This is MAPACA’s March 2017 newsletter. The next conference is November 8-11, 2017 (Philadelphia, PA).
New MAPACA President
We are happy to announce the election of Dr. Jordan M. McClain (Drexel University) as MAPACA president, 2017-2018. Dr. McClain has a long history of MAPACA service: He chairs MAPACA’s Journalism and News Media area, co-founded the Professional Development area, formerly co-chaired the Music area, and previously served as Vice President of Communications on MAPACA’s executive board. His research interests include media framing in music journalism, the relationship between television and music, celebrity, consumerism, and popular culture in pedagogy. We warmly welcome Jordan to his new position.
2017 Conference Location
We are pleased to return to Philadelphia, PA for the 28th annual Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) Conference. The conference will take place at the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown. Information on conference room rates and registration will be posted in Summer 2017. And, be on the lookout for the official MAPACA conference CFP next month!
On the importance of Popular Culture Scholarship in the wake of the Presidential Election
In light of the recent Presidential Election, and a current administration that is demonizing the press, as well as attempting to ban people from certain countries from entering the US while actively deporting others, we live in uncertain times. Now, more than ever, academics must acknowledge the precarious position of our democratic process and intervene. MAPACA can do no less.
MAPACA exists as a comprehensive space dedicated to the exchange of knowledge. We are committed to sustaining an inclusive, diverse, and vibrant community. Therefore we value, recognize, and respect our members of all gender identities and presentations, sexual orientations, levels of disability, ages, cultures, ethnic origins, nationalities, races, socioeconomic statuses, and religions. Our strength lies in our diversity: the diversity of our membership and the diversity of our ideas. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive environment, we will continue to promote and address all issues of equity and ask you to join us in that process. As a member organization, MAPACA supports and enforces PCA/ACA’s anti-discrimination policy.
MAPACA’s focus on the critical analysis of popular and American culture is vital to this mission. In the era of “fake news,” media criticism and critical cultural analysis are more important than ever. This is a moment when critical thinking, media literacy, and a thorough knowledge of popular and American culture are necessary to combat the fear, uncertainty, and doubt being spread by the current administration. Our membership has the unique ability to understand and contextualize the contemporary American political climate and cultural situation and to convey that knowledge to others in a way that fights hatred of all kinds. We do not shrink from debate but embrace it, acknowledging that there are no easy answers while relishing the opportunity to learn from each other.
Although we have an American/North American focus, MAPACA has enjoyed the contributions of scholars from around the world and supports international scholars’ continued participation in MAPACA. We continue to affirm the interconnectedness of global scholarship, and support our colleagues abroad. In the event of travel difficulties into the US from abroad, we will do our utmost to find a way to help you present your work to our membership.
We hope you will join us in Philadelphia to continue this critical conversation and reaffirm the importance of popular culture scholarship. See you in November!