Schuylkill faculty member selected for David M. Sokol Area Chairs Award

Harmut Heep, Ph.D., associate professor of German and comparative literature at Penn State Schuylkill, was selected as a 2015 recipient of the David M. Sokol Area Chairs Award.

Dr. Heep will receive this prestigious award at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) National Conference in New Orleans, LA, on April 1-4, 2015. The mission of the PCA/ACA is to promote the study of popular culture throughout the world through the establishment and promotion of conferences, publications, and discussion.

Heep has participated in this organization and presented scholarly papers on Men/Men's Studies since 1994. He became the Men/Men's Studies Area Chair for the national convention in 2003, and has increased visibility of the discipline over the last ten years, also gradually increasing the number of presenters in the area. Heep expressed, "The field of women's studies is well established. With this award, I hope to broaden the gender studies discussion by including all aspects of masculinity. Men's Studies is an essential part of initiating meaningful change."

Additionally, he is the liaison between panelists and conference organizers, and has designed and maintains the Men's Studies webpage. Each year during the conference, he chairs academic panels and monitor discussions, and also hosts an open round table discussion.

The David M. Sokol Area Chair Awards are given each year at the national conference to two area chairs who have distinguished themselves by their contribution to PCA/ACA. Long-service, building participation in their areas, and professionalism are the hallmarks of the winner of these awards. Recipients are selected from over 150 nominations, by a committee composed of the vice-president of area chairs, the president of the PCA/ACA, and the executive directors of the PCA/ACA. Sokol was the founding president of ACA, and a pioneer of popular culture.