Pop Cultures: Cultural and Creative Industries, Concepts and Problems A Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

deadline for submissions: 
September 16, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Progressive Connexions

Pop Cultures: Cultural and Creative Industries, Concepts and Problems
A Global Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Sunday 19th March 2023 - Monday 20th March 2023
Prague, Czech Republic

The concept of pop—or popular—culture is slippery and oddly illusory. We might think we understand it and know what it is even if we can’t quite define it, but due to the fact that it is a contemporary phenomenon in full swing and related to popular and everyday activities, its meaning, production and circulation flows are quite complex. Part of what holds society together, pop culture works in large part through various forms of media to disseminate normative modes of behaviour and thought, introduces new and innovative ideas, offers inclusivity and an easily generated in-group mechanism, and can often serve as a belief system upon which to hang one’s values.

Ultimately, pop culture serves as a regulating force within a cultural group as well as a glue for keeping that group cohesive. It can be seen working in ways both large and small, from the use of favorite quotes or the wearing of articles of clothing from popular visual media to the participation in new forms of dance or music, the visiting of various kinds of clubs or other establishments, an awareness of the current and most ‘cool’ car, and more.

Undoubtedly, media of all kinds as well as academic knowledge production are part of pop culture. However, where this might seem obvious, what about small, everyday tasks? How does a collective mechanism work differently depending on the scale in which it functions? And what are the conceptual perceptions of pop culture in each of these dimensions?

Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar, a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, is one striking example of pop culture. His line “It’s a Trap!” in “The Return of the Jedi” (Lucasfilm, 1983) is one of the most famous and beloved quotes in the original franchise trilogy, becoming a popular internet meme and a way to elucidate how ubiquitous pop culture references are in our society. Similarly, the phrase “Run away!” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail offers a similar example. The opening song for Gilligan’s Island, a popular television show in the US from the 1970s carries resonance for those who remember it fondly and who might sing the refrain “a three hour tour” over and over again, and recently Kate Bush’s song “Running up that Hill” reached its highest point on the charts forty years after its release because of its use in a popular Netflix show.

Media such as TV and streaming platforms of all kinds, social media and digital platforms, podcasts, cinema, the press and others are all cultural products that form the vast universe that is pop culture. Furthermore, various fan practices and fandoms around the world construct meaning and have disputes around their favourite artists and franchises, dress as their favourite characters at conventions, and debate the imagined outcome of impossible physical competitions between fictional heroes. Is there anything more ‘popular culture’ than a discussion about who would win a fight between Captain America and Eleven, or about whether Sailor Moon would be a good companion for Doctor Who? If you’re part of the in-groups, you’ll know those references. If you aren’t, you’ll look them and the in-groups will have expanded. This is the power of popular culture.

Research and analysis around pop culture includes cultural studies, adaptation studies, media studies, political economy, business and many more and the field is growing in the last few years with specialized publications and events.

In this conference we hope to begin a conversation about pop culture practices, products, and meanings, along with discussions about their consumption and circulation. From some perspectives, pop culture may seem to have its roots in Anglo-European and American perspectives but this is merely a subject position issue. Popular culture as a category occurs around the world and helps each country, and subsets within them, form their sense of identity. The scope of the Project therefore includes examinations of pop culture and its effects from around the world, both from marginalised local perspectives within Anglo-European and American pop culture, and from other pop culture milieus worldwide. We are also interested in work that examines Anglo-European and American pop culture from a transnational perspective.

Key Topics

The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.

The list of key topics below is broad; please feel free to use this as a springboard to more specific topics that interest you.

~ Theoretical and methodological concepts on pop culture research;
~ Pop culture histories and herstories
~ Platform studies, social media, taste and pop culture
~ Feminism and feminist perspectives on pop culture
~ Music Studies and pop culture
~ Fan Studies and Fandoms
~ Comics Studies and Pop Culture
~ Literature and transmedia franchises in pop culture
~ Celebrity studies and pop culture
~ Digital influencers and their influence in pop culture
~ Fashion and Pop Culture
~ Subculture studies and their relation to pop culture
~ Age and ageism in pop culture
~ Gender and sexualities in the context of pop culture
~ Race and class in pop culture
~ Generation and youth cultures
~ Game Studies and pop culture
~ Materiality and pop culture
~ Memory, nostalgia, archives and pop culture archaeologies
~ Pop Culture from Global South
~ Pop Culture and politics
~ International relations and pop culture
~ Memes and pop culture
~ Television Studies and pop culture
~ Film Studies and pop culture
~ Journalism and pop culture
~ Brands, consumption, organizations
~ PR and pop culture
~ Events, festivals ,entertainment, leisure and pop culture
~ Sports and e-sports and pop culture
~ Life styles and pop culture
~ Capitalism and pop culture
~ Labour in pop culture market
~ Aesthetics and pop culture
~ Pop culture imaginaries
~ Performance Studies and pop culture

We particularly welcome creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations, and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate.
At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting.

What To Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 16th September 2022. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 7th October 2022.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 17th February 2023

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Pop Cultures.

Where To Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Adriana da Rosa Amara(Organising Chair): ADRIAMARAL@unisinos.br
Nsungbemo Ezung (Project Administrator): popcultures@progressiveconnexions.net

What’s so Special About a Progressive Connexions Event?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Please send all enquiries to: popcultures@progressiveconnexions.net

For further details and information please visit the conference web page:  https://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/cultures-and-societies/pop-cultures/conferences/

Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions