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Early May Newsletter

This is the early May MAPACA newsletter. Our next conference is November 9-11 in Philadelphia, PA.

In This Newsletter, We Have:

  • Our Call for Papers for the 2023 Annual Conference

  • New Area Announcement: Disney Studies

  • New Area Announcement: Wrestling

2023 Call for Papers

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)

2023 Annual Conference

Philadelphia, PA Sonesta Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia

Call For Papers:

Proposals are welcome on all aspects of popular and American culture for inclusion in the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA) conference in Philadelphia, 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 June 30, 2023.

MAPACA’s participants are 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 multidisciplinary 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 information, visit

New Area: Disney Studies

Disney is an inescapable piece of American and popular culture with global implications. Disney’s extensive content brands — Disney, Pixar, Marvel, LucasArts, and National Geographic — provide rich material for scholarship. The Disney Studies Area welcomes research on all aspects of Disney, including films, television, comics, animation, games, and merchandise, as well as the theme parks and related Disney-managed tourist destinations.

Topics May Include:

  • Disney100 – Why Disney Still Captivates Us in Its 100th Anniversary Year

  • Inclusion and Diversity in Disney Films, Television, and Comics

  • Who Runs the World? Disney! The Scope of Disney’s Influence on Modern Life

  • The Great Disney and Florida Showdown and Its Impact on Tourism and Reputation

  • Intertextuality in Disney Easter Eggs

  • The Impact of Disney+ on Media Consumption

  • What Disney Gets Wrong, and Right, from Source Material: Adaptations, Remakes, and Reboots

  • Representations of Disability in Disney Content

  • Disney as Propaganda

  • Disney and Fat Studies

  • The Changing Culture of Disney Parks and Cast Members

  • Disney in the Classroom

New Area: Wrestling

Professional wrestling stands in the middle of a Venn diagram with several circles when it comes to studying American and Popular Culture. It is part sport, theater, and melodrama. Wrestling happens on television, in arenas, basements to crowds of 10, 1000, 25000, 1.5 million. It is part fiction, part adaptation, and part documentary. We are interested in all topics that might fit into what Roland Barthes called, “the spectacle of excess,” including but not limited to:

  • The political economy of wrestling, particularly the relationship between corporate and independent companies; the concept of independent contractors; unionization efforts; the economic implications of opening “the forbidden door;” the history of the corporatization wrestling from regional to national companies.

  • Issues of representation, including: #SpeakingOut; representations of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, class within companies, specific episodes or storylines, and fandom.

  • Explorations of fandom that might include examining parasocial relationships; Twitter turf wars; influencer fans; the formation of wrestling communities; fan fiction; wrestlers as fans.

  • Wrestling as performance — both in terms of acting and performers’ physicality (wrestling psychology).

  • Storytelling and looking at ways in which narrative arcs have been developed and built, wrestlers telling stories in the ring, and character development.

  • Wrestling on television and issues of viewership, commercialization, and ownership.

  • Adapting wrestling whether it is products from ancillary markets like WWE and Scooby Doo; films like The Wrestler, … All the Marbles, or the El Santo franchise; or professional wrestlers’ autobiographies.

  • And, of course, we welcome proposals that find space to mix and match the above bullet points! Professional wrestling has a tremendous number of possibilities, and we welcome all theoretical frameworks and methodologies from all those interested.

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association (MAPACA)

P.O. Box 1358

Lansdowne, PA 19050

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