2021 Ray Browne Conference

The Popular Culture Scholars Association is excited to announce the 2021 Ray Browne Conference for Popular Culture Studies:


Considering Conclusions: What Do We Learn When We Unpack the Popular?

March 5-7, 2021
Bowling Green State University

Dr. Jeremy Wallach


Failures of Popular Culture Studies

Popular culture studies has spent so much time either defensively justifying its existence or celebrating itself that fundamental contradictions in the field remain unaddressed more than half a century into its existence. Dr. Wallach’s presentation outlines his own 25-year intellectual journey navigating a course between the Scylla of critical arrogance and the Charybdis of uncritical fannish enthusiasm. He concludes by asserting that he has found the only way forward to be to acknowledge fully the political context in which popular culture scholars work in which most forms of popular culture are openly and mercilessly derided, and their own subject positions as both scholars and active participants in popular culture broadly defined.

Jeremy Wallach is a Professor of Popular Culture in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University.

Time Scheduled Activity
1:50PM Welcome Remarks - Day One Friday, March 5, 2021
2:00PM-3:00PM Panel 1: Unpacking Popular Media and Identity: From Disney to Horror

Joseph V. Giunta- “But Like All Dreams, I’m Afraid This Won’t Last Forever”: Framing Young Womanhood through Fantasy Circumscription and Adult Prescribed Gender Roles in Early 1950s Disney Animated Films

Shane Hesketh- “I thought I killed Joey Cusack”: Unpacking the Identity Crisis in David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence

Robyn Perry- “Borrowed from Way Back When”: Postwar Japanese Popular Music in America Through the Lens of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle

Amanda Taylor- Social Identity, Etiquette Education, and Marriage: The Interpellation of Feminine Success and The Narrative Formula of Pretty Woman

3:15PM-4:00PM Panel 2: Wrestling with the Popular: Form and Performance

Jules Patalita - Wrestling with the Pandemic: The Performance of Professional Wrestling During COVID-19

Nick Canada- Wrestling Through the Aperture: Editing, Cinematography, and Ideology in the Golden Age of Professional Wrestling

Adam Nicholas Cohen- 'WWE and Saudi Vision 2030: Professional Wrestling as Cultural Diplomacy

4:15PM-5:15PM Social Hour: Join us for a game of Jeopardy, hosted by Shane Hesketh  
5:30PM-6:30PM Creating and Utilizing Popular Culture Archives with Dr. Heather Fox and John King             
Time Scheduled Activity
10:20AM Welcome Remarks - Day Two Saturday, March 6, 2021
10:30AM-11:45AM Panel 3: Gender and Sexuality in the Popular: Beyond, Between, Within

Zamirah Hussain- Orville Peck’s Outlaw Country Camp: A Parodic Interpretation

Judy Clemens-Smucker- Masculinity and Sport: An Analysis of “The M.V.P.” in the Television Comedy Schitt's Creek

Dylan Miller- “Like a mailbox?” - A Critique of Hegemonic Gender in Amazon’s The Tick  

Jinx Mylo- Letting Go of Labels in TV’s Queer Utopias: Aspiration or Erasure?

Anna DeGalan- A Wonder of a Woman: Wonder Woman’s Musical Themes as Persuasive Text  

12:00PM-1:00PM Conference Keynote
Failures of Popular Culture Studies
Dr. Jeremy Wallach 

1:00PM-2:15PM Lunch Break
2:30PM-3:30PM Panel 4: Redefining the Popular: Audience, Fans, and Adaptation           

Michaela Hansen- Genre is Dead. Long Live Genre: A Romance

Frankie Krutsch- To Hell with the Canon: How Fanfiction is (Re)thinking Authorial Intent, Textual Ownership, and the Postmodern Condition

Alexander Long- Literary Hobbits and Hobbits of Action: Redefining The Hobbit in Peter Jackson’s Film Adaptation of Tolkien

Britton Seese- On a Dante Rollercoaster Ride with the Seven Deadly Sins: What Sandbox Simulation Video Games Accomplish for Literature Enthusiasts

3:45PM-4:45PM Panel 5: The Overlooked Political Power of the Popular

Adriana Mariella- Tomorrow’s Incubator: Advertising & the Cultural Feedback Loop

Shehee Simon- She/Her Petition for Peace, Safety + Security

Dr. Christopher Leary- What Happens to Popular Culture in Authoritarian Societies?

Emma Lynn- Political Activism on Tik-Tok

Time Scheduled Activity
10:20AM Welcome Remarks - Day Three Sunday, March 7, 2021
10:30AM-11:30AM Panel 6: Finding Empathy in the Popular: Personally and Globally

Kelly Cole- Fiona Apple’s Shifting Personal and Political Narrative in Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Oladoyin Abiona- Colors from Nigeria: Unpacking Ankara Fabric

Dr. Britt Rhuart- “Life Itself”: Studying the Popular Through Roger Ebert’s Empathy Machine

Haley Shipley- “I want to sing some other way”: Stryper and the Personal Paradoxes and Freedoms of Christian Heavy Metal for One Rural Ohio Girl

11:45AM-12:45PM Panel 7: Current Culture Research by the Faculty and Staff of the Department of Popular Culture and BPCL

Dr. Kristen Rudisill- In Support of the Deer: The Dancing Women of Maanada Mayilada

Dr. Matthew Donahue- The Amsterdam Sign Project

Dr. Chuck Coletta- Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do. What are we doing in the funny papers?: The Lost I Love Lucy Comic Strip and the Rise of TV Comics

Dr. Nancy Down- Women and Femininity in the Superhero Pulps: Nita Van Sloan in the Spider Pulps

1:00PM-2:15PM Lunch Break
2:30PM-3:45PM Panel 8: Memory and Authenticity in the Popular          

Dr. Patricia Webb- “Even Better than the Real Thing”? Constructions of Public Memories of Heritage Rock Music

Benjamin Thomason- “Music For the People”: Quests for Authenticity in Detroit Rock from Punk to the Garage Revivalownership, and the Postmodern Condition

Joseph McManis-Collectibles in the Collection: Pop culture realia in special collections

Cheyenne White- Nostalgia and the Physical Book

Tyler Wertsch- Consider the McNugget: Exploring How Popular Texts Recast the Past and Memory of War

4:00PM-5:00PM Panel 9: Unpacking “Comfort Food” During the Pandemic: Finding Discomfort/Comfort Through Foodways

Dr. Lucy Long  

Jerry Reed  

Minglei Zhang

5:00PM Conference Closing

The Ray Browne Conference for Popular Culture Studies is an annual graduate student organized conference that invites participants to consider the study of popular culture as an approach, proposal, and practice.

Please contact raybrowneconf@bgsu.edu with any questions.

To individuals with disabilities:
Please indicate if you need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services, access@bgsu.edu, 419-372-8495. Please notify us prior to the event.