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The Mid-Atlantic Gazette

Call for Papers Deadline Extension

by Colin Helb

The Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) has extended the deadline for abstract submissions to June 30th, 2014. As many involved in academic organizations are aware, this is a pretty common practice. In fact, nearly every year, MAPACA sets a deadline with the full expectation that a two week extension will be added close to the deadline. So, we set one deadline, then we push it back a couple weeks to account for colleagues involved in summer course work, research projects, and just getting around to everything left on the back burner throughout the spring semester.

It is the intention of the Executive Board of MAPACA to make this the final year of this process. We hope to standardize the process a bit, and make June 30th the annual deadline for abstract submission with no extensions. So, make a note for next year.

As far as the 2014 conference is concerned, you have an extra two weeks to get those abstract submissions in.

Be sure to check out the Guidelines for Submitting Abstracts to the Conference on the MAPACA help page.

See you all in Baltimore.

2014 Call for Papers

by Colin Helb

25th Annual Conference November 6-8, 2014 Baltimore, Maryland Lord Baltimore Hotel

Call for Papers:

Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture. For more information or to submit a proposal, visit http://mapaca.net. Single papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative formats are welcome. Submit a 300-word abstract to one appropriate area by Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Subject Areas:

Subject Areas are as follows. Please visit the Areas page for Area Chair contact information, area description, and other information. General questions should be directed to us at the Contact page.

  • Activism
  • American Studies
  • Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Art & Visual Culture
  • Beowulf to Shakespeare: Popular Culture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
  • Children and Childhood Studies
  • Comics, Cartoons, and Video Gaming
  • Death in American Culture
  • Decorative Arts and Design
  • Detective Fiction
  • Disability Studies
  • Environment and Culture
  • Fan Fiction
  • Fashion, Appearance and Material Culture
  • Film Studies
  • Food and Culture
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (GLBTQ) Studies
  • Horror
  • Internet Culture
  • Language and Popular Culture
  • Latino/a Studies
  • Music
  • Native American Studies
  • Novels, Then and Now
  • Professional Development
  • Religion and Popular Culture
  • Sexuality and Erotica
  • SF/Fantasy
  • Sports
  • Tattoos and Tattooing
  • Television
  • Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Urban Culture
  • War Studies
  • Women’s Studies
  • Working Class Culture

About MAPACA:

MAPACA’s membership is comprised of college and university faculty, independent scholars and artists, and graduate and undergraduate students. MAPACA is an inclusive professional organization dedicated to the study of popular and American culture in all their multi-disciplinary manifestations. It is a regional division of the Popular Culture and American Culture Association (PCA/ACA). MAPACA hosts an annual conference and publishes the Mid-Atlantic Almanack each fall, and engages in other scholarly and analytical activities year round at http://mapaca.net.

Presentation Tips

by Gary Earl Ross

Editor’s Note: This article on presentation tips, written by Gary Earl Ross, was originally published on the old MAPACA website. We believe it remains valuable and useful advice for new and veteran presenters. Some text has been “modernized” to reflect changing technology, etc.

The Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) prides itself on its inclusiveness as a professional organization. It is one of few such groups where conference presentation panels may include professors with PhDs seated beside independent scholars, working artists, and undergraduate or graduate students who hope to make a career of the academy. The annual MAPACA gathering is sometimes a budding scholar’s first foray into the presentation/publication arena. The following are presentation suggestions the MAPACA board and area chairs hope emerging scholars will find useful.

Presenting a paper is not necessarily the same as reading a paper. While reading aloud is a perfectly permissible means of sharing ideas and information, significant content may be lost when, for example, a long paper must be cut short because of time. To read past the 15 or 20 minutes allowed for your part of a panel is unfair to other presenters, who must cut their own presentations short.

If reading a paper aloud, consider that a well paced reading of a double-spaced page will take between one minute, 20 seconds and one minute, 45 seconds. At a minute and a half per page, the maximum length for a 15-minute paper is 10 pages. If your paper is longer, you may not be able to share your ideas in the allotted time. Flipping through the last half of a paper gives listeners a sense of imbalance, since ideas generally are supposed to grow stronger and more engaging as the piece nears its conclusion.

If you choose to read your paper, try to speak to the audience even as you read. Look up from your paper, make eye contact with different people and speak up and out, not into the desk. Finally, remember that nervousness often makes people rush; practice reading to someone else to get a solid grasp of what speed you should be reading.

One alternative to reading verbatim is to summarize your main points for the presentation and make available copies of the full paper for conference participants. That way, even someone who was unable to attend your session can be exposed to your ideas. Another alternative is to make use of the various multimedia tools available for speakers, scholars, and presenters. Graphic representations of your main points, whether text or pictures, will help participants remember what you had to say. Imagine reading a paper that describes the content of 1940s pulp magazines while you project their lurid covers on a screen.

If you have a laptop computer and a digital projector (MAPACA conference rooms will be equipped with projectors), you will find Microsoft PowerPoint and Apple Keynote useful tools for making slides. Avoid text-heavy slides, reading verbatim from your slides, or moving too quickly through your slides. Practice your presentation with your slide show and be sure that images on screen “match” the subjects being discussed.

If you are using an Apple laptop, you will need to bring your own adapter for connecting to a VGA cable. Apple laptops will not connect directly to standard video connections without an adapter. If technology is completely foreign to you, you might try having important points or pictures made into posters at a copy shop.

Physical examples of a subject are always good. If you have a collection of some kind, display it. If you’re discussing an unusual food, bring some. If you have an instrument, whether musical, medical, or medieval, bring it to pass around or demonstrate. If you’re describing unusual music, bring samples and what you need to play them.

Remember that glitches happen. Batteries die, bulbs burn out, tapes break, CDs get corrupted, and equipment sometimes fails. Have a back-up plan: printed handouts, posters, extra batteries, extra CDs, your data on a flash drive, or whatever you need to finish your presentation.

Finally, standing is almost always better than sitting. Remember to practice (and time) your presentation beforehand. If you video or audio tape yourself, you may be able to identify strengths and weaknesses before you reach the conference. While at the conference, attend as many sessions as you can. Learn from experienced presenters. And relax. Usually, those who attend your presentation are giving presentations themselves and have had their own first experiences with an audience. For the most part, attendees are sympathetic and supportive, which makes MAPACA not just a place to begin as a scholar but a place to mature as well.

CFP Deadline Extension

by Colin Helb

This newsletter was sent to MAPACA members on April 12, 2013. View an archived copy with links and images.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

MAPACA is pleased to announce that we will be extending the deadline for abstract submissions for the 2013 Conference to Sunday, June 30, 2013.

To submit a proposal, visit Information on Submitting a Proposal. Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture for inclusion in the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey (November 7-9, 2013). Single papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative formats are welcome. Proposals should take the form of 300-word abstracts, and may only be submitted to one appropriate area. For list of areas and area chair contact information, visit Subject Areas. General questions can be asked via our Contact page.

24th Annual Conference

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association November 7-9, 2013 Atlantic City, NJ Tropicana Casino and Resort

June 2013 Newsletter

by Colin Helb

This newsletter was sent to MAPACA members on April 12, 2013. View an archived copy with links and images.

2013 Conference

The 24th annual MAPACA conference is taking place at the Tropicana Casino & Resort, located on the historic boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Conveniently located along the Atlantic Ocean in South Jersey (Southern New Jersey), only 60 miles east of Philadelphia and about 120 miles south of New York City, Atlantic City is a “hotbed” of American and popular culture. From casinos and beach vacations, to diving horses and elephants named Lucy, “AC” has grown from uninhabited woods and sand dunes to a storied resort town.

The conference is taking place at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, one of the larger resorts in Atlantic City. Along with top notch conference amenities, the “Trop” features slot machines and table games, a shopping mall, casual and fine dining, and nightclubs and a 2000 seat showroom.

2013 Call for Papers

Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture for inclusion in the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey (November 7-9, 2013). Single papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative formats are welcome. Proposals should take the form of 300-word abstracts, and may only be submitted to one appropriate area. The deadline for submission is Friday, June 14, 2013. For list of areas and area chair contact information, visit Subject Areas. General questions can be asked via our Contact page.

Atlantic City

Atlantic City’s current visitors campaign, “DO AC,” demonstrates just how much effort has gone into rebuilding the Jersey Shore following the devastation of “Superstorm” Sandy in the Fall of 2012. While not as affected as other shore points, Atlantic City was hit by the storm. Have no fear though, Atlantic City, the boardwalk, and the Tropicana are ready for us. For more information, view the online Visitors Guide or the Official Website of Atlantic City.

Mid-Atlantic Almanack

The Mid-Atlantic Almanack is the annual refereed scholarly journal of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA). For more information, please visit the Almanack’s page on MAPACA’s website, or email the Almanack’s editor, Gary Earl Ross, at [email protected]. MAPACA members are invited to submit materials for publication in The Almanack. The due date for Volume 22 (2013) is June 30, 2013.

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