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Undergraduate Students Present to American Popular Culture Association

Posted April 30, 2010 in Student

Graduating seniors Tara Stewart, Art History, and Steven R. Chan, Illustration, and junior Kat Vander Weele, Illustration, presented papers at the national conference of the American Popular Culture Association (APCA) in St. Louis, MO in April of 2010.

The APCA is an association of educators, students, authors and other culture buffs who gather in regional, national and international venues for presentation of formal papers and the sharing of ideas and observations on all aspects of American society, from art, architecture and design to literature, politics, film and entertainment. Papers are judged by area chairpeople. Very few undergraduate papers are accepted for presentation.

The three students, from Professor Robert Sheardy's History of Illustration class, offered their papers in a session called "Picturing Stories," chaired by Professor Sheardy, who also presented a paper.

Chan compared the two most famous illustrators of the Tarzan comics, Hal Foster and Frank Frazetta. His paper also analyzed the collaboration between Foster and author Arthur Rice Borroughs that resulted in one of the most popular of all Sunday comic strips.

Stewart's paper focused on the somewhat irreverent spoof called Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, a fairy tale for adults with illustrations by Brian Froud.

Vander Weele wrote on an equally off-the-wall story called "Stick Figures," from Tales From Outer Suburbia, as written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. Though Vander Weele was unable to present at the conference, Professor Sheardy read her paper on her behalf.