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Early May Newsletter: Our CFP, Special Area Calls, and More!

This is the early May MAPACA Newsletter. The next conference is November 7-9, 2019 (Pittsburgh, PA).

In this newsletter, we have

  • The CFP for #mapaca19

  • Information about #mapaca19, including the link to book your room at the conference rate

  • Area-specific calls for papers from Food & Culture, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, and Play Studies

2019 Call for Papers

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) 2019 Annual Conference November 7-9, 2019 Pittsburgh, PA — Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel

Call for papers:

Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture for inclusion in the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Single papers, panels, roundtables, and alternative formats are welcome.

Proposals should take the form of 300-word abstracts, and may only be submitted to one appropriate area. For a list of areas and area chair contact information, visit General questions can be directed to The deadline for submission is Sunday, June 30, 2019.

MAPACA’s membership is comprised of college and university faculty, independent scholars and artists, and graduate and undergraduate students. MAPACA is an inclusive professional organization dedicated to the study of popular and American culture in all their multi-disciplinary manifestations. It is a regional division of the Popular Culture and American Culture Association, which, in the words of Popular Culture Association founder Ray Browne, is a “multi-disciplinary association interested in new approaches to the expressions, mass media and all other phenomena of everyday life.”

For more info, visit

Information about #mapaca19

This year, our conference will be in Pittsburgh, PA on November 7-9 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel. Book your room with our special conference rate here.

Pittsburgh Information

For information about events and food in Pittsburgh, please see Visit Pittsburgh’s website. Pittsburgh has a lot of great museums and restaurants, offers inexpensive public transport options throughout the region, and is also serviced by Lyft and Uber.

Pittsburgh: Zombie Capital of the World

Since George Romero released Night of the Living Dead in 1968, Pittsburgh has been associated with zombies and zombie fandom. From 1985’s Day of the Dead (shot near Pittsburgh) to 2004’s Shaun of the Dead (shot in the UK) to 2019’s Kingdom (shot in S. Korea), zombies have become a worldwide popular culture phenomenon, but Pittsburghers still claim ownership over the shambling undead. This year, we want you to propose papers and panels with a zombie theme!

If zombies aren’t your favorite, we still want you to bring us your non-zombie themed papers as well! We will never restrict our conference to just one theme.

Area-Specific Calls for Papers

In our last newsletter, we listed more area-specific calls: a joint panel from Music, Native American Studies, Latino/a Studies, and Performance Studies and area-specific calls from Death in American Culture and Novels Then and Now. For more information about these calls, please see our late April newsletter here:

Food and Culture

What we choose to eat, when we eat it, with whom we eat it, and how we eat it is influenced by technology, economics, politics, fashion, tradition, religion, and other aspects of culture. Food not only answers our most basic physical needs, but also is central to social ritual and the construction of culture, playing a vital symbolic role in forming societies. And of course, what is food without drink? This area also discusses beverage culture, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. What we eat and how we prepare our meals and beverages helps define our culture as much as it is inspires the culture we share.

Food and Culture is looking for works on food and beverages in general, but also the following in specific:

  • Ideas for Roundtables on food & beverage themes

  • Beer enthusiasts to join a Beer Culture panel

Calling All Locals: Are you a local of the Pittsburgh area? We are always looking for suggestions for field trips and recommendations. Deadline for suggestions: 5/10/19.

Contact: Meghann Ryan,

Robby Roberson,

Medieval & Renaissance Studies

The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture has 3 separate CFPs for the Medieval & Renaissance Area at this year’s MAPACA. Please see the details below and consider submitting an abstract (due June 30!).

Play Studies

In response to MAPACA’s unofficial 2019 theme of zombies, the Play Studies area is pleased to present a special panel on zombies as play on, with, and within culture. Huizinga makes in clear in Homo Ludens that play is an element of culture – and we know that individuals play with culture as well as within it. Zombies are an excellent example of layered play and metaphor in literature, film, RPGs, and video games. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, George A Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, comic book and television series iZombie, videogame Plants vs. Zombies, and many other examples show how the zombie, as a figure, subverts cultural expectations and plays with ideas of the “normal.” Additionally, the Zombie might be a mask or a metaphor for connections between pop culture stories or elements and “ordinary” (as Huizinga would say) life. How we’ve engaged with zombies as symbol and aspect of play changes as culture itself does. This special panel in Play Studies seeks proposals on the cultural connections, overlaps, and engagements between zombies and popular or American culture through the lens of play. Please visit the area page at for general information about the Play Studies area.

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)

P.O. Box 25033 Philadelphia, PA 19147-0033

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