The 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 →
It 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
We will look forward to celebrating his legacy in Albuquerque next February.
The 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:
- 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.
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/
The 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.
Every 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
The 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
Southwest Popular/American Culture Association
Tamy Burnett , PhD
Southwest Popular/American Culture Association
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.
The 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 journaldialogue.org, 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.
Lynnea, Ken, Kelli, Tamy, and Chris
Southwest PCA Executive Team
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!
We are pleased to announce that Classics and Contemporary Popular Culture, Volume 1, Issue 1 of Dialogue the Interdisciplinary Journal Popular Culture and Pedagogy is now live. Head on over to http://journaldialogue.org and have a look!