

"Timeless People": The Development of the Ancestral Figure in Three Novels by Alice Walker

The concept of the ancestral figure is one of the important aspects of African American literature. The paper traces the development of the concept in three novels by Alice Walker, concentrating mainly on the imagery Walker employs for the personification of the ancestral.

Challenging the Cultural Mosaic: Shani Mootoo's "Out on Main Street"

The essay examines the short story “Out on Main Street” (1993) by Caribbean-Canadian author Shani Mootoo as an example of fictional contestations of the official policy of multiculturalism in Canada, which has been a major discourse in the realm of cultural affairs in Canada since the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988. Canadian multiculturalism is often critiqued as a token policy aiming at keeping non-‘white’ Canadians from the ‘white’ cultural center of Canadian society.  The discourse of multiculturalism is often conceptualized by the spatial metaphor of the mosaic and thus implies rigid boundaries, in this case between ethno-cultural groups. Mootoo is read here as one among many contemporary non-‘white’ Canadian authors of fiction that draft alternative spatial orders to the cultural mosaic in their texts and thus offer ways of imagining Canadian society differently.

The Organization Man Still Matters: Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt (1922)

Ever since its publication Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt (1922)  has been a thorn in the side of many businessmen and organizations. Debates ranging from its literary merit to its content caused a stir during the ‘Roaring Twenties.’ However, the novel could also be read as a starting point in a series of writings about the evolution of modern business and businessmen.  The paper argues that Babbitt traces developments of the contemporary organization man and his estrangement from his personal culture due to a boosting consumer culture. Lewis’ Babbitt thus is an early predecessor of sociologist William H. Whyte’s organization man and of the yuppie of the 1980s.

Spoken Art: Amy Lowell's Dramatic Poetry and Early Twentieth-Century Expressive Culture

This essay rereads Amy Lowell's dramatic poetry, which has been unduly neglected in literary criticism. Setting the poems in relation to high modernism as well as to the contemporary expressive culture movement—a movement emphasizing the role of the individual in the act of communication—it argues that Lowell's poetry has to be reconsidered as a spoken art.

Other Issues

2013, Number 14.1,
2012, Number 13,
2011, Number 12,
2010, Number 11
2009, Number 10
2007, Number 8
, 15.1
, 14.2
2006, Number 7
2003, Number 4
2004, Number 5
2005, Number 6