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Source: Michele Janette, 785-532-0772,
Web site:

Monday, April 6, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Faculty with Kansas State University's cultural studies program are using their expertise in arranging K-State's annual Cultural Studies Conference to organize and host the annual conference of the Cultural Studies Association of the U.S.

The national conference, April 16-18 in Kansas City, Mo., will bring together more than 300 scholars to discuss topics ranging from the theorizing of cultural policies to representations of aging in popular culture.

"It's a real honor to be chosen to host this conference. It reflects our status as the major cultural studies program in our region," said Michele Janette, associate professor of English and director of K-State's cultural studies program.

K-State's cultural studies program, offered through the department of English, has lots of experience running conferences, having organized 17 on-campus conferences in cultural studies.

"We are excited to vary our traditional conference by hosting the national conference in place of our own," said Don Hedrick, K-State professor of English and the founding director of the K-State cultural studies program in 1992. "Whereas our conferences in the past have always focused on a particular topic, this year we will instead have papers that range across the entire spectrum of current cultural studies work, giving a snapshot of the newest work throughout the field."

The national conference will be at Kansas City's Marriott Hotel on the Country Club Plaza.

"In addition to the resources Kansas City has for easy transportation and conference facilities, the Country Club Plaza is significant in the cultural history of America, being the first urban outdoor mall in the country. It seemed like the perfect place to bring scholars of culture," said Tanya Gonzalez, an assistant professor of English at K-State who is helping to organize the conference.

"Cultural studies conferences are an amazing mix of the popular and the academic," said Chris Kennedy, a K-State master's student in English and cultural studies from Manhattan who will be one of the presenters at the conference. "Where else could I give a paper on campy versus serious violence in the Batman comic books, and then an hour later go hear a session about contemporary media in Palestine?"

In addition to Kennedy, K-State English faculty members James Machor, professor, and Erica Hateley, assistant professor, will present papers at the conference, as will K-State English alumni Emily King, Mathias Nilges and Pia Moller.

In addition, K-State's Janette will join such renowned scholars as Michael Berube, Cary Nelson and Jeff Williams in a plenary session on "The University After Cultural Studies."

More information on the conference program is available online at

Admission to the conference is free K-State students, faculty and staff.