The Beatles- Special Topic 2022

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As music critic Rob Sheffield says in response to a recent Hulu documentary about Paul McCartney, “Fifty years after they said goodbye, the Beatles are bigger than ever — the toppermost of the poppermost, guaranteed to raise a smile.” Sheffield cites the release of the Disney Plus Get Back documentary, the fiftieth anniversary edition of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, and McCartney’s own recent albums McCartney III and McCartney III Imagined as testament to this fact. Perhaps even more true is the healing power of the music and the Beatles fandom during the pandemic years, where the Beatles have the same power to “raise a smile” as they did when performing on the Ed Sullivan Show just weeks after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Ringo Starr’s own title to his recent EP—Zoom In—references pandemic life and further supports the idea that studying the Beatles and their continuing legacy in today’s world is central to popular culture.


In this spirit we seek proposals for panels on The Beatles for the PCA Conference in 2022. Our main contribution to PCA will be interdisciplinarity, with many avenues through which to discuss the band. If you have presented with the Fan Studies Area in the past, we welcome your thoughts on Beatlemania. If you are a regular member of the Music Area of PCA, please consider joining us to discuss Paul McCartney’s skills as a bass player. If you hail from Rhetoric and Composition, think about incorporating classic rock as a writing prompt in your composition classes. The goal is to dissolve disciplinary silos to create new conversations between and among pop culture scholars.


Academics, professionals, and graduate students are all encouraged to submit proposals for papers, sessions, discussion panels, and round tables on any aspect of the Beatles. Possible topics may include:

  • Beatlemaniacs of the 21st Century
  • Depictions of Liverpool in Music, Film, and Fiction
  • The Beatles and the Avant-Garde
  • Peter Jackson’s Documentary Get Back
  • Beatles in Contemporary Fiction and Film
  • The Beatles and Consumerism: Reissues, Extended Albums, and Anniversary Editions
  • The Beatles and the Counterculture
  • Paul McCartney at 80: Reflecting on a Lifetime of Musical Work
  • Ebony and Ivory: Collaborations and Appropriations between Black and White Artists
  • Canceling John Lennon and “Imagine” in an Age of #MeToo
  • John Lennon’s “Imagine” as Olympic Anthem
  • Beyond Lennon-McCartney: Enduring Creative Partnerships
  • The Beatles on Radio: Sirius XM and the Beatles Channel
  • How Pop Music Broke the Binary (Sasha Geffen’s book title): Queering the Beatles


For panel submissions, panel chairs should include their abstract and title of their paper as well as the title of the panel, names of panelists (typically 3 to 4 participants), and a 100-word summary of the panel’s focus. Individual panelists should submit a 200-word abstract, including the title. Please provide contact info with email address, university affiliation with city, and phone number.



Shannon Howard





2022 Conference Dates and Deadlines

01Aug-21 2022 Conference Information Available on Website
01 Sept-21 Submissions Open 
21 Jan-22 Deadline for Paper Proposals
11 Feb-22 Early Bird Registration Ends
12 Feb-22 Regular Registration Begins
01 Mar-22 Regular Registration Ends for Presenters; Those Presenters Not Registered by the Date Will be Dropped From the Program; Late Registration Continues for Nonpresenters
01 Apr-22 Late Registration Ends for Nonpresenters
April 13-16, 2022

Virtual conference


All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and registered for the conference. Non-presenters who attend the full conference must also pay membership fees.

To attend the National Conference, members must pay the membership fee and the registration fee.   

The last day for all refunds is February 20, 2022. No refund requests will be honored after this date. Membership fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.


Area chairs

Shannon Howard

Nicole Freim