Historic and Contemporary Cultures is full of great topics. Find the one that relates to you below, then review the expanded information for submitting your work. Find more subject areas on our call for papers page as well!
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Historic and Contemporary Cultures
American Studies and American History
Deborah Marinski, PhD, Ohio University – Southern Campus, History, email@example.com
The American Studies and American History subject area allows for a broad range of topics that address historical influences on American culture and/or cultural identity. Papers from a historical, interdisciplinary, and/or transnational perspective are encouraged. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:
- Class studies
- Regional and local history
- Public history and collective memory
- Leisure activities
- Economics and American culture
- Nationalism, citizenship, community
- Specific eras/periods
- American Studies as a field
- Cultural history as a field
Beats, Counterculture, and Hipsters
Christopher Carmona, PhD, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Creative Writing, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Area Chair seeks paper and panel submissions to the “Beats, Counterculture, and Hipsters” area. Topics of interest might include Literature of the Beat Generation, Beat Culture and the Cold War, The Beats in Popular Culture, Women in the Beat Generation, African American Beats, Beat Appropriation of African American Culture, Moral Crisis of the Cold War and the Beat Generation, 1960s Counterculture (Hippies), Countercultural conflicts over race and gender, the Beat Movement and its influence on Popular Culture, Conservative Counterculture(s) of the postwar period, Literary Narratives of Counterculture and Utopianism, and studies on Hipsters in the past and in their current incarnations.
Classical Representations in Popular Culture
Benjamin Haller, PhD, Virginia Wesleyan College, Classics, email@example.com, https://www.facebook.com/classical.representations
We are accepting papers for sessions on Classical Representations in Popular Culture.
Papers on any aspect of Greek and Roman antiquity in contemporary culture are eligible for consideration.
- This year, Classical Representations in Popular Culture will devote a panel to the special topic of Greek and Roman Drama in Popular Culture: potential topics include movie adaptations, modern performance/adaptation, Aristotelian composition or formal conventions of ancient theater in modern theatrical genres, reception/translation (in e.g., Shakespeare, Goethe, Racine, Moliere, Calderón de la Barca, Shelley, etc.)
Other potential topics include:
- Cinema directly or indirectly reflecting aspects of the ancient world in cinema: recent films involving Classical themes which you might consider include The Legend of Hercules, Pompeii, La Grande Belezza, Inside Llewyn Davis, the new Ben Hur, as well as television series which engage with classical themes like Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Battlestar Galactica.
- Literary or theoretical analysis of literature employing classical references or motifs, like Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red, or Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad.
- Classical themes in productions of theater, opera, ballet, music, and the visual arts.
- Science Fiction/Fantasy: Analysis of representations of classical history, literature, or philosophy in science fiction movies or books, as Edward Gibbons to Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy or the impact of Thucydides in Cold War cinema. Or, conversely, the influence of Science Fiction on representations of the ancient world in later cinema (e.g., how did George Lucas’ empire of the Star Wars franchise influence later representations of the Roman Empire?)
- Pedagogy: applications of classics in popular culture: how can we use contemporary films, literature in the classroom?
- Children’s Literature: Greek and Roman mythology in children’s film, television, or literature.
Crafting, Crafters, and Craft Culture.
Janet Brennan Croft, Rutgers University Library, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crafting, Crafters, and Craft Culture area is being launched for the 2018 conference to provide a home for considerations of the cultural labeling of craft in popular culture. Papers in this area might consider basic questions of art vs. craft as they intersect with gender or profitability; cultural histories of specific crafts; special collections in libraries, archives, or museums related to crafts; depictions of craft and crafters in media; craft media stars and their effect on culture; historical surveys of craft supply stores and shopping.
Some potential topics:
- Gender and craft (is it craft if a woman makes it? what makes a craft feminine or masculine?)
- Copyright and knockoffs (why is copyright different for recipes and clothing patterns than other intellectual products? what effect do cheap foreign copies have on the market for and perception of craft?)
- Craft research resources (hand-on museums, text and realia collections)
- Crafting and anthropology (how is the history of craft treated as part of human development?)
- Craftivism (pussy hats, yarnbombing, subversive X-stitch motifs, etc.)
- Craft as business (professional vs amateur crafting, selling products vs instructions)
- Martha Stewart and other craft stars and their effect on culture
- The effect of the Internet on craft culture
- Representation of crafters in media and literature: Alison Hendrix (Orphan Black), Paris Gellar (Gilmore Girls), why they craft, comparison to how artists are depicted
- Cultural sensitivity: appropriation, appreciation, adaptation, assimilation
Crime and Culture
Darrell Hamlin, PhD, Fort Hays State University, Criminal Justice, email@example.com
SWPACA will be sponsoring sessions in Crime and Culture at the conference. Popular conceptions of law, justice, policing, criminal enterprise, the corrections system, and forensic investigations are broad topic areas that could be explored in the context of a variety of cultural landscapes. Traditional popular media, such as film, television, print or on-line text, graphic novels, comics and gaming platforms will fit well into this area, through both fiction and non-fiction genres. Interpretations related to cultural history, sociology, anthropology, art, and design are also appropriate and welcome in this area.
Food and Culture
Laura Anh Williams, PhD, New Mexico State University, Women’s Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual paper and panel proposals that explore topics connected to food, eating, and cooking in literature, film, and other popular and American culture are now being considered. Scholars, graduate students, teachers, foodies, and others interested in the intersection of culinary production/consumption and culture are encouraged to submit proposals.
Topics may address, but are not limited to:
- Gender/sexuality and food
- Race/ethnicity and food
- Food in literature
- Food in film
- Food and globalization/colonization/assimilation/resistance
- Food practices and ecology
- Food deserts/ race, class, and food
The Geek and Popular Culture
Kathryn Lane, PhD, Northwest Oklahoma State University, English, email@example.com
The Geek and Popular Culture: A Love/Hate Relationship
It’s every child’s schoolyard nightmare—to be called a “nerd.” From an early age, we know that being labeled a “nerd” or a “geek” isn’t a good thing. It implies too much knowledge and too few social skills. Yet, as much as we don’t want to be labeled a “geek,” we value their knowledge and expertise, as Best Buy’s labeling their technical support “The Geek Squad” exemplifies. Furthermore, the popularity of the reigning “nerd” powerhouse The Big Bang Theory (now available nightly via syndication) or any number of other series—NBC’s Chuck and the ubiquitous “Nerd Herd,” BBC’s Doctor Who, Fox’s 24 and Touch, or the Sci-Fi Channel’s Eureka—proves that America may want to watch “geeks” and use them but we “wouldn’t wanna be them.”
America’s love/hate relationship with geeks, or nerds, is not new. The power of the nerd character was solidified in the early 90s with the introduction of the character Steve Urkel onto the series Family Matters. Urkel, with his heavy-rimmed glasses, suspenders, and pocket protector saved the series from cancellation with his first appearance. The new millennium has seen “reality” television that focused on geeks and transformation in Beauty and the Geek, reality television that allows us all to embrace our own “nerd” in the case of MythBusters, as well as crime dramas that cannot function without the “squints”—Numb3rs, Bones, Scorpion, etc. It appears that nerds are here to stay which begs the question: is it that American culture is becoming more accepting of difference or have we made “geeking out” okay and thereby created a new level of “geekdom”?
This area seeks to examine the relationship between popular culture and the ever-changing geek or nerd – particularly looking at the way the nerd has changed over time and what these changes can mean for the future of “nerds” of every type. Topics could include: defining the “geek,” the geek versus the nerd, female geeks or nerds, depictions of geeks, depictions of nerds, tropes surrounding nerds/geeks, Hollywood’s pseudo-nerd creations, the “babe” in nerd/geek television series or films, differences between the two terms and their depictions in television or film, the power of the nerd, the social acceptance of the term “geek,” and much more.
The Libraries, Archives, Museums and Popular Culture area solicits paper proposals from librarians, archivists, curators, graduate students, faculty, collectors, writers, independent scholars, and other aficionados (yes! including people who use libraries, archives, and museums!) of popular culture and information settings of all types. We also encourage proposals for slide shows, video presentations, panels, and roundtables organized around common themes. Proposals on digital humanities and other forms of digital scholarship and data-driven projects are also welcome.
Some suggested topics include:
- Histories and profiles of museums, archives, libraries, special collections, and other popular culture resources; a chance to show off what you’ve got to scholars who might want to use it
- Intellectual freedom or cultural sensitivity issues related to popular culture resources
- Book clubs and reading groups, city- or campus-wide reading programs, special exhibits, outreach programs
- Collection and organization of popular culture resources; marketing and ethical issues
- Wikipedia, YouTube, Google books, social networking, EBay, gaming, and their impact on libraries, archives, museums, and popular culture collections
- The role of public libraries, archives, and museums in economic hard times and natural disasters
- Oral history projects
- Digital humanities and other digital/data-based projects on popular culture, the Southwest, and other relevant subjects, both those based in libraries, archives, or museums and those in academia or other organizations.
We encourage proposals for panels and roundtables organized around common themes.
Material Culture and the Built Environment
Lisa Schrenk, PhD, University of Arizona, Architectural History, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Material Culture and the Built Environment area explores various ways that we shape and are shaped by man-made environments and objects. Presentations in this area may address any type of architecture or material good. This includes, but is not limited to, the impact of environmental conditions or cultural developments (including social, ideological, political, or technological) on the design of spaces (buildings or landscapes) or products. Topics from any time period or culture are welcomed. Those relating to the U.S. Southwest (architecture in particular) are especially desired, as there is an opportunity for papers in this subcategory to be published in a future issue of the Journal of the Southwest.
Proposals are welcomed for individual papers, full panels, or roundtable discussions from faculty, graduate students, independent scholars and other experts in an area of the built environment or material culture. This is a great conference for young scholars and those working on topics relating to popular and/or American culture.
Mothers, Motherhood, and Mothering in Popular Culture
Kathleen Lacey, SWPACA Leadership Institute Fellow, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, email@example.com
Proposals are now being accepted for the Mothers, Motherhood, and Mothering in Popular Culture area! We are looking for papers/presentations/performances that address mothers, motherhood, and/or mothering as seen within popular culture, such as through:
- representations (via TV, film, magazines, online media, literature, etc.) of mothers, motherhood, and/or mothering – including pregnancy, comparison to fathers, etc.
- experiences of mothers, motherhood, and/or mothering and variances by race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, class, age, ability, etc.
- theories related to mothers, motherhood, and/or mothering,
- studies about/with mothers, and
- pedagogical applications of research/writing relating to mothers, motherhood, and/or mothering.
Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, as motherhood studies is a rich and fertile (hah!) ground for research and discovery.
Papers/presentations/performances incorporating intersectionalities of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, ability, citizenship, nationality, and/or class are particularly encouraged. Papers from graduate students are welcomed!
Motor Culture and the Road
Stacy Rusnak, PhD, Georgia Gwinnett College, Film, firstname.lastname@example.org
Motor Culture and the Road welcomes papers that engage with a variety of topics that cover motor culture and/or representations of “the road.” There are wide sweeping possibilities for this focus of study, and therefore multiple disciplines can be represented through this area. Motor Culture and the Road can simply be about automobiles, travel and/or mobility; but it also is much more expansive to include topics about community building, roadside myths, and/or nostalgia about the past. However one chooses to interpret the terms motor and road, there is little doubt that both have been influential in shaping popular culture. Writers, musicians, photographers and screenwriters have long used the image of the car and the open road as sources of inspiration.
This call for papers seeks intriguing and unique approaches to the topic of Motor Culture and the Road. Studies of the past, present or future of motor culture and the road are all of interest for this conference. Please join us for the 38th annual conference just steps away from Route 66 for an engaging, interdisciplinary investigation of the increasingly popular and diverse representations of mobility and our culture(s). Our goal is to leave the conference with a broader understanding of the potentialities of motor culture and the road, the emerging pedagogy in this area, new methodologies for studying motor culture and the road, and our roles as citizens in this culture.
Proposal topics for Motor Culture and the Road might include, but are not limited to:
- Nostalgia (1950s, 1980s, etc.)
- Car Culture and the Pin-up Model
- Cruising (History, traditions, rituals)
- Cars and Music (“Little Deuce Coupe” – The Beach Boys, “Drive My Car” – The Beatles, “Little Red Corvette” – Prince…)
- TV and Car Shows (Discovery Channel’s Loud and Fast and Jesse James: Outlaw Garage …)
- Economic and/or Industrial Future of Car Manufacturing
- “Auto-pilot” vs. Self-Driving – Driving Experiences in the Future
- Famous Film Cars or road movies
- Fashion – Motorcycle / Car Inspired Apparel
- Strong Female Characters ( For example, Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road)
- Famous vehicles such as the semi-truck from Maximum Overdrive (1986), “Christine” from Stephen King’s film, or Dragula from the TV Series The Munsters
- documentaries and/or travelogues
- videogames, graphic novels, fiction, radio, art
- car or motorcycle commercials
- car or motorcycle history (models and styles, classic and modern, the industry)
- lowriders, hot rods, custom cars/choppers and racial/ethnic, class, or gender identity
- car / biker shows: Sturgis, South Dakota (local) or Yokohama Mooneyes, Japan (global)
- histories of roads, routes, highways, traffic
- GPS, Google Maps, automobility
- Route 66 and roadside architecture
- Nation and/ or citizenship, region, locality
- advertising, symbols, propaganda
- borders, real and imagined
- The road and post-apocalyptic landscapes / “The road to nowhere”
- Environmental impacts and ecological issues
- Popular automobile robots like the Transformers or the Jaegers (Pacific Rim)
- Representations of the motorized robot in anime or manga
Philosophy and Popular Culture
Katherine Sugg, PhD, Central Connecticut State University, English, email@example.com
In the last decade there has been a dedicated exploration of popular culture as it relates to aspects of philosophy, and how philosophy relates to popular culture, and as such we welcome proposals that investigate and examine the intersections between philosophy and popular culture. Any and all aspects of philosophy and popular culture will be considered.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Philosophical issues explored in popular culture
- Views of philosophy in popular culture
- Philosophical frameworks engaged in popular culture
- Representations of philosophy and/in popular culture
- Elements of popular culture analysis
- Philosophy and film
- Philosophy and television
- Philosophy and the fine arts
- Philosophy and Literature
- Philosophy and graphic novels/comic books
- Issues of identity and popular culture
- Conceptual entities of identity and popular culture
- Issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and popular culture
- Epistemology and Popular Culture
- Phenomenology and Popular Culture
Adam Crowley, PhD, Husson University, English, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Politics area is particularly concerned with portrayals of politics, politicians, and the political process in American and international popular culture. Other possible areas of discussion can include rhetoric of politicians, politics in the news media, political satire, politics and culture, and popular trends in politics. There is no need for the political topic addressed in your proposal to be current; indeed, proposals about political history, or representations of historical political events in popular culture, are encouraged. Works based on documentaries and non-fiction works, as well as fictional works, may be included. Scholars interested in proposing to this area are encouraged to submit abstracts for papers which broadly address these themes.
Warren Kay, PhD, Merrimack College, Religious & Theological Studies, email@example.com
Organizers seek submissions to the RELIGION area. Proposals are invited on any of a broad range of topics and perspectives on RELIGION, including (but not limited to) the following:
Art, Literature, Media, Visual Culture, Consumerism, Politics, Religion & Sports, Science & Religion
All forms of religion are open for discussion.
Science, Technology, and Culture
Aaron Adair, PhD, Independent Scholar, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Area Chair seeks submissions to the Science, Technology, and Culture area. Proposals are invited on any of a broad range of topics and perspectives on science and technology, including (but not limited to) the following:
Politics, Education, Media, Literature, Marketing, Art, Visual Culture, Consumerism
All forms of science and technology are open for discussion.
Sociology of Popular Culture
Bruce Day, PhD, Central Connecticut State University, Sociology, email@example.com
The Sociology of Popular Culture area seeks a broad range of topics that use Social Theory and research methodology to discuss the influence of popular culture on; 1) Identities, 2) groups, 3) social structures, and 4) social institutions. Papers that explore the contributions of sociology to the study of popular culture are also encouraged. Subjects may include, but are not restricted to:
- Social theory and the fine arts
- Media representation and inequality
- Sociology of the Media (film, TV, music, print, internet)
- Social media
- Issues of race, gender and social class in popular culture
- Popular culture as a pedagogical tool to teach sociological concepts
- Consumption and production
- Cultural rituals
- Audiences studies
- The Culture Industry
- Meaning and content/Symbolic Interactionism
- Globalization of popular culture
Shakespeare in Popular Culture
Jessica Maerz, PhD, University of Arizona, Theatre Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shakespeare in Popular Culture area welcomes proposals that treat the convergence of Shakespeare, pop culture, and mediatization more broadly.
Potential topics might include: global Shakespeares; inter- and cross-cultural Shakespeares (& his contemporaries); Shakespearean auteurs; digital Shakespeares; screen Shakespeares; Shakespeare and the digital humanities; and postmodern Shakespeares.
Stardom and Fandom
Lynn Zubernis, PhD, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Counselor Education, email@example.com
The Area Chair for Stardom and Fandom invites paper or panel proposals on any aspect of stardom or fandom. The list of ideas below is limited, so if you have an idea that is not listed, please suggest the new topic. We are an interdisciplinary area and encourage submissions from multiple perspectives and disciplines.
Topics might include:
- Studies of individual celebrities and their fans
- Studies focused on specific fandoms
- The reciprocal relationship between stars and fans
- Impact of celebrity and fame on identity construction, reconstruction and sense of self
- Reality television and the changing definition of ‘stardom’
- The impact of social media on celebrity/fan interaction
- Celebrity/fame addiction as cultural change
- The intersection of stars and fans in virtual and physical spaces (Twitter, Tumblr, conventions)
- Celebrity and the construction of persona
- Pedagogical approaches to teaching stardom and fandom
- Anti-fans and ‘haters’
- Fan shame, wank, and fandom policing
- Gendered constructions of stars and fans
- Historical studies of fandom and fan/celebrity interaction
War and Culture
Steffen Hantke, PhD, Sogang University, English, firstname.lastname@example.org
The chair for the “War and Culture” area invites all interested scholars to submit papers on any aspect of the intersection of war and culture in literature, film, television, comics, and digital media; on cultural aspects of representation, mobilization, and memory in journalism, architecture, music, and painting; on American life and culture during wartime, etc. Especially encouraged are submissions on the culture of war protest, conscientious objectors, deserters, and anti-war activism.
If you are interested in organizing and/or in participating in a roundtable event regarding War and Culture, please contact the area chair with questions and suggestions for topics and presenters.