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Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association

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What's PCA/ACA

  • PCA/ACA is the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association.
    • "The individuals who comprise the PCA are a group of scholars and enthusiasts who study popular culture. The Popular Culture Association (formally the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association) is a 501c3 which offers a venue to come together and share ideas and interests about the field or about a particular subject within the field."
  • PCA has one national conference per year, each year in a different city.
  • There are Seven regions to PCA, and each of these has a smaller, regional conference every year.
  • The national conference draws from 2,000 to 4,000 people presenting and attendees across many subject areas: from Advertising to British Popular Culture, from Fairy Tales to Game Studies, from Poetry to Punk, from Stephen King to Women's Studies.
  • This program shows the wide array of PCA Presenters and subjects
  • We present in the largest area of the conference, Sci-Fi & Fantasy (SFF).
  • PCA 2020 was Covid-Cancelled, and PCA 2021 was a smaller than normal conference (as it was held in a virtual environment).







When and Where is PCA?








How much does it cost

  • Nothing, except your own meals.
  • The college pays for the cost of airfare, hotel rooms, and Conferences fees.
  • Maybe...
  • Currently, the college is now going through a long-awaited re-organization; we remain hopeful that SGA (student government) will still be able to fund the trip as it has done for the last 8 years.
  • Typically, it costs the college about $1000 per EFSC presenter.
  • PCA 2022 is in Seattle, so the cost will be higher.
  • We usually obtain enough money for 4-6 people to present; sometimes we check with people if they can pay for either their own transportation, or their own accommodations so may more go.
  • In Washington, 2019, we stretched our funding creativity to its limit:







What is PCA like

  • The best way to understand what PCA is like is to think of a large campus of a college, where 100 to 200 courses are happening at the same time.
  • In each course/classroom are 15 to 25 people.
  • Each PCA day is divided into six 1-1/2 hour sessions, from 8am to 8pm. (Or, think of 6 time slots for courses throughout a day)
  • Just as students shift classrooms and courses throughout various times each day, so do attendees/people shift rooms and subject matters throughout the conference days.
  • The PCA conference is held in venues that have roughly 40-50 presentation rooms, and each room usually has audiences of 10 to 50 people







What do we actually do at PCA

  • Besides your 15 minutes of fame presenting, I request that every member of our group is present at all other EFSC PCA presentations.
  • Other than that you are free to roam the city and the conference.
  • The exact time and place (room location) of your presentation will be announced by PCA about 1-2 months before the conference
  • At that time, 4 presenters will sit at tables in the front of each room, and one by one each will present for 15 minutes. Then, there is a 30 minute Q&A with the audience.







What if I am under 18 at the time of travel

  • Faculty and staff have no authority over travelling students, but at the same time the Student Code of Conduct applies to EFSC sponsored trips.
  • Underage presenters must travel along with their parent(s) or guardian.
  • While the college will fund the student's travel (the money comes from the Student Activities fund), the college cannot fund non-student travel such as guardian travel costs.
  • Because the school will only sponsor double occupancy rooms (two people per room), underage presenters may have to find/pay for their own accommodations with their guardians.
  • Guardians will have to pay for their own airfare, but the college will pay for the student's airfare.
  • Underage presenters and guardians cannot travel in a vehicle driven by faculty or staff, which means they most likely would have to supply their own transport to Orlando Airport and back home from Orlando Airport when we return.







What's my next step to present at PCA

  • During the Fall term, we will be requesting funds from SGA. Once we have that total dollar number, we can assess costs of the conference, airfare, hotels, and ground transportation.
  • We then must decide who will be fully funded to attend, who can be partially funded to attend, and who will not be able to attend.
  • Usually, when we have too many people and not enough funds, the decision is made by a blind review of the abstracts by EFSC Humanities/English faculty.
  • If you are selected by PCA and then for funding by EFSC, the next step starts over the holidays and into the Spring term.
  • Holidays: advancing your ideas, perfecting the presentation.
  • Spring Term: informal gatherings to practice presenting and fine-tuning presentations. The times and dates are chosen according to presenter availabilities.
  • During spring term meetings, we will discuss everything from travel to clothing.







Former EFSC Presenters/Presentations



PCA/ACA National | Washington DC | April 2013

  • 42: Understanding Surrealism through Logic
    • A. Hedricks
  • Concerns Across Time: A look at how The Time Machine by H.G Wells and Doctor Who portray similar issues and concerns
    • T. Chiodini
  • Doctor Who, MD: The Doctor of All Things Cosmic?
    • K. Dimaria
  • Garbage in, Gospel out: Applications of ‘Garbage in, Garbage out’ in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and its Relation to the Future of Human-Machine Interface
    • J. Hadwin
  • Mentor Who?: Understanding the role of modern mentors through Doctor Who
    • A. White

PCA/ACA | Chicago | April 2014

  • I'll take Dystopia Please: Technological Dystopia in WALL-E, The Lorax and Oblivion
    • P. Sherwood-Berndt
  • Not Just Pretty Faces: Female Roles and the Liminal State in Modern Science Fiction
    • C. Harris
  • Real(?) New World: An Application of Lacan's "Three Orders" and Baudrillard's Theory of Hyperreality to Aldus Huxley's Brave New World
    • T. Chiodini
  • Selling Superficiality: The Disneyfication of Bloom's Taxonomy and Science Fiction Narratives
    • C. Cerimele
  • Sworn Brothers and Masculine Intimacy: A Return to Classical Homosociality within Modern Speculative Fiction
    • K. Tramel
  • Turn On, Plug In, Drift Out: The Struggle of the Body Against Apocalypse in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Pacific Rim
    • J. Hadwin

PCAS/ACAS Regional | New Orleans | Fall 2014

  • Girls Don't Buy Boys' Toys: How Gender Roles Affect Cartoon Fans, Creators, and Market Data
    • K. Tramel

PCA/ACA National | New Orleans | April 2015

  • "I sure as hell ain't your dad": A New Model of Fatherhood and Masculinity in Dystopian Fiction
    • K. Tramel
  • “The Flesh Is A Machine”: How Posthuman Transformations Emphasize Human Qualities
    • A. Freeman
  • A Good Man Survives the War: An Analysis of the Doctors Madness Using the Four-Factor Model for PTSD
    • C. Cerimele
  • Grey Wardens and The White Wolf: Moral Fluidity in Players, Characters, and Monsters in The Witcher and Dragon Age: Origins
    • C. Metott
  • I Dune wanna Grow Up Analyzing Frank Herbert’s Dune in Response to the Death of Adulthood in American Culture
    • E. Mullican
  • The Groots Among Us: The “Push/Pull” of Animal Rights and Environmental Issues in Science-Fiction Films.
    • A. Proskauer

FURC | Univ. of Tampa | February 2016

  • I Dune wanna Grow Up Analyzing Frank Herbert’s Dune in Response to the Death of Adulthood in American Culture
    • E. Mullican

FURC | FAU | February 2017

  • Artful Stealing and Convergent Dodging: Analyzing Divergent and Convergent Thinking in Creative Control, Temp Music, and Stealing Like an Artist"
    • E. Mullican
  • Dancing in the Dark: The Conflict of Romantic and Sentimental Ideas in the Internet Apocalypse Trilogy
    • N. Quinones
  • The Furious Road to Ozploitation: Examining Cultural stereotypes with Mad Max Fury Road
    • B. Shepherd

PCA/ACA National | San Diego | April 2017

  • Artful Stealing and Convergent Dodging: Analyzing Divergent and Convergent Thinking in Creative Control, Temp Music, and Stealing Like an Artist"
    • E. Mullican
  • That's Pretty Ugly: How Uglies Confronts Plastic Surgery As a Necessity in Youth
    • R. Tilley
  • The Furious Road to Ozploitation: Examining Cultural stereotypes with Mad Max Fury Road
    • B. Shepherd

PCA/ACA National | Indianapolis | April 2018

  • A Federation Free-Lunch in /and Mega City One: Universal Basic Income in Judge Dred and Star Trek.
    • Dr. Warren Jones
  • Barbie Meets Fiona: Conflicting discourses of beauty in sci-fi films
    • R. Connors
  • Beatin' into Submission: Trauma Bonding in The Dark Tower and The Walking Dead
    • M. Scrogham
  • My Research has Jets!: Exploring Barthes' Enigmas and fan based exhalation of DC comics and Television
    • M. Hudson
  • VR> IRL ;)?... Nope OMG!: How Ready Player One Forefronts Debord's Spectacle
    • J. Sachariason

PCA/ACA National | Washington DC | April 2019

  • “Don’t scare me like that, colonizer!”: The Cultural Infiltration Of Black Panther and the MCU
    • K. Hill
  • “Thanos and The Empire did Nothing Wrong: The Rise of Nationalism in Subreddit Fandom Culture"
    • E. Mullican
  • ”I’m Sorry, Laura, I Don’t Understand the Question": The Trace of Counter-Intuitive Pessimism in UBI/AI Stories from Humans to Westworld and The Expanse to Star Trek
    • Dr. Warren Jones and M. Hudson
  • 21st Century Fate vs Free will in Dark and Endgame
    • L. Trepanier
  • Corruption is Only Skin Deep: Corrupted Capitalism Corrupting Technology Allowing the Wealthy to Expand their Influence
    • A. Gunn
  • History, Mystery, or Gift? The Verisimilitude of Time Travel with Star Trek and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
    • R. Connors and Luke Leonard
  • There is more than one kind of freedom ... Freedom to and freedom from”: Cultural Tightness in The Handmaid’s Tale
    • A. Burton
  • Ephebiphobia is Shown in The Gifted, Impulse, and Other Sci-Fi Narratives Through an Older Generation Fearing a Super-Powered Younger Generation
    • O. Grieg

Tallahassee State House Postering | 2020

  • Get Outer Your Mind: The Evolution of Mind-Space in the Play Aesthetics RPGs
    • K. Hill
  • I Kissed Purity Culture Goodbye: Western Purity Culture and The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, and Hulu’s Serial Pure
    • A. Burton

PCA/ACA national | Covid Cancelled | 2020


PCA/ACA National | Virtual | 2021

  • #Selfie #Loveme: Impression Management in Westworld, Humans, and the Novel Passing
    • A. Gunn 2021
  • “Monika Deleted My Title” : The Immersive ARGs and RPGs That Redefine Fantasy Horror Entertainment
    • M. Johnson
  • “Remade in my Image” Counter-stereotypic Genders in Scifi and Fantasy
    • A. Mckaige and Luke Leonard
  • FunKo POPed the Nerd Culture: How Contemporary Nerd Culture Uses Obscure Characters to Maintain Their Status
    • M. Hudson
  • I Kissed Purity Culture Goodbye: Western Purity Culture and The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, and Hulu’s Serial Pure
    • A. Burton
  • It’s Dangerous to Go Alone, Take Someone with You: The Rise of Squad Mechanics and Simulated Social Trust in Mass Effect: Andromeda and The Outer Worlds
    • Dr. Warren Jones and M. Shultz
  • Let’s Talk Over Some Coco: Culturally-infused Concepts of Death and Dying in Children Fantasy Narratives from Coco to Kena: Bridge of Spirits.
    • Erika Kendall
  • Sunsets and Palm Silhouettes: The Semiotics of Setting in Pirate Fiction
    • Robert Allen
  • Translator, Traitor: Translational Injustices in The Three-Body Problem and other Emerging Chinese Science Fiction
    • J. Stevenson


Former Ideas

The Following were accepted by the conference during various years, but could not attend

  • Take Me Down to the Paradise City: The Subtle Rise of Neoliberalism in Science -- R. Schreiber
  • Keeping it in the family: Examining the changing portrayal of Incest within Wayward Pines and Game of Thrones -- R. Rich, 2016
  • Superman's Dawn of Sociopathic Justice: How the DSM's New Criteria Diagnoses Superman as a Sociopath -- J. Howard, 2017
  • A power up from Death? A writer's view of the Grief Cycle within Sci-Fi and Fantasy Narratives -- S. Regalado, 2018
  • History is not what it seems: The Mandela effect in Sic-Fi films and television shows -- L. Folger, 2018
  • Praise Me: Hartley Quinn Archetype with Histrionic Personality disorder and borderline Personality disorder -- H. Workman, 2018
  • This Cat's Got Claws: The Black Panther and BLM movement -- J. Hargrove, 2018
  • Cracks in the Story: Post-Apocalyptic Verisimilitude of nature in the The last of us and Shannara -- L. Dey, 2018
  • More Clichés than you can shake a stick at: Analyzing the tree-like mimetic and inimitable aspects of sci-fi films -- G. Harper, 2018
  • The Joker Effect: Fetishizing Fear and What IT Means -- M. Carlson, 2018
  • "We Survive This by Pulling Together, Not Apart": Altruism in Real Catastrophes and in Post-Apocalyptic Narratives -- J. Jones, 2018
  • Irradiated Overgrowth: Connecting Real Fallout Time lines with Post-apocalyptic Films and Games -- S. O’Brien, 2018
  • WoW, What a Great Resume?: Leadership Qualities in World of Warcraft -- C. Ruppert, 2018
  • As Donny says, “There are unknown unknowns”: Predicting Black Swan Events through Sci-Fi/Fantasy, J. Koller, 2018
  • The Truth Is Out There: Commonality & Reasoning behind Conspiracy Theories in The X-Files and Black Panther -- J. Stover, 2018
  • “We all go a little mad sometimes”: Dissociative Identity Disorder within Split and Iron Fist -- K. McManus, 2018
  • Blame it on The Rain : How the fear of Anti-Vaxxer appears in sci-fi cinema -- J. Gross, 2018
  • "I was Designed to Save the World": The Paradox of Perfection within the MCU -- L. Anderson
  • The Eating of the Last Boomer: Gen Z Repurposed Narratives in Daybreak and Last Kids on Earth -- Dr. Warren Jones, 2020
  • Send In the Clowns: A Shifting View of Masculinity As Seen Through the Joker -- D. Ross, 2020
  • Glob Is Dead: Negotiating Mature Themes in Gen Z and Millennial Entertainment -- O. Moyle, 2020
  • Saving the World Before Bedtime: How Children and Teens Are Forced to Be the Hero Before Mental Maturation -- Sam W 2020
  • Better hearts through Gaming Arts: Empathy training in Video games and table tops -- R. Kerley, 2020