We are saddened to report the passing of Deb Carmichael, former SWPACA Area Chair and long-time supporter of the organization. Those of you who interacted with Deb will understand the loss to popular culture studies and to academia more broadly.
Deborah Carmichael was a thoughtful and caring teacher in the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures Department at Michigan State University. A good listener and friend, Deb always kept her door open for students and colleagues alike. She received her Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University, where she studied nineteenth-century American literature, and film and popular culture. There, she researched Oklahoma film circuits as cultural centers in small agricultural communities. Deb also served as managing editor of the Journal of Popular Culture and Editor-in-Chief of Film and History. She published scholarly articles, did textbook editing, and gave numerous conference presentations on popular culture at the regional, national, and even international levels. Deb was active in the American Federation of Teachers union, and had just been elected as its president. She traveled widely, to Australia (invited conference speaker) and to Europe and the Middle East, and had lived in Oklahoma, Florida, and New York City, where she was a fashion merchandiser. About one year ago, she was preceded in death by her long-time and much beloved partner Michael Baldwin.