Disney Studies - Special Topic 2023

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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.


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 2022 will be the 30th anniversary of Disneyland Paris, we specifically welcome presentations that deal with the park and its reception, as well as other company-wide anniversaries for specific films.


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 (pcb144@psu.edu) and Sabrina Mittermeier (sabrina.mittermeier@uni-kassel.de)


2023 Conference Dates and Deadlines

15 Aug-22                                            2022 Conference Information Available on Website
01 Sept-22 Submissions Open 
07 Oct-22 Early Bird Registration Begins
30 Nov-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.


Submission information for the 2023 conference will be available soon. 




Area chairs

Sabrina Mittermeier

Peter Cullen Bryan