An academic conference populated by Hell’s Angels might provoke an unusual image, but that’s because scholarly pursuits aren’t often among the stereotypes and long-held conceptions about motorcycle enthusiasts.
Yet, according to the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies, the only online, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to motorcycle culture, motorcycle riders range far beyond the stereotypes. IJMS will hostits inaugural conference at UCCS June 3-6.
Alex Ilyasova, assistant professor, English, is coordinating the conference and is currently seeking participants, advising that the deadline for proposals is Jan. 31.
“The motorcycle culture has made some dramatic shifts from biker gang images originating in the 60s and 70s to what it is now,” Ilyasova said. “The film industry’s presentation of cyclists was romanticized and limited, and people who ride motorcycles today are dentists, architects, and other professionals. Many baby boomers who have made riding a popular pastime.”
The conference aims to dispel popular myths as well as recognize the impact of motorcycle culture in contemporary society, she said.
Ilyasova noted that the motorcycle culture has influenced the popular consciousness in areas of fashion, psychology, law, economy, and dozens of aspects worthy of scholarly study. A number of these perspectives are addressed on the IJMS website. The journal states it is “dedicated to the study and discussion of motorcycling culture in all its forms—from the experience of riding and racing to the history of the machine, the riders and design to the images of motorcycling and motorcyclists in film, advertising and literature.”
“Moto scholars” and enthusiasts from around the world have already registered for the conference, Ilyasova said. She listed Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Romania and South Africa among the homelands of participants, citing the motorcycle culture’s appeal on an international scale.
“It will likely be a smallish, but avid group. We envision that this will spawn growing interest and participation in future years,” she said.
The International Journal of Motorcycle Studies is available at http://ijms.nova.edu
The conference website is http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?eventid=781940