Circus and Sideshow Culture 

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Call for papers: 



June 2-5, 2021

Circus and Sideshow Culture Panels Call for Papers

Please join some of the most interesting, most talented performers and scholars of circus and sideshow arts June 2-5, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. We look forward to a few days of academic networking, sharing scholarly work, and relishing in circus/sideshow 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 graduate or 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 and Marketing Platforms. Please submit abstracts of 100-200 words.

For information on PCA/ACA, please go to: http://www.pcaaca.org

All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and fully registered for the conference. Membership fees are not refundable


 Please include the following in your abstract:


  • Panel title, name and contact information for panel chair;
  • Upload current photo and 50-word mini-biography;
  • Presentation title and abstract of 100-200 words;
  • Email contact information.


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, PCA

(Images: Coney Island Sideshows by the Seashore, Wonder Wheel, and “Boston Barnum’s Circus” by William Gilman 1889)


2021 Conference Dates and Deadlines

13-Aug-20 Submission Page Goes Live
28-Feb-28 Deadline for Proposals
10-Apr-21 Presenter Registration Ends at 11:59 pm: Non-registrants Dropped from Program
11-Apr-21 Non-presenter Registration Continues Through the Conference
15-Apr-21 Preliminary Schedule Available

June 2-5, 2021 

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.  

The last day for all refunds is February 15, 2021. No refund requests will be honored after this date. Membership fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.












Area chairs

Stacey Mascia-Susice