Session at PCA/ACA (Boston, June 2-5): Material Culture

Heidi Nickisher's picture
Call for Papers
June 2, 2021 to June 5, 2021
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Popular Culture Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies


2021 National Conference, Boston, MA, June 2-5, 2021

For information on PCA/ACA, please go to

For conference information, please go to


The study of material culture offers an exciting area for interdisciplinary research and conversation, as it brings together those engaged in scholarly inquiry in areas as diverse as history, art history, design, decorative arts, cultural studies, consumer studies, literature, communications, anthropology, sociology, and beyond. Of particular interest are papers that address human-made material objects as primary source material for anthropological, geographical, sociological, historical, or area studies; or methodological papers that theorize and critique “material culture” as a discipline for humanistic inquiry. Past presentations in this area have focused on decorative arts and the construction of literary characters; the material culture of poverty; commemorative items; historic and modern furnishings; fashion, branding and marketing trends; alternative culture and industrial space…. Indeed, there are a lot of possibilities!

We are considering proposals for sessions organized around a theme, special panels, and/or individual papers. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per standard session. Proposals for a panel of four speakers also are encouraged and should include the following:

Panel Title

Name and contact information for the Panel Chair

Titles and abstracts of each paper

Contact information for each presenter

Proposals should take the form of an abstract of up to 250 words and must be submitted electronically no later than 16 November 2020. Other useful dates and deadlines are as follows:

August 13, 2020 Submission Page Goes Live

October 12, 2020 Early Bird Registration Rate Begins

November 16, 2020 Deadline for Paper Proposals and Grant Applications

December 31, 2020 Early Bird Registration Ends

January 01, 2021 Regular Registration Begins

January 31, 2021 Regular Registration Ends

February 01, 2021 Late Registration Begins

February 01, 2021 Preliminary Schedule Available

February 28, 2021 Presenter Late Registration Ends at 11:59 pm: Non-registrants Dropped from Program

March 01, 2021 Non-Presenters Registration Continues through the Conference

June 2-5, 2021 National Conference in Boston

To submit your proposal, go to and follow the instructions for creating an account. All submissions must be made through the conference submission site. All presenters must be members of the PCA and must register for the conference. Travel and research grants are available:

Please send any inquiries to the Area Chair for Material Culture, Dr. Heidi C. Nickisher,

Contact Info: 

Heidi C. Nickisher, Ph.D.

School of Art – Art History
RIT | College of Art & Design
73 Lomb Memorial Drive

Rochester, NY  14623-5603

Contact Email: