Embracing Changes and Creativity in Popular Culture and Pedagogy

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The triumph of life is expressed by creation – Henri Bergson

Everyday we confront changes and find ways to adapt and thrive. In our fifth year of publication, we at Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy are entering a new phase, one where we are embracing change and adapting to better serve the growing communities interested in popular culture and pedagogy. These changes affect not only those working for Dialogue but the audiences that engage with us: you all are part of the larger Dialogue community.

Thus, before introducing this issue, we would like to let you know about three major changes you will notice. First, to allow for a quicker peer review process and publication, we are moving our publication schedules from one or two large issues a year, to publishing smaller issues three times a year. Articles are regularly indexed in Google Scholar and available on Academia.edu, making each author’s work more accessible and useful for a wide audience.

Second, in order to better promote scholarship at the intersection of popular culture and pedagogy, we are happy to introduce Musings on Pedagogy and Practice, a new blog, which will feature posts throughout the year. In these posts, we want to hear about your teaching with popular culture, how you are using popular culture texts to promote understanding, to reach your students or colleagues. How have you been challenged in your pedagogical practice? What did you expect to work but found hiccups in implementing? We want to hear the stories and your suggestions for others. While much pedagogical practice takes place within a traditional classroom, we also encourage you to write about informal learning environments or theoretical essays at the broadly defined intersection of pedagogy and practice.

Third, we have grown our editorial staff. We would like to introduce you to our growing Dialogue community including the following people:

  • Rob Galin, Copy Editor
  • Kelli Bippert, Educational Resources Editor and Co-Editor with Kurt Depner for Musings on Pedagogy and Practice
  • Karina Vado, Book Review Editor
  • Assem Amantay, Assistant Editor

In addition to the expansion of our editorial board, we have seen a tremendous growth in our number of peer reviewers, who you can find listed in the Advisory & Editorial Board. If you are not yet a reviewer, but are interested in becoming one, please reach out to us.

Just as there have been changes that have supported expanding the reach of Dialogue, we are pleased to announce the newest publication, volume 5, issue 2 in which we have brought together articles on creativity and the ways in which they bring together new approaches in concept and practice for popular culture pedagogy.

Marijel “Maggie” Melo and Antonnet Johnson present an insightful new approach to teaching technical writing for college students that supports students’ knowledges and diverse background. In their article, Melo and Johnson describe their project-based, experiential learning assignment where students developed and led the class through an “escape room.” As such, the authors deconstruct the assignment, explaining how students demonstrated “embodied learning” and collaboration, focusing on technical communication for different audiences. Then adding to new approaches, Julie Stewart, Tom Clark, and Marilyn Clark use a provocative episode of South Park to spark discussion about literary analysis. Using such an approach, they discuss how they worked to engage first generation students in visual culture and media studies.

In addition to creative new approaches within the classroom, others examined ways to work with students and teachers to teach diversity including awareness, relatability, and understanding of others. In their study, Marcos Atuna, Janis Harmon, Roxanne Henkin, Karen Wood, and Kyle Kester examine perceptions of secondary school students and future high school teachers to the Stonewall Awards, which honor literature highlighting the LGBTQ experience, and found ways to promote diversity “for developing deeper understandings of others.”

Lastly, Hannah Ianniello writes about a new perspective within literature about jazz, specifically focused on Rafi Zabor’s, The Bear Comes Home. She discusses the spectrum of views from the development of jazz as solitary, as collaborative, and as violent. Drawing on concepts of insider-outsiderness and identity, Ianniello provides new insight into the depiction of music-making.

Across these four articles, the authors have challenged us to think about teaching, learning, and creativity with new approaches. We see these articles and the newest changes at Dialogue as a step towards further embracing emerging works in popular culture and pedagogy. We hope you enjoy these articles and consider expanding your participation in the Dialogue community

Anna CohenMiller


Kurt Depner
Managing Editor