The Romance Area Conference of the Popular Culture Association (PCA/ACA) will be held in April 5-8 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. The theme is "Body Politic/Body Politics" because, as the Chairs explain in their call for papers,
As Romance Area chairs preparing for our PCA meeting in San Antonio, Texas, body politics is on our minds. Texas is at the forefront of rolling back abortion rights as the country wrestles with the rollback of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade case (which also originated in Texas). But Texas is only one piece of the bigger picture. Elsewhere, state legislatures are fighting over the rights of people with non-conforming gender or sexual identities. The entire nation is and always has been embroiled in body politics, from the forceable relocation of Indigenous Americans, the enslavement of African-Americans, and decades on intense government oversight of where, how, and if BIPOC people were allowed to live, reproduce, attend school, shop, enjoy leisure time, and enjoy state-sanctioned romantic relationships. All of these seemingly private choices lie at the very heart of the romance narrative.
With the issue of abortion affecting both the location and topic of the conference, it's probably worth noting that there has been considerable debate within the academic community generally (though I've not seen anything specifically within romance) about boycotts (whether for political reasons, or because of concerns about emergency healthcare provision for pregnant attendees).
The conference is currently in-person only but the call for papers states that "As the global pandemic continues, plans may change. You can check the PCA website for updates." The PCA President has stated that their
governing board recognizes the concerns that some of our members have voiced about conferencing in Texas. We are working diligently to ensure your conference experience will be as safe and accessible as possible. We are also investigating the possibility of online components for members who are unable to travel.
Full details of possible topics for papers can be found in the call for papers. Abstracts should be submitted by November 30, 2022.
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