Disney Studies - Special Topic 2023

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Description: Disney as an entity has sprawled ever-larger in recent years, from its acquisition of LucasArts and Marvel, the arrival of Disney+, and the inevitable new attractions and parks that show no sign of slowing down.  The area focuses on Disney as a multimedia conglomerate, incorporating subjects like fan behaviors at the parks, business aspects of the Disney corporation, transmedia strategies, how the history of the company has been (and is still being) rewritten, issues of representation in their media texts, and many more.  Disney is perhaps the most popular brand in the world today, though it defies easy definition, at once a theme park operator, animation studio, toy maker, comics publisher, and a myriad of other tangentially-connected aspects.  While there are certainly other expansive multinational corporations, Disney is more clearly public facing, a name known worldwide, even as it can take different meanings in different spaces.  Disney Studies has a place in the discourse, one that invites fresh approaches and new voices, and will continue to grow in scope and significance in the years to come.

Scope: This new area emphasizes the creation and promotion of Disney-centric research, the interdisciplinary nature of the current state of the field, encouraging interactions between scholars specializing in Disney, and charting a new course for the study of Disney.  While Disney does own a huge media empire, the focus of this area ison the traditional productions of Walt Disney Studios, programming on the Disney Channel, and the permutations of Disney comics. As 2023 will be the 100th anniversary of the founding of Disney Brothers Studio and the 40th anniversary of EPCOT, we specifically welcome presentations that deal with the park and its reception, as well as other company-wide anniversaries for specific films.  Additionally, our area has been in conversations with Fairy Tales and Science Fiction/Fantasy, and there is potential for joint panels if there is sufficient interest.

Example topics: 

The Disney Brand and Transmedia Storytelling 

Disney in the Classroom: Folklore, Literature, and Business

Disney Merchandising from Mickey Mouse Gas Masks to the Disney Store

EPCOT at Forty

Disney on Broadway

Urban Planning and the Walt Disney Company

Queer Representations in Walt Disney Television Series

Disney and Diversity: Strategies for Inclusion and Racism in Fandom

The Disney Company’s Centennial

Disney Theme Parks and Immersive Media 

The Disney Tourism Empire: From Theme Parks to Cruise Ships and Vacation Tours

Submission requirements: abstracts are acceptable, and should be roughly 250 words; full papers and pre-constituted panels are also amenable.

Contacts: Peter Cullen Bryan ([email protected]) and Sabrina Mittermeier ([email protected])



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
10 Jan-23 Deadline for Paper Proposals
4 Jan-23 Early Bird Registration Ends for Presenters
5 Jan-23 Regular Registration Begins for Presenters
19 Jan-23 Regular Registration Ends for Presenters
20 Jan-23 Late Registration Starts for Presenters
1 Feb-23 Late Registration Ends for Presenters; Those Presenters Not Registered by the Date Will be Dropped From the Program; Registration Continues for Nonpresenters
10 Feb-23 Preliminary Schedule Available
17 Mar-23 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.