Episode 166: Booking Bernie to Win the Democratic Championship

I rarely get involved with politics but this set of party primaries have been energetic and polarizing. From the beginning I have thrown my hat in the ring in favor of one, Bernie Sanders. I’ve seen pretty much all the debates and believe him to be the right person in the Oval Office. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m Bernie or Bust but I’m a big fan to say the least. With that in mind, my fanfiction speculation powers have been machinating one particular scenario as to how this all plays out. I write this with the backdrop of watching way too much wrestling programming. And so I shall book the finale of the nomination as if it were the Monday Night Raw after a major PPV event for WWE (haven’t seen enough of the other things to get a proper feel for their storytelling style). Think of it as a weird script. Here goes.

We open in Philadelphia, the last day of the Democratic Convention. Bernie Sanders and his fans have their spirits deflated, to say the east. Even after the mathematic impossibility of winning, the voters had come out to support him over the last few primaries. The 60/40 victory over Hillary in California was a shot of hope to the heart but ultimately, the lead of pledge delegates was too much to overcome. It was close but no cigar. Polls now had Trump edging towards victory in the general against Hillary but Bernie still being a clear favorite in hypothetical match ups. Super delegates had been meeting left and right to make their call but ultimately decided that taking the election away from “the mandate of the voters” so far would set a dangerous precedent.

The convention has been tumultuous but as Senator Sanders saw the writing on the wall, he told his supporters that this is a democracy first and foremost and it was time to face his counterparts as rivals but not as enemies. It was loud, chairs were lifted and put back down, a few points in the Democratic agenda had become more Bernie friendly, planting the seeds towards a more progressive future for the party and hopefully for the nation. They do a super delegate roll call to give their vote and they pretty much all go for Secretary Clinton. The vote stops semi awkwardly before some of the truly higher ups could give their support (including President Obama) as the magic number had been hit by then. The protesters were out in the street at this point and things were getting heated. Bernie slips out of the convention as Hillary Clinton is about to give her acceptance speech. Many call it a disrespectful snub but reporters quickly shift their call to one of praise as the Senator from Vermont gives an impassioned speech to the huddled masses to stave off the potential riot. The collective blood was cooled down from boiling points but the people are still rooting from Bernie.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz goes to the floor of the convention, says that the nomination process is finished but still needs to be officially ratified in the next seven days by the actual leader of the party, President Obama. Hillary Clinton goes out and gives a nice speech about party unity but the general atmosphere is still one of meh and business as usual. The convention is pretty much ending but the crowds are still out there. A few last minute meetings were taking place as the delegates start to leave and some address the media, about what just happened and asking about these cryptic new tweets by Donald Trump, who has been saying “wait for it…” for the last few hours. Bernie leaves the grounds and a few reporters try to come to him but the crowds cheer so loudly you can’t cover the noise factor. A little later, Hillary comes out alongside Bill and Chelsea but also with a lot of Secret Service agents around them. The boos are clearly audible. The reporters try to get there to get a statement. A few people try to jump the barricades but they are quickly dissuaded by security but then a small group of people flash badges and go forward. The crowds go silent…

The group walks with determination towards the new nominee and the reporters and agents are scrambling to figure out what’s going on.

“FBI, Mrs. Clinton you need to come with us. NOW!”

The reporters’ microphones are close enough to get audio of what’s transpiring. The Secret Service Agents take a step back, Bill is aghast, Chelsea is super quiet, and Hillary is LIVID!!! She starts telling the FBI agents that she’s not going anywhere, that the investigation was already taken care of, and that they shouldn’t be here. The lead agent declares that they need to go but she insists that she’s not moving until they explain what’s going. “A new source has come forward with some evidence against you”. Hillary is getting into a Vicky Guerrero style fit as Bill tells her to calm down and just go with them, things will be resolved but she is having none of it. An FBI van comes in and Hillary begrudgingly gets into the back of the van. Bill immediately gets on the phone and starts calling everyone as they shoo the reporters away. As he and Chelsea walk briskly away, she stops and kneels to pick up a discarded “Sanders 2016” sign and she does a devilish grin like Stephanie McMahon.

Lots of police come immediately afterwards to preemptively disperse the crowds. Reporters are scattered trying to find out what just happened and all other politicians are nowhere to be found. And then, they have a call from the network HQ saying that there’s a new Trump tweet: “Worth the wait. #ByeFelicia”

Over the next few days, the news media outlets are insane with speculations. Details are sketchy but things are coming out. A backup of the mystery email server was found, a few mostly inconsequential bits of information regarding national secrets are there. Enough to be suspicious, not enough for there to be a traitor declaration, except for Fox News who has basically proclaimed that Trump should already be President. Bernie Sanders is avoiding the press at all costs and the rest of the Democratic party is in a panic. By day three after the fiasco, more details emerge as the FBI investigation spreads and evidence towards the supposed conspiracy from the DNC against Bernie start to emerge and everyone is just in a state of confusion. Some voices are calling for the destruction of the party, others that Hillary still be the nominee no matter what.

The confusion and chaos are slightly quelled as President Obama calls for an emergency joint session of Congress and the Senate immediately to address what is going on and provide leadership to the DNC. It’s only been a week since the FBI took her away but some suppose that Obama is going to just pardon Hillary immediately and let her run anyway, even if it means basically signing over the presidency to Trump as new polls put her in an abysmal situation. Pretty much every leader of the party at every level is there to see what happens. Donald Trump has declined to come as he has “huge, tremendous deal that needs to be sorted out.” But even though all the people are there and things are about to start, a minorly bearded Bernie Sanders emerges to fulfill his duties as a Senator from Vermont. Whatever hopes and fears that he can run as an Independent have been stifled by the fact that most states’ deadlines to appear on the ballots have passed. All of the minor outside political parties have also declared that Bernie is not welcome after declaring his support for the Democratic Party during the earlier convention.

Obama enters and he does his “My fellow Americans…” protocol. All of the television channels are carrying the event. A few minutes in, Obama explains what has transpired and sheds further light into the situation. He wants to keep talking but prefers that if he should say this part it should be clear and to the affected party’s face. At that point, Hillary Clinton is escorted in to a chorus of murmurs as she walks in surround on all sides by agents that aren’t exactly Secret Service. She’s not handcuffed but you can tell the agents are there to make sure nothing crazy happens. Obama explains that:

“Democracy is the law of the land; it is the foundation by which this great nation was first established by the founders. I have arrived by this position by the trust of the American people when they voted for me and when they voted for each and every elected official in this room. It is a trust that has been fragile at best but now seems shattered. The people within the Republican party have done their primaries and while we may disagree over the candidate we do not question the process by which the people selected him. Fair is fair. On the Democratic side, the people have also voted and a clear majority have voted for Secretary Clinton as our nominee. This is what democracy has established and proclaimed. But, let me be clear, this process has been mired in controversy and the peoples’ voices have been put into question. While these two people are the nominees for the position of President of the United States, it is still a position that I still hold and will use the powers of my office to regain the trust of all Americans. A decision that in the name of transparency I will take into effect right here and right now.”

The people from Congress and the Senate suddenly start going crazy as to what’s about to go down. Hillary has a confident grin as she believes that her salvation is upcoming. The murmurs continue as Obama pulls out a large envelope and he begins to speak once again.

“I have consulted with my Cabinet on various options as to what decision should be made. It has been made clear to me that I am well within the rights of my office to enact this action. With one stroke of a pen I can assure that democracy continues on the path that has been set already by the voters. HOWEVER, the duties of my position as President are to ensure that democracy as a whole can continue forward; not just for this upcoming election but for the one afterwards and the one after that so long as this nation continues to exist. And so I make this decision, not as the president of these United States of America but rather as head of the Democratic party.”

Hillary’s face turns pale as her jaw slightly drops. The confusion continues in silence as Obama opens the envelope.

“In my hands, I hold here the paperwork from the Democratic National Convention proclaiming our nominee. These forms need to ratified by me within one week after being completed by myself. And by my calendar, I still have a few hours to sign this. But since the super delegate votes weren’t properly conducted and since all of you are already here… I propose a motion for a recount of these delegates to be done right here right now.”

A formerly dejected Bernie Sanders springs to life with hope as within a few seconds after Obama says this, he stands up and screams. “I second that motion.” Hillary screams for an objection, but Obama says, “I’m sorry but this is only open to debate by CURRENT senators and congressmen and women.” The people go nuts with that comment but they forget to object as Obama waits a brief moment by saying, “Well with no objections let’s start the recount. Let me start, I vote for Senator Bernie Sanders and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

An “I am Spartacus” moment emerges as each of the super delegates join in to vote one by one for Sanders, starting with Joe Biden who is super enthusiastic about it. Hillary tries to control herself but she is clearly seething as she asks her handlers to get her out of there. As all 700+ heads of the party proclaim their allegiance as their Republican counterparts are just in awe of what is happening. Obama ends that by saying that:

“Transparency and the law must be maintained for the trust of the people in our party and our government must be regained. And so I have asked the Department of Justice to join the FBI in their current investigation as to the issues regarding Secretary Clinton and that charges be filed as the case is resolved. Justice has been blind for far too long in avoiding the prosecution of those in power rather than the rule of law be equal to all. I will do everything in my power for the trust of the American people to be reforged with those they task with representing them and I urge the men and women on both sides of the aisle to do the same. God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.”

 

Fin

 

PS. In case you were wondering, yes Chelsea was the new informant for the FBI in my above political speculative piece of fiction. I have this scene in mind where Hillary is in self imposed house arrest of sorts to avoid the media. The empire is starting to collapse. Bill and Hillary are in damage control, trying to contact people but their calls go unanswered. Chelsea comes to visit and is confronted with what is going on and why she isn’t doing more to help. It’s at this moment that the heir apparent says that maybe the ship is too far gone and just needs to sink. Bill says that everything they have done is for her and her future. Chelsea says that this isn’t the future she wants. She’s seen what power has done to her family and it needs to be stopped. Hillary is like what are you talking about and that’s when she confesses to being the FBI’s new lead. The parents stumble to their seats as they are aghast with this apparent betrayal. Chelsea says her piece about how power corrupts and she’s already seen the changes to her family. Bill tries to claim that that’s just how the system works but she answers that maybe we need a new system. Bill wants to stop her but says “you do what you think is right baby girl.” As Chelsea says her goodbyes, Hillary screams “If you you leave this house right now then you might as well go to Hell!” Chelsea calmly responds without looking back. “Way ahead of you mom, I’m already feeling the Bern.”

 

PSS Because dramatic tension and sequels, let’s say that the post credits scene is Donald Trump in his office, looking at the news. Bernie is doing an interview as to how he will accept all current donations from the pro Hillary Super Pacs who now want to help for him since the money is already raised but that no other funds will be collected in that way during his run. Chris Christie comes in, the television is turned off. Trump says “can you believe this guy, turning down free money.” Chris asks if he’s worried about having to face Sanders now. Trump does his face of shrugging confidence and says come on I want to show you something. “I’ve got this plan for a huge overhaul of our embassy systems across the globe.” He pulls up some computer files with badly photoshopped huge Trump signs on pretty much every major global landmark. The last one shown is the Trump moniker on the Great Wall of China.

Episode 165: Updated Super Schedule and Flyer

PCSA 2016

EDIT: A nasty flu bug unfortunately incapacitated several of our presenters. For fairness sake, the people who could not attend have been removed from this schedule so as to better reflect the presentations that were done in the conference.

Schedule is below:

Friday:

Registration all day in front of the Figueroa Chapel Amphitheater in the Chardon building

All activities except for the evening RHPS showcase will take place in Celis 116

9:30am -10:20am Taller de Narrativa Corta dirigido por el CRE (Centro de Redacción en Español)

10:30am-11:20am Special showing of Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (singing is encouraged)o

11:30 – 12:20pm “Cosplay 101” Panel by by Madame M.  Rose and Prodigious Spiderman Pr.

12:30 – 1:20 Lunch on your own

1:30 – 2:20pm “Build a Cosplay” Workshop by Madame M.  Rose and Prodigious Spiderman Pr.

2:30 -3:20pm Special showing of “Blink” the legendary Doctor Who episode.

3:30 – 4:20pm “From Person to Persona to… And Why it Matters” by President of the International Entrepreneurship Institute, Jose M. Romaguera

7:00pm in Anfiteatro Figueroa Chapel The Rocky Horror Picture Show viewing and performance.

Saturday

Registration 7:30am-8:30am

Cheat Sheet for Room Numbers regardless of when you present: A= Ch 318 B= CH 319         C= CH 324 D= CH 325

Round 1: 8:30am-9:45am

Panel 1A: (Re)Naming the Fantastic: Developing Identities of Characters and Genres

Three Names, Six Identities. The Lord of the Rings: The Study of Characters, by Paola Rivera and Alina Quiñones

A Clone of One’s Own: Finding Unique Identity in Star Wars Clone Wars, by Frances Zapata

“A Walk Through the Standing Stones”: The Transformation and Reinvention of the Historical Novel within the Outlander Television Series, By Ivette Lopez

1B: Individual, Team, and Cultural Explorations: Changing the Roles of Games

Transcending Identity Through Basketball Culture, by Ismael Medina

“Ready Player Two”: Videojuegos y destrezas de trabajos en equipo en jugadores cooperativos vs jugadores individuales, by Dr. Axel Santos and Joshua Rivera

Transformative Identities in Role Playing Video Games, by Mildred Vargas

1C: Learning New Lessons: Different Forms of Media and Pedagogy

The New Way to teach is to Learn: Hello My Name is Mrs. Experience, by Ashley Carrero

#GeekPedagogy#Fandom#Buzzademia, by Leonardo Flores

Words Have Power: Yūsei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom as a Teacher-student of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Juan Colon

The Diverging and Growing art of Webcomics, by Luis Laboy

1D: Letting the Freak Flag Fly: Music in My Head

Sex, Drugs and Protest: Analyzing the Formation of Nationalist Youth Identity through Puerto Rico’s Underground Rock Scene, by Leisha Santiago

Tupac to 2pac: How names reflect content and perspective in Tupac and Kanye West, by Kelsins Santos

De La oreja de Van Gogh a Cultura Profética: un acercamiento al análisis poético a través de la música popular contemporánea, by Deyka Otero

10am-12pm Welcome Remarks and Keynote Speech by Bonafide Rojas

Lunch on your own from 12pm-2pm

Round 2: 2:00-3:15pm

2A: You Can’t Sit with Us: (Un)Acceptance of Cultures in Literature, Film, and Society

Psychology of Social Hierarchy in Heathers, by Jennifer Mojica

Lenguaje del Juan Bobo: conceptos de identidad y el “bullying” étnico, by Huana Martinez

La crítica a las ideologías capitalistas en La Guaracha del Macho Camacho y Poder del tiempo (Post data), by Jose Acosta

2B: Finding Comfort in the Chaos: The Necessity of Violence

Stray Gods with No Name: A look into Adachitoka’s Noragami, by Vashti Taraconte

The Many Personas of Lelouch, by Michael Fortys

2C: Coming Out in the 21st Century: LGBT Formation in Ever Changing Models

International LGBT Protections: Ethical Interventionism or Hegemonic Overreach? Looking at the Ethical Implications of Western Pressure to Recognize and Enforce LGBT Protections in the Global South, by Natalie Hanson

Steven Universe On The Controversy Network, by John Hernandez

Fandom vs Canon: The Fierce Awakens with Poe Dameron and the New Star Wars Saga by Gabriel Acevedo

2D: Antichrist Superstars: Pink Floyd Marilyn Manson and the Celebritarian Metanarrative, Panel by Fernando Rodriguez and Pedro Rios

Round 3: 3:30-4:45pm

3A: Reanimating the Everyday into the Hero

Unsung Hero: The Problem Overpowering Circumstances, by Lemuel Cartagena

“What’s the Scouter Say About your Power Level?” Martial Arts Tropes in Anime and Manga, by Christopher Rivera

The Hero Nobody Knows; an assessment into how “One-Punch Man” Could Redefine Modern Japanese Shonen, by Ian Hernandez

Stubbornness and Alchemy: The Significance of the Title Fullmetal Alchemist, by Alyssa Ocasio

3B: Girl Meets World: Perpetrating/Challenging Female Stereotypes in Popular Culture

Heroes of RWBY, by Manuel Estela

“Venuses and Marilyns and Lightnings oh my!” : A comparison of the idealization of beauty between the 20th and 21st century, by Alba Gonzalez

After She Said No: Rape Discourse in Ms. Marvel by Marilyn Sanabria

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Witchiest of them all?: Reflections on the Dichotomies of the Witch Figure in Modern Television, by Joanne Hernandez

3C: What Makes a Director the Artist? Discovering Authorship in Dolan’s Films, Panel by Raul Samrah, Carlos Carrero, and Samara Perez

3D: Wrestling with Reality: Grappling with Storytelling, Kayfabe, and Identity in WWE Programming, Panel by Edward Contreras, Gabriel Romaguera, and Laura Garcia de la Noceda

Round 4: 5:00-6:15pm

4A: The Masks We Wear: Discovering One’s Identity

Battling Classifications of Gender in the Anime Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, by Charlotte Colon

Why is it Such A Pain To Find One’s True Identity?, by Ashlene Lebron

Batman: The Man and The Obsession, by Matthew Rodriguez

4B: Shedevils, Anthropomorphism, and Postmodernism… Oh My!

La ausencia del tío y la esquizofrenia de la historia: los significantes de una identidad, by Limary Ruiz

4C: Bigger on the Inside: An Analysis of Doctors and Whovians

The Man Known Simply as, “The Doctor”, by Stedman ReGester

Monster under the TARDIS: The Loss of Human Identity in Doctor Who by Ruth Delgado

 

Episode 164:Saturday Schedule for the Popular Culture Conference

Here is the schedule for all events that will happen on Saturday April 2, date of the Pop Culture Conference. Friday schedule still under construction. More info coming soon.All events on this date will take place in the Chardon building of the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus.

Registration 7:30am-8:30am

Round 1: 8:30am-9:45am

Panel 1A: (Re)Naming the Fantastic: Developing Identities of Characters and Genres

Three Names, Six Identities. The Lord of the Rings: The Study of Characters, by Paola Rivera and Alina Quiñones

A Clone of One’s Own: Finding Unique Identity in Star Wars Clone Wars, by Frances Zapata

“A Walk Through the Standing Stones”: The Transformation and Reinvention of the Historical Novel within the Outlander Television Series, By Ivette Lopez

1B: Individual, Team, and Cultural Explorations: Changing the Roles of Games

Transcending Identity Through Basketball Culture, by Ismael Medina

“Ready Player Two”: Videojuegos y destrezas de trabajos en equipo en jugadores cooperativos vs jugadores individuales, by Joshua Rivera

Transformative Identities in Role Playing Video Games, by Mildred Vargas

1C: Learning New Lessons: Different Forms of Media and Pedagogy

The New Way to teach is to Learn: Hello My Name is Mrs. Experience, by Ashley Carrero

#GeekPedagogy#Fandom#Buzzademia, by Leonardo Flores

Words Have Power: Yūsei Matsui’s Assassination Classroom as a Teacher-student of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Juan Colon

The Diverging and Growing art of Webcomics, by Luis Laboy

1D: Letting the Freak Flag Fly: Music in My Head

Sex, Drugs and Protest: Analyzing the Formation of Nationalist Youth Identities through Puerto Rico’s Youth, by Leisha Santiago

From Person to Persona: What’s in a Name? Tupac to 2Pac, by Kelsins Santos

De La oreja de Van Gogh a Cultura Profética: un acercamiento al análisis poético a través de la música popular contemporánea, by Deyka Otero

10am-12pm Welcome Remarks and Keynote Speech by Bonafide Rojas

Lunch on your own from 12pm-2pm

Round 2: 2:00-3:15pm

2A: You Can’t Sit with Us: (Un)Acceptance of Cultures in Literature, Film, and Society

Psychology of Social Hierarchy in Heathers, by Jennifer Mojica

Lenguaje del Juan Bobo: conceptos de identidad y el “bullying” étnico, by Huana Martinez

La crítica a las ideologías capitalistas en La Guaracha del Macho Camacho y Poder del tiempo (Post data), by Jose Acosta

2B: Finding Comfort in the Chaos: The Necessity of Violence

Stray Gods with No Name: A look into Adachitoka’s Noragami, by Vashti Taraconte

“Dreaming of Shooting Myself in the Head,” Memento Mori as the Central Theme of Shin Megami Tensi: Persona 3, by Ian Rolon

The Many Personas of Lelouch, by Michael Fortis

A Ritual Of Errors: Disemboweling Ritual Suicide in Modern Day Japan by Daryl Sanchez

2C: Coming Out in the 21st Century: LGBT Formation in Ever Changing Models

International LGBT Protections: Ethical Interventionism or Hegemonic Overreach? Looking at the Ethical Implications of Western Pressure to Recognize and Enforce LGBT Protections in the Global South, by Natalie Hanson

“Just Pete, like Cher or Prince: Perceptions of Queer Identities in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”, by Yalitza Santos

Steven Universe On The Controversy Network, by John Hernandez

Fandom vs Canon: The Fierce Awakens with Poe Dameron and the New Star Wars Saga by Gabriel Acevedo

2D: Antichrist Superstars: Pink Floyd Marilyn Manson and the Celebritarian Metanarrative, Panel by Fernando Rodriguez and Pedro Rios

Round 3: 3:30-4:45pm

3A: Reanimating the Everyday into the Hero

Unsung Hero: The Problem Overpowering Circumstances, by Lemuel Cartagena

“What’s the Scouter Say About your Power Level?” Martial Arts Tropes in Anime and Manga, by Christopher Rivera

The Hero Nobody Knows; an assessment into how “One-Punch Man” Could Redefine Modern Japanese Shonen, by Ian Hernandez

Stubbornness and Alchemy: The Significance of the Title Fullmetal Alchemist, by Alyssa Ocasio

3B: Girl Meets World: Perpetrating/Challenging Female Stereotypes in Popular Culture

Heroes of RWBY, by Manuel Estela

“ Venuses and Marilyns and Lightnings oh my!” : A comparison of the idealization of beauty between the 20th and 21st century, by Marilyn Sanabria

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Witchiest of them all?: Reflections on the Dichotomies of the Witch Figure in Modern Television, by Joanne Hernandez

3C: Signature Art: Authorship in Xavier Dolan’s Filmmaking, Panel by Raul Samrah, Carlos Carrero, and Samara Perez

3D: Wrestling with Reality: Grappling with Storytelling, Kayfabe, and Identity in WWE Programming Panel by Edward Contreras, Gabriel Romaguera, and Laura Garcia de la Noceda

Round 4: 5:00-6:15pm

4A: The Masks We Wear: Discovering One’s Identity

Battling Classifications of Gender in the Anime Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, by Charlotte Colon

Why is it Such A Pain To Find One’s True Identity?, by Ashlene Lebron

Batman: The Man and The Obsession, by Matthew Rodriguez

4B: Shedevils, Aliens, and Postmodernism… Oh My!

“Make Me Immortal With A Kiss”: The [Demon]ization of Female Sexuality Within Matthew Lewis’ The Monk and Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, by Maria Rivera

Little Red Riding Hood’s Convergence too Anthropomorphism The Story of Ruby the Mouse, by Edcel Cintron

La ausencia del tío y la esquizofrenia de la historia:los significantes de una identidad, by Limary Ruiz

Why Space Aliens Have Flippers: The Science Fabulas of Pablo Brescia and Richie Narvaez, by Matthew Goodwin

4C: Bigger on the Inside: An Analysis of Doctors and Whovians

The Man Known Simply as, “The Doctor”, by Stedman ReGester

Monster under the TARDIS: The Loss of Human Identity in Doctor Who by Ruth Delgado

Stuck in Time and Space: Political Rhetoric as Comfort in Doctor Who, by Loyda Pagan

Episode 163: Person to Persona Explanations

I am super psyched about the upcoming pop culture conference (info here) that I am running alongside my amazing colleagues from UPRM and all the undergrad and graduate students from the PCSA. I’m really impressed with the abstracts that are currently in the system but I’ve been hearing some elements of confusion as to the theme of the conference. For those of you new to the conference game, a specific theme in a conference can seem intimidating and may deter you from trying your luck at submitting an abstract. So let me give you some extra tips and tricks as to for dealing with conferences, specifically with current Person to Persona developments. (FYI: I made a post on overall conference protocols from beginning to end worth checking out too here)

The biggest thing when dealing with a conference as a potential presenter is to make sure that your abstract feels like something that the conference organizers want to see. Obviously, you bring your A game of topics you are already researching and have minor to major expertise on. The problem is making sure that your area fits with what conference wants to portray. As you have seen if you know me/actually read this blog, you’ll know that I work a lot with serialization, especially when it comes to webcomics. It’s a niche field that puts me in that odd place between “wait, what?” and “quasi exotic” for areas like literature. Because I am a would be professor, many conferences in my area have to do with pedagogy, where webcomics are a much harder sell. This means that I need to do one of two things: write about something completely different or somehow morph webcomics into a more pedagogical direction. I’ve got some familiarity on both ends but when you’re starting out as an undergrad or grad student you’re not sure how to reshape your topic or going into an area you aren’t super knowledgeable about. It’s a tricky space to maneuver because if you don’t handle it well you don’t get into the conference or potentially worse you get in but your presentation ends up as that one presentation people talk about for the wrong reasons.

When it comes to “From Person to Persona” the first thing that comes to mind is that of names and when people change them. Technically true but there are a lot more dimensions to unravel within so many levels and areas. Let me give you some examples that I imagined when putting the CFP together to help potential submitters stimulate some neurons.

  • Literature: Bad guys changing their names is classic as they shed their old identities. Anakin into Darth Vader or Tom Riddle into Voldemort come to mind. But also once you think of categories of characters, like the Chosen One, suddenly a name is given to you that you now have to live up to.
  • Music: Rappers and musicians who have stage names and how these transformations can set up new personalities to set up a better/more marketable connection to the fans.
  • Pedagogy: I’m normally a shy person but once I’m in educator mode I am extroverted and try to be super entertaining. I’d love someone to talk about different teaching styles, especially with adopting them if your actual personality doesn’t exactly fit beforehand.
  • Linguistics: The whole field of morphology is about figuring out meaning behind words. This isn’t my specialty but I’m sure you smart folk can figure something out.
  • Marketing: Did you know that Chilean sea bass was originally called “Patagonian toothfish”? Sales after the change of the seafood’s title made it sound edible. More examples like these would be amazing.
  • Psychology: Tons of studies detail what happens when you are given a label and it sticks. Bad boys in school are more likely to turn into possible menaces to society. Not to mention the whole stigma of being in prison just ONCE labels you forever as not a good person.
  • Sociology: All of the stereotypes and racism fall into here. There’s a study that says if you have a more “ethnic” sounding name your resume is less likely to be accepted. Or the applications in pop culture of being the “token” minority. So many applications.
  • Video games: With character customization and multiple story paths to go on, today’s video games give players a chance to change their style and thus the perception of the character changes. Think Undertale pacifist runs versus genocidal runs and how you as a character/player change in the process.
  • Politics: Ever noticed how candidates change their voice and mannerisms when the go to different parts of the country while running for higher positions of office. Or how they reshape their image from one debate to another.
  • History: Fun Fact, did you know that Joseph Stalin changed his name to Stalin (aka of steel)  in order to distance himself from his Georgian roots as he rose to power? All this and so many more things.

Hope this helps.

G

Episode 162: Deadline for Conference Extended

We here at the Popular Culture Students Association believe in giving everyone a fair chance to be a part of this year’s iteration of the academic popular culture conference. So rather than rush everyone to submit before the day’s end, we have decided to extend our deadline for abstract submission until Friday, January 29th, 2016 (two weeks from the time of this writing). In case you need a reminder, the original CFP can be found here.

We also have two more announcements to help convince you to be a part of the conference if you haven’t submitted already and if you have submitted well you are going to be extra happy with your academic investment.

First, just like last year this conference is shaping up to make for one of the nerdiest weekends you can find. We are partnering with West-Con Comics and Anime Expo to bring you a special event on Sunday April 3 from 10am-6pm right here at the UPRM campus. Think of it as a regional comic-con with all the geeky stuff you expect. All presenters and guests admission tickets are included with your inscription fee for the conference so might as well stay an extra day and geek out with us. More info on West-Con can be found in their Facebook page here 

Second, we are happy to announce that we have secured our keynote speaker for the conference, Bonafide Rojas. He is poet, musician, and published author who has performed all over Puerto Rico, the continental U.S., and Europe. His style is best exemplified by his motto: learn to live, live to write, write to love, love to learn. You can learn more about him through his website http://bonafiderojas.com/ and you can see one of his performances here as part of the Def Poetry series. We are proud to have him be a part of our conference as we discuss the transformative process between the person and the persona.

You can contact check out his books through http://www.grandconcoursepress.com/

If you wish to contact Bonafide through social media you can do so through his Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

 

 

Episode 161: CFP Second Annual Academic Popular Culture Conference

UPDATE: THE DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS HAS BEEN EXTENDED UNTIL FRIDAY, JANUARY 29. SUBMISSION PROTOCOL FOR ABSTRACTS REMAINS THE SAME

Update 2: More details on ideas about possible abstracts have been detailed here.

One of the highlights of this year was helping to plan and run the first ever pop culture conference to happen in Puerto Rico. It was an amazing experience and we have all learned a lot from that to make it even bigger, better, faster, stronger. And so we present to you Pop Culture Conference 2: Electric Boogaloo. Well, that was my idea for the title but no one got the joke so we’re going with something more traditional. Below you can find the Call for Papers in PDF, Jpeg, and straight up words on the screen. Take a look, share with friends and send us an abstract. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it.

CFP 2015 From Person to Persona PDF

 

CFP Pop Culture Conference 2015

From Person to Persona:

Exploring Transformative Identity in Authors, Characters, and Individuals

Throughout our lives we are given names that identify us. Birth names are transformed through abbreviations; nicknames are attributed to actions of bravery and/or embarrassment. Our identity changes with the names are given and those we make for ourselves. From George Elliot and Mark Twain to Prince and Lady Gaga, noms de plume show a separation between who we are in real life (IRL) and we are as artists. The second annual Academic Popular Culture Conference invites scholars to question, problematize, and perhaps solve one of the biggest quandaries in literature and in life: what’s in a name?

We are accepting 200-250 word abstracts for individual presentations or 700-750 word abstracts for panel presentations. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty from all departments in any University of Puerto Rico campus, as well as independent scholars, are welcome to submit. We ask that participants only limit themselves to one abstract per person. Since the UPR is a bilingual institution, abstracts and presentations can be submitted in English or in Spanish. The conference will take place at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus from Friday April 1st through Saturday April 2nd in collaboration with the West-Con Comics and Anime Expo which will take place on Sunday April 3rd.

Examples of research in “transformative identity” include but are not limited to:

  • Language/Linguistics and Pop Culture
  • Literature
  • Film and Television
  • Comics and Manga
  • Video Games
  • Race, Gender, and Class
  • Pedagogy and Pop Culture in the Classroom
  • Music

Submission directions:

Please submit your abstracts alongside corresponding biographical and contact information to pcsarum@gmail.com by January 29, 2016

 

 

 

Episode 160: Back to Basics

I have taken the day to write and yet I have found myself staring at an unchanging screen for most of it. The last round of dissertation edits and revisions were brutal and they hurt my pride as a writer but the journey must be continued. I have been writing about serialization for a few years now so it feels like I know pretty much everything about it; my writing about it comes off as passionate at best but that’s not exactly what academia is looking for. So I want to take this moment to try and write about it without the looming judgment of proper clarity, the academic dance of citations and justifying every form of outreach, or even having to use the biggest words out there. Just writing about my topic in a way that makes sense so that hopefully it translates well into the other stuff once edits are finally conquered.

The current version of my title is:

To Start, Continue, and Conclude:

Foregrounding Authorial Performances in the Publication of Serial Fiction in Different Media.

I’d make it longer but I have stricter character limits than tweeting when it comes to this. The central focus is the concept of authorship, ie who is the author and how does he/she create literature. Now, literature is a broad term but I still get in trouble because comics and such aren’t exactly literature in the highest of academic circles so best not to have a few pages to justify said decision over and over again. However, narrative conveys any kind of story while still being fancy enough so let’s use that. I want to study how authors write their stories, see the behind the scenes process. Storytelling is an art (literally one of the fine arts) but also it’s own science once we get into contemporary publishing and all the math involved in whether a book is worthy of hitting the shelves and turning a profit. Since storytelling is informal and can happen anywhere, I use the term narrative production when referring to anything done to build the story. The actions taken by the author from concept to final publication are authorial performances (at least in my book). I use authorial performances comes as an umbrella term for all the different types of performances done from beginning to end of concept to final publication.

As I’m writing this I realize that if authorial performances encompass everything that is narrative production then why not just talk about narrative production and then just subdivide and identify different performances as per Shillingsburg’s writings. Hmm, might need to sleep on this one because it simplifies things a bit but takes away claim to fame of hey new fancy academic word which probably someone more famous than me already coined. Hmmmm indeed.

Now, rather than studying one author to one text, I want to analyze serial fiction because it gives pieces of the publication over time. The division of the narrative process leaves a record of the story,as well as other points of the author’s mindset. A single novel can be edited a thousand times over before it is officially sent to be distributed to the readers. But with serialization, part of the narrative is set and thus any changes need to accommodate the previous installments. Publishing serially means that every part of the narrative needs to be independent enough so that new readers not feel lost but longtime readers get their money’s worth. Each individual installment needs to be published and sold on its own while still building towards something more. In the case of novels, each part is pretty big so it takes a tear even when you’re quick about it. Comics have their own rate of publication but that’s based on the industry standards. Independent authors (especially online) do their own thing.

Now during that space between installments you get something pretty unique to serialization. Readers talk among themselves and can even reach out to the author to critique the story. Authors still choose whether or not to incorporate this feedback  but the influence is clearly present. Even if they’re not voicing their praise or concerns, the readership can still react through sales figures which can ultimately stop the publication outright of the narrative even the story hasn’t been continued. The author-reader-text relationship is thus far more dynamic throughout the context of the same work. Serialization of popular works can take about a decade but comics have characters that have been around for decades.

So what happens when the narrative still gets produced even after the original author has passed away or has retired? Well someone can buy the rights to continue the story on their own. This explains how Superman continues to be published long after Shuster and Siegel went in different narrative directions. I then go into this whole thing about authors as individuals are being changed into authors as corporations that continue serializing ad nauseum.

Beyond that, well things start getting complicated, stay tuned to see what pops up next.

G