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For Submitting Articles

Aims and Scope:

The Popular Culture Studies Journal is an academic, peer-reviewed, refereed journal for scholars, academics, and students from the many disciplines that study popular culture. The journal serves the MPCA/ACA membership, as well as scholars globally who recognize and support its mission based on expanding the way we view popular culture as a fundamental component within the contemporary world.

An analysis of the proceedings of the Midwest PCA/ACA and the national organization reveals that most popular culture scholars are interested in American-based, transcultural, and transnational popular culture texts, audiences, industries, and so forth. Thus, this journal publishes articles related to, but not limited to, the following:

  • Film

  • Music and Dance

  • Television

  • Sports

  • Celebrities and Brands

  • Literature

  • Comics/Graphic Novels

  • Games

  • Animation

  • Theater

  • Fashion

  • Computers

  • Social Media

  • World Wide Web

  • Mobile Computers

  • Professional Wrestling

  • Archives and Museums

  • Food and Drink

  • Fairs, Festivals, and Carnivals

  • Toys

  • DIY and Crafting


However, many scholars approach these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, which adds significant value over single-issue or more focused/specialized journals. Additionally, articles discussing the popular cultures of other nations could be considered as long as it references the larger global nature of popular culture, such as from transcultural, transnational, globalized, or other perspectives.

All articles should reflect original research of a completed scholarly study that provides a significant contribution to our understanding of popular culture and/or popular culture studies. Articles that reflect ongoing research or a pilot study will be rejected upon receipt with the encouragement to develop the study through additional data collection and/or textual analysis.

Multimedia Presentations:

This journal welcomes non-traditional research communication methods, such as video lectures, infographics, and more. If you are interested in a video, audio, or some other multimedia submission, please contact us via email first to discuss the proper formatting for your submission.

For the Video Essays, we are interested in publishing academic presentations that have been accepted and presented at the Popular Culture Association / American Cultural Association or one of its regional conferences. The video essays should be image-heavy and text-light, with you providing a voiceover of your research. As with a standard academic presentation, the video length should be 12-15 minutes. Along with the video essay, we would want a short essay or extended abstract writing about the research and providing the sources used in the video essay. You can find examples at

Submission Guidelines:

All contributions to Popular Culture Studies Journal will be forwarded to members of the Editorial Board for comment. Manuscripts must not be previously published, nor should they be submitted for publication elsewhere while being reviewed by the Editorial Board.

Submissions should consist of three Microsoft Word documents, all formatted following MLA style. Please note that documents submitted in any other file format or formatting style will be subject to a desk rejection and you will be asked to resubmit once these changes have been made.

  1. Short Bio: On a separate document, please also include a short (100 words) bio. We will include this upon acceptance and publication.

  2. Title Page: A single title page must accompany the email, containing complete contact information (address, phone number, e-mail address).

  3. Manuscript: On the first page of the manuscript, only include the article’s title, being sure not to have the author’s name. The journal employs a “blind review” process, meaning that a copy of the article will be sent to reviewers without revealing the author’s name. Please include the Works Cited and any Appendices with your manuscript.


Essays should range between 15-25 pages of double-spaced text in 12 pt. Times New Roman font, including all images, endnotes, and Works Cited pages. Please note that the 15-page minimum should be 15 pages of written article material. Less than 15 pages of written material will be rejected and the author asked to develop the article further and resubmit  once these changes have been made.

Review and Revise Process:

All articles undergo a double-blind peer review process. Articles are submitted to two peer scholars with relevant disciplinary interest and experience. Visit this page if you are interested in being a peer reviewer.

The reviewers' comments are then returned to you with a discussion of what steps to take next to be considered for publication. Revise and resubmissions are handled via email, with a one-page memo accompanying the revised article to present how the reviewers' comments were address. To be considered for the April issue, revisions must be submitted by February 28th. To be considered for the October issue, revisions must be submitted by August 31st.

Once an article has been accepted for publication, the Editor and copyeditors will work with the author to prepare the manuscript for publication.

Style Guide:

Essays should also be written in clear U.S. English in the active voice in a style accessible to the broadest possible audience. Authors should be sensitive to the social implications of language and choose words free of discriminatory overtones.

For documentation and citation, the Popular Culture Studies Journal follows the Modern Language Association style, as articulated by Joseph Gibaldi and Walter S. Achtert in the paperback MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (New York: MLA), and in The MLA Style Manual (New York: MLA). The most current editions of both guides will be the requested editions for use. This style calls for a Works Cited list, with parenthetical author/page references in the text. This approach reduces the number of notes, which provide further references or explanations.

For punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and other matters of style follow the MLA Handbook and the MLA Style Manual. The most current edition of the guide will be the requested edition for use. The Purdue Online Writing Lab provides updated information on this formatting style.

It is essential for authors to check, correct, and bring manuscripts up-to-date before final submission. Authors should verify facts, names of people, places, dates, and source information, and double-check all direct quotations and entries in the Works Cited list. The full style guide used for formatting articles for publication can be found here.

We are happy to receive digital artwork. Please save line artwork (vector graphics) as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) and bitmap files (halftones or photographic images) as Tagged Image Format (TIFF), with a resolution of at least 300 dpi at final size. Do not send native file formats. Please contact the editor for discussion of including artwork, as it will be embedded in articles for publication.

Before final submission, the author will be responsible for obtaining letters of permission for illustrations and for quotations that go beyond “fair use,” as defined by current copyright law.

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