NEPCA's Annual Conference

The main activity which NEPCA members share is the annual meeting. Normally this is a two-day (Friday-Saturday) meeting, with scholarly papers, performances, readings, film screenings, and wide-ranging discussions presented at up to 25 sessions arranged thematically, but usually crossing narrow disciplinary boundaries. Younger scholars, independent scholars, and graduate students often participate as do folk artists, film makers, and creative scholars and performers. In addition to formal sessions, members have ample time to converse informally during coffee, luncheon, and receptions. There is also a book exhibit. Members are encouraged to sample the variety of intellectual approaches and perspectives which this interdisciplinary conference offers. Sessions last 90 minutes and are always followed by panel and audience discussion, facilitated by the chairperson.


The best conference papers are recommended for presentation at the national PCA and ACA conferences. The best graduate student papers are considered for the NEPCA Prize.

It is NEPCA’s policy to post our final conference attendance and note those papers that were scheduled but not delivered.


 NEPCA Schedule — Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Session I: 4 to 5:30 p.m.


1) Health, Disease, Physical Culture I: Mass Media Portrayals of Illness and Health Practitioners

Warner Hall 303

Chair: Carol-Ann Farkas, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

“Dr. Joyce Brothers and American Television”

Kathleen Collins, John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York

“Myths and Realities: Exploring Portrayals of Therapists in Popular Culture”

Michelle Ronayne, Nashua Community College

“Do You See What I See?—Searching for Visual Representations of Health Care Professionals on the Internet”

Rick Shifley, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

“Hypochondria and Somatoform Disorders in Popular Culture”

Carol-Ann Farkas, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


2) Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend I: Science Fiction

Warner Hall 320

Chair: Michael A. Torregrossa, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

“Surviving the Night of the COMET: Zombies, Space, and the 2012 Hysteria”

Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University

“Abandonment and Salvation in Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book”

Marlene San Miguel Groner, Farmingdale State College/SUNY Canceled

Ain’t I a Xenomorph? Representations of Post-feminist Identity in the Alien films”

Randy Laist, Goodwin College


3) Music I: Punk

Warner Hall 201

Chair: Christopher Gleason, Worcester Institute of Technology

“‘All you posers go to hell’: The Descendants and the Deconstruction of Punk” Cory E. Alix, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

“F#@% You: Punk and the Transformation of American Sexuality in the 1970s” David Valone, Quinnipiac University

“Bitches Ain’t Shit: Restrictive Gender Roles in Pop/Rap Music”

Daniel H. Hoskins, Roger Williams University


4) Comics and Graphic Novels I: Disturbing and Disturbed Bodies

Warner Hall 226

Chair: Lance Eaton, Emerson College

“‘I Know it When I See it’: Mike Diana’s Use of Childhood Iconography as ‘Obscene’ Mode of Discourse”

Lisa Cunningham, University of West Georgia Canceled

“Boundless Monstrosity: The Evolution and Intertextual Development of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”

Lance Eaton, Emerson College

“Bam! Biff! Pow!: Batman and the Evolution of the American Romantic Hero”

Forrest C. Helvie, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

NEPCA Schedule — Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Session I: 4 to 5:30 p.m. continued

5) Discourse Analysis: Contexts and Commentary

Warner Hall 318

Chair: Truman Keys, Western Connecticut State University

“Basic Assumptions of the Western Theory of Identity Communication”

Christian Nelson, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

“Critical discourse analysis as a means to uncover social practices and cultural reproduction in sports texts”

Carolyn Fortuna, independent scholar

“Freedom and Meaning of Art within Estonian Identity”

Karin Mansberg, Western Connecticut State University


6) Global Culture and Art: Crossing Borders, Intersecting Ideas

White Hall 025

Chair: Elaine Slater, Wentworth Institute of Technology

“Introducing Buddhism in Nineteenth-Century American Magazines”

Katsuya Izumi, University at Albany, SUNY

“The Theory of Iconic Realism and Creative Cultural Expression”

Jeanne I. Lakatos, Western Connecticut State University

“Transgressing Borders, Private and Public: The Work of Lalla Essaydi

Elaine Slater, Wentworth Institute of Technology

“The Use of Urban Space in High Modernity: Bansky and the Revival of Graffiti”

Rachel L. Kaminsky, Fordham University


7) Gender, Identity and Sexuality I: Studying Gender and Gender Studies

White Hall 026

Chair: Joe Hancock, Drexel University

“Seduced and Betrayed by Deviant Male Texts! A gender studies reading of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan

Katsuya Izumi, University at Albany, SUNY

“‘I’m Not a Fag, I’m a Werewolf’: Teen Wolf and 1980s Masculinity”

Martha Fischoff, University of Wisconsin-Madison Canceled

“Training a Female Hero: Negative Influences Drive Keladry to Heroism in Tamora Pierce’s The Protector of the Small Quartet”

Sarah M. Kniesler, Plymouth State University


8) Science and Technology I/Symposium: Geeks, Gadgets and Games:

The Influence of Technology on Media Entertainment in Contemporary Culture

White Hall 024

Chair: David Kazibut, Western Connecticut State University

“From Mighty Thor to Thor: Problematizing the Inherent Societal Values and Individual Identities of

“Geek” Culture Artifacts Appropriated by Mainstream America”

Jessica Eckstein and David Kazibut, Western Connecticut State University

“Community building or isolation tool? An analysis of college students’ use of digital music devices”

Katie Lever Mazzuto, Western Connecticut State University

“It’s the Context, not the Content: Reassessing the Threat of Violence in Video Games

Chris Prorock/Christopher Oswald/ Shane Murphy, Western Connecticut State University Canceled


Reception / Keynote Speaker

Professor William H. Foster, III

Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Warner Hall Lyceum, 6 to 7 p.m.

NEPCA Schedule — Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011

Session II: 8:30 to 10 a.m.

1) Folklore and Folk Culture I: Hawai’ian Narratives at the Crossroads of Culture:

Multidisciplinary Interpretations

Warner Hall 103

Chair: Virginia Metaxas, Southern Connecticut State University

“Narratives of Illness and Healing in Nineteenth Century Hawai’i”

Virginia Metaxas, Southern Connecticut State University

Hawai’ian Psychology-Western Psychology: Healing Through Talking”

Carol Austad, Central Connecticut State University

“The Hidden Narrative of the Hawai’ian Missionary Legacy”

Catherine Hoyser, St. Joseph’s College


2) Health, Disease and Physical Culture II: Patients and Communication of Illness Meanings

Warner Hall 201

Chair: Christine Parkhurst, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

“On-line Publicized Technical Standards as Requirements for Entry into Physical Therapy

Education Programs and Subsequent Physical Therapy Practice, as Public Discourse”

James R. Brennan, The Sage Colleges

“Use of Film Simulation to Enhance Teaching and Learning in the Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum”

Lois Angelo, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

“Breaking News about Mortality: Philippe Aires toTristanne Connolly”

Christine Parkhurst, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences


3) Social Media Panel: How Social Media Magnifies the Privacy Issue for Public Figures

Warner Hall 226 Panel and panelists canceled

Chair: Diana I. Rios, University of Connecticut

Panelists: Mary Helen Millham, University of Connecticut

Chris Clemens, University of Connecticut

Brianna Diaz, University of Connecticut

David J. Atkin, University of Connecticut


4) Visual Culture I: Virtual Life

Warner Hall 138

Chair: Jim Hanlan, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

“Emotion Online: Social Networks, Happiness and Convergence”

Kristyn Gorton, University of York

Youtube Comedy: Asian-American Slammers and Ravers Confront Physical and Sexual Stereotypes”

Mark DeStephano, Saint Peter’s College

“Fried Egg Friday: Parody in the Age of Digital Reproduction”

Terri Toles Patkin, Eastern Connecticut State University

Chronophotography and the Sports Highlight”

Jonathan Finn, Wilfrid Laurier University


Session II: 8:30 to 10 a.m. continued

5) Music: Innocence to Alienation

Warner Hall 303

Chair: Kate Allocco, Western Connecticut State University

“Authenticity, Existentialism, and the Music and Lyrics of Defiance, Ohio”

Zach Richter, Western Connecticut State University

“Mop-Top Hysteria Goes Digital: Reexamining the Manic Fandom of the Beatles in a Bieber Generation”

Dana Jennings, Fairfield University

“Sex, Drugs . . . and Polyphony: The Medieval Guitarist and the Rock and Roll World”

Carey Fleiner, University of Delaware


6) Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Legend II: Legends Old and New

Warner Hall 320

Chair: Brian Clements, Western Connecticut State University

“The Werewolf: Out of Bounds”

Barry Hall, University of Nizwa Canceled

“Robin Hood in Ballad and Film”

Kerry R. Kaleba, George Mason University

“What Do Vampires Have to Do with the Holy Grail? The Transformation of the Grail Legend in Undead Arthuriana

Michael A. Torregrossa, The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages

“Vampires in Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire novels and the Twilight saga”

Andrea Siegel, Graduate Center/CUNY


7) Television: Broadcasting Culture

White Hall 025

Chair: Truman Keys, Western Connecticut State University

“When Good Kids Go Dumb: Rachel Dretzin’s Trilogy of PBS Teen Documentaries”

Evan Cooper, Farmingdale State College

“Rebecca, Schooner, and Chocolate Starfish: Discourse and Postfeminism in Sex in the City

Kyley A. Caldwell, Brandeis University

“We’re From Different Tribes: The Counter-Culture and the TV Movie, 1970-1985”

Michael McKenna, Stony Brook University Canceled


8) Food: Cooking up Identities

White Hall 026

Chair: Fabio Parasecoli, The New School

“Fajita-Lore: The Creation of Ninfa Laurenzo, the ‘First Lady of Mexican Cooking’”

Chrystel Pit, University of Arizona

“Eating La Famiglia: Consumption of Authenticity in Italian-themed Restaurants”

Fabio Parasecoli, The New School

Dione Lucas and Post-World War II Domesticity”

Madonna L. Berry, Roger A. Saunders School of Hotel and Restaurant Management Canceled



NEPCA Schedule — Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011

Session III: 10:30 a.m. to Noon

1) Music II: Lady Gaga

Warner Hall 320

Chair: Carol Mitchell, Springfield College

“Image as Spiritual Hologram: Lady Gaga & Alexander McQueen, Royalty of a Different Fashion”

Ingrid Pruss, Western Connecticut State University

“Lady Gaga’s Disease: Jo Calderone and the Pathology of the Image’s Virulent Body”

Roland Betancourt, Yale University

“My Mother (Monster), My Self: Lady Gaga and Adolescent Identity Development”

Cathy Leogrande, LeMoyne College


2) Health, Disease and Physical Culture III: Historical Perspectives on Disease Conceptions

and Health Care Practice

Warner Hall 201

Chair: David Tanner, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

“Contagious Metaphors: Ideas of Transmission in Early Modern Ottoman Society”

Nukhet Varlik, Rutgers University Canceled

“The ‘Hunt for Defects’ and Resistance to Medical Expertise in American School Hygiene”

Kate Mazza, City University of New York

“From Domestic Sickroom to Hospital Bedside: Transitions in Popular Representations of

Female Nursing, 1850-1950”

Thomas Lawrence Long, University of Connecticut


3) Gender, Identity and Sexuality II: Limning Marginality

Warner Hall 226


“Popular Perceptions of Male Victims of Intimate Partner Violence: Informal and Formal Sources

of Information and Their Influence on Gender Stigmatization”

Jessica J. Eckstein, Western Connecticut State University

Heteronormativity and the Fictional Queer Rampage Killer: Youth Identity, Masculinity, and Sexual Citizenship”

Kathryn Linder, Suffolk University

“Dude Looks Like a Lady: The Feminization of the Archetypal Hero in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Angel

Susan Podhajski-LeRoy, Western Connecticut State University


4) Sports: Baseball Plus

Warner Hall 303

Chair: Rob Weir, University of Massachusetts

“The World Game Within: the Cultural Politics of Soccer in Multicultural Australia”

Jess Carniel, University of Melbourne Canceled

“Frederick Taylor’s Use of the Baseball Team Metaphor: A Historical perspective on Scientific

Management and Baseball”

Chris Risker, Webster College

“Baseball and Poison Gas: The Death of Christy Mathewson”

John Palencsar, SUNY-New Paltz

“The Yankee Dynasty Before Steinbrenner”

Donna Waller Harper, independent scholar Canceled

Rob Weir, University of Massachusetts

“Why Baseball Triumphed Over Cricket in the United States’


NEPCA Schedule — Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011

Session III: 10:30 a.m. to Noon continued

5) War and Genocide: Harsh Realities

White Hall 022

Chair: Mark van Ells, Queensborough Community College

“‘The Other’ Persisting in Popular Culture: Children’s and Young Adult Literature Depicting Genocides

of the Late 20th and 21st Centuries”

Jane M. Gangi, Western Connecticut State University

“‘Really Bizarre Creatures’: The Cultural Politics of GI Dissent and Disobedience during the Vietnam War”

Dylan Gottlieb, Temple University Canceled

“T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and the Great War”

Kathryn Van Wert


6) Race: Evasion, Identity and Anxiety

White Hall 025

Chair: D.L. Stephenson, Western Connecticut State University

“Whitely Ways of Playing: Employing Video Games in Racist Distancing Strategies”

Evan W. Lauteria, Syracuse University

“Imperialistic Visions on the Airwaves: The Construction of Non-white Peoples and Foreign Settings

in Adventure Radio Programs of the 1930s through the 1950s”

Bonnie M. Miller, University of Massachusetts, Boston

“Post-Racial Anxieties: Reproduction and Gender in Contemporary African-American Artistic Culture”

GerShun Avilez, Yale University


7) Science and Technology II: Refuse and Renewal

White Hall 026

Chair: Amos St. Germain, Wentworth Institute of Technology

“Music and Technology: The Promise of Reconciliation”

Gloria Monaghan and Brian Donnell, Wentworth Institute of Technology

“Fat Cats: Fat and Waste in Society”

Henderson Pritchard, Wentworth Institute of Technology

“Seeing Green: Have They Blinded Us With Science?”

Jack Duggan, Wentworth Institute of Technology


8) Science Fiction, Fantasy and Legend III: Fantasy

White Hall 023

Chair: Faye Ringel, United States Coast Guard Academy, retired

“‘Epic’ in Epic-Fantasy Literature”

Robert Luce, Independent Scholar

“Who is Afraid of Merlin? The Darkening of Merlin in Modern Arthurian Fiction”

Anne Berthelot, University of Connecticut

“‘Close This Book Right Now’: The Writer-Character in Children’s Fantasy”

Amie A. Doughty, SUNY Oneonta



Warner Hall Lyceum, 12:15-1:30 p.m.

Welcome by Dr. Abby Zink, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, WCSU

NEPCA Schedule — Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011

Session IV: 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

1) American Literature: Texts and Contexts

Warner Hall 320

Chair: Mark Madigan, Nazareth College

“Nailing Class: Social Class Critique in Tom Wolfe’s I am Charlotte Simmons

Robert Niemi, St. Michael’s College

“Bestsellers: Popular Culture’s ‘Invisible Man’”

Donald G. Baker, Long Island University

“Chip Hilton, the Cold War, and the ‘Diabolical Bomb’”

Dennis Gildea, Springfield College


2) Comics and Graphic Novels II: Damsels Causing Distress

Warner Hall 226

Chair: Lance Eaton, Emerson College

“She-Hulk: A Cultural Study of the Pornographic ‘Angry’ Woman”

D. L. Stephenson, Western Connecticut State University

Vampiric Viragoes: Villainizing and Sexualizing Arthurian Women in King Arthur v. Dracula (2005)

and Madame Xanadu (2008)”

Kate Allocco, Western Connecticut State University

“Women in Comics”

Jessica Gamache, Western Connecticut State University

“Drawing from the Margins: Truth, Fiction, and Power in Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen

Lindsey Hanlon, Boston College


3) Film and History: Hollywood Endings

Warner Hall 303

Chair: Steven Grossman, New England Institute of Art

Gone With the Wind: Then and Now”

John Mueller, University of Hartford

“Exploring New Frontiers: What Makes Superman and Ethan Edwards Wander”

Jordan Young, Susquehanna University Canceled

“‘A Girl’s Gotta Live’: Gender Roles, Moral Ambiguity, and Career Criminals in Three Pre-Code

William Wellman Film”

Emily E. Gifford, Central Connecticut State University

• “FIGHTER: A Love Poem for Boxing from Lowell”

Amos St. Germain, Wentworth Institute of Technology


Session IV: 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. continued

4) Folklore and Folk Culture: An Internationale

Warner Hall 201

Chair: Bruce Cohen, Worcester State University

Aztlan as Spiritual Birthplace: Chicano and Mexican American Political Folklore”

Barbara Ann Driscoll de Alvarado, Anna Maria College

“From ‘Balle Balle’ to Bhangra Rap: The folk invasion from Punjab, India”

Gitanjali Chawla, University of Delhi

“Conjuring Rats in New England by Edicts, Letters, Songs, Tradecards, and Advertising”

Robert M. MacGregor, The Williams School of Business Administration

“‘Our most important neighbor to the north’: Canada in the U.S. Imagination”

Judith Broome, William Paterson University


5) Health, Disease and Physical Culture IV: Ideas of the Body and Public Policy Contexts

White Hall 025

Chair: Jennifer Tebbe-Grossman, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health

“Let’s Eat Something Different! Revising and Adapting the ‘Let’s Move’ Campaign”

Virginia Cowen, Queensborough Community College

“The Representation of ‘Green’ Beauty in Contemporary American Popular Culture”

Stacie Kotschwar, SUNY Binghampton University

“Medical Imaging as Persuasive Technology? Ordering Visual Information, Persuading Patients,

Epistemic Deficiency”

Alexander I. Stingl, European University Viadrina

“The Visual Popularization of a Degenerated Sexuality in the 20th Century: From Syphilis to AIDS”

Lukas Engelmann and Stefan Wuensch, Humbolt University, Berlin


6) Music: International

White Hall 026

Chair: Jim Hanlan, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

“Iran: Musical Freedom Circumventing Censorship”

Karen Nagy, Western Connecticut State University

“Songs of our Ancestors: Reconstructing African Culture Through African Music”

Mark Malisa, College of Saint Rose Canceled

“The American-Soviet Music Society: An Alternative Discourse in Cold War Culture”

Victoria Waxman, Northeastern University

“Music and Culture—Emotional and Spiritual Experiences/Musical Saint Composers of Andhra,

India-Tyaagaraaja: A Study”

Vijaya Kumar Babu, Osmania University (ret.) Canceled


NEPCA Schedule — Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011


Session IV: 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. continued

7) Philosophy and Popular Culture: Navigating the 21st Century

White Hall 022

Chair: Tim Madigan, Division Chair for Philosophy and Popular Culture, PCA/ACA

“McLuhan’s Maelstrom: Marshall McLuhan in the Cyber Age”

Tim Madigan, St. John Fisher College

“The Unironical in the Age of Irony”

Seth Vannatta, Morgan State University

“Popular Media as Popular Epistemology: Neil Postman on Communicating and Knowing”

Gerald J. Erion, Medaille College

“Product Placement Within Teen Movies as a Creativity Booster”

Francesca Masoero, Universitadegli studi di Bologna


8) Television: Visions and Revisions of Identity

White Hall 023

Chair: Truman Keys, Western Connecticut State University

“The Symbolic Annihilation of Women at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce”

Rod Carveth, Fitchburg State University  Canceled

“Evaluating the Construction of Overweight and Obese Adolescent Children in Huge

Andrea M. McClanahan, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

“Road to Rhode Island: Family Guy and New England Culture”

Tanya Lovejoy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale