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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2006, Number 7


"There is Music in Every Sound": Thoreau's Modernist Understanding of Music

What is music to Thoreau? This question is at the core of the paper at hand. Music in Thoreau's understanding appears to differ immensely from the conventional definition of music during the nineteenth century. This paper will outline Thoreau's concept of music, his idea of its effects on the listener, and the functions music can potentially fulfill.

Performing Resistance: Contemporary American Performance-Activism

Deriving from the question whether performances have the capability of marking forms of public intervention and socio-political action this paper examines contemporary performance-activism. Thus, my article explores three artist-collectives who perform their social, political and economic critiques in the different realms of public space. All three collectives relate to Augusto Boal's method of an "invisible theater" which transforms public space into a public stage and in which the audience is not aware of being part of a theatrical situation. Regarding the artists presented in this paper, the actual notion of "public space" ranges from the streets of New York to national television and the virtual sphere of the internet. By comparing these three activist groups this paper explores on the one hand the liminal zone in which political protest and performance creatively collaborate, and on the other hand, how – within the scope of this interrelation of performance and activism – different realms of public space are utilized, subverted, and potentially transformed.

Das doppelt verwundene ödipale Dreieck in David Lynchs Lost Highway

Folgender Artikel beschäftigt sich mit der an sich in jeder Erzählung konventionellen Liebesbeziehung, die jedoch bei Lynchs Lost Highway schnell zum Unkonventionellen führt. Eine psychoanalytische Lesart des Filmes macht in diesem Zusammenhang ein doppelt verwundenes ödipales Dreieck möglich, innerhalb dessen Struktur u.a. ein anachronistischer zeitlicher Aufbau und die Transformation von Figuren stattfinden.

Interkulturelle Hochschullehre: Internationalisierungsstrategien am Beispiel des Fachs Amerikanistik

Die Internationalisierung der Universitäten und die Steigerung der Attraktivität und Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des europäischen Hochschul- und Forschungsraums (Bologna-Prozess) kann mit einer verbesserten Wahrnehmung und Nutzung kultureller Vielfalt entscheidend gefördert werden. Als interkulturelle Hochschullehre lassen sich Bemühungen bezeichnen, die im Sinne der internationalization at home den Umgang mit interkultureller Kommunikation und Interaktion in das alltägliche Handlungsrepertoire integrieren. In diesem Sinne haben jüngere Entwicklungen in der Hochschuldidaktik den Bedeutungsgewinn vor allem von Aspekten des Lehrens und Lernens herausgearbeitet, die mit der Lehr- und Lern-Haltung eng verknüpft sind. Die folgenden Ausführungen skizzieren Ergebnisse eine empirischen Fallstudie zur interkulturellen Hochschullehre im Bereich Amerikanistik.

Hans J. Massaquoi's Destined to Witness as an Autobiographical Act of Identity Formation

In his autobiography, Hans J. Massaquoi describes the discrimination he encountered in Nazi Germany and Liberia because of his mixed racial background. Throughout his life Massaquoi had to cope with identity crises. Through the self-therapeutic discourse in the form of his autobiography, however, Massaquoi developed his hybrid transatlantic African American and African German identity.

Virtual Commuters? The American Transnational Academic Exchangee

International student exchange in times of globalization faces numerous challenges. The Internet - making the world shrink to a global village - is often named one of them. How does the Internet affect the daily lives of American exchange students in Germany. Do they become virtual commuters?

Pro-abstinence Discourses and the Definition of the Conservative Christian Identity in the Contemporary United States

This article argues that pro-abstinence discourses play a key role in the definition of the conservative Christian identity in contemporary United States. Using conservative Christian authors coming from various perspectives in the pro-abstinence movements I explain how they, in my view, use abstinence to reinforce and reassert concepts which play a crucial role in the definition of their community's identity.

Members of the Tribe: Jewish-Amerindian Theory and the Making of a Modern American Consciousness

This paper examines how seventeenth century Jewish-Indian theory may have contributed to later forms of racial representation in America. The belief that the Amerindians were of Israelite origin had been in circulation since the late fifteenth century. However, only in the seventeenth century did this claim develop into a full-fledged social and political phenomenon. While most of the critical discussions of Jewish-Indian racial theories have related to the "Lost Tribe" theory, I would rather focus on the role these earlier texts played in scripting later cultural forms of identity and how they impacted later American traditions of perceiving the other. I argue that these texts prefigure a larger, more complex symbolic tradition in American cultural forms. These texts initiate a system of otherness, using rhetorical techniques of simultaneous appropriation and disassociation with the other that are manifested in later traditions such as blackface and minstrelsy in the United States. This paper, however, will focus on the period of nativist America (mid-nineteenth to early twentieth century), and how this era uncannily echoes the Puritan sentiments asserted in the Jewish-Indian theory. Although appropriation of the Indian prevailed throughout American letters, these two periods feature a similar racial configuration of Anglo-American, Indian and Jew. However, an intriguing reversal occurs: as the English Puritans distanced themselves from the Indians through the figure of the Jew, in contrast, the nativists separated themselves from the immigrants, as represented by the Jew, through the figure of the Indian.

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