World’s Fairs & Expositions

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


Call for Papers: World Fairs and Expositions Area
Popular Culture Association Conference
12-15 April 2017, San Diego, California, United States

World Fairs and Expositions Area, Popular Culture Association, invites proposals for its 2017 national conference, to be held 12-15 April, 2017, in San Diego, California. The Area covers all aspects of research on world’s fairs & universal expositions, including theme-specific events such as commemorations, horticultural exhibitions, and biennales.

We are particularly interested, because this coming year’s conference is being held in San Diego, to solicit contributions relating to the city’s two expositions, in 1915-7 and 1935-36. Both exhibitions featured a striking focus on American interaction with the Pacific (the first of them, in fact, was timed to coincide with the opening of the Panama Canal) and sought to shape a Californian identity in relation to the state’s past. We also hope to use the opportunity of the conference to plan a visit Balboa Park to tour the surviving remnants of the exhibitions (stay tuned for details). We are also interested more broadly in contributions relating to West Coast fairs (San Francisco, 1915 and 1939-40; Seattle, 1909 and 1962; Spokane, 1974; Vancouver, 1986).

Further, we especially encourage submissions for which 2016 marks a significant anniversary year, such as the 1992 exhibitions in Genoa and Seville 25 years ago, the 1967 Montreal Exposition 50 years ago, or the 1867 Paris Exposition 150 years ago. We look for research on nearly contemporary events, such as Expo 2015 in Milan, or news of forthcoming fairs, like the exposition opening in Astana, Kazakhstan this coming summer. But we are open to submissions on any and all world fairs and expositions.

Controversy will not be shunned!

This is a thought-provoking group, and we welcome submissions from a cross-disciplinary approach, and to encourage a collegial atmosphere we invite proposals from professors, independent scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates (with the guidance of a professor).

Submission Guidelines:

In Word (.doc/.docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), or PDF, 250-word proposals for individual papers or panels should be submitted through the PCA website. Please note that, per PCA/ACA guidelines, a person may present only one paper at the annual meeting, regardless of subject area.

PCA offers several travel grants for graduate students and new academics. For information, see: Instructions for submission can be found at and submissions made at

Submission Deadline (earlier again this year): 1 October 2016


We look forward to seeing you San Diego.

If you have any questions, please contact the Area Co-Chairs:

Dr. Tom Prasch:

Dr. Laurie Dalton: