#CFP: Teaching and Pop Culture #NEPCA2020

A chalkboard with scrabble letters that spell out "Teaching and pop culture NEPCA CFP"
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It's that time of year where the Northeast Popular Culture Association (NEPCA for short) is putting out its annual call for proposals for the regional conference at Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH from Friday, October 23-Saturday, October 24.  

Do you teach pop culture in some capacity in your classroom? Do you teach a course on pop culture?  What ways do you work pop culture into your teaching?  

The Teaching Popular Culture area is a bit different than the other areas which are research-focused.  This area more provides some professional development, feedback, and reflection around how we employ popular culture in the classroom.  This is often an under-considered aspect of popular culture studies: how we meaningfully engage with our students on pop culture.  

This area focuses on how to teach popular culture, which may include sharing unique approaches to:
  • Teaching courses focused specifically on “popular culture”
  • Teaching courses on an area within popular culture (e.g. courses that focus on the content and cultural aspects–not necessarily the “how-to” aspects of comics, video games, horror, Harry Potter, baseball, The Beatles, etc).
  • Teaching mainstream courses using popular culture (e.g. baseball statistics for explaining, statistics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for explaining political theory, Star Trek for exploring biology).
In the last few years, this area has picked up a lot more participants both presenting and in attendance as all of us are interested in applying our scholarship and research of popular culture into learning opportunities for our students.  

Those who teach a popular-culture-focused course (specifically about popular culture or thematically structured around popular culture) can discuss some of the challenges, benefits, and experiences in teaching such a course.  This format could entail a list of questions that the participants can go through followed up with questions by attendees.  It could also be transformed into a useful resource on the NEPCA website or as a follow-up blog post for the conference.  

If you and other faculty teach a similar topic, area of popular culture, or have different strategies and approaches that you want to illustrate, a proposed full panel about teaching on popular culture is of great interest.  This might include a group of instructors teaching first-year seminars with different pop culture focuses or even exploring how different faculty incorporated a campus-wide popular text in their courses.

As someone who teaches pop culture online, I'd love to team up with others to do a panel that explores what it's like to teach pop culture online.  It would be great to work with and present with other faculty who have or regularly teach popular culture (or focus in some ways on popular culture) in an online environment.  There are a lot of topics to discuss in this realm and would encourage anyone interested in creating a panel to reach out to me. 

If you have something related to teaching and pop culture, then consider submitting a proposal!  Every year, we get some really fantastic presentations on a range of great topics relating to teaching and popular culture.  If you're stuck on the fence or need someone to brainstorm and flesh out your proposal a bit more, feel free to reach out to me and we'll see what we can come up with.   

Therefore, I encourage anyone who may teach a popular culture focused course or use popular culture in interesting and useful ways to put in a proposal.  Here are a few of the formats that you might consider submitting or participating in (if you have thoughts or questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me at northeastpopculture@gmail.com).  
  • Roundtable of Popular Culture and Teaching
  • Panel on Teaching
  • Panel on Teaching Popular Culture Online
  • Individual Presentations on Strategies, Approaches, Resources
Some of our previous presentations have included titles such as:
  • Approaches to teaching Media and Popular Culture
  • Challenges of Media Representation in the Media Classroom
  • Compare and Contrast in Sakai Lessons
  • Course Design in the Age of Trump
  • De/Composing Otherness: Classic Monsters in 1st-Year Writing
  • Examining Brexit: The Uncivil War
  • Gonzo Identity
  • Heroes and Superheroes: Pop Lit and Writing Studies
  • Teaching Hip-Hop: Boosting Student Agency
  • Teaching Professional Ethics through Superhero Comic Books
  • Teaching Sociology through TV: An Update
  • Wanna Play? Creative Strategies for Teaching Pop Culture
NEPCA conferences welcome graduate students, junior faculty, independent researchers, and senior faculty as equals. NEPCA prides itself on offering intimate and nurturing sessions in which new ideas and works-in-progress can be aired, as well as completed projects. NEPCA is dedicated to expanding intellectual horizons, open engagement, and constructive criticism. 

So if you are interested, please check out the conference page before going and filling out the proposal form.  If you're interested in putting in a proposal that isn't Teaching and Popular Culture, then check out the other areas to determine which is the right area to submit.  Deadline for submission is June 1, 2020. 

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