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If you have news that you think would be of value to the SWPACA community of scholars? If so, email TBurnett@southwestpca.org.

Items to consider would include:

  • Calls for Papers
  • Professional Development Opportutnites
  • Conferences
  • New Publications

Introducing the SWPACA Code of Conduct

2018-Code-of-ConductWe are pleased to announce that the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association has developed a Code of Conduct for all participants in SWPACA conference related events. The Code of conduct has been developed to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to academic inquiry and growth and which provides a safe, respectful, and enjoyable experience for all.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with these important guidelines at the link below.

View Code of Conduct

We are saddened to report the passing of Deb Carmichael

Deb-Carmichael-2We 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. 

#SWPACA16 Photos

Thank you to all our #SWPACA16 participants! We had a stellar year with nearly 1000 of you at the conference.

See you next year

HP Lovecast — A Podcast by SWPACA Participants

HP-Lovecast-Partner-AnnouncementThe H.P. Lovecast is a new, monthly podcast focused on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. It features conversations from a number of Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) participants and grew out of discussions that began at the inaugural game night at SWPACA 2015.  While there are no words to describe Lovecraftian horrors, there are at least three words to describe this podcast: upbeat, pleasant, and inquisitive. Continue Reading →

Peter C. Rollins April 1, 1942 – March 23, 2015

Peter-Rollins-ObitIt is with great sadness that we report that Peter Rollins, co-founder of the Southwest/Texas Popular/American Culture Association, passed away on Monday, March 23. Peter was a pioneer in the popular culture movement and one of the forces behind the continued momentum of our organization, and his enthusiasm and support will be greatly missed. His obituary is available at

http://www.stwnewspress.com/obituaries/peter-c-rollins-ph-d/article_21bc07ee-d2a0-11e4-bc43-3f9e3a5dc6fe.html.

We will look forward to celebrating his legacy in Albuquerque next February.

2015 Peter C. Rollins Book Award Winners

2015-Rollins-Book-Award-WinnersThe Southwest Popular/American Culture Association is honored to announce the 2015 Peter C. Rollins Book Award winners. Each year the Rollins award recognizes outstanding scholarship in three categories:

  • Film/Television
  • Popular Culture
  • Sequential Art/Comics and Animation Studies (this topic area may vary from year to year, as it recognizes outstanding scholarship in a trending topic in popular culture studies)

These categories are chosen to balance our commitments to honoring our past and recognizing leaders in future scholarship. Through this award, we honor Peter C. Rollins, for whom the prize is named, and his contributions to the field of film and history and his service to the Southwest Popular and American Culture Association. At the same time, we recognize leaders of emergent trends and innovative scholarship in the fields of popular and American culture.

  • In the category of Film and Television, the winning volume is Italian Silent Cinema: A Reader edited by Giorgio Bertellini, published in 2013 by John Libbey Publishing.
  • In the category of Popular Culture, the winning book is Packaged Pleasures: How Technology & Marketing Revolutionized Desire by Gary S. Cross and Robert N. Proctor, published in 2014 by the University of Chicago Press.
  • In the category of Sequential Art/Comics and Animation Studies, the winning volume is Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCay by Katherine Roeder, published in 2014 by the University Press of Mississippi.

rollins-book-covers-2015

The Southwest Popular and American Culture Association is grateful to our panel of judges, Dr. Hugh Foley, Dr. Robert G. Weiner, and Dr. Alison Macor, for their thoughtful evaluation of the many excellent volumes submitted for consideration.

We will begin accepting submissions for the 2016 Rollins book award in September 2015.

Learn more about past award winners at our Rollins Book Award page: http://southwestpca.org/conference/rollins-book-award/

Now Accepting Applications for the Michael K. Schoenecke Leadership Institute

2014-leadership-instituteThe Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce that the online application for the Michael K. Schoenecke Leadership Institute is now open. We will be accepting applications from October 1, 2014 through December 1, 2014, and  look forward to an excellent inaugural class of Institute Fellows.

For information on the Institute, please visit the Michael K. Schoenecke Leadership Institute page now, then apply via the online application.

Celebrate Banned Books Week

banned-books-week-2014Every year the American Library Association “celebrates” Banned Book Week, which takes place this year on September 21-27. Its focus is on the right of citizens to have the freedom to read whatever they want, away from the prying eye of the censor. Even in the so-called age of the “anything goes” Internet world, it seems the censors would still like to ban books from the libraries, classrooms, and other institutions. The 2014 Banned Book week focusses on Graphic Novels and Comics, and in 2013 two graphic novels were on the top ten list: Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey and Bone by Jeff Smith.  I can kind of understand Captain Underpants, with its scatological humor strewn throughout all the volumes, but Bone?  That anyone would find this text offensive I can’t comprehend at all. It is just a good story and quite innocuous.

You know, for many years comics have received a bad rap.  Since the 1940s, educators, librarians, parents, and the curators of moral decency have argued that comics turn one’s brain into little more than goo and have no redeeming value. The 1954 publication of psychiatrist Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent argued that comics were the cause of Juvenile Delinquency. Congressional hearings were held, the Comics Code Authority was created, and the industry was nearly crippled. See David Hajdu’s Ten Cent Plague and Amy Nyberg’s Seal of Approval for more detail on what actually happen during this period. Suffice it to say that comics have had a long history of being banned. Carol Tilley has recently found that much of Wertham’s research was falsified; Dr. Tilley’s groundbreaking work “Seducing the Innocent Fredric Wertham and falsifications that helped condemn comics” can be found in a recent issue of Alter Ego. All of this is to say, pick up a banned graphic novel and read it or ANY banned book. Open your mind and don’t let the censors tell you what to read. Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to submit an abstract to our conference (http://southwestpca.org/conference/call-for-papers/).

Robert G. Weiner
Popular Culture Librarian Texas Tech University
Southwest PCA Area Chair: Graphic Novels and Comics
More about Banned Book week here
http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/
http://cbldf.org/resources/banned-books-week-101/