SOUTHWEST POPULAR/AMERICAN CULTURE ASSOCIATION (SWPACA). By Jasmyn Brendle.
In 1979, Michael Schoenecke and Peter Rollins founded the Southwest/Texas Popular/American
Culture Association and established the annual meeting, an event which has continued for forty
years and has become the conference that it is today: The Southwest Popular/American Culture
Association. Its annual conference will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico February 20-23rd.
This conference is to “promote an innovative and nontraditional academic movement in the
humanities and social sciences celebrating America’s cultural heritages, and to increase
awareness and improve public perceptions of America’s cultural traditions and diverse
populations.” There are many panels of discussion that allow not only professors and researching
scholars to present, but also undergraduate students to showcase their works. This year
discussions range from, but aren’t limited to, poetry, creative writing, and horror studies to
professional development and dystopian literature. Two Adams State students will be presenting
at this year’s conference: Brenda Tolian, who will be presenting and chairing the panel of
Creative Writing: Fiction 3. She will be discussing part of her dissertation for Regis, Blood
Mountain. While Jasmyn Brendle will be presenting her research theory paper on
Deconstructionism in Dystopian/Science Fiction literature. Both will be presenting later this
week. This conference gives scholars of all ages and backgrounds “a professional network for
scholars, writers, and others interested in popular/American culture.” Special events will be held
in celebration of the 40th anniversary, including Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My
Weakness and the recently-released Deep Creek, as the keynote speaker. A celebration reception
on Thursday evening, as well as other networking opportunities will be offered.