CFP: Black Performing Arts (PCA National Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April 15-18 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Popular Culture Association
contact email: 

Black Performing Arts: 

Sound, Movement, Image, Text


Popular Culture Association

2020 National Conference



1201 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107


April 15-18, 2020


Call For Proposals:  Sessions, Panels, Papers

DEADLINE For Paper Proposals:  November 1, 2019

The Black Performing Arts Area provides a scholarly forum to share research pertaining to the black performing and visual arts.  Broadly defined, the area focuses on all forms of performing and visual arts, including jazz, blues, gospel, hip hop, rhythm and blues, Caribbean music, dance, poetry, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and acting.

The panels on Black Performing Arts: Sound, Movement, Image, Text will  showcase interdisciplinary discussions of cultural identity, art, religion, ritual, power, image,  representation, symbols and their meaning, and the social processes and systems  that influence and inform the innovation, production, regulation, and consumption of black performing arts.  Additionally, we invite research that examines the role of black music within society, how black performing and visual arts relate to race, class, sexuality, and gender, and the relationship between black performing arts and their broad political and economic context.

Special Call:

The Black Performing Arts area welcomes proposals on any of the broad categories listed above, but among the topics we are especially interested in for 2020 are:

  • Recognizing Philadelphia's most notable current artists Meek Mill and Tierra Whack
    • Meek Mill (Free Meek documentary) and the intersection between music, activism, and prison reform;
    • Tierra Whack and the role of social media as an artistic vehicle;
  • Beyoncé’s Homecoming as a self-reflexive archive of African American performance;
  • Nipsey Hussle’s legacy in music and activism;
  • Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us as criticism of the prison-industrial complex and white supremacist politics;
  • black diasporic aesthetics in Kehinde Wiley’s and Amy Sherald’s paintings of the Obamas for the National Portrait Gallery;
  • “documentary theater” as a means of confronting mass incarceration in Anna Deavere Smith’s Notes from the Field;
  • Makaya McCraven’s integration of technology and performance in jazz as a self-proclaimed “beat scientist”
  • Lizzo’s performative challenge to restrictive ideas about attractiveness or femininity.

To submit your panel or presentation:

You must be logged in to submit a proposal. You will not need to register and pay for the conference until after your paper is accepted.


  1. Once logged in, choose submit a proposal on the home page to submit a paper abstract or other kinds of presentations for inclusion in the PCA/ACA conference. Complete panels (with three to four individual papers) should be submitted as individual papers and area chairs should be contacted regarding the panel.
  2. The submission form will first ask you to pick your topic area and the type of proposal you want to submit. One person cannot be added to more than one paper proposal per conference.
  3. Next, list the email addresses of all the presenters in your proposal. Please note that your co-presenters must already have an account on the website before you can add them to your proposal.
  4. After clicking “Continue” you’ll be able to enter your presentation’s details. Title your presentation using title-case capitalization. Abstracts must not exceed 300 words.

Inquiries may be directed to the Area Co-Chairs:


Michael Borshuk

Associate Professor, Texas Tech University


Jonafa Banbury

Independent Scholar