Professor Receives National Eminent Scholar Award

man wearing glasses and gray suit

Gary Hoppenstand, Professor of Film Studies and 20th-Century Literature in MSU’s Department of English, recently was announced as the 2020 recipient of the Lynn Bartholome Eminent Scholar Award, the top award presented by the Popular Culture Association (PCA), which is the largest academic association of its type in the world. Hoppenstand will receive this award and deliver the Bartholome Lecture, “The Story of Popular Culture as Story,” at the PCA National Conference in Philadelphia, which runs April 15-18.

The Lynn Bartholome Eminent Scholar Award, which was first awarded 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). She also served the organization as an area chair, board member, and board treasurer and currently serves as the first full-time Executive Director of the association. 

“This award is a validation of all my academic work,” Hoppenstand said. 

Hoppenstand is a top national and international expert in the theoretical study of popular literature and entertainment media culture. His research is focused on genre and narrative studies in popular fiction, graphic novels, film, and television. He has published 24 books, including nine scholarly reprint editions of classics novels for Signet Classics and Penguin Classics, and more than 60 scholarly articles on topics ranging from popular culture studies, to literary studies, to media studies. His latest book, Perilous Escapades: Dimensions of Popular Adventure Fiction, published in 2018, features an anthology of his essays on classic adventure literature. 

This award is a validation of all my academic work.


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

Hoppenstand currently serves as the Secretary for Academic Governance at MSU. He is a former Area Chair, Vice President, and President of the PCA, and he served for 11 years as the editor of The Journal of Popular Culture, the most widely read and cited peer-reviewed scholarly journal in its field in the world.

This is not the first award Hoppenstand has received from the PCA. In 2008, he was awarded the Governing Board Award for his contributions to Popular Culture Studies and the Popular Culture Association. At MSU, he was awarded the College of Arts & Letters 2008 Paul Varg Alumni Award for Faculty in recognition of outstanding teaching and scholarly achievement. He also is the 2008 recipient of MSU Distinguished Faculty Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the intellectual development of the University. 

Hoppenstand earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy with an emphasis on American Culture Studies and his M.A. in Popular Culture Studies, both from Bowling Green State University (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.