Keynote Speakers and Guests

The Pop Culture Conference has hosted some amazing Keynote speakers over the years!


Robert Shearman

Robert Shearman has worked as writer for television, radio and the stage.Rob was one of the writers for the BAFTA award winning first series of the revived Doctor Who series starring Christopher Eccleston. His episode, ‘Dalek’, was runner-up for a Hugo Award, and his award winning contributions to the audio range of Doctor Who released by Big Finish have been broadcast on BBC Radio. He also contributed to the second series of BBC1’s Born and Bred. His many plays for 


Cheryl Cain

Cheryl Cain is a television screenwriter. Her work includes the episode "War Stories" for the cult television series Firefly, and episodes of Roswell and Threat Matrix. She also wrote an additional script for Firefly, "Dead or Alive," which was not filmed due to the show's cancellation.


Mat Irvine

I spent most of my, what could termed, 'early career' at the BBC. I briefly worked first in the Photographic 'Stills' Library for Television News, then moved to the Visual Effects Department, where I stayed for around 23 years, making an overall total of a couple of months short of 25 years. (So no gold watch...)


Maureen Ryan

I'm the TV critic for The Huffington Post and a juror for the Peabody Awards.


Robbie Thompson

Robbie Thompson is co-executive producer of Supernatural and the author of some of the most thrilling episodes of the show, including the 200th anniversary episode, "Fan Fiction.” He has previously worked on the series Jericho, Human Target, and The Cape, and is currently working on a Marvel comic series, Silk.


Mark oshiro

Known colloquially as Mark Does Stuff, Mark has been running a series of review websites that chronicle his journey through various fictional universes... while completely unspoiled.


Lisa Klink

Lisa Klink started her career writing for Deep Space Nine and Voyager before coming back to Earth for shows like Martial Law and Missing She’s also written two issues of Batman for DC Comics and contributed a short story to the anthology Empower: Fight Like A Girl. Lisa now writes novels, including three books in the Dead Man series and All In, co-authored with Joel Goldman. She’s also a five-time champion on Jeopardy!


Lincoln Geraghty

Dr. Lincoln Geraghty is Reader in Popular Media Cultures in the School of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Portsmouth. He is author of Living with Star Trek (2007), American Science Fiction Film and Television (2009) and Cult Collectors (2014). He has edited The Influence of Star Trek on Television, Film and Culture (2008), Channeling the Future (2009), and The Smallville Chronicles (2011).


Brannon Braga

Emmy-nominated Brannon Braga is currently Writer, Executive Producer, and Co-Creator of the drama series Salem. Braga was a key force as a Creator, Writer and Executive Producer of more than 300 episodes of the Star Trek series. For over 13 years collectively, he worked on The Next Generation, Voyager, and Enterprise. His film credits include Mission: Impossible II, Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: First Contact. Braga also served as Executive Producer and Director on FOX’s re-launch of COSMOS, as Executive Producer and Writer on Terra Nova, Executive Producer and Writer on 24, Creator and Executive Producer of Flashforward, and Writer and Executive Producer on Threshold.


Maria Jose and John Tenuto

Maria Jose Tenuto has been a sociology teacher for 18 years at the College of Lake County.  John Tenuto has been a sociology professor for 21 years, 18 of those at the College of Lake County. John and Maria Jose have conducted research on Star Trek fan subcultures and history, and their findings have been featured on BBC Radio, WGN News, the USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. 


Alanna Bennett

Alanna Bennett is a Film and TV Writer for Buzzfeed. She is perhaps best known for her writings on Harry Potter and racebending Hermione Grainger. She has written previously for The Mary Sue, Bustle, and The Harry Potter Alliance. She writes entertaining content about entertainment, has interviewed talent, appeared on camera, covered live events, and worked in innovative formats. She tweets at @AlannaBennett


Christopher Bell

Dr. Christopher Bell is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs (UCCS). His academic books include Hermione Granger Saves the World! (McFarland 2012), Legilimens! Perspectives in Harry Potter Studies (Cambridge Scholars 2013), From Here to Hogwarts (McFarland 2015) and Wizards vs. Muggles (McFarland 2016). Dr. Bell serves as the chair of the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association’s Harry Potter Studies division.