Huron, Ohio – Bowling Green State University Firelands College students Deborah Carden, Elyria, Ariel Miller, Sandusky, and Jessica Smorul, Sandusky, along with recent BGSU Firelands graduate Talon Smith, Huron, recently presented papers at the Midwest Popular Culture Association annual conference which was held in Indianapolis, Ind., from October 3-5.

The MPCA is a regional branch of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and is dedicated to promoting the study of popular culture throughout the world through the establishment and promotion of conferences, publications, and discussion.

The students developed their papers during a course they took last spring, The Rhetoric of Sport, taught by BGSU Firelands Assistant Professor of Communication Ray Schuck.  Each student’s paper focused on fantasy themes in gendered media representations of sports figures.

Paper presentations included the following topics:

  • Carden: “A Boy Named Suh: How Gender Roles are Portrayed Through Media”
  • Miller: “Polarizing Perceptions: Serena Williams and the Simultaneous Hyper-sexualization and Masculinization of Black Female Athletes”
  • Smorul: “The Struggle of Women Sportscasters as Represented by Michelle Beadle”
  • Smith: “Hegemony of the Spider: Fantasy Theme Analysis of an Ultimate Fighting Champion”

Schuck, who also attended the conference, and was very impressed with the students.  “They did wonderfully on the presentations and then handled questions from the audience like professionals,” said Schuck.

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