Archive | News

RSS feed for this section

Pop Culture Game Night

game-nightWe are pleased to announce our first annual Popular & American Culture GAME NIGHT!  Let’s get our “geek on” in style! The hosts of this session are expert geeks and will provide some fun, challenging but easy-to-learn games that are anything but traditional, including European games of the year and Mensa award winners. Multiple tables will be available so the more, the merrier. Our Executive Team will provide drinks & munchies for the whole endeavor (although I’m not sure Mountain Dew and Twinkies will be on the menu).

Come out and enjoy an evening of comaraderie with your fellow conference attendees! ​More details coming soon.

Journal Dialogue: Volume 2, Issue 1 Preview


Visit now.

The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce the release of  Dialogue  Volume 2, Issue 1 Preview, in advance of the February, 2015 issue (Volume 2, Issue 1). This sneak peek brings you three articles and one review:

  • Anthony Neely’s “Girls, Guns, and Zombies: Five Dimensions of Teaching and Learning in The Walking Dead”
  • Amy Fatzinger’s “’Can you imagine, a real, live Indian right here in Walnut Grove?’: American Indians in Television Adaptations of Little House on the Prairie”
  • May Friedman’s “Survivor Skills: Why I Want to Teach Reality TV” and
  • Peter Kay’s review “‘Indy Classical Innovation: yMusic‘ at USC’s Southern Exposure New Music Series”

These articles highlight the  interdisciplinary nature of the Journal, with contributions addressing literature, television and film; history and the post-apocalypse; adaptation and “reality”; live performances and studio recordings.

As we look towards the Spring 2015 issue, we encourage you to join us in celebrating the range of popular culture topics, approaches, and time periods.

2 Weeks to Submit Papers

2-weeks-deadlineThe Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) is pleased to announce that only two weeks remain to submit papers for the 36th Annual SWPACA conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 11-14.

For information on the the subject areas for papers and presentations, and for instructions on submitting visit:

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.