Wm M Jones Award for Best Graduate Paper

Announcing:  The William M. Jones Award for 
the Best Graduate Student Paper Presented at 
the 2017 Annual Meeting of 
the American Culture Association
The editor of The Journal of American Culture invites submissions for the award for the William M. Jones Best Graduate Student Paper in American Culture Studies presented at the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.  Papers must be submitted by January 20, 2017.
Papers should be submitted in a form suitable for publication even if they will be presented in an abbreviated version.  Papers should address American culture and be accepted for a PCA/ACA panel.
Please submit your paper, along with a copy of your panel acceptance and student identification card to jac@vwc.edu. Those concerned for their privacy may obscure the Social Security number should it appear on the card.  Paper copies are also accepted at the address below.
The winning paper must be presented at the 2017 PCA/ACA Meeting in San Diego, CA., where the award and a $500 travel stipend will be presented.  Should the winning paper not be presented in person, the award will be forfeited. We also invite the winning author to submit the essay to The Journal of American Culture and work with the editor toward its publication.
The Journal of Popular Culture is offering a similar award.  For more information on this, please contact its editor, Dr. Ann E. Larabee (tjpc@msu.edu).  In any event, please do not submit the same essay to both publications.
Please submit your entry to Amy Dudley, Editorial Assistant, William M. Jones Graduate Student Paper Award Selection Committee, The Journal of American Culture, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502. ( jac@vwc.edu )
Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson
Editor, The Journal of American Culture
Questions: Contact us!
Popular Culture Association
American Culture Association
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CFP – Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek

The Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek – JJ Abrams’ Final Frontier
Call for Papers
With apologies for cross-postings.
With its original broadcast in 1966 Star Trek has become one of the most significant franchises in contemporary popular culture. Reaching its fiftieth anniversary in 2016 with the release of Star Trek Beyond, the third film in JJ Abrams’ “reboot” of the franchise, Trek is both more popular (the three films are approaching $1 billion in worldwide grosses) and more maligned by fans than ever before.
The Abrams version of Star Trek, called “The Kelvin timeline,” is at once a reboot and a remake of a long-loved franchise and it is time for an academic collection which assesses these films in relation to the rest of the Trek franchise, and independently of it.
Having received a contract for an edited volume from an academic press, chapter proposals are sought for 5-6,000 word chapters.
Proposals should include a brief abstract (no more than 250 words) and a 1-2 page CV. It is the hope that proposals will focus primarily on the newest three films, but discussions of other parts of the Trek franchise are welcome. Proposals are especially encouraged from advanced graduate students.

Proposals should consider the following list in assessing their idea’s suitability for this project (but need not be limited to it):
  • The New Trek and the Old Trek – comparisons and critiques
  • The New Trek and a new structure – myth and narrative
  • The Other – the representation of gender, race, and class
  • The “old Kahn and the new Kahn” – whitewashing a villain
  • Is the Kelvin timeline a “reboot” or a “remake”?
  • The value of reboots/remakes
  • The utopian pretense of classic Trek and the new Trek.
  • Turning Trek into a blockbuster
  • Updates of the look and feel of the franchise
  • JJ Abrams on Trek and on Star Wars
  • JJ Abrams’ other projects and Trek – comparisons and contrasts
  • Justin Lin Trek and Fast and the Furious films
Proposals:                      Currently accepting
Drafts:                           1 February 2017
Final:                            Late March, 2017
(These dates are somewhat subject to change depending on the schedule of the press.)
Send proposals (as .doc or .docx attachments) to:
Matthew Wilhelm Kapell at trekmcfarland@gmail.com.
 Matthew Wilhelm Kapell |  matthewkapell.com
And the new book:
Exploring the Next Frontier: Vietnam, NASA, Star Trek and Utopia in 1960s and 1970s American Myth and History
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CALL FOR PAPERS: The Romance of Science Fiction / Fantasy Deadline: January 1, 2017

Extended Deadline!  

Deadline: January 1, 2017


Whether we consider romance novels incorporating elements of the fantastic, the future, or the alien, or works of Science Fiction/Fantasy exploring love, desire, and other aspects of romantic culture, the relationship between these genres has been enduring and productive. Following up on a series of joint panels at the 2016 national conference of the Popular Culture Association, the Journal of Popular Romance Studies calls for papers for a special issue on the intersections between romance and science fiction/fantasy in fiction (including fan fic), film, TV, and other media, now and in the past, from anywhere in the world.  This special issue will be guest edited by Gillian I. Leitch, PCA co-chair for SF/Fantasy, and Erin Young.


Contributions might consider questions like the following, either in terms of particular texts (novels, films, TV shows, etc.) or in terms of genre, audience, and media history:


  • How has the intersection of these two popular genres opened up new possibilities in conceptualizing gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, or relationship structure, not just recently, but since the earliest years of SF/Fantasy?
  • How has their intersection allowed us to see existing concepts of gender, desire, sexuality, love, courtship, and relationship structure in fresh or critical ways?
  • How have authors, filmmakers, producers, and fans played these genres against one another, for example by using romance to critique traditions in SF/F, or SF/F to critique the tropes of romance? How has this counterpoint been explored by authors, filmmakers, producers, and fans of color, or by LBGTQIA creators and audiences?
  • How might reading classics of SF/F as romance change our perception of them: works like Dune and the Witch World novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, or even E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series, which are threaded on a tale of eugenic love?
  • What happens to works of paranormal, futuristic, or time-travel romance when we read them through the lenses provided by SF/Fantasy Studies?
  • What happens when teaching works of SF/Fantasy and popular romance? How do these genres co-exist or compete in pedagogical experience or classroom practice?
  • How do works of SF/Fantasy and popular romance coexist and interact in library ecosystems? What issues arise in terms of collection development, readers advisory, or community engagement?


Papers of between 5,000 and 10,000 words, including notes and bibliography, should be sent to Erin Young (managing.editor@jprstudies.org). To facilitate blind peer review, please remove your name and other identifying information from the manuscript.  Submissions should be Microsoft Word documents, with citations in MLA format.


The Journal of Popular Romance Studies is a double-blind peer reviewed interdisciplinary journal exploring popular romance fiction and the logics, institutions, and social practices of romantic love in global popular culture. JPRS is available without subscription at http://jprstudies.org.

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PCA Deadline Reminder – October 1

PCA Deadline Reminder – October 1

1903 world series poster

On October 1, 1903, the Boston Americans play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern world series.

October 1, 1931, Spain adopts women’s suffrage.
In 1962, Johnny Carson broadcasts his first episode of The Tonight Show. 1971 – Walt Disney World opens. 1989, Denmark introduces the first legal same-sex civil union. In 2013, Tom Clancy passes away.
October 1 has another momentous meaning: It’s the deadline for your proposals to PCA/ACA 2017. Head over to our site right now to submit your abstract proposal for the PCA/ACA 2017 National Conference in San Diego, CA from April 12-15th.
Submit your abstract by October 1!

In this update:
1. Our new submission system
2. Travel Grants
3. Additional information about the conference

1. Our new submission site

We’re using a different, more reliable submission site this year. Please head over and check it out at: conference.pcaaca.org

If you have any trouble, drop a line to web@pcaaca.org and we’ll help you out.

2. Travel Grants

Every year, the PCA/ACA Endowment is proud to offer financial aid for people traveling to present at our conference. These competitive grants provide both a financial boost to travelers from around the globe, but they also make a nice award entry on your CV.

We have travel grants for graduate students, early-career faculty, international faculty, and new this year, grants for faculty from 2-year colleges.
The Endowment also offers grants to individuals for work at remote collections and for collection building at institutions.
Applications are Due December 1st. Visit our grants page to learn more:
3. More information about the conference

As conference season starts up, be sure to keep an eye on our conference page, over at:


4. Your Leadership Team

Over the course of the year, this newsletter will introduce members of your leadership team at the PCA. Here are some of the officers who lead the organization.

Diane Calhoun-French

Lynn Bartholome

Gary Edgerton
Board Chair

If you have questions about the conference, Contact us!

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Call for Papers – The Alien and the Aliens: Difference, Otherness and “Little Green Men”

Wilson College Humanities Conference


The Alien and The Aliens: Difference, Otherness, and “Little Green Men”


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Held in the Brooks Complex of Wilson College

Chambersburg, PA


sponsored by Wilson’s M.A. in Humanities Program


The theme of this year’s Wilson College Orr Forum is concerned with inequality, from social justice to wealth and status to the veritable “Eye of the Needle,” referencing the New Testament story about a rich man asking Jesus what is needed for salvation. Wilson’s annual Humanities Conference seeks to broaden this theme by focusing on concepts of alienation and alien-ing—on that which causes us to create or notice difference, and that which causes us to react to those differences as well.


The Other suggests that which is of society but still different from it—meaning that the Other is recognizable as an element of society, even if originating elsewhere. The Alien, though, suggests some things—beings, concepts, people, ideas, beliefs, values, systems—that seemingly differ so much that they must originate from outside of society—from other worlds and outer spaces, metaphorically or (in some cases) literally. Aliens, after all, in their most basic definition, are beings not of this Earth, and as such, they are strange to us indeed.


This conference looks to how the various fields represented by the Humanities explore our own relationship to these concepts of The Alien and The Aliens. How can we use the Humanities to make sense of that which seems so different? How can we use what we study to understand more about our own fears and fascinations for what is seen as dissimilar, and strange, and unusual? Or, conversely, how does the Humanities bridge the gap between The Alien and what is deemed socially normative, or socially desirable, or simply capable of being comprehended?


Please feel free to interpret the theme of this conference liberally. Our goal is to bring a group of Humanities scholars from around the region together to articulate and celebrate these always intriguing and confounding questions of difference, o/Otherness, inequality, alienation, and, yes, even little green men and women; we hope to use this conference to explore all relevant aspects of what is alien.


Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars are invited to submit.


Undergraduate students may also submit abstracts, but their submission must be sponsored by a current faculty member at their institution. (For more on this, please contact the conference director.)


To submit a presentation, please send an abstract of approximately 200 words to the email address below.


Send abstracts to:

Dr. Michael G. Cornelius

Program Director, MA in Humanities

Wilson College



Submit the abstract as either a .rtf, .doc, or .docx file, or simply place it into the text of the email itself.


Individual presentations will last no more than 15 minutes; panels of up to 3 individuals may be submitted as well. Special panels or creative approaches are happily considered; please contact the conference director for more information. Each conference participant may submit only one abstract. Abstracts are due by JANUARY 15, 2017.


The conference is sponsored by Wilson’s M.A. in Humanities program, in conjunction with the Orr Forum 20176-17 Lecture and Performance Series.


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Call for Papers – Law and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture, 2016

­­CaptureLaw and Justice in Japanese Popular Culture

From Crime Fighting Boy Robots to Duelling Pocket Monsters

In a world of globalised media, Japanese popular culture has become a significant fountainhead for images, narrative, artefacts, and forms of engagement and identity.  From Pikachu, to instantly identifiable manga memes, to the darkness of adult anime, the convenience of sushi, and the hyper-consumerism of product tie-ins; Japan has bequeathed ways through which a globalised world imagines, communicates and interrogates tradition and change, the self and the technological future.  Within these foci questions of law have often not been far from the surface; the crime and justice of Astro Boy; the property and contract of Pokemon; the ecological justice of Nausicaa; Shinto’s focus on order and balance; the anxieties of modernity in Godzilla.

This volume is the first to bring together global scholars to reflect on and critically engage with Japan’s popular culture legal legacy.  It explores not only the impact of Japan on global culture, but what these images, games, narratives, and artefacts reveal about law, humanity, justice and authority in the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Contributors are invited to submit chapter proposals and a brief CV for consideration by the editors for inclusion in this edited volume. 

Contributors are strongly encouraged to focus on popular as well as cult texts, narratives, genres, games, practices and/or artefacts.  Those selected for inclusion will:

  • Engage with law, lawyering, legality or legal theory
  • Show an awareness of the embedded, multi-sensorial and transmedial nature of their subject
  • Demonstrate engagement with existing relevant academic literature

Some Possible questions to respond to are (but in no way limited to) the following:

  • How has justice been envisioned in Japanese imaginations of the future?
  • How is authority, gender and the self communicated in Japanese culture?
  • Are Japanese computer games legally progressive or conservative?
  • How has law and technology been framed in Japanese popular culture?
  • What do Japanese transmedial narratives and fan stories tell us about legality and creativity?
  • What role does violence and reactions to violence play in Japanese popular culture?
  • How is tradition and change mediated in Japanese popular culture?
  • How does manga and anime animate the legalities of the posthuman?

Contributors should submit a proposal (300 words) and a brief CV (no longer than one page) to: jpopculturelaw@gmail.com by 5 September 2016

The editors will advise contributors of inclusion and process by 12 September 2016.

The first draft of chapters will be due 1 May 2017 with an expected publication date of late 2017.


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Popular Culture Course Syllabi

We have received a request from Sue Matheson who is working on behalf of the PCA Board to make available to our membership instructional materials on the PCA/ACA website. She is seeking syllabi from popular culture courses from people in our area.  Please send any material to her at smatheson@ucn.ca



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