President’s Message

Welcome the Popular Culture Association!

The Popular Culture Association is an academic organization devoted to promoting the study of popular culture. Founded in 1971 by Ray and Pat Browne, the members of the Popular Culture Assocation (PCA) have met regularly since—bringing together scholars from around the world to develop ideas and learn from one another. The PCA strives to be the preeminent international multidisciplinary organization in the study of popular culture. As part of its mission, the organization champions both innovative and traditional approaches in an open and flexible environment and recognizes excellent scholarly and creative contributions. The Association has created affiliations with a number of regional and international organizations dedicated to popular culture study and supports two prestigious, peer-reviewed journals: The Journal of Popular Culture and The Journal of American Culture.   


Our Plan

To do service to its mission, the Governing Board of the organization has developed and implemented a 2015-2018 strategic plan built upon eight goals with specific action steps and resources assigned for each:

  1. Improve the operational and managerial structure of the PCA/ACA.
  2. Foster continued legitimation of popular culture studies and the PCA/ACA inside and outside the academy.
  3. Establish the appropriate size and composition of the PCA/ACA.
  4. Establish institutional and personal accountability across the PCA/ACA.
  5. Foster increased inclusion and distribution of under-represented groups in the Association and in leadership positions.
  6. Establish a robust professional development program for all members.
  7. Establish an enhanced public engagement program for the PCA/ACA.
  8. Enhance PCA/ACA regional and international participation.

These goals represent the ideology of the PCA/ACA turned into operational reality. As implemented by the Governing Board in concert with the membership, the strategic plan determines the direction of the association. 


Our annual national conference

The annual national conference is the association’s signature event. Each year, thousands of scholars from many academic disciplines across the globe travel to meet in a major American city to share and discuss their research at the conference in a number of venues: panel presentations, roundtables, special sessions, film screenings, local tours, keynote speaker events, special awards ceremonies, and other events.

The organization is organized into dozens of diverse Subject Areas, each representing one aspect of popular culture. Each Subject Area is chaired by one or more individuals who are experts in that particular field of study. The PCA/ACA is all the stronger for this diversity of Subject Areas and the many talented scholars who contribute to them. 


This year’s conference is held at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana from March 28 – 31, 2018. The conference schedule is available on the website with full details on each day’s offerings. I am excited to announce several special events that have been decided and organized with the Indianapolis venue specifically in mind. First, the President’s Grand Reception will feature a keynote address by comedian, author, actor, special correspondent, and commentator Paula Poundstone on Thursday, March 29. I invite each of you to come experience Ms. Poundstone’s famously spontaneous act and audience interactions, followed by a book signing.


On Friday, March 30, the Association will bestow the prestigious PCA Governing Board Award for Outstanding Contributions to Popular Culture to three of the Indianapolis region’s most iconic institutions: the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction; and The Saturday Evening Post. Representatives from these respective institutions with moderators from the PCA will follow with concise half-hour discussions of past accomplishments and current initiatives.


Finally, on Sunday, April 1, please join us for a guided tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, which will include a lap around the track, a drive through Gasoline Alley, and the opportunity to “touch the bricks” of Indy’s famous brickyard.     


On behalf of the Popular Culture Association, I would like to thank all of you for your dedication and service to not only this organization, but the larger cause of the scholarly study of popular culture. As President, I will continue to communicate with you on a regular basis about the latest developments in the Association. I look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis!


Philip Simpson
PCA President