top of page

Popular Culture Studies Journal

Managed by The Midwest Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (MPCA/ACA), the Popular Culture Studies Journal is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics, and students from the many disciplines that study America, American culture, American popular culture, and global popular culture as it relates to the United States.

Popular culture is at the heart of democratic citizenship. It serves as an engine driving technology, innovation, and information, as well as a methodological lens employed by the many fields that examine culture, often from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Editorial Board of the journal consists of the journal’s editors, MPCA/ACA’s current executives as well as the peer reviewers who helped develop submissions through their constructive criticism. 

Each issue features a Student Showcase that spotlights contributions from undergraduate and graduate students along with regular submissions involving emerging, independent, and established scholars. To be considered for a Student Showcase, student papers must only be authored by undergraduate and graduate students and reflect the original ideas of the student scholars (professors and academic mentors may advise such papers to help the students form and communicate these ideas). The journal also regularly publishes special issues with guest editors. Currently the journal is published twice a year in April and October.

This journal believes in being open-access and free to all in the spirit of public scholarship and engaged intellectualism. All works published by this journal seek to appeal to a wide range of audiences, from the curious general public to the established scholar. Being open-access also means no fees will be collected from contributors to consider and publish their work. The journal is non-profit, with all members of the Editorial Board volunteering their time and expertise to help popular culture scholars of all disciplines and academic status.


Additionally, this journal utilizes a Creative Commons License CC BY-NC 4.0 to ensure standards of academic excellence are followed to aid our contributors and promote the use of their work by others. Authors retain copyright of their intellectual property, including full publishing rights should the author seek to reprint their work in a subsequent anthology with acknowledgement of the article first being published in our journal.


Furthermore, the journal seeks to help scholars develop their research communication skills and does so by encouraging revise over reject and combining peer-reviewing with peer-editing. We do follow a double-blind peer review approach, but we ask all reviewers to focus their criticism on making the work better. The goal is to create a cooperative approach, as seen in writing groups, instead of a competitive approach as seen in traditional academic research.

Overall, we hope to make this a journal for the popular culture scholarship of the 21st century, with research communication reflecting how people communicate everyday and to talk to/with them instead of down/at them.

Registered by the United States Library of Congress as ISSN 2691-8617 (online only).

Michael T. Marsden Award

Each year, the Popular Culture Studies Journal awards one original research paper published in either issue with the Michael T. Marsden Award for outstanding original contribution to the field of popular culture studies. Marsden earned his Ph.D. in 1972 from Bowling Green State University, joining his mentor, Ray Browne, who had just established the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. Marsden was an early proponent of this journal, and we recognize his help and support with this annual award, presented every October at the MPCA/ACA conference. Winning articles are also labeled on this website.

Beyond the Article

PCSJ: Beyond Writing

We seek to publish more multimedia approach to academic and scholarly communication, such as via our YouTube channel PCSJ Presents, which serves as the home for our Popular Culture Dialogue series.


If you are interested in a multimedia approach for your work, please contact the Editor at If you are interested in participating in an upcoming Popular Culture Dialogue, please use this form to indicate your preferences.

We also have a podcast PCSJ: Beyond the Article. You can find the episodes on different podcasting hosts, like SpotifyApple, and Transistor. If you are interested in being interviewed for an upcoming episode, please contact us via our mail email address,

bottom of page