Archive | Front Page News

RSS feed for this section

News from the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association. Check back frequently for the most up to date information from us!

Fourth Annual Harry Potter Conference a�� Partner Announcement


When: Friday October 16, 2015

Where: Chestnut Hill College, Philidelphia, PA

Description: An interdisciplinary, academic conference providing a forum for scholarly presentations arising out of the series by J. K. Rowling.

Coinciding with the Harry Potter Festival in Chestnut Hill, PA!

Cost: Free and open to the public.

For more information and to register, go to:

Download Flier:A�HP Conference 2015 Flier

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 StudiesA�(this topic area may vary from year to year, as it recognizes outstanding scholarship in aA�trendingA�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 ofA�Film and Television, the winning volume isA�Italian Silent Cinema: A ReaderA�edited by Giorgio Bertellini, published in 2013 by John Libbey Publishing.
  • In the category ofA�Popular Culture, the winning book isA�Packaged Pleasures: How Technology & Marketing Revolutionized DesireA�by Gary S. Cross and Robert N. Proctor, published in 2014 by the University of Chicago Press.
  • In the category ofA�Sequential Art/Comics and Animation Studies, the winning volume isA�Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCayA�by Katherine Roeder, published in 2014 by the University Press of Mississippi.


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:A�

From Concept to Book Workshop: Cynthia Miller and Stephen Ryan


UPDATE (2/3/15): This workshop is now full.

Wondering how to turn that terrific idea, conference paper, or article into a book-length publication? A�This workshop, conducted by author and editor Cynthia Miller and Stephen Ryan, Senior Editor for Rowman and Littlefield, will focus on practical suggestions for moving from “I’ve got a great idea” to a book proposal, and beyond. A�We’ll talk about how to recognize the difference between an idea suited to a chapter and one that will carry a whole volume, how to add breadth and dimension to existing article-length work, and the nuts-and-bolts of how to draft a proposal to submit to a publisher. A�Feel free to bring material from current projects to discuss and work on!

(Limited to the first 15 registrants)

Registration is open. To sign up for a workshop, please email Lynnea Chapman King at

View the full lineup of pre-conference workshops:A�

2015 Breaking Bad Tour of Albuquerque

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

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

The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce that registration is open for the for the “2015 Breaking Bad Tour of Albuquerque,” to follow the A�36th Annual SWPACA conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 11-14. The tour will be aA�guided driving tour of iconic a�?Breaking Bada�? filming sites in Albuquerque, and is expected to last A�3-3.5 hours. Space is limited, so pre-registration will be required.

The tour will be Saturday, 02/14/2015 at 1:15pm. Registered participants will meet at the Hyatt Registration Desk.

If you are interested in this tour register now at:A�

Writing the Cultural Landscape

SWPACA15-PreConWorkshopsLed by 2012 New Mexico Poet Laureate Levi Romero, Writing the Cultural Landscape is an informal writing workshop that will provide the opportunity for conference attendees to immerse themselves in Albuquerquea��s cultural environment. Beyond the beauty of the citya��s mountains, sunsets, architecture, and the RA�o Grande, is a landscape vibrant with people, culture, stories, and a history that spills out of its ancient past right into the present-day. Students will engage in group discussion, writing prompts, and field exercises that will inspire them to experience and write the cultural landscape stitched across Albuquerquea��s urban fabric. Plazas, mercados, street- life, cultural centers/galleries, and informal community gathering places will provide a backdrop for the writing material. Participants will have the opportunity to present a piece from their field-writing exercises at a subsequent session on Saturday.

Registration is open. To sign up for a workshop, please email Lynnea Chapman King at


Empathy Game Design: A Quick Introduction

SWPACA15-PreConWorkshopsLed by Carly Kocurek (Illinois Institute of Technology), participants will explore the emerging genre of empathy games, which includes titles such as Depression Quest, Spent, That Dragon, Cancer, and dys4ia,and work collaboratively to conceptualize games of their own. No technical knowledge or prior experience is necessary.

The workshop is limited to 10 participants, and the goal is for participants to leave with a game concept and list of potential development tools. The limited number of participants will ensure that everyone involved will get the time and attention they need.

Registration is open. If you would like to enroll in the workshop, please email a 100-250 word statement of interest to the Area Research Coordinator (Jennifer deWinter at and Carly Kocurek ( Nota bene: There is no charge for the workshop (for registered conference presenters/attendees).

In the Beginning . . . Why Ray Browne Still Matters

SWPACA15-PreConWorkshopsRay Browne founded the Popular Culture Association in 1970, in part, as a reaction to the elitist academic organizations of his day. He helped make the term popular culture synonymous with common culture; today a�?pop culturea�? is discussed everywherea��from the classroom to the board room. Professor Browne established two associations, fostered two reviewed journals, established a popular culture library at Bowling Green State University, and wrote/edited a collection of books on subjects as varied as Mark Twain and detective fiction. In this age of STEM and workforce development, it is essential that Brownea��s engagement with and love for the humanities be required study for a new generation of higher ed scholars.

This retrospective of Brownea��s career and legacy will include a round table discussion, screening of a rare interview that Browne gave at Bowling Green State University, and a question and answer period. Discussants include Kathy Merlock Jackson, Professor of Communication, Past President of ACA, and Editor of the Journal of American Culture; John Bratzel, Past PCA/ACA Executive Director; Mike Schoenecke, former PCA/ACA Executive Director; Michael Marsden, past PCA President; and moderator Ken Dvorak, past President of the ACA and current SWPACA Treasurer/Conference Coordinator.

Registration is open. To sign up for a workshop, please email Lynnea Chapman King at

View the full lineup of pre-conference workshops:A�

Cover Letter and Vita Workshop

SWPACA15-PreConWorkshopsIn this hands-on workshop, recent graduates and graduate students are invited to bring copies of a current cover letter and vita, to be reviewed and revised with the assistance of scholars who have served as members of search committees.

(Limited to the first 10 registrants)

Registration is open. To sign up for a workshop, please email Lynnea Chapman King at

View the full lineup of pre-conference workshops:A�


Screenings at SWPACA15

SWPACA15-ScreeningsThe Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce the schedule for screenings during the for theA�36th Annual SWPACA conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 11-14.

Screening: “Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie”

WednesdayA�night,A�8:15pm, hosted by the Film and History Area

GOING ATTRACTIONS is the definitive story of the drive-in movie.A� A product of post World War II optimism, the drive-in movie theater emerged as the perfect blend of entertainment and car culture.A� Fueled by the baby boom, drive-ins became an integral part of the American teenage experience.

But in the late 60s, the culture changed drastically in the United States, sending the drive-in business into a downward spiral for almost three decades with successive blows from political and economic conditions and new inventions like the multi-plex and home video.

In light of the recent resurgence of drive-in theaters, GOING ATTRACTIONS studies the factors that affected the drive-ina��s dramatic rise, decline and rebirth, and examining how American culture and family have evolved in the last 60 years.

Screening: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (Animated)

WednesdayA�night,A�8:15, hosted by the Comics Area (this will follow the Comics round table celebration which will be held atA�6:30pm)

The 2014 film “X-Men: Days of Future Past” was a huge success and one of the best X-Men movies in the franchise, but it was adapted before as part of the 1990s animated televisionA�series. Many do not know or have not seen this adaptation of the famous Chris Claremont story, and you now have an opportunity to see this adaptation and think about it. What do the two adaptations say about the translation of original sequential art storytelling to the big and small screen?

Screening: “Harry Potter” Roulette!

ThursdayA�night,A�8:15, hosted by the Harry Potter Area

Join us for the first annual Harry Potter Studies Screening Roulette! The titles of all eight “Harry Potter” films will be placed into a hat and one will be drawn out at random for a live screening. Following the film, a scholarly discussion will be led by Dr. Christopher Bell, chair of Harry Potter Studies, and a panel of scholars from a variety of disciplines. Be there for the start of a SWPACA tradition!

Screening: “They Came Back (Les Revenants),” 2004

ThursdayA�night,A�8:15, hosted by Zombie Culture Area

Related to our zombie roundtable and what constitutes a zombie, we are proud to screen “They Came Back (Les Revenants),” a French film considered by many to be one of the best zombie films of the last decade. 70 million people return from their graves with conscious ability not unlike a child and have to relearn everything and reintegrate into society. Are these “returned dead” really zombies or something else entirely?

Screening: The Films of Joe Don Baker – “Final Justice”

FridayA�night,A�8:15, hosted by Mystery Science Theater Area

Come see the great and riffable Joe Don Baker in “Final Justice,” aired during the show’s tenth season. This hilarious romp features Baker as a Texas cop who goes to Malta to avenge and apprehend an Italian gangster who killed his partner. Some mental hygiene shorts will precede the main feature (always a favorite part of our screenings). Scholarly discussion will follow the screening.

Screening: a�?Once More with Feelinga�? and a�?Dr. Horriblea��s Sing-Along Bloga�? Singalong

FridayA�night,A�8:15, hosted by Science Fiction and Fantasy Area

Annual singalong screening of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode, “Once More with Feeling,” as well as Joss Whedon’s online musical, “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”