Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Daniel Walden Prize

The Walden Prize for Graduate and Undergraduate Papers is awarded annually to an outstanding emerging scholar in popular culture studies. Walden Prize awardees receive recognition, an honorarium, and complimentary registration for the upcoming conference. The Walden Prize is named in honor of Daniel Walden, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, English, and Comparative Literature at Penn State University.

Any undergraduate or graduate student reading a paper at the current year’s conference is eligible for award nomination. Nominations must progress through an Area Chair or a board member and be submitted to the Vice President of Awards at [email protected].

Submitted papers must be a publication ready exact duplicate of the paper read at the conference (i.e. no longer than 10 pages, double-­spaced, 12­point font). The deadline for submissions is December 1st.

Graduate Student Recipients:

  • 2015: Mariaelena DiBenigno “The Timeshare Ghost Hunt: Interpretative Techniques at a Historic House Museum”
  • 2014: Emily Marlowe, “A Modern Cave: Rejecting the Pristine in Carlsbad Caverns National Park”
  • 2013: Kelly Arehart, “Undertaker/Funeral Director/Mortician: Language and the emergence of the funeral industry, 1850-1920”
  • 2012: Lee Wiles, “Monogamy Underground: The Burial of Mormon Polygamy in the Graves of Joseph and Emma Smith”
  • 2011: Kathrinne Duffy, “Hopeless Maniacs, Physical Wrecks: Ruined Women and the ‘Oriental Cult’ Scare, 1900-1918”
  • 2010: Monica Barra, “From Homes to Hoodlum City”
  • 2009: Paul F. Braun, “The Outside Story:The Great Gatsby as Journalism”

Undergraduate Student Recipients:

  • 2014: Samantha Weiss, “Tweet for Change: The Role of Social Media in Modern Female Activism”
  • 2013: Rachel Franz, “Cultivating Little Consumers: How Picture Books Influence Materialism in Children”
  • 2012: No undergraduate award given.
  • 2011: Katherine E. De Menno, “Life in a Day: A Culmination of the Rapid Progression and Adoption of YouTube as a Source of Cultural Experience”
  • 2010: Charlie Furman, “Dueling with Censorship”
  • 2009: “’If it be your will’: Sadomasochism in Chaucer’s The Clerk’s Tale

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