— “Titles are the hardest thing: How can we make them more effective?” via the LSE
I saw it in the library and laughed…
Ah, pop culture. Perhaps no other field of study provides such a bountiful harvest of real academic paper titles, and there’s no bigger conference for these folks to get together than the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association's annual meeting. The 42nd iteration of this hermeneutic hoedown took place in Boston this year, with the absolutely terrific George Takei giving the keynote address.
With that .gif looping its way right into your soul, I present to you in no particular order my favorite panel/presentation titles plucked from the full program (pdf alert). Again, “favorite” can mean “clever use of wordplay” or “egregious abuse of academese so esoteric that no one will ever care about what you publish” or sometimes a 3rd nonsensical category that just strikes me the right way.
- "The Meaning of Gluttony and the Fat Body in the Ancient World"
- “‘The Big Fat White Guy Who’s Threatened by Change’: Exploring Race, Racism, and Whiteness in Animated Prime Time”
- "Lady GaGa, Celebrity Journalism, Presidential Campaigns, and Carl Sagan"
- "Did the Greeks Wear Tights?: An Analysis of the Homeric Hero Odysseus in Batman"
- "Everyday They’re Shuffling: Humanity in The Walking Dead"
- "Hips Do Lie: Shakira and the Deterritorialization of the Shimmy"
- "Shakira’s Shimmies: The Politics of the Hip"
- "The Fecal Point in Humanity: An Ethical Reflection on Scatology"
- "Approaching Shame: Fatness, Shame, and the Boundaries of Fat
- "Anti-Disney-stablishmentarianism: The Anti-Corporate Values of Pixar’s Early Films"
- "Vicky’s Knickers: Sizeism, “Progress,” and the Auction of Queen Victoria’s Bloomers"
- "Kraft Cheese, How American is it Really?"
- "From Barthes to Bodyslams: Wrestling’s Success Through Reinforcing and Subverting Masculine Stereotypes"
- "This Bud’s Not For You: Feminine Images and Omission in Television Beer Commercials for Generation X"
- “‘Where art thy axe +2, Romeo?’: The Intersection of Video Games and Theatre in Practice”
- "Severus Snape: Saint or Snake?"
- "Legally Stoned: The Growth and Popularity of Curling in the United States and Canada Since 1998"
- "Translating Otherness: Stereotypes, Doublespeak and Dead Puerto Rican Superhombres"
- "Iron Man: A Study in Orientalism and Hegemony"
- "Sookie and the Supes: The (D)Evolution of Sookie Stackhouse"
- "Oh My: How Bull Durham Subverts the Theory of the Male Gaze"
- "The Blacker the Berry: Colonialism, Fashion, and the Color Line"
- "The College Fraternity and Ambiguous Male Space: Constituting Hegemonic Masculine Identity"
- "‘You Are What You Eat’ How Cracker Barrel Reinforces Notions of American Identity"
- "Boobs, Explosions, and Boner-Popping Perverts: Reviving Clinton-Era Masculinity Through ‘Beavis and Butthead’s ’ Nostalgic Gaze"
- "Rape Myths’ Twilight and Women’s Paranormal Revenge"
- "Closer my Godzilla to Thee: The G-Tour Experience as Popular Culture Pilgrimage"
- "The “Noble Savage” and “Happy Darky”: Race and the American Popular
- "Zombie, Zeitgeist, and Zuccotti: “The Walking Dead” and the Symbolism of Social Infection of the Present-Day U.S."
- "Swan Fight: The Power of the Gaze in Fight Club and Black Swan"
- "The Big Bad Wolf Gets a Sex Change:The Female Wolf Child as New Myth"
- "Sack-rificing the Man: Tom Brady, Football Fans, and the Crisis of Masculinity"
- "The Good Terror: Fight Club as Žižekian Act-ion Film"
- "The Politics of Incest in A Song of Ice and Fire"
- "A Rabbi, A Priest, and a Minister Walked Into a Studio: Teaching Religious Tolerance By Radio, 1925-1935"
- "“Every Day, I Make Them Die With My Car”: Social Atomization and White Guilt in Louis C.K.’s Louie"
- "Monster-cock: The Echo Of Sir Alfred In The Voice Of Lady GaGa"
- "Gastro Pornification: Cannibalism and Food Culture in 301, 302 and Dumplings"
- ""Lady Sybill Finds Her Voice: The Interactions of Class and Gender in Downton"
- "“It Was All a Fog”: Motherhood and the Birth Experience in Mad Men"
- "Climbing the Acropolis in Killer Heels"
- "Dressing to Type: University Professors’ Clothing Choice as a Proclamation of Discipline"
- "Sartorial Shields on Rails: How Dress is Used as Armor in Mass Transit"
- "Spinebusters, Superkicks, and Salvation: The Hyperreality of Christian Professional Wrestling"
- "The Theology of Katniss Everdeen: Moral Philosophy in The Hunger Games"
- "Disciplining Desire: Blood, Sex, Addiction, and the Vegetarian Vampire"
- "From Bromance to Romance: The Sexualization of Sherlock Holmes"
- "Kipling’s “Vampire” Metaphor: Going Viral in the Early Twentieth-Century"
- "A Most Suitable Job for a Lesbian: Trends and Tendencies in Contemporary Spanish Lesbian Crime Fiction"
Fantastic work all around folks. Never change, pop culture scholars.