MAPACA

Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Language and Popular Culture

Area chair

Joe Trotta

Employing a broad range of critical, theoretical, and methodological tools, this area explores the complex and multifaceted interrelation between language and Popular Culture.

Call for papers: 

“Language and Popular Culture” invites papers on any topic related to the relationship between language and Popular Culture. Proposals may focus upon any type of language use or communicative event (written, spoken, visual, multi-modal) as it is evidenced in any Popular Culture phenomenon (e.g. film; television; the Internet; speculative fiction and genre fiction; comics; advertising; music; gaming; the tabloid press, etc.). The perspective taken may be contemporary, historical, or a mix of both.

While the emphasis here is on language, the area is by nature interdisciplinary, combining methods and theoretical approaches from any number of academic disciplines, not least linguistics, literature studies, cultural studies, media studies, critical literacy, and pedagogy.

Creative suggestions for papers are encouraged; however, potential presenters may wish to consider topics under broad headings such as:

— ‘Language and identity’, e.g. how certain dialects, registers, and styles are produced and/or represented in popular media and what group memberships they signal,

—‘Language and representation’, e.g. the ways in which linguistic representations in the popular media help to create and/or promote certain ways of thinking about social variables such as ethnicity, gender, social class, etc.,

— ‘Media rhetoric’, e.g. how media discourse (especially in advertising, talk shows, and pundit-driven news) can work to impress a view on us, further specific interests, or maintain a hegemony,

— ‘Computer-mediated communication/Language and technology’, e.g. how new technology and Web 2.0 conventions are introducing linguistic changes, promoting new discourse conventions, and transforming the way we communicate in general

— ‘Popular Culture and language learning’ e.g. how the language encountered through Popular Culture can serve as a model for imitation for learners (both native and non-native) and how second-language learning can be promoted/enhanced through Popular Culture.

Naturally, other themes/proposals relevant to Language and Popular Culture are also welcome.

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