Circus and Sideshow Culture 

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Call for papers: 

Circus and Sideshow Culture: Call for Proposals; abstracts roughly 50 words, please.



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Please join some of the most interesting, most talented performers and scholars of circus and sideshow arts April 15-19, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We look forward to a few days of academic networking, sharing scholarly work, and oodles of fun!

We are considering proposals for sessions organized around a theme, special panels, and/or individual papers or creative presentations.  Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per standard session.  Presentations should not exceed 15 minutes, as we reserve the last 30 minutes of panel sessions for discourse with attendees. Working professionals, scholars, educators, entertainers, and doctoral students are encouraged to submit. Proposals addressing any topic that intersects with culture, performance, and/or history of circus and sideshow arts are welcome.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to: Menageries, Sideshows, Contemporary Circuses (or the New Circus), Aerialists, Historic Relevance, Worlds Fair Exhibition Connections, Logistics of Circus Transportation & Production, Clowning, Circus & Sideshow Documentary Screenings, Performance Art, P.T. Barnum & Other Promoters, Gaffs, Pitch Cards, Circus Schools, Disability Studies in Performance, and Social Media Representations.


Circus and Sideshow Panelists 2019

Important Dates

  • July 31, 2019 Area Chairs finalize and submit updated CFPs
  • August 1, 2019 Submission Page Goes Live
  • October 1, 2019 Early Bird Registration Opens
  • November 1, 2019 Deadline for Paper Proposals
  • November 1, 2019 Endowment Grants Deadline
  • November 15, 2019 All sessions must be entered by area chairs
  • December 1, 2019 Early Bird Registration ENDS
  • January 1, 2020 Regular Registration ENDS
  • January 2, 2020 Late Registration BEGINS—be sure to reserve your spot in the program!
  • January 15, 2020 Brigman and Jones Awards Deadline
  • January 20, 2020 Preliminary Schedule Available
  • February 1, 2020 Registration for Presenters ENDS—participants who have not registered dropped from the program at the end of the day
  • March 1, 2020 Non-Presenters Late Registration OPENS
  • April 15-18, 2020 Philly!

 Please include the following in your abstract:

  • Panel title and upload current photo and 50-word biography;
  • Name and contact information for the panel chair;
  • Titles and abstracts of each paper;
  • Contact information for each presenter;
  • Note: all presenters must be members of the PCA and must register for the conference.

Please send all inquiries to:

Stacey L. Mascia-Susice, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Humanities Department
North Country Community College
75 William Street
Malone, NY 12953
518-483-4550, ext. 3250

Circus and Sideshow Chairperson

Area chairs