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

#SWPACA24: Preparing for Conference Week

#SWPACA24 begins in just a few days! Here are some tips and reminders as you make your final preparations and travel plans:

  1. Transportation between the airport and hotel is limited to ride sharing and other public transit. See the ABQ Sunport’s Ground Transportation page for a full list of options.
  2. For those with A/V needs, be aware that computers are NOT provided in our conference rooms. Our rooms will have projectors and HDMI cords, and the help desk will have some common HDMI adapters available for check-out. Also, while the conference area will have wifi, we recommend downloading clips to play during your presentation as opposed to streaming live. See the A/V FAQ for more information.
  3. Presentations are generally 15 minutes long, and all panels end with a Q&A portion. See our presentation FAQs for more information. You may want to reach out to your moderator for more information about your specific panel or roundtable.
  4. Be sure to start your conference journey at our registration desk, which opens at 8:30am on Wednesday, where you can pick up your name tag and other SWPACA swag. This will include a handout about our special events and professional development opportunities. All are invited to our special Awards Ceremony at 6:30 on Thursday, where we’ll be announcing the winners of travel and paper awards, as well as the Rollins Award!
  5. For real-time updates to the program, take advantage of our Guidebook app, free on iOS/Android or as a web browser version.

Don’t forget to follow and tag us @southwestpca and use #SWPACA24 on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And finally, if you’re a student interested in joining our dine-around event on Friday, please fill out our interest form to help us get an accurate head count.

SWPACA24 Guidebook App Now Available!

Large bold text that reads SWPACA '24. On the bottom, the Albuquerque skyline in red.

SWPACA 2024 is now mobile! Download the free app at https://guidebook.com/g/swpaca24/ — or download Guidebook on iOS/Android and search for SWPACA24. A QR code is also below.

With this app, you’ll see any updates in real time and be able to create a personalized schedule of panels, roundtables, and events you’re considering attending. There will also be an addendum available on site.

You can also view information directly in the web version at the website above, though features may be limited.

#SWPACA24 Final Program Now Live!

A graphic of a speech bubble coming out of a megaphone with the text SWPACA24 Final Program Now Live!

The final program for #SWPACA24 is now live! As you look through our conference offerings, be sure to check out the special events and professional development opportunities, including our Student Dine-Out night — students: indicate your interest here!

As you prepare for the conference, be aware that transportation options between the airport and hotel are limited to ride sharing services. More information can be found on the ABQ Sunport website.

Finally, don’t forget to read through our FAQs for presenters and our FAQs for using A/V at the conference site.

See you in Albuquerque!

SWPACA24 Awards & Prof Dev Opportunities

Mint green and yellow graphic with "Awards & Prof Dev Submission Deadlines: Schoenecke Institute due December 1, 2023; Travel Awards -- NEW! due December 15, 2023; Grad Student Paper Awards due January 1, 2024."

As you starting making plans for February, don’t forget to check out our various Awards & Prof Dev opportunities, including:

  • Schoenecke Leadership Institute for those interested in conference organization and leadership, due 12/1
  • NEW! Travel awards for contingent faculty and students, due 12/15
  • Graduate student paper awards, due 1/1

Full info can be found at https://southwestpca.org/awards-professional-development/

#FeatureFriday: Meet the Fellows! Ashley Johnson

👩 Ashley Johnson (she/her/hers)
📍 Dallas, Texas
📚 English PhD program, University of Texas, Arlington

❓ What are your research interests?
My research interests include writing for children (especially middle grade literature), adaptation theory, Arthurian Legend, lit pedagogy, representations of diversity in literature, and the cultivation of identity through storytelling.

❓ What got you interested in pop/American culture studies?
When I got to college, I took a “Bible as Literature” class in which my professor introduced the Christ Figure through an analysis of Superman (1978) before discussing Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Simon Birch (1998). I had never heard anyone talk about films in the same way that they talked about literature and I was hooked.

❓ What are your goals as a SWPACA Leadership Institute Fellow?
I took a film studies course the next semester and viewed George Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon/Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902), Citizen Kane (1941), Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006), and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (2012) for the first time. We talked about film design and aesthetics, as well as storytelling modes and cultural connections. As I continued my education, I remained interested in film studies, but branched out into explorations of sound studies, Young Adult literature, and digital humanities.

❓ What is your current pop culture passion/obsession?
As co-chair for the Children’s/YA Culture area for the summer salon and the upcoming conference, I have gained experience reviewing proposals and organizing and moderating panels. I am looking forward to hearing the presentations at our 2024 conference!

My goals as a fellow include gaining more experience in general conference event planning and working with Dialogue.

📢 Join our next class of Schoenecke Fellows! Applications are now being accepted through 12/1/23! https://southwestpca.org/leadership-institute/

#FeatureFriday: Meet the Area Chair! Adrienne Domasin, The Last of Us

🙂 Adrienne Domasin. I currently live in Mission Viejo. Since completing my doctorate, I’m an independent scholar and professional writer. I’m the editor for a collection on The Last of Us due to be released in 2024 and I am under contract to publish a manuscript based on my dissertation on The Last of Us.

❓ Explain your history and involvement with SWPACA.
I discovered SWPACA in 2019 when I was writing a paper on Breaking Bad, which is one of my other media obsessions. I like SWPACA because the people are not as pretentious to those that I have met at other academic conferences that I have presented at. I also appreciate that I can present on various popular culture interests that I have.

❓ How did you become interested in The Last of Us?
I became interested in The Last of Us due to my fascination with post-apocalyptic narratives. I don’t know how, but I haven’t presented anything on The Walking Dead yet. I watched that series from day one every night the episode aired. In 2016, a very good friend of mine said, “If you like The Walking Dead, then you need to check out this video game, The Last of Us.” I was hooked from the moment after the first playable segment in the game ended and the screen read, “20 years later.” I came to the video game first and once I learned that it was going to be adapted to an HBO episodic melodrama, I modified my dissertation proposal to incorporate The Last of Us.

❓ What do you hope folks will gain from participating in The Last of Us in the future?
I hope that the folks presenting on The Last of Us will be able to continue the interest in this endearing story that offers audiences meaningful representations of people from various races and genders.

❓ What is your current pop culture passion/obsession?
My current popular culture obsession is actual gameplay of Part I and Part II on Twitch. While writing my dissertation on TLoU, I had little time to play the games. I hadn’t even opened Part II, which I purchased in 2020, until September of 2023. Since I defended my dissertation in July, I have finished both games, while live streaming. I’m still working on my streaming set-up and technology, but I plan to continue live streaming for fun indefinitely.

📢 Join Adrienne Domasin and The Last of Us folks at SWPACA24! Proposals now being accepted through 11/14 at https://southwestpca.org/conference/call-for-papers/