WSU English Professors Prepare for Pop Culture Presentations

OGDEN, Utah – Two Weber State University English professors will be presenting at the 27th Annual Southwest/Texas Popular Culture & American Culture Associations meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., Feb. 8-11.

Assistant professor Shelley Thomas and associate professor Becky Jo McShane will both give presentations as part of technical writing panels.

Thomas is returning to the annual meeting for the second time. She will present “What ‘The Donald’ Lacks in Hair, He Gains in User Knowledge; OR What the Apprentice Can Teach Students about Audience Analysis.”

The presentation stems from Thomas’ fleeting fascination with the NBC television show, “The Apprentice.” Thomas noticed that the winning teams on the show used focus groups to succeed in their tasks. The teams that ignored the audience failed. She will examine a few of the assigned tasks and how the teams analyzed their audience.

Thomas said the subject matter is easily translated into the professional and technical writing classes that she teaches. She feels that the knowledge will be useful to the other technical writing professionals attending the meeting.

McShane, who is heading to the meeting for the first time, will present “Knitting in the 21st Century: Re/Creating Cultural Connections.”

McShane views the meeting as an opportunity to combine her interests in cultural studies and technical writing. She believes knitting is a topic that connects those disciplines.

McShane will discuss the evolution of knitting and its related aspects, such as software for designing patterns, resources for PDAs, online information for meeting other knitters and blogs for communicating with fellow knitters.

“The act of knitting integrates physical and mental processes, pulling together disparate strands and uniting body and mind,” said McShane.

Shelley Thomas, assistant professor of English
(801) 626-6814 ·

Becky Jo McShane
, associate professor of English    

(801) 626-7083 ·
Jon McBride, office of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 •