Pop Culture Conference provides insights for SAU Instructor
A lifelong love of learning is something St. Andrews University encourages not only in students but in faculty members as well.
English Instructor Betsy Dendy spent time during the fall semester at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association in the South Annual Conference as a way to gain insights for topics related to her teaching.
“Because this conference covers both pop culture and American culture, it has a wide variety of topics – many of which relate in some way to one or more of my classes,” Dendy said. “I’ve been to four of these conferences now and have attended panels on Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Southern writers, and a variety of American writers such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Gilman.”
All of these panels are directly related to courses Dendy teaches, such as American Literature Survey, Southern Writers and the American Renaissance. As the faculty leader for the women’s studies minor at St. Andrews, Dendy see great benefit from the pop culture portion of these events.
“Since the pop culture aspects focus frequently on gender, many of the pop culture panels are helpful toward my women’s studies classes,” she said. “And, of course, there is a direct correlation with my Topics in American Pop Culture: Lit-based Films class and with the writing course I teach that focuses on writing about media.”
As this particular conference had a focus on fairy tales, Dendy found a new source of inspiration for a future course.
“I went to a couple of the panels on fairy tales because I cover some fairy tales in Children’s Lit as well as in Topics in Pop Culture,” Dendy said. “However, after listening to the papers and talking to some of the presenters, I’m now working on a Topics in Pop Culture class on Classic Fairy Tales and Modern Adaptations, which I think I will be able to offer next fall.”
Dendy was not only in attendance to listen to the insights of others, but to share her insights as well. This year she presented “Cause I’m Just a Girl: Gender Conformity and Transgression in Collins’ The Hunger Games and Roth’s Divergent.”
“Another benefit of attending this conference is that it’s a friendly, networking group,” Dendy said. “I’ve already gotten materials from one presenter to help with the fairy tale class. And getting into this network has put me in the loop for pop culture conferences in general.”
Dendy attend a one-day conference at Converse College a couple years ago with a few honors students from St. Andrews.
“At that conference a lot of the presenters were undergrads,” Dendy said. “I hope that I’ll be able to have students present at a one-day conference like that one in the future.”
About St. Andrews University
St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. St. Andrews has added a first graduate level program with a Masters in Business Administration. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.