UPDATE: Automobile Culture (11/3/06; PCA/ACA, 4/4/07-4/7/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Leslie Fife
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Automobile Culture
  2007 Popular Culture Association/
  American Culture Association
  National Conference
  April 4-7, 2007
  Boston Marriott Copley Place
  Boston, Massachusetts
  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
  cultural experience.
  --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,
  please contact:
  Tom Patterson at tpatters_at_shepherd.edu.
  Submission Deadline: November 3, 2006.
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         or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Thu Oct 12 2006 - 12:51:52 EDT