PCA Endowment Grants


The Endowment Fund of the Popular Culture Association was established in 1997 as a commitment to the long-term future of the study of American Culture and Popular Culture in all its forms, venues, contexts, and exchanges. Individuals who are members of PCA and in good standing may apply for only one grant in a single category per yearly cycle. Applying for more than one grant in a single cycle will disqualify the applicant. Applications will open by August 13, 2020; the deadline is December 17, 2020. Every effort will be made to inform applicants of the status of their applications by mid- January 2021. For each of the conference travel awards, grant checks will be available (with government issued ID) at the conference information desk and must be picked up before the desk closes at noon on Saturday, June 5. 

Please remember that the endowment award process is very competitive; it is not a certainty that you will receive a grant. Be sure to investigate other sources of funding to cover your conference expenses. If your institution has funding, you should apply as early as possible.


Eligibility and Application Information

You must have an account on the PCA site and be an active, paid member for the 2021 conference year at the time you submit your application. There are no exceptions.

Required materials and evaluation criteria for all grant applications:

  • Abstract of presentation (submitted to area chair for approval).
  • A  statement about the thesis and scope of the presentation.
  • A brief discussion about the extent to which the presentation contributes to the study of Popular Culture or American Culture.
  • A statement about how this presentation will contribute to the applicant’s professional goals.
  • An abbreviated CV.*

*The applications will ask for you to input text about your education, experience, employment, and accomplishments. It may be helpful for you to have your CV on hand as you fill out these applications.

Criteria for Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated on:

  • The quality of the proposal’s thesis and scope.
  • The extent to which the paper reflects on and contributes to the study of Popular Culture or American Culture.
  • The extent to which the presentation reflects the applicant’s future scholarly and professional goals.

These grants should be considered supplemental for presenting at the national conference. There are many applications received each year in each category. Applicants should make financial arrangements to attend and present even if a grant is not awarded.

If you have any questions, please contact execdir@pcaaca.org.

Remember that you have to pay your 2021 membership fees if you want to be considered for a grant. You will not be able to access the application forms without doing this.

Please note: your application will not be considered for review unless you hit “submit.” Applications still in draft status will not be considered complete. 

Membership fees are not refundable.

You do not need an acceptance email to apply for a grant.  It is advisable to apply at the same time as you submit your proposal.  There will be no deadline extensions for late acceptances.  

Transfer of Grants

If you received a grant for the cancelled 2020 conference, you are eligible for the award in 2021 only if you submit the exact same presentation as last year through the paper resubmission process. If you choose to, you can forego that award and apply for a grant with a new presentation and be put back in the applicant pool. Please bear in mind that the number of grants available in the grant categories below is inclusive of any grant recipients from 2020 submitting the same presentation for 2021; fewer awards may be available for new applicants in each category.

If you wish to transfer your grant, you do not need to fill out a new application. After resubmitting your abstract, contact execdir@pcaaca.org to confirm your resubmission.


Michael Schoenecke Travel GrantS for graduate students to present at the PCA national Conference.

These $500 travel grants are named after Michael Schoenecke of Texas Tech University, who for many years provided dedicated leadership to the PCA/ACA organizations, national and regional. Dr. Schoenecke encouraged and supported graduate student participation and hosted graduate professional development sessions.

Applicants can be either M.A. or Ph.D. level students. Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Schoenecke Grant

David Feldman travel grantS for Independent ScholarS To present at the PCA National Conference

These $1000 travel grants are named after David Feldman, longtime leader and member of PCA. Feldman is an alumni of the Bowling Green State University Popular Culture Program and is the author of the beloved Imponderables book series. 

Applicants should not hold an academic job or otherwise have support from an educational institution.  Retired faculty are invited to apply.  Undergraduate/graduate students are not eligible.

Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Feldman Grant

travel grantS for non-Continuing Faculty To present at the PCA National Conference

These $1000 travel grants are for non-continuing, adjunct professors, visiting professors, and fixed-term faculty. Those who are tenured or tenure-track are not eligible for this award. Tenure-track faculty may apply to the Bratzel, Rollins, or Calhoun-French Awards. Undergraduate/graduate students are not eligible.

Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Non-continuing Faculty Award


These $1000 travel grants are named after John Bratzel of Michigan State University, who was a leader in the PCA, taking on many roles in the Association including Executive Director. He was instrumental in developing Popular Culture Associations around the world as well as professionalizing the organization. This award encourages Associate and Full Professors to attend the conference so they might continue their research in their field, add to the robust networking opportunities at the meeting, and increase mentorship opportunities for members still early in their careers.

Applicants must have achieved the rank of Associate or Full Professor at a four-year college or university. Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Bratzel Grant. 

Peter Rollins Travel GrantS for early-career faculty to Present at the PCA National Conference.

These $1000 travel grants are named after the late Peter Rollins of Oklahoma State University, who worked for many years in the nexus between Popular Culture, film, and history. Rollins served as President of the PCA and was one of the founders of the Southwest/Texas Regional PCA/ACA.

To be considered for the Rollins Travel Grant, applicants must have received their doctorate (Ph.D.) within the four years before the national conference. They may be tenure-stream or non-tenure stream.

Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Rollins Grant. 

Diane Calhoun-French Travel grantS For faculty at TWO-year colleges to present at the PCA National Conference.

These $1000 travel grants are named in honor of Diane Calhoun-French, whose professional career has been dedicated to two-year colleges. She is a past-president of the PCA and was one of the founders of the PCA in the South and continues to serve that organization in a leadership role. This PCA grant supports travel to the PCA National Conference by faculty working at two-year colleges.  

To be considered for the two-year college faculty travel grant, applicants must be employed at a two-year college. They may be tenure-stream or non-tenure stream.

Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Calhoun-French Grant. 


These $1500 travel grants are named in honor of Michael Marsden and the late Madonna Marsden, who were both part of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association from their formative years and throughout their careers. They have both been strong supporters of internationalizing the Popular Culture Association.

These travel grants, which are open to scholars at all levels, including graduate students, are intended to support travel to the national conference for individuals who are not residing in the United States, Mexico, or Canada.  Applicants should understand as well that these grants are not intended to support travel from Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, or Mexico to the contiguous 48 states or vice versa. They are intended to facilitate the participation of international scholars outside of North America at the national meeting.  However, these travel grants are also available for North American scholars to participate in a PCA sponsored international conference.

Applications are due December 17, 2020. 

Apply for the Marsden Grant. 




2021 Conference Dates and Deadlines

13-Aug-20 Submission Page Goes Live
22-Oct-20 Early Bird Registration Begins
17-Dec-20 Deadline for Endowment Grant Applications      
06-Jan-21 Deadline for Proposals
01-Feb-21 Early Bird Registration Ends
01-Mar-21 Regular Registration Ends
02-Mar-21 Late Registration Begins
15-Mar-21  Preliminary Schedule Available
31-Mar-21 Presenter Late Registration Ends at 11:59 pm: Non-registrants Dropped from Program
01-Apr-21 Non-presenter Registration Continues Through the Conference

June 2-5, 2021 

National Conference in Boston


All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and fully registered for the conference.

Refund requests must be submitted in writing. Full or partial refunds will be processed according to the following schedule:
Requested by Feb 1: 100% refund
Requested by Feb 7: 75% refund
Requested by Feb 14: 50% refund
Requested by Feb. 21: 25% refund
After Feb. 28: 0% refund

Membership fees are non-refundable.