Vox Populorum is a hybrid blog and podcast devoted to pop culture criticism. We believe that the best way to understand culture is to discuss it. The blog contains essays from our contributors about issues in pop culture from comics to TV to movies to videos to music. We invite fans of pop culture from all walks of life to comment on the articles with their thoughts and join us for engaging discussion. The issues raised will then be discussed on an episode of the VoxPopcast, our weekly psuedoacademic roundtable of pop culture analysis with drinking and swearing by an ever changing panel of media critics, academics and other fans.
Vox Popcast Hosts
Christopher “Mav” Maverick is a Teaching Assistant Professor of Digital Narrative and Interactive Design at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Duquesne University and a Bachelors degree in Creative Writing and Literary and Cultural Studies and a Masters degree in Literary and Cultural Studies, both from Carnegie Mellon University. His field is 20th Century American Literature. His primary research interests include issues of race, class, gender and sexuality in 20th and 21st century American popular culture, especially television, movies, professional wrestling and comic books and he is the 2018 recipient of the Lent Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies in Comics. Mav is the area chair for Eros and Pornography (basically all things sexy) for the Popular Culture Association(PCA). As an avid believer in active participant observation, he has wrote the web comic Cosmic Hellcats from 2008 to 2018, founded an internet cult devoted to the selfie in 2006, has been an avid blogger and media critic since 2002, and from 2003 until 2010 he competed as a professional wrestler… no really!
Wayne Wise is a writer, artist, seeker, shaman and magician, or at least claims to be in casual conversation. He has a BA in History and an MA in Clinical Psychology and in his life has worked as a counselor, an administrative assistant for a state legislator, an inter-office mail courier, a freelance comic book inker, and a department store Santa. He wrote music and comics-based articles for several local news mags and a couple of national magazines. In 1993 he and his business partner/collaborator Fred Wheaton self-published the comic book “Grey Legacy”. In 2010 he wrote and drew a follow-up called “Grey Legacy Tales”. Raised in rural southwestern Pennsylvania he is currently employed by the Eisner Award-nominated comic book store Phantom of the Attic in Pittsburgh, served on the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh ToonSeum, and has taught courses in Comics and Pop Culture as a guest lecturer at Chatham University.
Katya Gorecki is a Ph.D. candidate at Duke University where she jokes she is the worst English major since she seems to rarely write about actual books. She is currently writing a dissertation on virtual reality and American culture from 1692-2017 (witchcraft is involved.) Her areas of study include American popular culture, science fiction, digital media, politics, and video games. She holds a Masters in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon and a Bachelors from the University of Illinois of Chicago.
Hannah Lee Rogers earned her PhD in English in 2020. She earned her Bachelors in English and Communication (with an emphasis in journalism), where she initially held dreams of becoming an entertainment journalist before deciding to go into the incredibly lucrative field of academia. Her dissertation research primarily focused on popular Victorian literature.
Monica Geraffo Monica Geraffo is a PhD student in UCLA’s Theater and Performance Studies program. Her research utilizes dress as a site to explore the construction of identity, the spread of subculture and popular culture, and representations of materiality across visual and material culture— especially through superhero comics and their film and television adaptations. She is committed to deconstructing the binary between definitions of “fashion” and “costumes” via “performative dress.” She received her MA in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice from the Fashion Institute of Technology (a division of SUNY) and her BA in Screen Arts and Cultures from The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. Her work as a fashion historian has allowed her to present at TEDxBoston, The Comics Arts Conference at San Diego Comic Con, Pop Culture Association, Buzzfeed’s As/Is, The Comics Studies Society, and The Costume Society of America, and she has published with the Film, Fashion & Consumption Journal and public scholarship website The Middle Spaces. Her work as a costumer has been a part of productions for Netflix and AMC, and as an independent contractor with the FIDM Museum in Los Angeles she has helped install five Art of Costume Design for Film and Television exhibitions. She loves anything campy, saccharine, postmodern, or Christmas-y.