Material Culture

All Proposals & Abstracts Must Be Submitted Through The PCA Conference Submission page
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules

Material Culture


The Material Culture Area of the PCA/ACA (Popular Culture Association & American Culture Association) invites proposals for papers to be presented at the 2017 National Conference in San Diego, California, April 12th-15th.

The study of material culture offers an exciting area for interdisciplinary research and conversation, as it brings together those engaged in scholarly inquiry in areas as diverse as history, art history, design, decorative arts, cultural studies, consumer studies, literature, communications, anthropology, and sociology. Of particular interest are papers that address human-made material objects as primary source material for anthropological, geographical, sociological, historical, or area studies; papers that refer to contexts of various sorts in order to determine the origins, functions, or uses of human- made material objects; or methodological papers that theorize and critique “material culture” as a discipline for humanistic inquiry.

Past presentations in this area have focused on decorative arts and the construction of literary characters, the material culture of poverty, commemorative items, historic and modern furnishings and fashion, branding and marketing trends, and a wide range of associated topics. If you think your work might fit in the material culture area, we encourage you to submit a proposal. Professional academics, graduate students, practitioners, museum professionals, and independent scholars are all encouraged to apply.

Proposals for fifteen-minute papers should take the form of an abstract of up to 250 words and must be submitted electronically by 1 October 2016. To submit your proposal, go to and follow the instructions for creating an account.  All submissions must be made through the conference submission site.  For additional information about the PCA/ACA and its annual conference, visit  Please be sure to select “Material Culture” as the area to which you submit your abstract. (Although the site is pretty user friendly, find general instructions at  Questions or concerns may be sent via email to Area Chair for Material Culture, PCA/ACA.


Heidi C. Nickisher, Ph.D.

School of Art — Art History
College of Imaging Arts & Sciences | RIT
73 Lomb Memorial Drive

Rochester, NY  14623-5603
Office:  585.475.4996 | fax:    585.475-6447

Chair, Material Culture Area, PCA/ACA