[UPDATE] Extended Deadline Nov. 15, 2017, SWPACA Conference Feb. 7-10, 2018 Motor Culture and the Road

deadline for submissions: 
November 17, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Southwest Popular/American Culture Association
contact email: 

Call for Papers – DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Motor Culture and the Road

Southwest Popular / American Culture Association (SWPACA)


39th Annual Conference, February 7-10, 2018

Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center

Albuquerque, New Mexico


Proposal submission deadline: November 15, 2017

 Proposals for papers and panels are now being accepted for the 39th annual SWPACA conference.  One of the nation’s largest interdisciplinary academic conferences, SWPACA offers nearly 70 subject areas, each typically featuring multiple panels.  For a full list of subject areas, area descriptions, and Area Chairs, please visit http://southwestpca.org/conference/call-for-papers/ 

Motor Culture and the Road welcomes all 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 37th 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

All proposals must be submitted through the conference’s database at http://conference.southwestpca.org/ 

For details on using the submission database and on the application process in general, please see the Proposal Submission FAQs and Tips page at


Individual proposals for 15 minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 200-500 words.  Including a brief bio in the body of the proposal form is encouraged, but not required.  

For information on how to submit a proposal for a roundtable or a multi-paper panel, please view the above FAQs and Tips page.  

The deadline for submissions has been extended to November 15, 2017.   

SWPACA offers monetary awards for the best graduate student papers in a variety of categories. Submissions of accepted, full papers are due December 1.  For more information, visit http://southwestpca.org/conference/graduate-student-awards/


Registration and travel information for the conference is available at http://southwestpca.org/conference/registration/

In addition, please check out the organization’s peer-reviewed, scholarly journal, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, at http://journaldialogue.org

If you have any questions about the Motor Culture and the Road area, please contact its Area Chair, Dr. Stacy Rusnak, Georgia Gwinnett College, srusnak@ggc.edu.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.