Professor Receives Popular Culture Association’s Top Awards

For his lifetime of service to the field of popular culture, Gary Hoppenstand, Professor of Film Studies and 20th-Century Literature in MSU’s Department of English, has won the Popular Culture Association’s (PCA) Presidential Award. He also is the 2021-2022 recipient of the Lynn Bartholome Eminent Scholar Award and will deliver the Bartholome Lecture, “The Story of Popular Culture as Story,” as part of the 2022 PCA National Conference, which will be held virtually April 13-16.

A leading national and international expert in the theoretical study of popular literature and entertainment media culture, Hoppenstand’s research spans across genre and narrative studies in popular fiction, graphic novels, film, and television. This research has led him to publish 24 books, including nine scholarly reprint editions of classic novels for Signet Classics and Penguin Classics and more than 60 scholarly articles on topics ranging across popular culture studies, literary studies, and media studies. His last book, Perilous Escapades: Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction, published in 2018, features an anthology of his essays on classic adventure literature.

Portrait of a man in a grey suit with glasses and a goatee smiling. He poses in front of two posters.
Professor Gary Hoppenstand

Hoppenstand’s early work as editor of the periodical, Midnight Sun, was nominated twice for the prestigious World Fantasy Award, and his Popular Fiction: An Anthology won the PCA’s John G. Cawelti Award for the Best Textbook/Primer category in 1997. As the series editor of the six-volume Greenwood World Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, he was the recipient of the Ray and Pat Browne Award for the Reference/Primary Source Work category in 2007.

The PCA’s Presidential Award, of which Hoppenstand is the 2021 recipient, recognizes individuals who have contributed to the association in a variety of ways. Award winners are determined by the president of the association and chosen from an array of PCA, business, and industry leaders.

Hoppenstand has served as the PCA’s President, Vice President, and Area Chair. He also served 11 years as the editor of The Journal of Popular Culture, the most widely read and cited peer-reviewed scholarly journal in its field. He brought the Journal to MSU from Bowling Green State University, which was under the leadership of its founder, Professor Ray Browne, one of the originators of Popular Culture Studies at the university level. Under Hoppenstand’s leadership of the Journal, he helped raise its international reputation into the top journal in its the field and increased the Journal’s readership as well as the downloads of its published essays to 500,000 per year.

Man with black framed glasses wearing a blue dress shirt is holding an award statue that is made out of glass. He is standing in front of bookshelves.
Gary Hoppenstand with the Presidential Award presented to him by the Popular Culture Association.

The Lynn Bartholome Eminent Scholar Award, which was first awarded by the PCA in 2015, recognizes significant contributions by a scholar working in a field under the umbrella of Popular or American Culture. The award honors Lynn Bartholome, the longest-serving president of both the PCA and combined PCA/ACA (American Culture Association).

Another award Hoppenstand has received from the PCA is the Governing Board Award in 2008 for his contributions to Popular Culture Studies and the PCA.

At MSU, Hoppenstand is the 2008 recipient of the College of Arts & Letters’ Paul Varg Alumni Award for Faculty in recognition of outstanding teaching and scholarly achievement. He also is the 2008 recipient of the MSU Distinguished Faculty Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the intellectual development of the university. 

In 2016, the Governing Board of the PCA voted unanimously to name its annual gift to the Ray and Pat Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), the Gary Hoppenstand Gift. This annual funding is earmarked for both conservation of materials and purchase of new materials at the Ray and Pat Browne Popular Culture Library.

Hoppenstand has a Ph.D. in Philosophy with an emphasis on American Culture Studies and an M.A. in Popular Culture Studies, both from BGSU. He also has donated an extraordinary collection of British and American adventure fiction to the Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU. The collection contains nearly 1,000 monographs and rare, first edition classics from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods and the early 20th century.