Center for Popular Culture Studies

About the Center

Founded: 1970

Affiliation: The Center for Popular Culture Studies is located in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University. The Department of Popular Culture is in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Mission: The Center for Popular Culture Studies promotes the interdisciplinary study of Popular Culture through excellence in teaching, learning, scholarly activity, and engagement with the diverse and multicultural communities of Ohio, the United States, and the world.

Description: The Center for Popular Culture Studies supports the interdisciplinary study of Popular Culture in all its many roles, meanings, and manifestations combining approaches of the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Programs: Resident fellowships, conferences and symposia, colloquia and lecture series, research and reports, and K-16 curriculum support.

Resident Fellowships

External Fellows: Both short-term and long-term fellowships are available throughout the year. The host university is on the semester system. Although most fellows are senior faculty on sabbatical, fellowships may be awarded to advanced Ph.D. students and junior faculty. During the average academic year, the Center is host to three to four fellows.

Eligibility: The Center accepts visiting scholars on sabbatical or foundation grants as well as independent scholars. Individuals should apply directly to the Center by presenting a clear outline of the proposed research activities and indicating how residence at the Center will enhance the project. A current curriculum vita and names and phone numbers of at least two references should be provided.

Terms of Appointment: Fellows are expected to pursue their own research utilizing the unparalleled resources of the Browne Popular Culture Library and/or the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives within the Jerome University Library. Generally, there are no monetary awards associated with these fellowships, although there are occasional paid teaching opportunities and, in rare instances, modest grants to defray some of the costs associated with a fellow's research efforts. Fellows are afforded access to computers, desk space, limited secretarial assistance, and special access privileges to the Library collections. All Center functions are available to fellows, including opportunities to share their research during formal colloquia and informal "brown bag lunch" programs. Insofar as possible, Center fellows are treated as members of the faculty of the Department of Popular Culture with regard to programming and social activities.

Conferences and Symposia

The Center with the Department of Popular Culture occasionally conducts, through the work of individual Popular Culture faculty members, public conferences, which bring scholarly attention and focus to critical issues in Popular Culture. Conferences have been co-sponsored with the Popular Culture Library and Institute for Culture and Society. Since 1992, the Center has sponsored the following conferences: "The Future of Popular Culture Studies in the Twenty-First Century," "The Atomic Age Opens: American Culture Confronts the Atomic Bomb," "Holidays, Ritual, Festival, Celebration, and Public Display," "Situating the Comedy: Celebrating 50 Years of American Television Situation Comedy 1947-1997,"  "Youth, Popular Culture, and Everyday Life," and "Heavy Metal and Popular Culture."

Colloquia and Lecture Series

The Popular Culture Colloquium Series was revived during the 2006-2007 academic year. Colloquia will feature faculty and graduate students from the Department of Popular Culture and other academic units at or outside of Bowling Green State University. Colloquia areas will include sharing scholarship on critical issues in Popular Culture, pedagogical issues in the teaching of Popular Culture, or professional development topics related to the higher education and the academic environment. All colloquia will run approximately from 11:00am to 12:00pm followed by an informal "brown bag lunch" until 1:00pm. All events will take place on the Bowling Green State University Main Campus. 

2006-2007 Colloquia
2007-2008 Colloquia
2008-2009 Colloquia
2009-2010 Colloquia
2010-2011 Colloquia
2011-2012 Colloquia
2012-2013 Colloquia

Research and Reports

The Center will release reports about the state of popular culture studies as an academic discipline at Bowling Green State University and within institutions of higher education in Northwest Ohio, Ohio, and the United States. A similar project which reported on the current overall status of popular culture studies at colleges and universities in the United States was conducted by Mark A. Gordon and Jack Nachbar in 1979.This study, Currents of Warm Life: Popular Culture in American Higher Education, was published in 1980. As part of a general research program, the Center will gather, digitize (if needed), design, and disseminate empirical data about popular culture studies. The data set will be organized into four categories--Institutions; Colleges, Schools, and Centers; Curriculum; and Faculty.

K-16 Curriculum Support

The Center occasionally sponsors curriculum planning and assessment activities and offers consultations to other institutions of higher education or primary through secondary institutions seeking to develop courses and curricula in popular culture. The Center shares course materials and syllabi with instructors developing courses and programs in the field. Please contact department faculty to field questions.


Information on general and specific library holdings is available on request from the Browne Popular Culture Library and Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives at Bowling Green State University. Potential fellows are encouraged to make advance inquiries concerning the ability of the research collections to support the planned research program.

Director:  TBD

Colloquium Series Coordinator:  TBD

Updated: 06/15/2020 02:50PM