BGSU professor to present pop culture research in IndiaWritten by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Bowling Green State University professor will travel to India this week to speak about American popular culture.
Matthew Donahue was invited to present his popular culture research at a conference hosted by the University of Hyderabad in Hyderabad, India. The conference and workshop will be held from March 18-20. The theme is “Teaching and Researching American Literary and Cultural Studies.”
Donahue will be giving presentations on American popular culture as well as its representations and impact upon America and the world. He will also be discussing some of his own creative work in music and the arts and his research on popular and heavy metal music. Additionally, he will be addressing ways to teach popular culture and how it can help humanity achieve a greater mutual understanding.
“I see this as an opportunity to serve as a goodwill ambassador from Northwest Ohio, the Midwest and America and, through highlighting my creative work in music and art, provide a vision of creativity that folks in Hyderabad may not necessarily know about,” Donahue said.
Donahue was invited to the event by Pramod Nayar and Anna Kurian of the English department at the University of Hyderabad. Nayar is also the organizer of the conference.
“I had the good fortune to meet Dr. Nayar when he was visiting the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green,” Donahue said. “We really hit it off, and we have a similar vision as to how culture can help to break down barriers and unite humanity.”
After Nayar’s return to India, the two stayed in touch. Nayar teamed with the University of Hyderabad and the U.S. consulate in Hyderabad to extend an invitation for Donahue to be the keynote speaker at the conference.
Donahue said he has never been to India before, but is thrilled about the opportunity. He previously has traveled throughout the United States discussing similar research and was invited to present his studies on “The Heavy Metal T-Shirt in Popular Culture” in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has also done workshops on “art cars” — he has created more than 20 — in Glasgow, Scotland, creating an art car there with special needs children, as well as with youth in Singapore.
The lifelong Toledo area resident is a busy man. Donahue has also released several books, created a documentary about Northwest Ohio’s Hines Farm Blues Club (which was aired nationally on PBS) and has played in a band.
The Bowling Green professor completed his master’s degree and Ph.D in American Culture Studies from BGSU, as well as a master’s degree in library and information science from Kent State University.
“I have taught at BGSU for 13 years now, and it is really something that I love,” Donahue said. “It is my passion and a great opportunity to reach humanity through the study of popular culture.”
Donahue teaches a variety of classes, including “Introduction to Popular Music,” “Rock Music Subcultures,” “Popular Music in Film,” “Popular Culture and the Media,” “Introduction to Black Popular Music” and “Introduction to Black Popular Culture.”
Though he insists that the trip will be “all business,” Donahue said the opportunity to represent Northwest Ohio is a worthwhile endeavor.
“I really love highlighting our region of Ohio and the country through my creative and academic efforts, and feel blessed to have been able to live so many of my dreams,” Donahue said.