Two MAEE candidates, Stella Ramirez and Jennifer Matos Ayala, presented at the 2009 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations at New Orleans, Louisiana. 

This year’s conference boasted over two thousand attendees and presentations pertaining topics as varied as the culture of New Orleans itself. 

Stella Ramirez’s presentation titled, “Hiding the Candy: Transcending Gender in Cross-Cultural Media”, discussed how gender boundary breaking is portrayed in both American, European, and Japanese media: whereas in the American and European media the character is depicted as using gender as a temporary device, in Japanese media it is completely the character’s permanent choice. 

Jennifer Matos Ayala’s presentation titled, “The Feminine Image According to Their Eyes Were Watching God, discussed how the feminine image presented by Zora Neale Hurston in the novel is different from what was expected in popular literature and how this image was influenced by the social constructs of the time.  Both presenters enjoyed the comments from a varied audience, in terms of professions and cultures, making this experience truly unforgettable.