Literary, Film & Electronic Awards

Popular Culture Association Awards

Popular Culture Association Awards

The Popular Culture Association sponsors literary, documentary film, and electronic reference site awards each year.  

Award winners will be announced during the annual convention from April 5-8, 2023. 

Recipients do not need to be present at the conference to receive an award. 

Nomination Deadlines and Submissions:

Books published in 2022 are eligible for this year’s awards. To be considered, nominated materials must be postmarked before or on the following dates:  

  • December 2, 2022 for consideration of materials published before November 15th.
  • January 3, 2023 for consideration of materials published on or after November 15th. 
  • February 24, 2023 Chairpersons report winners to VP of Awards.  Winners are notified.
  • April 2023 Awards are presented at the annual PCA Conference.  (Certificates will be mailed to those who cannot attend).

Documentary films and electronic research sites produced within the last three years are eligible for this year’s awards. The deadline for these materials is December 2, 2022.

Best Dissertation Award deadline for submissions is December 31, 2022.


How to submit a nomination

Anyone may nominate a book, but the author or publisher is responsible for sending copies to the Award Committee members, including the chair. 

  1. Identify the individual award for which you’d like to be considered (listed below)
  2. Fill out the Award Entry form and email it to both the Chairperson(s) of that specific award committee and the VP of Awards, Brenda Boudreau, at [email protected].
  3. Upon receiving the confirmation email regarding your Award Entry Form from the Chairperson, send complimentary exam copies of work(s) to each committee member (names and addresses will be included in the confirmation email). Nominated books, films and electronic research sites should be sent to the members of the committees listed below. For mailing addresses, contact Brenda Boudreau, Vice President of Awards at [email protected]. If you have questions about the appropriateness of your books, consult with the chairs of the individual committees.
  4. Winners will be notified in February.  Awards will be presented at the annual Popular Culture Association Conference in April.


Award Committees:

Ray and Pat Browne Awards:

These three awards are named after the founders, architects, and builders of the PCA/ACA. Ray Browne was instrumental in building the associations as well as the academic study of popular culture from its early beginnings to its current place as a major focus of intellectual study. He and his wife Pat Browne established The Popular Press, which published many of the first works in the field. He also founded the Journal of Popular Culture and the Journal of American Culture. Among the categories for the Ray and Pat Browne Awards are:


Best Single Work by One or More Authors in Popular and American Culture

Appropriate submissions will demonstrate and be judged on quality of research or scholarship, originality, and contribution to popular and American studies scholarship. While submissions may list more than one author, edited collections are not considered. This award is granted annually, to submissions published in the current year; submissions must be published prior to December 31, 2022.

Committee Chair:   Lynnea Chapman King
Email for info: [email protected]


Best Edited Collection in Popular and American Culture

Appropriate submissions/nominations for this award are edited and co-edited hard cover or paper bound books which feature academic inquiry from a range of scholars  (i.e. the nominated volume is a collection of work by more than one or two contributors). Works published within the past year are eligible.

Committee Chair: Garyn G. Roberts
[email protected]


Best Edited Reference/ Primary Source Work in Popular and American Culture

Appropriate submissions demonstrate research/scholarship based on primary source material. Such works may take the form of traditional annotated/ contextualized reference texts (encyclopedia, bibliography, album of artifacts/visual records, journals, etc.), or the form of more narrative explorations (anthology, etc.). Works published within the past three years are eligible.

Committee Chair:   Heather Williams
[email protected]


John G. Cawelti Award for the Best Textbook/Primer

The John G. Cawelti Award is given annually to recognize important scholarly texts that advance the study of popular and American culture. Nominees may include textbooks, primers, or scholarly books on Popular Culture and American Culture that employ innovative and unique approaches to popular and American culture in the classroom, and can highlight the overall importance and impact of popular and American culture in the past or present.

Committee Chair: Kristen Rudisill
[email protected] 


Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited book in Feminist Studies in Popular and American Culture

This award honors Susan Koppelman, a feminist literary historian and the editor of groundbreaking critical collections of American women’s short stories. The award recognizes groundbreaking feminist work in popular culture.  Works published within in the past three years are eligible.

Committee Chairs:  

Caryn Neumann

[email protected]

Susan Koppelmann


Emily Toth Award for Best Single Work in Women’s Studies

This award honors Emily Toth, a pioneer in both Women’s Studies and in Popular Culture. Appropriate submissions demonstrate scholarship that makes a significant contribution to the fields of Women’s Studies and Popular Culture. Works published within the past three years are eligible.

Committee Chair:   Traci Roberts-Camps
[email protected]


John Leo and Dana Heller Award for Best Single Work, Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in LGBTQ Studies

This award honors the works and contributions to the PCA and to LGBTQ studies by John Leo and Dana Heller. Appropriate submissions demonstrate scholarship that makes a significant contribution to studies in the understanding and representation of LGBTQ people in popular culture. Works published within the past three years are eligible.

Committee chair:   Joseph Donica

[email protected]



This award honors the work of pioneering cultural theorists Harry Shaw and Katrina Hazzard-Donald. Appropriate submissions demonstrate research, scholarship, and discourse that makes a significant contribution to the field of African-American Popular Culture. Works published within the past three years are eligible. 

Committee Chair: Carol Bunch Davis

[email protected]


Peter C. Rollins and susan w. rollins Award for the Best Documentary Film

This award honors Peter and Susan Rollins who worked for many years in the nexus between Popular Culture, film, and history. Appropriate submissions include documentaries in Popular and American Culture.  Works produced within the past three years are eligible.

Committee Chair:   Linda Belau

[email protected]  


Allen Ellis Digital Research Award in Popular Culture

This award recognizes the outstanding contribution of an academic database to the study of Popular Culture and American Culture developed within the past three years.  Criteria will include use of hypertext/networking, use of supplementary/secondary materials,  breadth of archived material,  and ease of searching and updatability.

Committee Chair: Casey Hoeve

[email protected]


Kathy Merlock Jackson DISSERTATION AWARD

This award is given to recognize an outstanding contribution to the field of Popular Culture in the form of a doctoral dissertation accepted in the prior academic year from October 1, 2021, to October 1, 2022. Nominations should be accompanied with a letter of support from the dissertation advisor/primary reader. The nominated work can emphasize a specific area of cultural studies, a particular methodology, or have an interdisciplinary focus. A précis or summary should accompany the letter of nomination and with an electronic copy of the dissertation.

The winner of this award will receive a membership to PCA for the 2023 conference year and registration to the conference in April. 

Committee Chair: Victoria Tischio, PhD

[email protected]