Monday, June 30, 2014

New Deadline, Old Typewriter

Hello, friends. And fellow steampunk typewriter fanciers!

Now that I've got your attention, I wanted to let you know that Kathy and I have set up a new deadline of 27 July 2014 for more essays. This is for people who weren't able to meet the 15 June deadline for whatever reason.

We are very thankful to those of you who got your essays in on time. We are still looking at them and will get back to you soon about whether they're in or not. Thanks for your patience.

So what about that steampunk typewriter? The cool thing is that it's not a fictional or theater-prop machine. It's an actual typewriter: the Malling-Hansen Writing Ball originally unveiled in 1867. Here's another picture below, with the case it came in. You can also see here how the keys were set up. It ain't QWERTY or Dvorak or even good old ABC. Crazy, huh?

Okay, now, who's going to write that steampunk typewriter essay? Take care, all.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fear Not, Essayists!


Stay calm. 
Adjust your calendars.
You can do this. 

No need to cry!! 
No need to fret!! 
No need to scream!!
No need to lose your head!!

We've extended the Deadline to submit your Essays until Sunday, June 15, 2014.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Your "To Do" List

1. Write an Essay for the Pop Culture Book. 

2. Write another Essay for the Pop Culture Book.

3. Write another Essay for the Pop Culture Book

because there is NO LONGER a 2-ESSAY MAXIMUM

for submissions.

Be our guests-Go crazy-Submit up to 10!


Please send for review by June 15, 2014.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Counting Down-- One Month to Go

One Month from Today is the Deadline for Submitting Essays for Consideration for the upcoming Text on Popular Culture

DUE DATE: June 1, 2014

Please think about what topics in Pop Culture that you'd like to write about. We're looking for interesting perspectives, descriptions, or explanations of over 50 different elements. You may take a contemporary topic or something historical or nostalgic or retro or even futuristic. You may cover anything in the general categories of, but NOT limited to the following list:

  • Art
  • Culture
  • Sub-groups
  • Sports
  • Theater
  • Television
  • News
  • Films
  • Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking
  • Celebrity
  • Radio
  • Recreation
  • Social Media
  • Travel
  • Technology
  • Science Fiction
  • Advertising
  • Manufacturing, Commerce
  • Politics, Government
  • Food & Drink
  • Past times
  • Comic Books, Cartoons, Animation
  • Books, Magazines, Publishing
  • Music
  • Games, Toys, Dolls
  • Fashion
  • Fads, Trends
  • Body Art
  • Finance
  • Science, Medicine, Psychology
  • Cars, Bikes, Locomotives, Planes
  • Etc. 
This is obviously an incomplete list. For more specific ideas please see other postings on this Blog. You could also ask yourself the following questions to help you generate your idea idea? What are you interested in? Are you a collector? What are your unique experiences? What different interactions have you had? What relationships? Have you met or interviewed anyone related to Pop C? What in the history of pop culture is still interesting today? What are you an arm chair expert in? What era do you like best? What decade did you feel most comfortable? What do you have a strong opinion on? What element of pop culture is significant to you today or in your past? What would you be interested in reading about? What do you think undergraduate students should know about regarding Popular Culture? What hasn't been presently fairly, clearly, or adequately in the past? What has been completely ignored? What should not be forgotten? What from our pop pasts provide insights to the present? Do you believe that there are two levels of culture: high pop and low pop? Do you view any elements of pop culture negatively? Positively? Do you have any of your own theories of Pop Culture? Do you think there are benefits to studying Pop Culture as an academic discipline?

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Kathy Lawrence at this blog -or- on Facebook at Kathleen Ann Lawrence -or- in the Facebook Group Popular Culture 1 -or- at
You may also contact Vince Gotera at this blog -or- on Facebook -or- on in his personal/poetry blog: The Man with the Blue Guitar -or- in the Facebook Group: Popular Culture 1 -or- at

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Adventures in Pop Fiction & Pulp Culture

This is the pulp fiction book cover I made with the Pulp-O-Mizer. Make your own cover but beware--you may lose several happy hours just creating and designing with this clever machine. 
With great thanks to the creative genius, Bradley W. Schenck. Check out his blog of futuristic, Celtic, other-worldly, and imaginary art at:      

or try your hand at the Pulp-O-Mizer:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Looking for Topics to Write About?

Here are some categories to start you thinking about topics. There are obviously many other topics and approaches — many more beyond this small list. (Keep in mind, most of these topics could be written from a contemporary perspective OR as a reflection/description of that particular element of popular culture in the past.) And lots of ways to dice 'em up.

This list is by no means exhaustive or encyclopedic. Just some topics we brainstormed. (Actually, Kathy did pretty much all of the brainstorming; I did the posting and the "making pretty.")

  • Accessories, Purses, Jewelry, Designer Wear
  • Advertising, Commercials, Slogans, Logos, Promotions, Giveaways
  • Alcohol, Beer, Wineries, Liquor, Drinking Culture, Alcoholism 
  • Amusement Parks
  • Animation and Anime
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture, Design & Decorating
  • Art, Galleries, Exhibits, High & Low, Drawing, Painting Sculpture Architecture, Design and Decorating
  • Auctions, Flea Markets, Garage Sales, Artifacts
  • Automobiles, Vehicles, Trucking, and Locomotives
  • Baby Boomers, Hippies, Generation X, Millennials, Me Generation, Greatest Generation
  • Beauty
  • Bicycles, Scooters, Motorcycles
  • Body Image and Body Art, Piercings, Fat Shaming
  • Buildings, Monuments 
  • Camping, Hiking
  • Candy, Chocolates, Sweets, Treats, Desserts
  • Carnivals, Festivals, Field Days, Renaissance Fair, Re-enactments, Parades, Rides, Mid-Way
  • Casinos, Adult Entertainment, Prostitution, Strip Shows
  • Celebrity, Hollywood, Red Carpet, Disney in Culture
  • Cemeteries, Grave Art, History of Death, Memorials, Funeral Services
  • Children's Literature
  • Cigarettes, Cigars, electronic cigarettes
  • Circus, 3-Ring, Mystique, Animal Performances, Death-Defying Acts, Clowns
  • Cities around the world
  • Clubs, Groups, Affiliations, Associations
  • Coffee Shops, restaurants, diners, ice cream parlors, wineries
  • Collectibles
  • Comics, Cartoons, Children's Characters
  • Commercialism and Online Shopping
  • Communication and Digital Culture
  • Computers, Technology, Silicon Valley
  • Corporations, Wall Street, Economy, Business, Money, Credit, and Office Cultures
  • Crafts, Sewing, Knitting, Decoupage and more
  • Crime and Punishment, Prison, Reform
  • Cults
  • Customs, Rituals, Routines
  • Dance — all kinds
  • Decades ('50s, '60s, '70s, etc.)
  • Diet and Weight Obsession
  • Different Cultures around the World
  • Disasters, Apocalypses, Disease and Catastrophes
  • Diversity and Multiculturism
  • Drink
  • Drugs, Pharmaceuticals and Narcotics
  • Ecology and Environment, Green Living, Recycling
  • Education, Policies, Changes, Old School, Parochial School, Private, Public, Elementary, Testing, High School life, Teachers, Extra-curricular, College, Graduate, Subject Matter, Studies, Partying, Dorm Life, On-Line, Trends, New Math
  • Elderly, Retirement, AARP, Sex Life, 
  • Entertaining, Parties, Events, Openings, Parades
  • Exercise, Jogging, Yoga, Jazzercise, Swimming, TV & DVD workouts, health clubs, Fitness
  • Fairy Tales and Fables
  • Fan Culture, Comicon
  • Fashion, Costuming and Haute Couture
  • Festivals and Fairs
  • Fiction
  • Film and Television
  • Fishing, Hunting
  • Folklore
  • Food and Cooking, Restaurants, Fast Food, Organic, Supermarkets
  • Games — all kinds, Outdoor, Board Games, Children's Games, Card Games, Memory, Performance, Word Games
  • Fundraising, Good Works, Service-Oriented Society
  • Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Graffiti, Street Art
  • Hair, Nails, Cosmetics, Hair trimming and Sculpting, 
  • History, Study of,
  • Hip-Hop, Punk, Goth, Rock 'n' Roll, etc.
  • Hobbies, Recreation, Extracurricular Activities
  • Hollywood
  • Horoscopes and Tarot
  • Horror Literature
  • Housing, real estate, Neighborhoods
  • Humor & Comedy
  • Identity Issues and Cultural Stereotypes
  • Illness, Sickness, Hospitals, Healthcare
  • Internet and Social Media
  • Jewelry, Adornments
  • Law, Order, and Judicial System
  • Leadership and Power
  • Libraries, Archives, and Museums
  • Literature
  • Love and Romance, Dating Practices
  • Magazines — all kinds
  • Manufacturing, Products, Sales
  • Mascots
  • Media and Journalism, News & Gonzojournalism, Tabloids, Paparazzi 
  • Medicine, Doctors, Nurses, Changes, Ethics, Patients, Hospitals, Emergencies, Holistic, Trends, Costs
  • Men and Women
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Mini-Golf, Laser Tag, Billiards
  • Movies — all kinds of film, stars, children's, rating system, documentaries, shorts, blockbusters, crime, romantic-comedy, informational, sci fi, news reel, domestic, foreign, animated, 3-D, action, thriller, sports, film noir, western, film critics, Oscars, student and amateur film-making, human triumph over adversity, road movie, buddy movie, chick-flick, skin, war and more
  • Music — all kinds, instrumental, vocal, recorded, live, concerts, performances, ethnic, related music fashion and subculture, awards, albums, technology, fashion, and related trends
  • Mystery Novels
  • Mythology
  • Nationalism, Provincialism, Local Pride, Patriotism
  • National Parks, Local parks, Beaches, Nature
  • Nutrition and Vitamins
  • Occult
  • Olympics
  • Outdoor Spaces, Landscaping
  • Parenthood and family
  • Performances, Magicians, Comedians, Performance Artists, Slam Poetry, Singers, Dancers
  • Pets and Animals
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Politics — all elements
  • Pornography
  • Poverty, The Have-Nots, Homeless, Effects of Famine, Effects of Crime, Effects of Crash
  • Princesses, Princes, Royalty, Royal Weddings
  • Profanity
  • Protests, Picketing, and Riots
  • Psychology
  • Radio and Audio
  • Religions and Beliefs
  • Recreation, Hot Air Balloons, Roller Coasters, Thrill Rides, Boating, Surfing, Skiing, 
  • Sensory Living, All Senses, Taste, Touch, Smell, Hearing, Sight
  • Sex, Sexuality, Sexual Appeals
  • Science
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Shoes
  • Significant Moments
  • Soap Opera and Serialized Storytelling
  • Social Media — all kinds
  • Social Movements
  • Sports, Sporting Events, Amateur Sports, Betting, Fantasy Football, Professional Sports, Athletics, Individual Sports, Team Sports, 
  • Stage Performances
  • Style and Identity
  • Subculture Life
  • Superheroes and Villians
  • Supernatural and Spiritualism
  • Teens
  • Television — all kinds of programming, news, special-coverage on-going, all-news, talk shows, daytime, prime time, late night, news magazines, investigative, reality self-improvement, reality competition, scripted, drama, cop show, cartoons, after-school special, mini series, quiz show, game show, home improvement, sit-com, made-for-TV-movies, cable programming, cooking demonstrations, home shopping, musical specials, comedy shows, satire, weather reporting, debate, round-table, public access, local coverage, closed circuit
  • The Road, The Home, The Night Life, The Job, The City, The Family, The Times, The Weather, The Relationship, The Friendship, The Parents, The Ticket, The Search, The Answer
  • Theater, Musical, Broadway, Drama, School plays
  • Toys, Dolls, Puppetry
  • Travel and Tourism, Vacations, RVs
  • Trends, Fads
  • Unions, Groups, 
  • Urban Life
  • Video Gaming and Arcades
  • Visual Culture
  • War and Peace, Military, Politics, Terrorism, Threats — Real and Imagined
  • Wealth
  • Witches, Vampires, Zombies
  • WWW, Web Pages, Blogs, Shopping, Industry, Scamming
  • Young Adults, Adults, Middle Aged, 50 is the new 40, 25 is the new 50
  • Youth, Children, Babies, Tweens, Growing Up, Bullying, Challenges, Triumphs, Joys, Fads 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Call for Essays on Pop Culture

Please note new deadline of Sunday, 27 July 2014!
We are looking for a wide range of essays that fall under the vast umbrella of Popular Culture, past and present. These essays will be anthologized in an undergrad textbook for general education classes to develop critical thinking. Students will learn skills and strategies in studying cultures by reading well-written, dynamic treatments of pop culture.

Essays should be creative, exciting, and substantial; most of all they should be enjoyable.
A small sampling of possible topics might include The Carny Life • Blondie to Doonesbury to The Far Side • From Corsets to Spanx • Instagram, Selfies, and Sexting • Barbie vs. GI Joe • Project Runway and The BacheloretteTattoos, Piercings, and Scarifying • The Beatles, The Ramones, and The Black Kids • Pulp Fiction and Fight ClubHula Hoops and Rubik's Cubes • and so on.
Essays should be clear and understandable to the layperson and should capture the interest of undergrad students.

Essays should be 2-4 pages or 500-1000 words, double spaced, 12 point Times. Include footnotes and source list, if needed, in an accepted style like MLA or APA.

Essays can be written by one author or by a group. 
Essays should be original to the author(s) and should not appear in other publications.

Essays may be written ...
(1) from an academic perspective, or
(2) from a personal standpoint based on opinion and experience, or

(3) as an informative piece, or
(4) as a rhetorical analysis.
Authors may come, therefore, from academic, professional, and or amateur venues.

Author's name should be given as you wish to appear when published. Also include a bio of 50-75 words for each author.

Authors may each submit  up to two essays  as many essays as they would like. (NEW)

Please submit essays by ...
(1) emailing a Word attachment to popprof1 (at) gmail (dot) com, or

(2) posting a Word file to our facebook group Popular Culture 101, or

(3) mailing a hard copy to
Kathleen A. Lawrence
Communication Studies
SUNY Cortland
Cortland, NY 13045
Deadline:    Sunday, 1 June 2014   Sunday, 15 June 2014  Sunday, 27 July 2014 (NEW)

Important information that must be included with each essay:

Name (as you want your name to appear if selected)
Email and Mailing Address

Occupation and Field (for example, business or education)

Title (be as creative as you want)

Subject Category (for example, fads, media, children's toys, military, etc.)

Bio (50-75 words per author)
Relevance of topic to you (if not already clear in essay, this is optional)

Other relevant information
(also optional)