UPDATE: Automobile Culture (11/3/06; PCA/ACA, 4/4/07-4/7/07)
Call for Papers: Automobile Culture
2007 Popular Culture Association/
American Culture Association
April 4-7, 2007
Boston Marriott Copley Place
For additional conference information:
UPDATED Submission Deadline: November 3, 2006.
This is a call for papers for area of Automobile Culture.
The automobile has had an immense influence upon our
lives in innumerable ways. This area will seek to provide
an understanding of this influence within the social and
historical context of our collective cultural lives. Indeed,
Henry Ford has been credited for the creation of leisure
for the working class with the mass production of the car.
The automobile has also been accused of being a primary
factor in the altering of the American family structure.
What follows are some examples of the cultural relevance
and importance of the automobile that need further
--We have sung songs about the glory and wonder that
surrounds the very concept of the car. Examples of this
range from the 1909 tune, "In My Merry Oldsmobile,"
to what is considered to be the first rock and roll song,
"Rocket 88," in 1949. Indeed, contemporary music has
often used the car as a cultural theme.
--The commodification of identity and issues surrounding
consumption appear to be intimately connected with the
automobile. Status is an essential element that surrounds
the ownership of a car and this is a basic element of our
--Currently there are a number of television shows that
cater to the automobile enthusiast. In fact, there is a
channel called "Speed" that focuses heavily on automobiles
and racing. Others, such as "Rides" and "The American
Hot Rod," focus upon the construction of the car.
--NASCAR, NHRA, NSRA and other formal sports
organizations exist to promote motor sports or the
consumption of the automobile culture. It has been
said that NASCAR is the number one spectator sport
in America and is uniquely American. Why? How is
our culture reflected in this sport?
--Motion pictures have portrayed hot rods associated
with social outcasts. In other films, expensive sleek
sports cars have been associated with wealth and success.
How have these portrayals of automobiles impacted our
impressions of ourselves and others? One commercial
described Hell as being a place where a teenager would
have to drive a minivan!
--Other areas of investigation include those associated
with gender, race, and ethnicity. Are our conceptions
of these qualities associated with the automobile? If so,
why and to what extent?
--Lastly, what about other forms of automotive
transportation such as trucks, SUV's and recreational
vehicles? What are the elements of culture that create
these modes of transportation and what do they reveal
about who we are?
These are just some of the areas that will be considered
for inclusion within this area. All submissions are
welcomed and encouraged. For more information,
Tom Patterson at tpatters_at_shepherd.edu.
Submission Deadline: November 3, 2006.
From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
Full Information at
or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Thu Oct 12 2006 - 12:51:52 EDT