Published June 21, 2017
David Schmid, associate professor in the Department of English, has received the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association’s (PCA/ACA) 2017 Dove Award for outstanding contributions to the serious study of mystery, detective and crime fiction.
The prestigious award, named for George N. Dove, a past president of the PCA/ACA, recognizes Schmid’s contributions to many different areas of crime fiction studies, including publications, presentations, course offerings and a rich presence online.
The PCA/ACA announced this year’s recipient of the Dove award during its annual conference held recently in San Diego.
“David is the type of scholar we’d like to recognize as someone who joins together interests in crime and detection, as well as traditional and digital scholarship,” said Pamela Bedore, associate professor of English and writing coordinator at the University of Connecticut-Avery Point. Bedore, who nominated Schmid for the award, is the book review editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection.
A 2007 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Schmid is the author of “Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture” (2005), editor of “Violence in American Popular Culture” and co-author with John Edgar Browning, David R. Castillo and David A. Reilly of “Zombie Talk: Culture, History, Politics” (2016).
He has written numerous essays, book chapters and articles, and also maintains a long-running listerv on crime and detective fiction that is open to everyone from academics to enthusiasts.
In addition to his UB courses, Schmid recently recorded 36 lectures titled “The Secrets of Great Mystery and Suspense Fiction for The Great Courses,” a recorded library of non-credit, college-level lectures designed for lifelong learners.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by one’s peers for one’s work,” said Schmid. “I’m particularly pleased that my work in forming an online community of crime fiction scholars has been highlighted. Many aspects of academia tend to make it rather isolating, so anything I can do to encourage connections among my colleagues is important.”
Popular culture represents the collective cultural attitudes, emotions and tastes emerging from Western society’s contemporary mainstream and other contributing sources. And while critical observers might debate endlessly the nuances within any definition, Schmid’s accomplishments within the discipline of pop culture studies make him an undisputed expert in the field.
His work in multiple platforms has drawn the interest of respected new outlets, including The Atlantic, CNN, CourtTV, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS Newshour, Time Magazine, the Washington Post and the Toronto Globe and Mail, seeking his insight and expert commentary.
“Pop culture provides us with a wonderful window into the values, dreams and even nightmares of our society,” Schmid says. “Through studying pop culture, we can gain insight into where we are as a community, how we got here and where we’re going.”
He notes his works in progress focus on the uses of space in crime fiction and masculinity in the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
“I’m also editing a collection of crime fiction criticism and beginning work on a new project entitled, ‘Crime Narratives in the Age of Trump,’” he says.