April 11, 2007
Morningside College faculty member and students
present at pop culture conference
Dr. Marty Knepper, professor and chair of English at Morningside College; Stacy Baldus, a senior from Grand Meadow, Minn.; and Rachel N. Castillo, a senior from Sioux City, all presented papers at the national conference of the Popular Culture Association (PCA)/American Culture Association (ACA) held April 4-7 in Boston, Ma.
Knepper was chair of the session “Mystery/Detective Fiction III: Debating the Ending of the Harry Potter Series.” During the session, Knepper presented “Reading Harry Potter: Making Predictions for Book 7,” which included results of surveys conducted with readers, monitored internet chat rooms, and fan fiction as a means to discover predictions for the final book of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, slated for publication in July. Knepper was also co-chair for the mystery and detective fiction sections of the national PCA/ACA and helped to organize more than 20 panels and special events for the conference.
Baldus, who is majoring in English and art at Morningside, presented her paper “A Common Language: Gambling and Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction” at the conference.
Castillo, who is majoring in English education at Morningside, presented her paper “Christie Meets Adams: The Sci-Fi Mystery Phenomenon” during the conference.
Both student papers were written as part of the English Capstone Seminar “British Mystery Writers: Gender and Genre” taught by Knepper during the fall 2006 semester.
Knepper, a member of Morningside’s faculty since 1984, has been active with the PCA/ACA since 1978 and served as president of the PCA from 1991 to 1993. She has written articles, presented papers, and spoken widely on detective fiction, women’s issues, and writing. She has a bachelor’s degree from Morningside College, a master’s degree in English from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a doctorate in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.