The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association is pleased to announce that the Rollins Book Award application period is now open. Continue Reading →
The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association is pleased to announce that the Graduate Student Awards, and Travel Awards application period is now open. Continue Reading →
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
- New Publications
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