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Late August Newsletter: DIA, Registration, Special Events, and More!

This is the late August MAPACA Newsletter. The next conference is November 8-10, 2018 (Baltimore, MD).

In this newsletter, we have:

  • 2018 Divine Impact Award Announcement

  • Registration Information for #mapaca18

  • Hotel Information for #mapaca18

  • CFP for our Annual High-Density Popular Culture Crash Course Special Session

  • Information about #mapaca18 Special Events

2018 Divine Impact Award Recipient: Rabia Chaudry

We are pleased to announce our 2018 winner of the Divine Impact Award, Rabia Chaudry. A longtime resident of Baltimore, Ms. Chaudry is a wife, mother, attorney, and a 2016 Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at U.S. Institute of Peace, where she researched the intersection of religion and violent extremism. Ms. Chaudry brought Adnan Sayed’s story to the attention of Sarah Koenig, who turned it into the popular podcast Serial, launching the true crime podcast phenomenon. While Serial was popular, Ms. Chaudry wanted to continue working for justice for Adnan Sayed and others like him, so she started her own podcast, Undisclosed, with two other lawyers. Undisclosed, which has reached over 2 million downloads, covers cases of wrongful conviction and police misconduct, and partners with the Innocence Project to overturn wrongful convictions. Ms. Chaudry is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Adnan’s Story, which delves further into the evidence in Sayed’s case. We are honored to present Ms. Chaudry with our 2018 Divine Impact Award. Ms. Chaudry will participate in a Q&A and reception at our November conference. For more information about Ms. Chaudry and Undisclosed, please see and

Registration for #mapaca18

Don’t forget to register for #mapaca18! Go to to register for this year’s conference, dinner, and special events!

Dinner at #mapaca18:

All registered participants who make a reservation are welcome at our annual meeting and dinner at no additional cost. You may also purchase a dinner reservation for a guest who is not registered for the conference.

However, please help MAPACA keep conference costs low and avoid food waste by ordering a dinner reservation only if you have firm plans to attend dinner on Friday night. If you do not know your dinner plans, please do not order a dinner reservation. If your plans change, please email [email protected] by October 1st to either be added to or to be removed from the reservation list, whichever applies.

Need Help with Registration?

Can’t remember what you ordered or if you are registered? Your 2018 registration status is indicated in your profile. If you purchased your own registration, program, tour, etc. you can also log in and look at your orders in your profile. You can also print invoices from your profile. If you need help with registration, purchasing a printed program, or changing your dinner reservation please contact [email protected].

Hotel Information for #mapaca18

Reserve your room in the Lord Baltimore Hotel! Conference rate rooms will go fast: Guests may book by calling 855-539-1928 or by going online to

Special Session - Call for Proposals: High-Density Popular Culture Crash Course (Deadline: September 8, 2018)

MAPACA seeks proposals for a special session at this year’s 29th annual conference.

Panel Overview:

This high-density session will feature several 5-minute micro-presentations about current popular culture topics in a “crash course” about new and interesting phenomena.

Since many attendees often spend the majority of their conference time attending presentations related to only one or a few areas, this special session will offer a chance to learn about a diverse range of topics meant to inform popular culture scholars beyond their specific research interests.

Proposals will be selected based on merit and diversity of topics. Please note that due to the nature of this special session, presenters are allowed to participate in both this session and other conventional panels.


An ideal topic will be current, significant, interesting, and the sort of thing people talk about before class/at parties/on social media. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • “branded streetwear”
  • Disney’s presence in the fashion world
  • pop-up stores
  • Twitter-thread editorials
  • “Pee Tape” and other Trump-related matters
  • #metoo and industry leadership changes
  • Disney and Comcast fighting for 20th Century Fox
  • 10 Years of the MCU (or the failure of the DCEU now being re-branded)

How to Submit:

Email a brief biography and a 75-word proposal that includes a presentation title, explanation of the topic, and identification of its significance for contemporary popular culture research. Please include this information in the body of your email, not as an attachment. Please direct your crash course submission to Dr. Tom Grochowski: [email protected] by the September 8, 2018 deadline.

Special Events at #mapaca18

Play Studies:

What better place to enjoy Victorian Era entertainment than the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel? Join Play Studies for an irreverent experience playing parlor games! We’ll briefly discuss the background of this genre, consider familiar favorites as well as some more contemporary and unusual games, and play a round or two. Take a break from the normal panel format and come play!

Food Roundtable & Farmers Market:

Food Studies will host a roundtable on the local food movement in the Mid-Atlantic region at 9:00-10:15 Saturday (Please note the time change). Panelists will speak about the increase in interest in local food sources, artisan food producers, and farm to table chefs and restaurants. Afterward, they will walk to a local Farmer’s market (Lexington Market, .4mi from the hotel), discuss local food production, and folks can get lunch.

Writing and Urban Culture:

Please join area chair Blagovesta Momchedjikova for a unique workshop on writing about urban culture. Past topics include food in the city, urban performances, and urban memories. Enter the ranks of the myriad writers who have taken the city as their inspiration by penning your own story of the ever-evolving miracle of the human will.

Mt. Vernon Ghost Tour:

Please join us Friday evening as we embark on a ghost walk of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhood, Mt. Vernon. Tour guides from Baltimore Ghost Tours℠ will be sure to scare up some frightening facts about this storied section of the city, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark District. The tour will begin at 8:30 pm in the lobby of the Belvedere Hotel, a short walk from our conference site. Ticket price ($13) includes a tip for the guide. Space is limited, so reserve your tickets today for some fearsome fun! To register please go to:

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) P.O. Box 25033 Philadelphia, PA 19147-0033


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