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SWPACA Community Awards and Publications Page

SWPACA-Community-PageThe Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce the SWPACA Community Awards and Publications Page. We are  dedicated to promoting Popular and American Culture Studies with links to publications and awards by Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference Area Chairs, presenters, the association’s staff, and past keynote speakers and award winners. We encourage you to share your professional achievements with our community of scholars.

For information on the SWPACA Community Awards Publications Page visit:

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 (

Robert G. Weiner
Popular Culture Librarian Texas Tech University
Southwest PCA Area Chair: Graphic Novels and Comics
More about Banned Book week here

Online Submission Form for Rollins Award Now Available

Rollins-Award-announcementWe are pleased to announce that our online Rollins Award submission form is now available online at

This juried award recognizes contributions to the study of popular and/or American culture and, in particular, works analyzing cultural and historical representations in film, television, and/or other visual media. Volumes receiving this award are distinguished by their methodology and research; monographs, reference works, and anthologies are all eligible. Volumes published in electronic formats are also eligible.

For more information, visit:

Announcing the Michael K. Schoenecke Leadership Institute

2014-leadership-instituteThe Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce the creation of The Michael K. Schoenecke SWPACA Leadership Institute, which will debut at the SWPACA conference, February 11-14, 2015 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Institute is named in honor of Southwest PCA co-founder Michael Schoenecke, who, with Peter C. Rollins, established the Southwest/Texas PCA/ACA (now SWPACA) in 1979. Since that time, generations of scholars have shared and celebrated popular culture studies at the organization’s annual meeting for over 35 years.

The Michael K. Schoenecke Leadership Institute will serve as an opportunity for individuals interested in learning about the history of the popular/American culture movement as well as the history of the SWPACA organization, its leadership, and the role the organization plays in promoting the study of popular and American culture. The Institute will further provide venues for individuals interested in serving the organization in a leadership capacity.

We extend a cordial invitation for you to join us in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 11 – 14, 2015 as we celebrate Michael K. Schoenecke’s contributions to the field of popular and American culture and as we welcome a new generation of scholars to the Southwest PCA. Further information regarding the Institute curriculum, schedule, and application process will be forthcoming at our website and through our social media outlets.


Lynnea Chapman King, PhD
Executive Director
Southwest Popular/American Culture Association

Tamy Burnett , PhD
Southwest Popular/American Culture Association

Additional Information:

Call for Papers: Breaking Bad Essay Collection — Partner Announcement


Kuhr Sril By jaroh. Licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Accessed March 16, 2014.

To be edited by:

Matt Wanat, Ohio University, Lancaster, OH and Len Engel, CAS—1,  Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT.

Please submit a short proposal (1-2 pp.) by June 15, 2014 to:

Matt Wanat,, OR Len Engel,

2014 Peter C. Rollins Book Award Winners

The SWPACA Executive Team and the Peter C. Rollins Book Award judging panel are pleased to announce that the Rollins Book Award has been expanded to recognize outstanding scholarship in multiple areas of popular and American culture.

Traditionally, the Rollins Book Award has recognized manuscript-length work in the area of Film/Television Studies. The Rollins Award will continue to do so, with the annual recipient in that category being invited to present the Keynote address at the SWPACA Awards Reception the following year. In addition, the Rollins Book Award committee will recognize one to three volumes/year in the category of general popular culture and a “rolling” category identified each year based on trends in popular and/or American cultural studies.

For 2014, the Peter C. Rollins book award winners are:

  • Film/Television and History: Kimberley Monteyne, Hip Hop on Film: Performance Culture, Urban Space, and Genre Transformation in the 1980s (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Popular Culture: Justin S. Vaughn and Lilly J. Goren, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky)
  • Sequential Art/Comics and Animation Studies: Philip Nel, Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature (University Press of Mississippi)

Each year the Rollins Award Committee welcomes submissions of book-length work (single/multiple author or edited collection) published within the previous two calendar years. Books published in 2012 or 2013 may be submitted for consideration.

For full submission guidelines, please see visit the Rollins Keynote Speaker Page.

Thank you for attending the 2014 meeting!

thank-you-for-attending-2013The Southwest PCA Executive Team would like to thank all participants and guests who attended the 35th annual meeting of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 19-22, 2014. We enjoyed meeting with you, hearing your presentations, and visiting with you at the various functions throughout the week; we hope that your time at the conference was stimulating and rewarding.

We would especially like to thank our honored guests and keynote speakers, Dr. Spencer Herrera, Levi Romero, and Robert Kaiser, who presented portions of their book Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland (UNM Press, 2013). Special thanks, as well, to Dr. Alisa Perren, author of the Rollins Book Award for her work Indie, Inc: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s (U of Texas Press, 2012). Photos from the keynote and the awards ceremony are available on the Southwest PCA site.

If you’ve not had opportunity to visit the new journal site, we would encourage you to do so.  The inaugural issue of Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy is available at, and the second issue is forthcoming this Fall.

The Southwest PCA invites you to join us at our 36th annual conference, to be held February 11-14, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Albuquerque, where our conference theme will be “Many Faces, Many Voices: Intersecting Borders in Popular and American Culture.” We look forward to seeing you there and to the next 35 years and beyond in popular culture studies.

Until then,

Lynnea, Ken, Kelli, Tamy, and Chris
Southwest PCA Executive Team

Southwest PCA is now on Flickr!

flickr-annoucementWe are pleased to announce that we now have a Flickr account to share photos from the conference! Take a moment to head over to to view our photos.

We will post photos from the conference, the keynotes and others!

As of now, we have two sets:

Keynote by Dr. Spencer Herrera and New Mexico Poet Laureate Levi Romero; this set contains photos from Thursday’s Keynote

Rollins Award and Graduate Awards; this set contains photos of our Rollins Keynote speaker, Alisa Perren, as well as award announcers and all of our graduate  award winners.

We hope you like the photos. Keep your eye on the Flickr page as we grow our photographic presence and keep a record of our meetings!