The Beatles- Special Topic 2023

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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 2023. 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.


Questions? Email Shannon Howard at [email protected] or DM on Twitter @alabama mutant.


2023 Conference Dates and Deadlines

15 Aug-22                                            2022 Conference Information Available on Website
15 Sept-22 Submissions Open 
07 Oct-22 Early Bird Registration Begins
20 Dec-22 Deadline for Paper Proposals
02 Jan-23 Early Bird Registration Ends
03 Jan-23 Regular Registration Begins
13 Jan-23 Preliminary Schedule Available
01 Feb-23 Regular Registration Ends for Presenters; Those Presenters Not Registered by the Date Will be Dropped From the Program; Late Registration Continues for Nonpresenters
17 Mar-23 Late Registration Ends for Nonpresenters
 5-8 April-23

conference in San ANTONIO, TX


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. Membership fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.


Submit a Paper Proposal for the 2023 PCA Conference: 

Submissions for paper proposals are now open. The submission deadline is December 20, 2022. Please be sure you read and understand all instructions, policies, and procedures before you submit your proposal.