Call for National PCA, San Diego 2017


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

12 – 15 April 2017 – San Diego, CA


One of the largest and most vibrant of the association, the Science Fiction and Fantasy (SF/F) Area invites proposals for its 2017 national conference to be held at the San Diego Marriott Hotel. 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.  The SF/F Area is also interested in featuring science fiction and fantasy writers and poets. Creative writers are welcomed.


Special Sessions


Canada 150

In honour of the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the Science Fiction Fantasy will be holding a special session (or sessions depending on proposals received) on Canada’s contribution to Science Fiction and Fantasy.  Papers are welcomed on any topic which includes Canada – from its SFF authors (Margaret Atwood, Cory Doctorow, Tanya Huff, William Gibson, Elisabeth Vonarburg) SFF television (Starlost, Forever Knight, X-Files, etc.) or Canadian cities which have stood in for alien worlds (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal).  We welcome any perspective of Canadian SFF or the influence of Canada on SFF.


Collecting Science Fiction Fantasy

The areas of Science Fiction Fantasy and Collecting & Collectibles are holding special joint sessions on the intersection of these areas.  We are seeking papers which approach the tie-ins between SFF movies, comics and books and the world of collecting, and how each influences the other; and the important role that memorabilia play in the world of the fan, and how SFF fans use these items to mark their loyalties to specific franchises. Some examples of tie-ins could include (but are NOT limited to Marvel, Star Trek, Star Wars, Outlander, and Lord of the Rings.   Any SFF tie-in from any era will be considered. We encourage a wide variety of approaches to these subjects from conceptual to particular. When making your proposals please indicate your desire to have it considered for the special session to the area chairs.


SFF Crossing Over – Canonicity and Creativity in the Comic Arts

The areas of Science Fiction Fantasy and Comics and Comic Arts are holding  special joint sessions on the (dis)connection between comic canon and the cinematic versions of the story (for example Marvel, DC and the Walking Dead), and how series have found new life outside of their television/cinematic origins in comic crossovers (for example Doctor Who, Star Trek) or the extension of the stories (such as Agents of SHIELD).  We encourage a wide variety of approaches to these subjects, from the conceptual to the particular.  When making your proposals please indicate your desire to have them considered for the special session to the area chairs.



When proposing for a special session please clearly indicate this, and contact the area chairs to ensure that your paper is considered for the appropriate session.


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 Chairs 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 .


Submissions can be made on the site after July 1st, 2016.


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 current 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. Note that beginning with the 2015 conference, ALL areas are limited in the number of roundtables that can be held. If you wish to propose one, then do so as soon as possible.

The paper proposal will be acknowledged within 2 days of its receipt, and the sender will be notified of the submission’s status no later than 15th October 2016.  Please be aware that acknowledgement of receipt does not automatically denote acceptance.  Deadlines for submission are firm, and we cannot accept any papers made after the deadline.  Earlier submission is appreciated.


Please, do not simultaneously submit the same proposal to multiple areas. Doing so is a discourtesy to area chairs, and will result in your paper being refused. Per PCA/ACA guidelines, a person may present only one paper at the annual meeting, regardless of subject area. If you try to submit to two areas, the master program will not accept your proposals (which may result in your paper not being accepted in either area).



Submission Deadline:  1 October 2016


Each year 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! This year’s movie will be a fantasy film, TBD. Fundraising supports area activities and, beginning with the 2011 conference, awards to the two best papers, graduate student and professional. The Student Award includes a cash prize. More details about these awards can be found at the area’s website: We do accept donations of items for the raffle, so if your shelves are starting to bulge under all of your SF/F memorabilia, ask yourself if you really need 3 Thor action figures. If not, then donate that stuff to us.


Please be aware that the PCA offers several (highly competitive) travel bursaries and deadlines for them are the 7 January 2017.  Check the PCA website for more information.



Hope to see you in San Diego!


PCA/ACA SF/F Area Chairs


Dr. Gillian I Leitch

Independent Scholar                                                               Dr. Sherry Ginn

23 Blvd Mont-Bleu, #1                                                            Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Gatineau, QC                                                                          1531 Trinity Church Rd

Canada J8Z 1H9                                                                      Concord, NC 28110   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 Chairs of your withdrawal as soon as you know.  Failure to do so will impact future opportunities to present at this conference.


Next year’s conference will commence early Wednesday morning. Be advised that your panel will be assigned a time randomly by the master scheduler. We cannot change the schedule after it is completed, so please ensure that you will be able to attend the entire conference before you submit your proposal. In other words, clear your schedule from Wednesday through Saturday. We will notify you of your exact presentation time as soon as we can, but know that the program is not likely to be completed before December 1st; make your hotel reservations as soon as possible. The number of reserved rate hotel rooms are limited.


Please consult our handy guide for proposing here:




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