#SWPACA2020 Award Winners

The Southwest Popular/American Culture Association is pleased to announce the award winners for #SWPACA2020. Their achievements in Popular and American Culture studies are exemplary of their fields. Congratulations to all.

Heldrich-Dvorak Undergraduate Travel Awards

Luka Dowell
University of California, Santa Cruz
“De-‘Cypher’-ing the Matrix: A Marxist Critique of the Manosphere and Red Pill Ideology”

Nehal Kamel
University of Texas at Austin
“The After Effect: Understanding Gender Roles and Expectations through Harry Styles Fanfiction”

Maria Diaz
University of Colorado Denver
“On Paper: The Challenges of Prisoner Re-Entry as Viewed Through the Reality TV Series Love After Lockup

Heldrich-Dvorak Graduate Travel Awards

Kyesha Jennings
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
“City Girls, Hot Girls, and the Re-imagining of Black Women in Hip-Hop and Digital Spaces”

Lia Schuermann
Texas Women’s University
“Expanding the Boundaries of Trauma Theory and Digital Game Narratives: How Video Game Narratives Can Be Trauma Narratives in Sea of Solitude”

Kathryn Harlan-Gran
Cornell University
“Letting Go Ghosts of Destruction: The Generative Potential of the Queer and the Sacred in Craig Womack’s Drowning in Fire

Jodi Meyer
Texas Women’s University
“‘Weren’t You Someone’s Son?’: Americana and Death in Cartoon Network’s Over the Garden Wall

Yasheng She
University of California, Santa Cruz
“Materialized Trauma and Masked Desire”

Albuquerque Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Travel Award

Divana Olivas
University of Southern California
“Coyota Epicureanism: Food Consciousness and Land-Based Knowledges in Anita Rodriguez’s Coyota in the Kitchen: A Memoir of New and Old Mexico



Science Fiction & Fantasy

Judge: Erin Giannini & Shane Trayers
Presenting the Award: Kathleen Lacey
WINNER: “‘The Nightmare Is Over’: Zombinol and the Geopolitics of Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow,” Charline Jao, Cornell University

STATEMENT: The judges were particularly impressed with Charline Jao’s take on Wes Craven’s 1988 film, The Serpent and the Rainbow due to its clear, concise writing and an intriguing take on the film as not only dealing with the colonialism inherent in many zombie texts, but viewing it as a film that speaks directly to the geopolitics of the Cold War.

Historic & Contemporary Cultures

Judges: Stacy Rusnak & Jennifer Jenkins
Presenting the Award: Kathleen Lacey
WINNER: “Charting the ‘Third Way’: Feminist Reimaginations of Patriarchal Religious Structures in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” Zoe Sprott, University of Hawaii, Manoa

STATEMENT: This well-researched and theorized essay synthesizes the history of witchcraft iterations in American (U.S.) literatures and cultures as expressions of feminist resistance. The demonstration case is the Sabrina re-boot, Chilling Adventures, although Sprott also references Luther and Good Omens. The essay provides a workmanlike analysis of popular culture with solid intellectual grounding.