The concept of pop—or popular—culture is slippery and oddly illusory. We might think we understand it and know what it is even if we can’t quite define it, but due to the fact that it is a contemporary phenomenon in full swing and related to popular and everyday activities, its meaning, production and circulation flows are quite complex. Part of what holds society together, pop culture works in large part through various forms of media to disseminate normative modes of behaviour and thought, introduces new and innovative ideas, offers inclusivity and an easily generated in-group mechanism, and can often serve as a belief system upon which to hang one’s values.
Ultimately, pop culture serves as a regulating force within a cultural group as well as a glue for keeping that group cohesive. It can be seen working in ways both large and small, from the use of favorite quotes or the wearing of articles of clothing from popular visual media to the participation in new forms of dance or music, the visiting of various kinds of clubs or other establishments, an awareness of the current and most ‘cool’ car, and more.
Undoubtedly, media of all kinds as well as academic knowledge production are part of pop culture. However, where this might seem obvious, what about small, everyday tasks? How does a collective mechanism work differently depending on the scale in which it functions? And what are the conceptual perceptions of pop culture in each of these dimensions?
Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar, a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise, is one striking example of pop culture. His line “It’s a Trap!” in “The Return of the Jedi” (Lucasfilm, 1983) is one of the most famous and beloved quotes in the original franchise trilogy, becoming a popular internet meme and a way to elucidate how ubiquitous pop culture references are in our society. Similarly, the phrase “Run away!” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail offers a similar example. The opening song for Gilligan’s Island, a popular television show in the US from the 1970s carries resonance for those who remember it fondly and who might sing the refrain “a three hour tour” over and over again, and recently Kate Bush’s song “Running up that Hill” reached its highest point on the charts forty years after its release because of its use in a popular Netflix show.
Media such as TV and streaming platforms of all kinds, social media and digital platforms, podcasts, cinema, the press and others are all cultural products that form the vast universe that is pop culture. Furthermore, various fan practices and fandoms around the world construct meaning and have disputes around their favourite artists and franchises, dress as their favorite characters at conventions, and debate the imagined outcome of impossible physical competitions between fictional heroes. Is there anything more ‘popular culture’ than a discussion about who would win a fight between Captain America and Eleven, or about whether Sailor Moon would be a good companion for Doctor Who? If you’re part of the in-groups, you’ll know those references. If you aren’t, you’ll look them and the in-groups will have expanded. This is the power of popular culture.
Research and analysis around pop culture includes cultural studies, adaptation studies, media studies, political economy, business and many more and the field is growing in the last few years with specialized publications and events.
In this conference we hope to begin a conversation about pop culture practices, products, and meanings, along with discussions about their consumption and circulation. From some perspectives, pop culture may seem to have its roots in Anglo-European and American perspectives but this is merely a subject position issue. Popular culture as a category occurs around the world and helps each country, and subsets within them, form their sense of identity. The scope of the Project therefore includes examinations of pop culture and its effects from around the world, both from marginalised local perspectives within Anglo-European and American pop culture, and from other pop culture milieus worldwide. We are also interested in work that examines Anglo-European and American pop culture from a transnational perspective.
The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.
The list of key topics below is broad; please feel free to use this as a springboard to more specific topics that interest you.
At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting.
What To Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 16th September 2022. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 7th October 2022.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 17th February 2023
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Pop Cultures.
Details and Information
The cost for attending the conference is £275, and includes:
~ conference registration fee
~ online booking and registration
~ online programme
~ online abstracts, key words and draft presentations
~ Book of Abstracts
~ Delegate Pack
~ Sunday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Sunday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Monday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Monday lunch
~ Monday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
~ participation in project output discussion session
~ discounted rates for any outputs emerging from the event
~ discounted rates for attendance at further Progressive Connexions activities and events
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines
Friday 16th September 2022
Friday 7th October 2022
Booking Forms Open
Friday 11th November 2022
Circulation of Draft programme
Wednesday 14th December 2022
Final date for payment
Friday 20th January 2023
Second Programme Draft
Friday 17th February 2023
Draft presentations to be submitted
Monday 20th February 2023
Final Programme Upload to website with abstracts, keywords and draft presentations
The conference is being held at the 4 star Majestic Plaza Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic.
Tel: 00 420 211 159 862
We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.
Standard Room - Single Occupancy €85 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €85 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.
Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.
You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!
The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.
One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. We have a book series with Brill (137 titles); a book series with Emerald; our own publishing house (Inter/Connexions).
Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes
The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project.
Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
All participants must complete an online booking form by Friday 28th October 2022 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Wednesday 14th December 2022.
It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.
There are a number of ways payment can be made.
Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.
All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.
What’s so Special?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.