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CFP: At the Mercy of the Masses? Popular Culture and Academia

Popular culture makes up a large part of our society, from bestsellers, graphic novels and video games, to social media and wildly popular television series and movies. Critical scholars have viewed popular culture as an area of negotiation, in which meaning is both constructed and contested. This conference seeks to address these and other complexities in the study of popular culture.

For this interdisciplinary conference, the graduate students of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland invite papers that examine and/or challenge the role of popular culture within society, history, literature, and the classroom. Papers that deal with popular culture during all historical periods and from all theoretical perspectives and departments are welcome. We especially encourage panel submissions. All abstracts and papers must be written in English. Please send abstracts of 250 words by December 20th to

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
(Re)Defining popular culture, subculture, and mass culture
The politics and ideologies of popular culture
Popular culture through the centuries: A historical perspective
Popular culture and Cultural Studies: Challenging the parameter
Literature these days: The success of crime, romance, and fantasy
Popular but frowned upon: The two sides of pop music
Popular Culture and sociolinguistics
Popular culture and its audience
Popular culture and identity formation
Popular culture in the context of cultural globalization
Teaching popular culture
Popular culture and the electronic age
Love, Sex, Drugs, and Rock’n’Roll: Top themes of popular culture
Pop culture within popular culture