“Welcome to Night Vale”: SMU Film Grad Student Examines Hit Podcast at 2018 Southwest Popular/American Culture Conference

Fans can’t get enough of podcast, novels, live shows and more  At the 39th annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 7-10, graduate film student Alec Petsche (M.A. May 2018) presented a paper on a hot new phenomenon. Titled “Welcome to Night Vale” as Consumable Paratext, his paper explored the unexpected and unconventional success of the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast. The series, produced twice a month by Night Vale Presents and available online, provides community updates for the fictional small desert town of Night Vale, featuring “local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.” The podcast has become an international hit.