Deadline Extended] CFP SW/TX PCA Conference, Feb. 13-16,2013 AREA: Motor Culture & the Road, Deadline Dec. 2, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association & American Culture Associations
contact email: 

Motor Culture and the Road relates to a wide variety of areas of cultural significance in the global context. More often than not, we associate "motor" with automobile culture, but the term "motor" can also simply describe any type of movement at a steady pace. In addition, the concept of "road" can remind of us freedom or escape; but it can also be an obstruction, such as "the road to nowhere" or "the end of the road. " By expanding the concept of "motor" to mobility in general, and increasing our understanding of the road as both a liberating and confining space, we can explore the ways in which various media formats, (film, TV, videogames, graphic novels, fiction, radio, etc.), spaces (roadside architecture, restaurants, campgrounds) and symbols (road signs, memorials, advertising) found in our everyday culture feed into our ever shifting notions constructions of identity formation. These manifestations of mobility and the road conjure up ideas about freedom, consumption, and the triumph of technology over nature, but they also conjure up feelings of stagnation, trauma, and disillusionment, especially in light of recent economic and political developments both locally and globally. In either case, mobility and the road are intricately intertwined and are quite politically and symbolically charged as we realize the potential of each to question our sense of belonging (on a local/personal level), and our citizenship (global/national level). By considering, and in some cases reconsidering, both traditional and contemporary representations of motor culture and the road, we will gain a broader understanding of how these expressions of culture open gaps that reveal the intricacies of identity formation in our highly global, fast-paced society. Join us just steps away from Route 66 for an engaging, interdisciplinary investigation of the increasingly popular and diverse representations of mobility and our culture(s) in the global context. Our goal is to leave the conference with a broader understanding of the past, current, and future potentialities of motor culture and the road, the emerging pedagogy in this area, new methodologies for studying motor culture and the road, and our roles as citizens in this culture. SWTX welcomes scholars at all levels. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals. SWTX awards a number of monetary awards for the best graduate student papers in a variety of categories, which can be viewed at: Proposal topics might include, but are not limited to:
• Any aspect of the road movie such as:
o Exploitation road movies, e.g. Hells Angles on Wheels (1967), Two-Lane Blacktop, (1971), to Death Proof (2007)
o auteurs and road movies, e.g. Arthur Penn, Bonnie & Clyde (1967), David Lynch, Wild at Heart (1990), Lost Highway (1997) David Cronenberg, Crash (1996)
o women and road movies, e.g. Thelma & Louise (1991)
• documentaries
• short films
• videogames, graphic novels, fiction, travelogues, radio, art
• car or motorcycle commercials
• car or motorcycle history (models and styles, classic and modern, the industry)
• lowriders, hot rods, custom cars/choppers and racial/ethnic, class, or gender identity
• car or biker clubs
• car or bike shows such as
o Sturgis, South Dakota (local)
o Yokohama Mooneyes, Japan (global)
• histories of roads, routes, highways, traffic
• GPS, Google Maps, automobility
• Route 66 and roadside architecture
• Nation and/ or citizenship, region, locality
• advertising, symbols, propaganda
• borders, real and imagined
• remapping the road in post-apocalyptic landscapes / "The road to nowhere"
• environment, "Going Green"
• urbanization, globalization

Paper or panel proposals are due by 12/2/ 2012, submitted to the SWTXPCA database

Stacy Rusnak
Area Chair, Motor Culture and the Road