Consuming Cultures- MMLA Popular Culture Panel(s)

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Modern Language Association, Consuming Cultures Convention at Kansas City Marriott, November 15-18, 2018
contact email: 

Since the emergence of Capitalism in Western society, humanity’s role as consumers of culture has become internalized as an inalienable component of modernity. From Marx’s metaphor of vampire labor in Capital to George Romero’s metaphorical representation of zombies as consumers in Dawn of the Dead to the ravenous hunger of online fandoms eagerly seeking for new content, the relationship between popular culture and its human consumers draws upon a rich, expansive history that recontextualizes interpolated human relationships by emphasizing (and sometimes questioning) the cultural narratives that dominate modern societies. This year’s pop culture panel seeks to bring these cultural narratives to the forefront as part of a discourse that illuminates the ways by which consumerism(s) shapes human identity and/or the ways that pop culture reflects the influence(s) of consumer ideology.

Consumerism for this panel is not restricted to the domains of Marxist and class-related economic analysis, but its definition may also be expanded metaphorically to include obsession, sublimity, and the relegation of identity. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, metaphors of consumption as they are relayed in music, video games, and other texts, the impact creators’ desire for commercial success has on altering source material from pre-existing franchises for new audiences, memetics, the intersection of history and/or space as elements that consume authors/readers/and/or characters in a text, and interrogations of the marginal spaces that evade/challenge/and/or resist mass consumerism. Papers that discuss any form of popular media are welcomed, including, but not limited to:  film, television, popular literature, graphic novels/manga, visual art, video games, and music.

Please submit a 250-word abstract with your paper title, full name, institutional affiliation, contact details (email), and a brief bio (around 100 words) to Session Chair, Matt Sautman, at by April 15th, 2018.


For more information on the conference, see: