[UPDATE] November 3 -- November 5, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association

Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association's Annual Conference
Thursday, November 3 -- Saturday, November 5, 2011
Radisson Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

The below topics pertain to the Religion and Popular Culture Area of the conference. For other areas, see MAPACA's website.

Religion in the Twitterverse and Blogosphere
This panel seeks to examine how new social media is influencing religious discourse. How have new online forums, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or the internet in general, influenced interaction among theologians, ministers, writers, lay people, and others? Are these forums changing the understanding or the practice of various religious traditions?

Hell, Evil and the Community
This panel will explore the concept of "Hell" or "evil." How do these concepts reflect the concerns of various communities, religious or secular? How do popular media depict these concepts, and what do these depictions reveal about us? How have the portrayals of Hell or evil in popular media changed over time?

Holidays, Holy Days, and Popular Culture
Many conference attendees have noted that MAPACA schedules its conference close to Halloween/the Day of the Dead, yet has not had a panel on it. Halloween and other holidays are rich opportunities for the expression of popular/religious culture. Thus, for this panel, we seek presentations on Halloween and other holidays. What are "holidays" in popular culture? How have they changed over time and place? What insights do we have into intersections of particular holidays and commerce? What are the intersections among established religious traditions, public institutions, commercial production, consumption, popular customs, which could include special foods and clothing, and holiday-specific media?

Religion and Popular/American Culture in Philadelphia
This panel focuses on the intersection between popular and religious culture in Philadelphia, the site of this year's conference. What does this popular American religious culture look like in 2011? What do we learn if one analyzes the New Year's Mummer Parade as a religious festival? Popular religion in Philadelphia is local, global, and civil -- as in "the use of the religious imagination to uphold and reinforce national [and I would add "local"] traditions and institutions" (Alan Wolfe). How do these popular religious expressions manifest in the city outside our conference rooms?

We also welcome other panel or paper proposals on methods or other themes relevant to Religion and Popular Culture. A 150-word abstract, a shortened CV or biographical statement, and your audio-visual needs are due to Area Chairs by June 15, 2011.

Please send submissions to both Co-Chairs, Dr. Anthony Zias adzias@comcast.net and Dr. Pam Detrixhe p.detrixhe@verizon.net . Students (both graduate and undergraduate) are encouraged to submit proposals and sliding scale registration fees are available.