Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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September Newsletter

This is the September MAPACA newsletter. Our next conference is November 9-11 in Philadelphia, PA.

In This Newsletter, We Have:

  • Regular registration ends 9/14!
  • Hotel Information
  • Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award
  • Crash Course CFP Due 9/8
  • McFarland Books
  • Our COVID-19 statement for the 2023 conference
  • Important Dates

Regular Registration ends 9/14

Regular registration for this year’s conference is open until September 14 at! The rates for regular registration are lower than late registration, so make sure you register as soon as you can. We want to see you at this year’s conference!

Hotel Information

Reserve your room for MAPACA2023 at the Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square! Use this link to book today!

2023 Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award Honoree - Dr. Mary Beth Ray

We are excited to announce that the recipient of the Loretta Lorance Volunteer Recognition Award is Dr. Mary Beth Ray! The Lorance Award is granted to a conference participant who has contributed to the growth and success of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association through service and leadership.

Dr. Mary Beth Ray is an Associate Professor and Chair of Communication & Media Studies, and Co-Chair of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Plymouth State University. Her research focuses on internet culture, gender, popular music, and media. She holds a Ph.D. from Temple University’s Mass Media and Communication Program and an M.A. in Media Studies from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication. Dr. Ray is a long-time co-chair of the Popular Culture Association’s (PCA) Internet Culture Area, as well as of the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association’s (MAPACA) Music Area. Her work can be found in Rock Brands: Selling Sound in a Media Saturated Culture (Lexington, 2010) and Consumer Identities: Agency, Media, and Digital Culture (Intellect, 2019). She co-authored “Beyond technology: Calling for critical inquiry on the cultural impact(s) of the Internet” (2020) in Computers in Human Behavior. She is the sole author of Digital Connectivity and Music Culture – Artists & Accomplices (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017) and editor of the forthcoming collection Essays on Music, Adolescence, and Identity: The Adolescentia Project (Palgrave MacMillan, 2024). Dr. Ray attended her first MAPACA conference in Philadelphia in 2011 and presented in the Internet Culture Area. From there, she attended yearly, presenting, volunteering, and eventually joining the executive board. She first partnered with Dr. Jordan McClain as VP of Communication and held that position until 2019, when the baton was officially passed to Dr. Meredith Guthrie. Since 2015 she has co-chaired the Music Area with Dr. Raj Singh. She is immensely grateful for the support and fellowship of her MAPACA comrades and thrilled to accept the Lorance Award – at the same site of her first MAPACA conference those many years ago.

We look forward to presenting the Lorance Award and celebrating Dr. Mary Beth Ray at the 2023 Conference!

Call for Proposals for our High-Density Popular Culture Crash Course

MAPACA seeks proposals for a special session at the 2023 annual conference. Please note: You ARE ALLOWED to present at the Crash Course whether you are already presenting at our 2023 conference or not. As long as you register for the conference and your Crash Course proposal is accepted, you are welcome!

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.


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

  • “Disappearing content”: streaming service consolidations, series cancellations, and “making room” (i.e. Paramount+ cancellations of series as part of Showtime partnership)
  • The growth of e-sports
  • AI and the fears it generates (that, and the mediocre essays it generates)
  • The current WGA (and now SAG-AFTRA) strike
  • The return of tabletop gaming
  • Barbenheimer and the impact on the film industry
  • Insert your great idea here

How to Submit

Email a brief biography and a 75-word proposal that includes a presentation title, explanation of the topic, and identification of significance for contemporary popular culture research. (Please include this information in the body of your email, not as an attachment.) Email Dr. Tom Grochowski at Deadline: September 8, 2023.

McFarland Books

This is the main page for our POP CULTURE category and its subcategories. Categories of related interest include GENRE (e.g., science fiction studies), NOTABLE FIGURES (e.g., Alfred Hitchcock), and INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES (e.g. women’s studies).

Prospective authors interested in writing for a SERIES can consult the series page for more information: Contributions to Zombie Studies | Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy | Companions to Mystery Fiction | Companions to Young Adult Literature | Dogs in Our World | Ethics and Culture | McFarland Literary Companions | Studies in Gaming | Studies in Heavy Metal Music & Culture | Worlds of Whedon

COVID Statement

We look forward to welcoming you to our 2023 conference this November. At this time, our conference will be mask-encouraged to support our immunocompromised community members. Remember, the proper wearing of a mask that covers your nose and mouth helps prevent community spread and protect everyone, especially immunocompromised colleagues.

Before the conference, please check to see if you are eligible for a vaccine or booster for COVID-19 or other seasonal diseases, such as the flu and RSV. Visit to find vaccination locations near you. Keeping up to date with vaccines, in line with public health and your doctor’s guidance, further supports our community.

Finally, we are asking you to do your part in contributing to the health and well-being of your fellow MAPACA attendees by staying home if you feel sick and/or are symptomatic. The Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association (MAPACA) is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. These guidelines may change based on infection rates in the country and Philadelphia as the conference approaches.

Important Dates

  • Now-September 14: Regular registration
  • September 8: Deadline to send in a Crash Course proposal
  • September 15-October 1: Late registration
  • November 9-11: 2023 Conference in Philadelphia

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)

P.O. Box 1358

Lansdowne, PA 19050

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