CFP: (Auto)Mobility and Road Culture (Due 12/15/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Southwest/Texas Popular and American Culture Association (31st Annual Meeting; Albuquerque FEB 10-13 2010)
contact email: 

The growing area of (Auto)Mobility and Road Culture focuses on the cultural significance of motorized transport (cars, motorcycles, scooters, or buses) and roads, ranging from the study of road stories in all forms of media (videogames, films, TV, fiction) to the role of car culture in identity formation to transportation politics and urban history. Join us on Route 66 for vibrant, interdisciplinary investigations of the ongoing popularity of narratives of autonomy and mobility, emerging pedagogy in this area, new methodologies for studying road and map histories, and the impact of digital tools on road stories, images, travel, networking, and scholarship. Our goal is to leave the conference with an anthology project in hand. Albuquerque is centrally located and inexpensive. SWTX welcomes scholars at all levels. Graduate students are especially encouraged and will be assisted in accessing any and all award opportunities the conference and/or associations provide. Some possible topics for panels or papers:

--road films and road fiction -- analysis and close readings of key texts; ideas about teaching road texts; college classes set on the road

--videogames โ€“ the role of cars, driving, radios, and drivers in the Grand Theft Auto series or any other videogames

--lowriders, hot rods, custom cars and racial or ethnic identity OR car or biker clubs (self-representation in car clubs, exploitative representations of clubs, role of gender and/or ethnicity, gangs and territory)

--Jack Kerouac's On the Road and/or Beat or post-Beat expressions of mobility

--genre theory โ€“ can classical genre theory accommodate road narratives and/or do justice to postwar popular genres like road films? How to recognize the unique characteristics of road stories and the influence they have on scholarship and/or identity?

--"intermediary theory" โ€“ how do road stories "travel" or transfer from one medium to another? from one "rebel" group to another? How does the increasing transmedia nature of road stories affect these narratives?

--histories of roads, routes, highways, and traffic

--transportation politics; road infrastructure; conflicts between jurisdictions; federal, state, and local funding and upkeep; road and gasoline taxes; smart roads; toll roads
--the potential of geocaching and GPS in creating/telling road histories; Google Maps and mobility

--traffic and mayhem; accidents; surveillance on the road

--drivers as citizens; bus boycotts and/or the role of mobility in civil rights and social justice
--road travel by Others (queers, ethnicity, class, gender)