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Featured Speakers Examine Cult Pop Culture, The Idea in Pop Culture Analysis

Midwest Popular Culture/American Culture Association Brings Hundreds of Scholars and Enthusiasts to Milwaukee

 
PRLog - Oct. 11, 2011 - (Milwaukee)  – Popular culture enthusiasts from across the Midwest and the nation will gather in Milwaukee October 14-16, 2011, at the 2011 joint Midwest Popular Culture/Midwest American Culture Association Annual Conference at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center. Some 120 panels will examine topics across the popular culture universe, from Mad Men and Harry Potter to Twilight and Facebook.

Two featured speakers address the conference on Friday, October 14, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.

-- Bob Batchelor, an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University, talks about “Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream” in Wright Ballroom A.

-- John Jordan, associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, discusses “The Idea, and Its Importance in Analyzing Popular Culture” in Wright Ballroom C.

Batchelor’s presentation focuses on the 3-volume edited anthology Cult Pop Culture: How the Fringe Became Mainstream (Preager), published later this year. The anthology is the first dedicated to the quirky, offbeat aspects of American popular culture that people have loved, enjoyed, (and in some cases) worshiped over the last 50 years. By examining the (often seedy) people and subjects we hold most dear, this collection offers deep insights into what Americans think, feel, and cherish.

Jordan’s talk reveals his interest in those moments when ideas and material circumstances come together in a way that requires communities to make sense of the situation. These are the moments when someone has to interpret, or declare, or reach out – moments of meaningful and material communication. Jordan’s work seeks an understanding of how such situations are arrived at, how their meaning is contested and understood, and what implications arise for how we see ourselves in modern society.

About the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association
The Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (MPCA/ACA) is a regional branch of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. The organization held its first conference in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1973. After a hiatus during the 1990s, the organization held a comeback conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2002. MPCA/ACA usually holds its annual conference in a large Midwestern city. Anyone is welcome to join and submit proposals for consideration at the MPCA/ACA conference. Membership in MPCA/ACA is by no means limited to those working or living in the Midwest or even the United States. In fact, presenters have come from as far away as Florida and California, and Norway and Australia. Visit http://www.mpcaaca.org for more information about the organization and how to join. Also, follow #MidwestPCA for updates and conversation streaming live from the conference.

About Bob Batchelor
Bob Batchelor (Ph.D., University of South Florida) is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University and academic coordinator of its online M.A. program in public relations. Batchelor is the author or editor of 10 books, including: The 1900s; The 1980s; The 2000s; and American Pop: Popular Culture Decade by Decade. He has published in Radical History Review, The Journal of American Culture, The Mailer Review, The American Prospect Online, and Public Relations Review. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Popular Culture and Pop Culture Universe: Icons, Idols, Ideas (ABC-CLIO). Batchelor’s current research includes books on John Updike, Bob Dylan, and the rubber industry in World War II. He is also editing two anthologies with KSU colleague Danielle Coombs: We Are What We Sell: How Advertising Shapes American Life…And Always Has and American History through American Sports. He can be reached at rpbatche@kent.edu.

About John Jordan
John W. Jordan (Ph.D., University of Georgia) is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. He studies pressing issues in contemporary society using critical rhetorical analysis. Jordan’s research program centers typically on how technology interacts with public sensibilities, and how subaltern groups use rhetoric to engage authoritative control. His scholarly goal is to help others appreciate the wider possibilities of their involvement in society. Jordan’s recent scholarship has appeared in Quarterly Journal of Speech, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Flow. He can be contacted at jjdordan@uwm.edu.

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