About the Journal
COPAS—Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies is an open access, peer-reviewed e-journal dedicated to publishing research by early career Americanists. It was launched as an easy-to-access platform for scholarly exchange following the 1999 PGF conference in Regensburg, helped by funds from the Bayerische Amerika-Akademie. True to its original mission, COPAS showcases the work of early career scholars in the field with an annual issue featuring articles based on contributions from the latest PGF conference. In 2013, the journal’s scope expanded to include guest-edited thematic issues—proposals are welcome at any time! Currently, Gulsin Ciftci, Paula von Gleich, Fenja Heisig, Juliann Knaus, Stephen Koetzing, Whit Frazier Peterson, Florian Wagner, and Corina Wieser-Cox edit and publish COPAS. The journal is hosted and supported by the University of Regensburg.
Three New Editors
Our recent call for self-nominations for new COPAS editors was answered by many remarkable emerging scholars. After long and careful consideration, we decided to invite three of them to join our team and were delighted that they accepted. We are happy to officially welcome Corina Wieser-Cox (Bremen), Gulsin Ciftci (Münster), and Florian Wagner (Jena) to COPAS! The newly formed editorial team will immediately go to work on the next thematic issue together with the guest editors Mascha Helene Lange (Leipzig), Selina Foltinek (Bayreuth), and Florian Zitzelsberger (Passau). But not before sending out a big shout out and thank you to our outgoing editors Gesine Wegner (Dresden) and Samira Spatzek (Berlin)!
Statement on Black Lives Matter, June 2020
Black Lives Matter
We, the current editorial team of Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies (COPAS), strongly condemn the latest racist killings of Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, as well as the unceasing murders of Black people that have taken place at the hands of white vigilantes and police. We would like to express our deepest condolences to the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones. We want to express our solidarity with Black protesters in the United States, Europe, and beyond as well as with our Black colleagues, friends, and community members.
More than anything, the latest deaths of Black people in the US once again highlight antiblackness and white supremacy as pervasive formations that comprise institutional, political, economic, social, symbolic, physical, affective, embodied, and epistemic structures. White supremacy and its intersecting forces of ableism, classism, and hetero-patriarchy enable, maintain, and naturalize oppression and dominance, which unfold from the violent making of America as colonial modernity and persist until today. Central reference points of white supremacy, such as the histories of settler colonialism, genocide, and enslavement, may appear to lie in the American past, but their afterlives and legacies continue to contain and undercut liberatory movements of minoritized populations of color, in particular of black people, till this day.
Antiblackness and antiblack actions and thinking, though often unacknowledged, are daily rehearsed on the symbolic and structural level in order to maintain hegemony—from schools, universities, prisons, ICE detention centers, and health care providers to political arenas and various media outlets. The latest events shine a light on antiblack violence against trans* and cis children, men, and women in the United States—violence that is inflicted routinely and often quotidian. These events also forcefully remind us of the global dimensions of antiblackness, from the deaths and struggles of refugees worldwide, the Black Mediterranean, to racial profiling. In Germany, antiblack violence, racism, and structural discrimination are deeply imbricated in all folds of society, rooted in Germany’s colonial history as well as its Nazi past and neo-fascist present.
When nationalist-populist and outright racist political powers undergo a renaissance in North America and Europe—far beyond the chant of ‘make America great again’—it is our duty and ethical responsibility to express unflinching global solidarity with those subjected to antiblack racism and violence. Both as emerging scholars in German American Studies and as individuals, we must continue to fight against antiblackness and normalized oppression as well as any injustice against minoritized members of society. These events have and are taking place amidst a global pandemic, which leaves those structurally discriminated even more disadvantaged and at physical risk, hitting their communities the hardest.
To show continued solidarity and help dismantle systemic violence, please consider donating—if you can—to the families of the victims and US bail funds as well as US-American and German organizations, such as the ones listed below.
In solidarity, and in struggle,
Cedric Essi, Paula von Gleich, Stephen Koetzing, Samira Spatzek, and Gesine Wegner