A Message from the PCA President

A Message from the PCA President…


My PCA Colleagues,


A common ground for thousands of scholars who hail from many academic disciplines around the world, the PCA’s annual national conference is its signature event.  This year, I am delighted to be able to invite you to our first post-Covid conference. After three long years, we can meet in person to share our research at film screenings, local tours, keynote speaker events, special awards ceremonies, and other gatherings. We encourage you to join us in San Antonio to attend panels and roundtables that highlight the people, publications, and ideas defining the study of popular culture. 


The positive energy at our National Conference always has been unparalleled; networking and publishing opportunities abound in the friendly and supportive atmosphere that popular culture studies produce. This year, we’ll also be hailing half a century of scholarly work of study, bringing forward new ideas, and ensuring new growth and a healthy future for the PCA. Our 2023 National Conference in San Antonio promises to be the conference of a life time. From April 5th to 8th, we’ll be celebrating the Popular Culture Association’s fiftieth birthday.


I am honored to report we are presenting this year’s Lynn Bartholome Eminent Scholar Award to Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman. Dr. Coleman is the Vice President & Associate Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, and the Ida B. Wells and Ferdinand Barnett Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. An award-winning scholar, Dr. Coleman’s research focuses on media studies and the cultural politics of Blackness. Dr. Coleman is the author of Horror Noire: A History of Black American Horror from the 1890s to Present, 2nd ed. (2023); Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present (2011) and African-American Viewers and the Black Situation Comedy: Situating Racial Humor (2000).  She is a co-author of The Black Guy Dies First: Black Horror from Fodder to Oscar (2023) and Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life (2014). She is the editor of Say It Loud! African American Audiences, Media, and Identity (2002) and the co-editor of Fight the Power! The Spike Lee Reader (2008). 


I am excited to announce we will have a world premiere in San Antonio revealing a treasure trove of materials about The Beatles—manuscripts, personal diaries, photographs, audio, and much more that have been under wraps for five decades. One of the world’s foremost writers and thinkers about the Beatles, Dr. Kenneth Womack will also be speaking about the mysterious circumstances of Mal Evans’ death. In addition to Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), the Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014), Womack is the author of a two-volume biography devoted to the life and work of Beatles producer George Martin, including Maximum Volume (2017) and Sound Pictures (2018). His book, Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles (2019), was feted as the go-to book by the Los Angeles Times for readers interested in learning about the band’s swan song. Published in 2020, John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life was an Amazon Bestseller, earning rave reviews from the likes of Forbes and The Boston Globe.


We will be announcing our other conference speakers shortly. Looking ahead, I know our 2023 event holds more wonderful keynotes. They will be announced soon. Meeting in San Antonio also promises access to the most recent publications and best publishing opportunities in popular culture. Our Book Room is a place you will want to be. San Antonio itself is a wonderful experience. Bursting with culture, this city is inclusive and welcoming, rated above Chicago as a top vacation destination. Its legendary, life-changing artifacts and popular culture include first class museums and breath-taking caverns, unparalleled hauntings, friendly breweries, and discriminating wine-tasting. A stone’s throw from San Antonio’s beautiful Riverwalk, the Marriott Rivercenter, our conference hotel, is a short distance from one of the most important historic sites in the United States—the Alamo.   


Our Area Chairs are now accepting proposals for papers. I look forward to seeing you in person in April and listening to your papers. And I wish you all well as we continue in the scholarly study of popular culture.


Sue Matheson, President