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Popular Culture Studies Journal

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. 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. 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).

This journal believes in being open-access and free to all in the spirit of public scholarship and engaged intellectualism. 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. We also have a podcast PCSJ: Beyond the Article. 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.

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.

ISSN 2691-8617

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 the Article

Conversations with the Authors

The Managing Editor of the Popular Culture Studies Journal, Julia Largent, interviews different authors published in the journal about their research, their hobbies, and how their article came about.

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 Julia via our mail email address,

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