Far West Popular and American Culture Associations' 32nd Annual Conference 

February 21-23, 2020
Las Vegas, NV  

Action Needed

The preliminary 2020 program is being created. If you have not sent your registration form to felicia.campbell@unlv.edu, please do so immediately to insure your place. We understand that payment from universities often takes some time, but having a copy of your registration form helps us avoid omissions. Download the registration form linked below in case you have mislaid yours.

2020 Registration Form
Keynote speaker

H. Peter Steeves

DePaul University

“In the Shadow of Truth: The Philosophy and Fine Art of Faking the Facts”

Danielle Meijer 
DePaul University 

At the start of Western civilization there is Socrates warning us that all we take to be true might be nothing more than ephemeral shadows deviously cast on the wall of a cave in which we are all being held prisoner. So separated from the facts are we that we gleefully wallow in our ignorance inside the cave, unaware of our own incarceration and sad state of obliviousness. In practically the same breath, Socrates then warns us that art is always on the side of the jailer, always a lie the separates us further from enlightenment, blocking our escape to the outside world. Our knowledge is a false knowledge of shadows; our culture creates art that is a series of deceptive fictions. This, then, is our intellectual heritage. Today, in an age of worries about fake news, we continue to carry with us concerns about artists’ relation to truth, a shadow government’s relation to what is exposed in the mainstream media, the fake’s relation to the fact. In this presentation—which will include music, dance performances, magic, and stage illusions that will push the boundaries of the believable—we will investigate touchstones in popular culture from Damien Hirst to Disney’s “Peter Pan,” from Orson Welles to “Saturday Night Live,” all in an effort to find the point at which veracity emerges, though always with an eye toward championing the artist and the underdog, always giving the conman his due, and always keeping open the possibility that sometimes the shadow might very well hold more truth than the light.

luncheon speaker

Lynn Bartholome

Executive Director, Popular Culture Association

“Who the Heck Are Alex and Ani and What Is All This Peace And Love Stuff About?” 

A collectible charm captures a moment, a memory, an event, or a special occasion. Charms date back to the Neolithic Period, when man gathered unusual stones and carried them with him to ward off enemies or evil spirits. Throughout times past and present, charms have served as symbols of protection, piety, remembrance and love.This fascination with charms lives on today in the jewelry designs of Carolyn Rafaelian, creative director and CEO of Alex and Ani, an Inc. 5000 List company, headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island. Alex and Ani produces bangle charm bracelets that “adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit.” (Alex and Ani). Sales of these eco-friendly bangles, handcrafted in America from sustainable materials, topped $500 M In 2016. Each month, the announcement of a featured Alex and Ani bangle ignites a buying frenzy among prepubescent girls, college students and middle-aged housewives, all intent on expanding their ever-growing collections. This article examines the long-standing allure of charms, amulets, talismans, and the current phenomenon that is Alex
and Ani.

Hotel Registration

The Palace Station Hotel & Casino
2411 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV, 89102
Please make room reservations directly with the hotel at 1 800 634 3101 and use the code PCIFW20

The hotel has been recently remodeled, with modern, updated guest rooms. Palace station offers a pool, complimentary shuttle service to/from the airport, a fitness center, several restaurants and gaming on site. Accomodations for attendees are available at a reduced rate. For more information, please visit the website.

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