CFP: First Annual Ray Browne Conference on Popular Culture

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Cory Barker, Popular Culture Scholars Association, First Annual Ray Browne Conference on Popular Culture
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Call for Submissions: First Annual Ray Browne Conference on Popular Culture

The Department of Popular Culture of Bowling Green State University, one of the nation's preeminent academic departments focusing on popular culture studies, is closing in on some impressive landmarks. 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Master's Degrees given in Popular Culture and in 2013 the Department of Popular Culture will celebrate 40 years in existence. With these milestones on the horizon, it is appropriate that the Department of Popular Culture has recently founded the Popular Culture Scholars Association, a student organization for undergraduate and graduate students dedicated to examining the prominent subjects, concerns and ideas of 21st century popular culture.

To celebrate the Department of Popular Culture's anniversaries and the formation of the PCSA, we would like to invite any and all students (undergraduate and graduate), scholars, critics, former members of the POPC program and friends of the department to join us for the first ever Ray Browne Conference on Popular Culture on March 31st through April 1st 2012. The conference will be held on the Bowling Green State University campus. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Hoppenstand will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Hoppenstand received his Ph.D. in American Culture Studies and his M.A. in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University. Currently he is the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Popular Culture and University Distinguished Faculty at Michigan State University.

Dr. Ray Browne founded the Department of Popular Culture to give students an opportunity to intelligently consider the cultural forms of their everyday lives. Nearly 40 years later, our everyday lives are much different. New mediums, genres and industries have been introduced into the complex world of popular culture and innovative perspectives, methods and models have presented new ways in which to investigate popular culture.

In light of these changes, potential topics for paper, panel and roundtable proposals include, but are not limited to:
• How have these additions and shifts altered popular culture, and how do we explore them?
• What are the most pressing issues for popular culture scholars in the 21st century?
• What are the texts, genres, individuals and theoretical approaches that will define popular culture in the years to come?
• Which new media, texts, genres, etc. deserve attention from academics and scholars?
• Are there individual popular culture texts, genres or individuals that embody the important shifts and changes in popular culture as a whole?
• Explorations of specific 21st century popular culture texts, genres, trends and approaches

In short, the Ray Browne Conference on Popular Culture hopes to address this question: what is popular culture in the 21st century and how must we study it?

Again, we welcome proposals and participation from any interested undergraduate and graduate students, as well as any scholars, critics, former members of the POPC program and friends of the department.

The deadline for proposals is Friday, February 3, 2012. Individual paper proposals should be between 300-400 words. Full roundtable and panel theme proposals can be longer, but should include as much prospective information about the topic and number of possible participants as possible. Please email your abstract and a short biography to The subject line should contain the writer's surname followed by "BCPC12" Abstract. Notifications for decisions will be sent by Friday February 17, 2012. Please contact the PCSA if you have any questions or concerns at or via our website at