Professional Wrestling Studies - Special Topic 2023

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Proposals are requested for panels, presentations, works in progress, and creative works scholarship centered around the exploration of professional wrestling. These submissions could include works that focus on fandom, professional wrestling in-ring techniques, labor, ring psychology, kayfabe, wrestling promotions, specific characters, storylines, gimmicks, or wrestling related paraphernalia (video games, apparel, action figures, etc.).


Professional wrestling is a world-wide form of mass entertainment that has captured the hearts, minds, and imaginations of audiences numbering in the millions. Each week, programs like Monday Night Raw and SmackDown draw impressive ratings for World Wrestling Entertainment while All Elite Wrestling finds similar success with shows like Dynamite and Rampage. The vast appeal of pro wrestling and the depth of its impression on culture and society are hardly constrained to the boundaries of the WWE and AEW, however. In North America, a rich tapestry of independently run wrestling federations has long provided a training ground for aspiring sports entertainers to ply their trade and hone their craft. Outside the United States, professional wrestling has deep roots in the cultural vocabularies of countries from across the globe. There are especially well-defined traditions of wrestling in Mexico (where it is referred to as lucha libre) and Japan. In these cultures, pro wrestling has taken on an almost religious import to the fans who pack stadiums, arenas, and smaller venues each week. This specialized subject area hopes to expand on the important research being done by scholars all over the world attempting to better understand and appreciate the unique and extraordinary cultural product that is professional wrestling.


Examples of the potential topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Advertising and pro wrestling (domestically and abroad)
  • Racism in wrestling
  • Sexism in wrestling
  • Wrestling and depictions of disability
  • Steroid abuse in wrestling
  • Legal aspects of professional wrestling
  • Labor politics of wrestling
  • Wrestling and fandom


Submission Requirements: Abstracts are acceptable and should not exceed 250 words. Completed papers and creative scholarship will also be considered.


Questions regarding submissions can be directed to the area chair at:

[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.