Croatian Association for American Studies (CAAS), Centre for Popular Culture, and Center for North American Studies (CNAS)

Breaking Stereotypes in American Popular Culture

10th Annual Workshop


Conference Book of Abstracts can be accessed HERE


Conference Program

Friday, 9 September 2022

Room 39, 1st floor

8:30-8:45 Registration (room 39)
8:45-9:15 Opening remarks

Ivan Trojan, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Osijek

Jelena Šesnić, President of the Croatian Association for American Studies

9:15-10:30 Session 1

Chair: Sanja Runtić

Tatjana Jukić: John Ford’s Hamlet, or the Western as an American Mourning Play

Rajko Petković: Subverting Stereotypes – The Role of Femme Fatale in Film Noir

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break
10:45-11:45 Session 2

Chair: Jasna Poljak Rehlicki

Aleksandra Vukotić: Dismantling The Chair: Breaking Leadership Stereotypes through Irony and Satire

Lovorka Gruić Grmuša: Thomas Pynchon’s Representation of Stereotypical Preconceptions in Against the Day

Jelena Pataki Šumiga: Encanto: Everyday Hero(in)es and the Power of (Colombian) Community

11:45-12:00 Coffee Break
12:00-13:00 Keynote Talk

Kamilla Elliott: Challenging “Karen” Stereotypes

Chair: Ljubica Matek

13:00-14:45 Conference lunch (room 42, 1st floor)
14:45-16:00 Session 3

Chair: Biljana Oklopčić

Borislav Knežević: On Clichés and Niches: Remarks on the Shaping of Early Rock Music

Andrea Jović: Kendrick Lamar and Woke Racism

David Livingstone: Breaking Blackface: Contemporary African American Country Music

16:00-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-17:30 Session 4

Chair: Ljubica Matek

Ljubica Matek: Re-Inventing the Zombie in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead

Filip Medar: The Woman in the Bathtub: Elderly Women and Sexuality as a Horror Trope

Emilia Musap: The “Witch’s Mark” – Rethinking Monstrous Breasts

Iva Romić: Subversion of the Female Character(s) in Horror: Wendy Torrance – the Final Girl

17:30-17:45 Coffee Break
17:45-18:45 Session 5

Chair: Jelena Pataki Šumiga

Zvonimir Prtenjača: Your Friendly Neighborhood(ed) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the Cultural Politics of the Hoodie

Dora Golub: Conquering Femininity: (De)Construction and/or Subversion of High School Stereotypes in Euphoria

Valentina Markasović: Subversion of Gender Stereotypes in Holly Black’s The Folk of the Air Trilogy

19:00 HUAmS – Annual Meeting (Election Assembly)


Saturday, 10 September 2022

Room 39, 1st floor

8:30-9:45 Session 6

Chair: Valentina Markasović

Marcel Moser: Breaking Psychosis Stereotypes through Video Games

Lucija Periš: Reconceptualizing the Ill Body: Laurie Brooks’ Jack McCall as the Hero of the Romantic Mode

Matko Kosovec: The Blind Hollywood: A Case Study of Stereotyping of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Films and Video Games

Felix Purat: Philip K. Dick and Prejudice Subversion: Race in Mary & The Giant, Insanity in Clans of the Alphane Moon and both in Dr. Bloodmoney

9:45-10:00 Coffee Break
10:00-11:15 Session 7

Chair: Jadranka Zlomislić

Aleksandra Žeželj Kocić: Combatting the Popular Hemingway Stereotype

Nadira Puškar Mustafić: Empowering Voices of Others, Breaking Racial Stereotypes Through Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere (2017) and Britt Bennett’s The Vanishing Half (2020)

Jelena Šesnić: How to Nurture (Little) Men and (Little) Women: New Educational Directions in Louisa May Alcott’s Books for Children

11:15-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:45 Session 8

Chair: Biljana Oklopčić

Marinela Boras: Teaching about Stereotypes on Examples of American Popculture

Lívia Klára Szélpál and Jadranka Zlomislić: Breaking Stereotypes across Cultures: The Croatian and Hungarian Stereotypical Representations of American Culture

Vedran Domjanović and Biljana Oklopčić: High School Stereotypes in Thirteen Reasons Why: Victims, Bullies, and Parents

12:45 Good-bye until we meet again!


Croatian Association for American Studies (CAAS), Centre for Popular Culture, and Center for North American Studies (CNAS) announce a Call for Papers for the 10th annual workshop

Breaking Stereotypes in American Popular Culture

The 2022 workshop will be hosted by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Osijek, in Osijek, Croatia, September 9–10, 2022.

Key-note speaker: Kamilla Elliott, Professor of Literature and Media, Lancaster University
Talk title: Challenging ‘‘Karen’’ Stereotypes

The topic of this year’s workshop is “Breaking Stereotypes in American Popular Culture.” Recognizing the tendency to patronize and marginalize communities or groups that are seen as minorities within the larger society, we are proposing the topic of “Breaking Stereotypes” to promote fairness in the treatment of individuals and explore how stereotypical preconceptions in artefacts of popular culture affect society’s perceptions on diversity and inclusion. Both current research and practice illustrate the growing need for greater awareness of stereotyping, discrimination, and bias in the continued evolution of society’s perception of and reaction to these issues.

During these divisive times, both in the US and worldwide, building or rebuilding of communities based on reconciliation, respect, and trust is frequently being hampered by the way groups of people have been portrayed by the media, popular culture, and public officials. The resulting biases, often unconscious, lead to discrimination toward people in marginalized groups, particularly women, people of color, immigrants/migrants in general, individuals with disabilities, and others. As we move forward in this changing environment, we deem it helpful to share our experiences and make efforts to combat stereotyping by increasing understanding of our own cultural perspectives and those of others.

The workshop encourages participants to tackle the challenging issue of social categorization and perception of individual differences. We invite papers that will focus on the US popular culture and its representations of stereotypes in general (such as stereotypes pertaining to race, sex or gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, origin, political belief, religion, langue, culture, and others) that shape how people perceive, interact with, and make decisions about others as well as papers that point to ways in which popular culture subverts stereotyping and stigmatization. The topics we propose include but are not limited to:

  • stereotyping in popular culture (literature, film, TV, talk shows, comics, music, gaming industry…)
  • breaking stereotypical notions of gender, class, race…
  • representation of marginalized groups in popular culture
  • bias in social psychology
  • science and social stereotypes
  • stereotypes and social categorization
  • social media and divisiveness
  • political correctness
  • using gender-fair language

The deadline to submit titles and abstracts of no longer than 250 words for 15-minute presentations, accompanied by one-paragraph CV, is 1 June 2022. Please send your abstract to the following e-mail addresses: Valentina Markasović, and Jelena Pataki, . Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 15 June 2022.

The conference organizers plan for an on-site conference. Only in the event of (re)introduction of stricter safety measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizational board may reconsider and plan for a hybrid or a fully on-line workshop. The final decision will be announced as the workshop date approaches.

The workshop fee is 150 HRK (20 Euros). The fee is waived for the members in good standing of CAAS and of the AASSEE founding associations. Payment should be made to: Filozofski fakultet Osijek, Jägerova 9, 31000 Osijek, IBAN HR8423600001102484368, model 00, poziv na broj/reference number: OIB uplatitelja/payer PIN, payment purpose: CAAS workshop fee. If the invoice should be addressed to an institution rather than the workshop participant, please let us know beforehand.

Selected papers will be published in a peer-reviewed, open access publication. The details about the publication process will be given in due course.

We look forward to seeing you in Osijek at the Croatian Association for American Studies’ 10th annual workshop, co-organized by the Centre for Popular Culture in Osijek and Center for North American Studies in Osijek.


Organizational Board

Valentina Markasović
Ljubica Matek
Biljana Oklopčić
Jelena Pataki
Jasna Poljak Rehlicki
Zvonimir Prtenjača
Sanja Runtić
Jadranka Zlomislić