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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, 14.2

2014, 14.2: Editorial

Aesthetics of Concern: Art in the Wake of the Triple Disaster of North­-Eastern Japan and Hurricane Katrina

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, several artists turned their practices towards the subject of disaster support. Drawing on the philosophy of Bruno Latour, I argue that these artistic practices come to articulate and re‐present the multitude of concerns interwoven with disaster.

The Sentimental Eloquence of the Black American Scholar: Ellison's Invisible "Man Thinking" and Feeling

Grief is one of the most powerful sentiments depicted in literary works throughout human history. In the cultural history of the U.S., the open expression of grief by means of public mourning mostly stands in the African American tradition. One of the most outstanding African-American literary figures of the twentieth century is Ralph Ellison. His Invisible Man (1952) represents an epitome of modern sentimentalism when it comes to the political project of mourning America. Despite the wide attention dedicated to the work, critics have paid scarce attention to Ellison's close ties to nineteenth-century sentimentalism. This especially applies to the author's ambivalent relation to Ralph Waldo Emerson and his vision of the "American Scholar." The present article analyzes the complex employment of Emersonian thought "revised à la Ellison" (Lee 336) in a contextual reading which regards Invisible Man and its sentimental function within the larger network of literary, social, and political discourse. It argues that Ellison's Invisible Man reflects Emerson's American Scholar as "Man Thinking" and feeling. The mourning of a free and equal America thus turns out to be a powerful element of the sentimental mode. The close-reading analysis shows in how far both authors can be read to be writing in the sentimental tradition which, in contrast to many critics' opinions, has not lost its appeal but continues to echo in the language of contemporary political figures such as Obama.

New Mexico’s Faustian Bargain with Science: Balancing Pride, Greed and Fear

This article is an account of the emotional heritage of the scientific revolution which dramatically transformed the state of New Mexico into a nuclear Eldorado. The local populations accepted what turned out to be a Faustian bargain in which they sacrificed more or less knowingly their land, traditions and environment for the economic benefits of a new industry based on the offspring of the world's first atomic laboratory in Los Alamos.

“Free but not Equal”: In the Wake of Trayvon Martin—American Anger and Visual Activism

This essay highlights how one event like the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin can be a catalyst that urges deep-rooted anger to surface in many American communities. My case study consists of photographs taken at the planned demonstration from Union Square to Times Square in New York City in July 2013. The iconography surrounding the protests in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict is explicated, and I draw on notions of how democracy at its best is portrayed though artistic activism and dissent.

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
2006, Number 7
2003, Number 4
2004, Number 5
2005, Number 6