Call for Papers, PCA Chicago, 2014


Conference of the Popular and American Culture Association (PCA/ACA)

April 16 – April 19, 2014 – Chicago, IL


One of the largest and most vibrant of the association, the Science Fiction and Fantasy (SF/F) Area invites proposals for its 2014 national conference to be held at the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile. The goals of our area are (1) to share and support research, scholarship, and publication and (2) to mentor emerging scholars. As a result, we invite proposals from professors, independent scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates (with the guidance of a professor).


PCA/ACA SF/F welcomes any theoretical or (inter)disciplinary approach to any topic related to SF/F:  art; literature; radio; film; television; comics and graphic novels; video, role-playing, and multi-player online games. Though not at all an exhaustive list, potential presenters may wish to consider the following. We would particularly like to encourage submissions for 2014 that celebrate a momentous event in the history of SFF.


General Topics


  • Fans and Fandom/Community Building
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Class and Hierarchies
  • Hybridity and Liminality
  • Utopia/Dystopia
  • Audience Reception
  • Translation Issues
  • Cross-Media Texts
  • Regeneration—Moving Narratives from One Medium to Another
  • Language and Rhetoric
  • Genre—Space Opera, Cyberpunk, Dark Fantasy, etc.
  • Franchising Narratives
  • Intertexuality
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Textual Analysis
  • Sociological or Psychological Readings
  • Archival Research
  • Technology—Textual and Literal
  • Pedagogy—Teaching Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Online Identity Construction
  • Use of Music and Silence
  • Visual, Spatial, and Design Elements
  • Mythology and Quest Narratives
  • Steampunk



The SF/F Area is also interested in featuring science fiction and fantasy writers and poets. Creative writers are welcomed.


Submission Guidelines:  In Word (.doc/.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or PDF, completed papers or 250-word proposals for individual papers, or creative writing readings should be submitted through the PCA website and only through the PCA website.   If you wish to submit a panel for the conference all presenters must submit individually through the website, and then notify the Area Chair of your intentions to present together. Please do not include panel colleagues on the electronic submission as this confuses the program.  Instructions for submission can be found at and submissions made at . The document should contain the following information in this order:


  • Name of presenter—indicate main contact person if submitting a multi-authored paper
  • Institutional affiliation—if applicable
  • Name and contact information of Supervising professor—undergraduates only
  • Address(es), telephone number(s), and email address(es) of presenter(s)
  • Title of paper
  • Completed paper(s) or 250-word proposal(s)—if submitting a workshop, please specifically indicate what those in attendance will gain


Roundtables and special sessions can only be created by Area Chairs—if you wish to organize one of these sessions, please contact the Area Chairs who will create the event for you in the schedule.

The paper proposal will be acknowledged when received, and the sender will be notified of the submission’s status no later than 15 December 2013.


Please, do not simultaneously submit the same proposal to multiple areas. Doing so is a discourtesy to area chairs. Also please note that, per PCA/ACA guidelines, a person may present only one paper at the annual meeting, regardless of subject area. This includes roundtables, that is, a person cannot present a paper and a roundtable discussion.



Submission Deadline:  1 November 2013


Each year after the last conference panel on Saturday evening, the SF/F Area hosts a fundraising event that includes a film, snacks, and a prize raffle of DVDs, novels, academic books, etc.—thousands of dollars in merchandise. Come enjoy the food, friendship, and fun! Location TBA; film The Beginning of the End. Fundraising supports area activities and, beginning with the 2011 conference, awards to the two best papers, graduate student and professional. More details about these awards can be found at the area’s website:


Please be aware that the PCA offers several travel bursaries and deadlines for them are the 7 January 2014.  Check the PCA website for more information.



Hope to see you in Chicago!


Dr. Gillian I Leitch, PCA/ACA SF/F Area Chair                                    Dr. Sherry Ginn

23 Blvd Mont-Bleu, #1                                                            Rowan-CabarrusCommunity College

Gatineau, QC                                                                          1531 Trinity Church Rd

Canada J8Z 1H9                                                                      Concord, NC28110   USA



Direct all enquiries to our email address:                    


NOTE: While the PCA/ACA welcomes fresh approaches to subjects, we also appreciate serious commitment to scholarship and to presenting at the conference.


Please note that this is a professional conference and once you are accepted your presentation becomes integral to the success of the event.  If you must cancel, please notify the area chair of your withdrawal as soon as you know.  Failure to do so, might impact future opportunities to present at this conference.



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