Pop and Politics:
State of the Field/State of the World
Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association of Canada
Concordia University, Montreal, QC, May 7-9, 2020
After a one-year hiatus, the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association of Canada is back and looking forward—as well as up, left, right, down, and back. For our 9th annual conference, which will take place at Concordia University in Montreal, QC from May 7th-9th, 2020, we’re reflecting on the state of our field by inviting discussion on the relationship between popular culture and politics, broadly conceived.
Precisely because it’s popular, popular culture is often derided as politically conservative; for the same reason, it’s also critiqued as socially liberal. These disagreements are not, of course, surprising; popularity necessitates the inclusion and complex negotiation of myriad political beliefs, themes, and contexts. The rise of populist political movements around the world—and the reinvigoration of activism and progressive politics in response to these movements—has made the relationship between pop and politics especially obvious; now, more than ever, the state of popular culture is inseparable from the state of the world.
Our conference is global, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary; we welcome any and all perspectives on popular texts, industries, and reading practices. In addition, presentations can be historical or contemporary; we encourage reflections on the past that has shaped our present and the present that shapes our future.
Possible topics may include:
- The depiction of political movements and controversies within popular texts (film, television, literature, fashion, comics, architecture, social media, sports, games, music, advertising, etc.)
- Intersections of popular culture and populism
- The politics of fandom
- Campaigns for diversity and the backlashes against them
- The effects of political movements and policy on media industries
- The politics of teaching and studying popular culture
Proposals for 15 to 20-minute papers should be submitted by January 15th, 2020. Pre-constituted panels and roundtables are welcome; these should be submitted as a single package. Proposals should be a maximum of 300 words and must include a 50-word biography of the presenter(s). Panels should include individual proposals for each paper; roundtables only require a single proposal, in addition to biographies of the presenters. Proposals, and any questions about the conference, should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All presenters will need to become members of the association in order to be featured in the program. Conference registration fees will automatically include 2020 membership. Each presenter may only present a single paper, but can participate in a roundtable in addition to presenting a paper.
Membership information and the conference program will be available on our website: www.canpop.ca.
The purpose of the Popular Culture Association of Canada is to promote scholarly understanding of popular culture, broadly conceived, in Canada and elsewhere. It will serve to bring together academics, students and practitioners in the field of popular culture.
How we define the field of popular culture is open to some debate; for example, there are numerous definitions on the web. Our conception of popular culture is deliberately broad, encompassing the communicative texts and practices of everyday life, past and present, mass-mediated and non-mass-mediated, Canadian and otherwise, local, regional, national and global in scope. At the same time, our existence as a national association is predicated in part on encouraging the study of Canadian popular culture and/or the study of popular culture interpreted from a Canadian perspective.
The Popular Culture Association of Canada is one of a number of national or international popular culture associations: others include the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand and new associations in Europe and south-east Asia, in addition to the long-established Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and its regional chapters in the United States.