#CFPHighlight Film, Television, Music, and Visual Media 


Film, Television, Music, and Visual Media

Adaptation: Literature, Film, and Culture
Amy Fatzinger, PhD, University of Arizona, fatzinge@email.arizona.edu

Open Description

The Adaptation: Literature, Film, and Culture area invites you to submit proposals for presentations that critically engage with the subject of adaptation. While the term “adaptation” most commonly refers to a film based upon or inspired by a novel (or the process of developing such a film), proposals for adaptations involving other media as source texts or final products are also welcome (for example, adaptations that involve art, theater, music, dance, television shows, video games, photographs, or comic books).  Topics for paper proposals include, but are not limited to:

  • adaptations of classic works.
  • contemporary adaptations.
  • theories of adaptation.
  • source texts with multiple adaptations.
  • representations of culture in adaptations.
  • cross-cultural adaptations.
  • the process of adaptation.
  • ethics of adaptation.
  • adaptation and audience engagement.
  • adaptation and aesthetics.
  • adaptations across generations.
  • adaptations and the film industry.

Submit Proposal

Alfred Hitchcock

Michael Howarth, PhD, Missouri Southern State University, Howarth-M@mssu.edu

Assistant Area Chair: Mazyar Mahan, Chapman University, 2019 Michael K. Schoenecke Fellow, mazyarmah@gmail.com

Open Description

Panels now forming for presentations on the films and career of Alfred Hitchcock. Listed below are some suggestions for possible presentations.

  • Hitchcock and Music
  • Hitchcock and Television
  • Hitchcock and Pedagogy
  • Hitchcock and Film Theory
  • Hitchcock and Film Genres
  • Hitchcock and Voyeurism
  • Hitchcock and the Silent Era
  • Hitchcock and Gender
  • Hitchcock and Black Humor
  • Hitchcock and Psychoanalysis
  • Hitchcock and Adaptation

Scholars, teachers, professionals, grad students, and others interested in Alfred Hitchcock are encouraged to participate. The above list of topics suggests a few possible ways to consider Alfred Hitchcock’s work, but it is not final. Any other approaches to discussing the “master of suspense” are certainly welcome.

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The American West: Film and Literature
Larry Van Meter, PhD, Blinn College, larry.vanmeter@gmail.com

Open Description

The Area Chair of the American West: Film and Literature area of the Southwest PCA/ACA conference is seeking paper proposals on any aspect of the American West in Literature or Film – including, but not limited to:

  • Popular Westerns or novels of the West
  • Film Westerns or films set in the West at any time
  • Gender/Masculinity Issues in “The Westerner”
  • Race in the West
  • John Wayne
  • The Hispanic West
  • Foreign Visions of the American West

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Animation Studies
Francisco Ortega, PhD, Texas Tech University, francisco.ortega@ttu.edu

Open Description

In addition to cartoons, animation involves experimental techniques that have secured for this medium a place among the most advanced artistic manifestations of the 20th and 21st centuries. Because, historically, animation has had a peripheral status, its examination blurs traditional disciplinary boundaries (cinema/animation; fine arts/moving arts) and problematizes well-established assumptions and categorizations (high/low arts, real/virtual, art/industry). Moreover, animation increasingly permeates today’s digitized visual culture.

This session will invite scholars to discuss the diversity of animation practice and theory. Possible topics for papers could include but not restricted to:

  • Popular, commercial and experimental animation
  • Optical toys, mechanical contraptions,
  • Animated adaptations,
  • Documentary animation, non-fictional animation,
  • Voice and sound in animation,
  • Animation and therapy,
  • Advertising,
  • Animated television series, online animation,
  • Animation for education, animation and science,
  • Animation in video games,
  • Animation history,
  • Animation and architecture,
  • Animation theory,
  • CGI and animated special effects,
  • Anime, and/or
  • Animation and globalization.

Submit Proposal

Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul
Nick Gerlich, PhD, West Texas A&M University, ngerlich@wtamu.edu

Open Description

We are now accepting paper proposals for the conference’s panels on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Over the course of five seasons and 62 episodes, Breaking Bad was been a hugely successful show on AMC. It concluded its run on September 29th, 2013 with a finale episode viewed by over 10 million people. It spawned numerous social media fan groups, engaged viewers by using the popular StorySync platform as a second screen option for those watching it on live television. It also resulted in the critically acclaimed prequel Better Call Saul, which began airing in 2015.

Proposal topics may include, but are not limited to, the following aspects of BrBa and/or BCS:

  • Fandom
  • Commerce
  • Legal issues, copyright, etc.
  • Tax Incentives (state and local)
  • Economic Development, job creation, etc.
  • Social Media engagement
  • Content Analysis
  • Media Theory
  • Literary Criticism
  • BrBa/BCS and Gender: The Roles of Males and Females in the Show
  • BrBa/BCS and Philosophy
  • BrBa/BCS and Binge Viewing
  • Character development in BCS as it pertains to BrBa

This is only a partial list of topics related to Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. We will also gladly consider proposals that touch upon other topics and/or issues related to the show.

Submit Proposal

Computer Culture
Adam Crowley, PhD, Husson University, crowleya@husson.edu

Open Description

Proposals for papers are now being accepted for the area of Computer Culture.

COMPUTER is broadly defined as any computational device, whether smartphone or abacus, and any form of information technology, including the origins of concepts of interactive text that may predate computational devices as traditionally conceived.

CULTURE is rooted in the concept of cultural meaning. We ask not just operational questions such as, “How do people communicate using computers?” but questions of meaning such as, “What does it mean when people communicate using computers instead of using pre-computer approaches to communication?” Along these lines, we are interested in communication as well as creative practices/applications and how computer technologies shape them.

“Computer Culture” can be understood in a variety of ways:

  1. the culture of the computer, that is, as computers interact with each other, what culture do they have of their own?
  2. the culture around the computer, that is, (sub)cultures associated with the production, maintenance, use, and destruction of computers
  3. the culture through the computer, that is, explicit treatment of how computer mediation influences cultural phenomena that exist or have existed in forms that did not involve computer mediation, and what these influences mean
  4. the culture by the computer, that is, the ways in which new (sub)cultures or (sub)cultural phenomena have arisen because of computers and understandings of these given awareness of the nature and/or workings of computers

Example questions associated with Computer Culture would include, but not be limited to:

  1. What implications are there because of the powerfulness of (computer/information) technology; and are these implications beneficial, detrimental, inevitable, or avoidable?
  2.  What are the cultural origins of computers, computer/information technologies, and practices associated with them? What is the descriptive and prescriptive outlook for the conditions of those cultural forces associated with those cultural origins?
  3.  How do cultural forces (such as changes from one generation to the next, trends in education or society, or other cultural phenomena) impact (and how are they impacted by) computer/information technologies/market-forces, and what do these impacts (in either direction or both) mean?

Paper topics might include (but are not limited to) those that address:

  1. issues of (re)presentation through computers (website analysis and design);
  2. methods of discourse involving computers (blogging, Twitter, social networks, YouTube, viral video, live feeds);
  3. theories focused on the relationship between computers and culture, uses of computers in particular contexts and the impacts thereof (such as computers and pedagogy, online dating, virtual currencies, commerce, marketing, entertainment, etc.);
  4. the relationship between computers and social forces (such as journalism, community engagement, social change, politics, social media alternatives, etc.);
  5. security/privacy/fraud/surveillance and computers (such as security breaches, spam, scams, hoaxes, terrorism, etc.);
  6. creative practice, web art, generative and digital art, virtual performance;
  7. the self, the “second self,” identity formation/negotiation, anonymity;
  8. “cyberkids,” internet youth cultures;
  9. data visualization and digital geographies;
  10. hashtag thinking, data organization and archives, search predictions/autocomplete functions;
  11. cultural markers (such as social media trends, memes, internet fame);
  12. digital divides (such as internet inclusion/exclusion, user diversity, interface/software architectures, etc.);
  13. the general mediascape (such as issues of governance, mediation, ownership, the ‘public sphere’, crowdsourcing, etc.)

While we will consider any relevant paper, we have a preference for those that involve transferable methodological approaches. This is an interdisciplinary conference, and other conference attendees would benefit from being able to adapt your research methods to their future research.

Scholars, teachers, professionals, artists, and others interested in computer culture are encouraged to participate. Graduate students are also particularly welcome.


  • computer culture
  • data visualization
  • digital art
  • digital cultures
  • digital geographies
  • internet cultures
  • memes
  • privacy
  • remediation
  • social networks
  • surveillance
  • Twitter
  • virtual identities
  • YouTube

Submit Proposal

Consumerism and Culture
Melissa Tackett-Gibson, PhD, University of Colorado Denver, melissa.tackettgibson@ucdenver.edu

Open Description

Presentations from historical, cultural studies, mass communication and critical perspectives are welcome. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • examinations of consumption patterns and meanings
  • Studies of the consumption of political, racial and activist speech in print and electronic media
  • examinations of consumer goods: product development, inventors, marketing, design
  • studies in advertising: graphic design, word & image, use of logos/slogans/jingles, persuasive devices, product placement, cross-advertising
  • the use of endorsements and various media in mass communication and advertising
  • sites of consumption, consuming activities, consumption on display
  • consumer behavior: motivations behind consumption; consumption and identity; consumer “taste”; and ethics of consumption
  • studies of the effects of consumer culture: physical waste, ecological distress, economic issues, sustainability, etc.
  • cross-cultural trends: consumerism, advertising, and consumer identity
  • the socio-cultural impact of product and service consumption
  • social structures, power and consumption

Submit Proposal

Film and History

Brad Duren, PhD, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, duren@opsu.edu

Open Description

Proposals for individual presentations and roundtable discussions are now being sought for review in the area of Film and History. Our area is concerned with the impact of motion pictures on our society and how films represent and interpret history. It is an exciting, vibrant area at the SWPACA conference, and we look forward to another outstanding round of presentations.  Presentations can, for example, feature analyses of individual films and/or TV programs from historical perspectives, surveys of documents related to the production of films, or analyses of history and culture as explored through film. Genres could include historical films attempting to define history, propaganda films, documentaries, docudramas, newsreels and broadcast media, war films, music videos and concert films, reality shows, avant-garde, cinema vérité, actualités, and direct cinema. Proposals could consider some aspect of the intersections among film, history, society, and culture, exploring films as social and historical artifacts of the culture from which they arise as well as the role played by film in constructing, shaping, and re-imagining history. Papers may take a single film focus, make comparative considerations, or explore critical films focused on a given era, individual, or historical event.

Listed below are suggestions for possible presentations or panels, but topics not included here are also welcome.

  • Historical representations of race, ethnicity, and gender in fiction or non-fiction film
  • Biographies of key artistic, political, military, activist, or cinematic figures
  • Representations of borders, national characters and ideologies
  • Documentaries: How true is ‘The Truth?’
  • Film and social commentary
  • Politics and government in film
  • Film and the political economy
  • Histories of film production, the film industry, or the science and technology of film
  • Cult, alternative, and independent films and icons through history
  • The histories of particular film schools
  • Pedagogies of teaching film & history

Submit Proposal

Film Studies
Eric Lackey, MA, MFA, Colorado Mesa University, elackey@coloradomesa.edu

Open Description

The Film Studies area invites presentations on any topic germane to film studies including, but not limited to, film as art, film as culture, and film as industry. This year the Film Studies area will also invite papers on Film Theory and Aesthetics. The most desirable essays will utilize recognized research methodologies that support an arguable thesis or develop a compelling question. We are particularly interested in papers that generate conversation.
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Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice
Judd Ruggill, PhD, University of Arizona, jruggill@email.arizona.edu

Open Description

The Game Studies, Culture, Play, and Practice Area invites papers, panels, and other proposals on games (digital and otherwise) and their study and development. Proposals are welcome from any and all scholars (including graduate students, independent scholars, and tenured, tenure-track, and emeritus faculty) and practitioners (developers, artists, archivists, and so forth). Unusual formats, technologies, and the like are encouraged.

Possible topics include (but are in no way limited to):

  • Advertising (both in-game and out)
  • Archiving and artifactual preservation
  • ARGs
  • Design and development
  • Economic and industrial histories and studies
  • Educational games and their pedagogies
  • E-Sports and competitive gaming
  • Fan studies
  • Foreign language games and culture
  • Game art/game-based art (including game sound)
  • Game development and education
  • Game engines and entertainment
  • Game streaming
  • Games and health
  • Gender and sexual identity
  • Haptics and interface studies
  • Hardware/platforms
  • Histories of games
  • International/non-US game studies
  • Localization
  • MOGs, MMOGs, and other forms of online/networked gaming
  • Performance
  • Pornographic games
  • Religion and games
  • Representations of race and gender
  • Representations of space and place
  • The rhetoric of games and game systems
  • Serious games
  • Table-top games and gaming
  • Technological, aesthetic, economic, and ideological convergence
  • Theories of play
  • Transmedia and games

Submit Proposal

Grateful Dead
Nicholas Meriwether, Center for Countercultural Studies, nicholasmeriwether@gmail.com

Open Description

The Grateful Dead area welcomes papers and presentations on all aspects of the Grateful Dead phenomenon and its contexts, including music, lyrics, fan culture, the 1960s, the counterculture, art, and more. The Dead area is interdisciplinary and welcomes contributions from all fields and theoretical perspectives. To date, more than 26 disciplines and fields have participated in the Dead area, including musicology, literary criticism, history, anthropology, sociology, archival science, business theory, communications, museum studies, and more.

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Horror (Literary and Cinematic)
Steffen Hantke, PhD, Sogang University, steffenhantke@gmail.com

Open Description

The area chair for Horror invites all interested scholars to submit paper proposals on any aspect of horror in literature, film, television, digital and online media, as well as in general culture. Given the strong showing of work on horror cinema in recent years, we hope to continue this tradition, but also to diversify into new and unconventional areas, especially with the addition in the last four years of roundtable sessions on a variety of popular topics.

If you are interested in participating in a roundtable event regarding horror, please contact the area chair with questions and suggestions for topics and presenters.

Submit Proposal

Music: Traditional, Political, Popular

Cody Smith, PhD, North Lake College, codyhsmith@gmail.com

Open Description

The Music: Traditional, Political, Popular Area invites submissions from individuals or organized panels (3 or 4 persons) focusing on any topic relating to all aspects of the historical and popular cultural study of music.  Topics can include but are not limited to:

  • individual artists or albums
  • genres of music
  • historical/geographic/cultural influences on music
  • music performances
  • publicity and promotion of music: critics, websites, magazines, street teams
  • music and art
  • technology and music
  • music and memory (nostalgia/preservation/museums/collectibles)
  • music on radio, on television, on stage, and in academia

Abstracts on any musical topic will be considered. (Please note: specific SWPACA areas exist for the Grateful Dead and Rap/Hip-Hop scholarship. Proposals on these topics should be directed accordingly.)

Scholars, teachers, professionals, and others interested in music-related topics are encouraged to participate.  Graduate students are also particularly welcome.

Submit Proposal

Mystery Science Theater and the Culture of Riffing
Brad Duren, PhD, Oklahoma Panhandle State University, duren@opsu.edu

Open Description

The Area chair seeks papers/presentations on Mystery Science Theater and the culture of riffing and Mash-up. In the fall of 1988 on a small public access channel, KTMA, in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area of Minnesota, a bizarre show appeared. It featured two hand-made, robot-appearing puppets and a man watching a movie and making comments to the screen. Little did its creator, Joel Hodgson, know that he had created a worldwide popular culture phenomenon known as Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST). The show lasted 10 seasons and spawned a theatrical feature film.

Now riffing movies, television, cartoons, and the rise of the mash-up have become very popular modes of expression. In 2015, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was given new life due to the largest Kickstarter drive for a film related project. 2017 saw Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return as a hit series on Netflix.

Possible Topics

  • The use of “name” actors in the reboot like Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt, Jonah Ray
  • Streaming services as a way to open up Mystery Science Theater and Rifftrax to newer audiences.
  • The higher production values on the reboot. Does this hinder or help the show?
  • The Live 2017 shows
  • Audience Reception
  • Does the higher production value hurt the feel of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return?
  • Other kinds of riffing platforms such as Twitch (for videogames)
  • How did riffing become such an integral part of our culture through MST3K?
  • Pre-MST3K “riffing” like Mad Movies and the LA Connection.
  • Zombies and riffing (a good topic in light of the popularity of zombie studies)
  • iRiffs and the rise of personalized riffing by “amateurs”
  • Other fan riffing groups and individuals like Master Pancake Theater, Incognito Cinema Warriors, Josh Way, Laughterpiece Theater, etc.
  • Speaking of Animals
  • Fractured Flickers
  • Freaks and Geeks MST3K connection
  • Fan Culture and MST: The Misties (who are they and why)?
  • The original Sci Fi MST Game
  • Gender roles, women and MST
  • Frank Zappa and MST
  • Superhero movies (why are they so ripe for riffing)
  • Monty Python and MST
  • Comics and MST3K
  • Shakespeare and riffing
  • The remix of the movie trailer
  • The rise of “forgotten movies” that were used on MST
  • The rise of B-movie popularity as a result of being on MST
  • Christmas movies and MST
  • The pre-MST comedy careers of the cast members
  • The KTMA years compared to the Comedy Central Years compared to the Sci Fi Channel years compared to the Netflix version.
  • Movies that deserve the MST treatment but never received it
  • Mental Hygiene films and MST
  • The legal battle between Best Brains and Mr. Sinus Theatre (the roots and causes of this)
  • What were/are the cultural implications of the original invention exchanges in those early episodes of show?
  • What are the differences in the styles of Mike Nelson and Joel Hodgson as hosts for the show?
  • The theatrical feature film attempt, MST 3000 The Movie (trials and tribulations of getting director Jim Mallon’s big budget version of MST to the screen)
  • Jim Mallon’s genius as producer/director/character
  • Modern companies such as Laugh Tracks and MST’s influence on them
  • The differences of Tom Servo and Crow (difference in style and tone)
  • Actor Joe Don Baker and MST — a perfect marriage
  • Spy movies and MST
  • Monsters and MST
  • Attempts at creating continuity within the “host segments” — what worked and what didn’t (the difference in continuity between Comedy Central episodes and Sc Fi channel shows)
  • Cast characters (e.g., Mad Scientists, Evil Mothers, and weird aliens)
  • The hardcore statistical analysis found on websites by dedicated fans (e.g., riffs per show and other weird statistical data — reasons for these weird statistical things)
  • MST and the Web — how did the Internet help create such a rabid following?
  • Popular music and MST
  • Mary Jo Pehl, Bridgett Nelson, and the influence of women writers on MST
  • MST fan culture and university culture
  • TV’s Frank and MST and Frank Coniff’s role in America’s Funniest Home Videos
  • A look at the influence of music on MST (one could hear a reference to an obscure British band like Hawkwind on the same show as one that might mention a household artist like Brittney Spears or Johnny Cash, for example)
  • Bill Corbett as a playwright and performer
  • MST and Tape Trading Culture (Keep circulating the tapes some of the MST episodes admonished the fans)
  • Crow, Tom Servo and the bots in Popular Culture: Non-MST appearances (which continue to this day)
  • MST and the First Amendment to the Constitution: Why did the show always thank the authors of the First Amendment? How did the show use it? Did it push boundaries constitutionally?
  • KTMA and MST: Just how could a show like this get on cable access television in the first place? How did it become a movement? Were there glimpses of the greater things to come in those earlier episodes or not?
  • Torgo and Ortega: Cult Figures and MST — why so popular with fans?
  • The worse a movie is, the funnier and better an episode of MST: Why is that?
  • Paul Chaplin, unsung writer on MST
  • The MST writers were, and continue to be, masters of Popular Culture in all its forms (film, music, politics, etc.)
  • Movie references and MST — cultural and historical implications
  • MST terms and the vernacular (e.g., “Movie Sign”, “Poopie”, “Huzzah”) and their adaptation into everyday language)
  • What was Josh Weinstein’s role in those early MST episodes and his post MST career as producer?

Proposals on these and other relevant presentation topics will be considered.

Submit Proposal

Rap and Hip-Hop Culture
Robert Tinajero, PhD, University of North Texas-Dallas, robert.tinajero@untdallas.edu

Open Description

Proposals are now being accepted for the Rap and Hip Hop Culture area. We are particularly interested in proposals that address the following but will consider any proposal that deals with rap music and hip hop culture:

  • Intersections of Hip Hop and Pedagogy
  • Rap Music, Hip Hop Culture, and Space/Place
  • Theoretical approaches to Hip Hop (i.e., Language Theory/Postmodernism/Social Theory)
  • Rap, Hip Hop, and Academic Disciplinarity
  • Rhetorical Approaches to Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture
  • Rap, Hip Hop, and Film/Documentary
  • Hip Hop Subjectivities/Agency
  • Anthropological/Sociological approaches to Hip Hop Culture
  • Economics and Hip Hop Culture
  • Hip Hop and LGBTQUI Issues
  • Hip Hop Aesthetics
  • Hip Hop History
  • International Hip Hop
  • Intersections of Hip Hop and Religion/Theology
  • Hip Hop and Technology
  • Indigenous Cultures and Hip Hop
  • Colorism in Hip Hop Expressions
  • Hip Hop and Issues in the Music Industry
  • LatinX Hip Hop
  • Women and Hip Hop
  • Hip Hop and politics

As always, papers and panels that consider the myriad ways that rap music and hip hop culture impact and feed upon popular and American culture are encouraged. This area should be construed broadly, and we seek papers that aren’t afraid to take risks. Proposals from graduate students are particularly welcome.

Submit Proposal

Melanie Cattrell, PhD, Blinn College, melanie.cattrell@gmail.com

Open Description

The Television Area Chair invites interested scholars to submit papers on any aspect of television, past or present. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • television as a media format;
  • the possible future of television (including shows created for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, etc.);
  • television and society;
  • television and identity (gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, etc.);
  • television artifacts and rituals;
  • theory and criticism of television and/or the television business.

Submit Proposal

Theater and Performance Studies
Kathleen Potts, PhD, The City College of New York, kpotts@ccny.cuny.edu

Open Description

The Theater and Performance Area Chair invites interested scholars to submit papers on any aspect of theater and/or performance, past or present. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • show content, implications, formats
  • theater effects or cultural impact
  • theater and society, politics
  • theater, gender, and race
  • theatrical artifacts and rituals
  • dramatic theory and criticism
  • local or global impact of theater and/or performance
  • new technologies and social media as performance
  • theater and/or performance for social change
  • current or developing trends in theater
  • theater education
  • the theater business, commodification of culture

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Visual Arts
Annette Lynch, PhD, University of Northern Iowa, annette.lynch@uni.edu

Open Description

The Area Chair seeks submissions related to Visual Arts.  Topics can be drawn from, but are not limited to:

  • Art and culture/society
  • Southwestern and Western art
  • graphic arts
  • graffiti
  • mixed-media
  • traditional media
  • art education
  • art history
  • public art

We are aiming for variety and cross-disciplinary dialogue rather than discussions that are too narrowly focused.

Submit Proposal