Friday, April 22, 2011

From Texas

Frankie here. I'm in San Antonio this week attending the annual National Popular Culture-America Culture Association conference. This is a terrific conference. It attracts academic types from a range of disciplines who are doing research on some aspect of popular culture. The task here is to decide which panel to attend. The areas range from advertising, Arthurian legends, and automobile culture to cemeteries and gravemarkers, punk culture, sea literature, and World War II. Since presenting my own paper on Wednesday (about the "American dream" in two films, Shadow of a Doubt and Set It Off), I attended panels on vampires in True Blood, bling in rap videos, and photography during the Civil War.

As you might suspect, there is a mystery/detective fiction area. Aside from the academic papers, yesterday afternoon at 4:45 and again today, a panel of local mystery writers shared their work with the audience.

Each year the Mystery and Detective Fiction Area gives the George N. Dove Award to a recipient who has made "a contribution to the serious study" of crime fiction. Last night, at the business meeting, this year's recipient were announced. Actually, this year there are two: Professor Catherine Ross Nickerson and British mystery writer P.D. James (who is also the author of a book about detecive fiction). The formal announcement detailing the recipients' contributions should be out shortly in a press release.

I have to leave early tomorrow morning, so I'm going to miss the Saturday sessions, including the one on "Readers Reading Mysteries." One of the panelists, Barbara Fister, will be presenting a paper titled "Sisters in Crime at the Quarter Century." (In the way of full disclosure, I serve on the SinC board).

Getting late, off to the next panel.

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