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LitMods in San Diego: Scholarship, Sun, and Coastal Scenery

April 25, 2017

Taking a break from tutorials at Ryerson, current LitMod students Jean Mathew and Henry Gomes (pictured above), along with LitMod graduate Jennifer Fraser, traveled to San Diego to attend the annual National Conference of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (April 12-16, 2017). They participated in the PCA/ACAs Motherhood/Fatherhood Area, which is organized by Department of English Professor Liz Podnieks, who watched as they delivered their first scholarly papers with poise and confidence.

Their contributions to the conference, which attracts more than 2,000 members from around the world each year, include the following presentations: Jean, “Designated Spaces for Fathers and Men in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns”; Henry, “My Dad the Gambler, Pornographer, Game Show Host, Oil Baron, and Master: An Analysis of the Father Figures in the Films of Paul Thomas Anderson”: and Jennifer, “Reaching Beyond the ‘Fringe’—Exploring the Marketing and Production Evolution of Kim’s Convenience from the Toronto Stage to the National Screen.”

Our LitMods found their California adventure professionally and personally stimulating. As Jean describes, “The Popular Culture Conference is basically the academic version of ComicCon, except that most people wore dress shoes over their Star Wars socks. Aside from the fabulous academic fans and their equally untouchable fashion sense, the conference was fantastic. Every panel at the conference seemed so scrumptious and all I wanted to do the entire time was clone myself to watch and do everything.” Likewise, Henry testifies that the PCA/ACA “was the first time I attended an academic conference and I couldn't ask for a better experience. I particularly enjoyed a panel on professional wrestling that explored the craft of ‘bad guy’ characters. Exploring the city of San Diego was equally fun. The conference was an excellent supplement to the course work of the LitMod program." Having graduated last year, Jennifer reports, “Being able to present at the PCA conference allowed me to engage in research interests that have continued to develop since the completion of my MA. Being able to meet and interact with peers from different countries and disciplines in San Diego was an enriching experience in a beautiful setting. I am inspired to continue work in my field of interest and welcome the next step in my academic journey.” We wish Jean, Henry, and Jennifer much success on this journey.