Why Disney Studies?
Before I moved to New England and discovered NEPCA, I once asked the PCA/ACA about having a Disney Studies area for their national conference. I was told (and I paraphrase loosely) that Disney transcended too many areas to be its own standalone area. That, in my argument, is precisely WHY we need a Disney Studies area.
Disney is a juggernaut in global, especially American, culture. Regardless of one’s personal feelings about the many faces of the corporation (not all of which look like a mouse), it’s simply unavoidable. It’s all over the media and consumer products. A quick stroll through almost any major store, and one is likely to find a Disney product. It’s even central to “water cooler conversation.” As Disney as continued to acquire new properties–now including the Fox, Hulu, and National Geographic in a family that also includes ESPN, ABC, Star Wars, and Marvel—they continue to extend into all facets of American life.
Disney Studies has multi-disciplinary potential. Scholars are often looking at Disney through the lens of their department. Princesses go through English and Literature departments, the films through Media departments, and so on. There is an opportunity to bring those divergent conversations together, so scholars can cross-pollenate their work with other disciplines. The hunger to discuss Disney is there, and this year, NEPCA is offering a space to chat together.
The Special Topics: Disney Studies area is now accepting proposals for the 2020 NEPCA conference. We are welcoming submissions from scholars and independent researchers for topics related to Disney. The intent behind this area is to foster dialogue about an entertainment corporation that has seeped and inspired many facets of popular culture. Submission topics are welcome for any Disney-related topic, including but not limited to:
- Theme Parks and hyperreality
- Animation (films, process)
- Princesses, Pirates, and everything in between
- Walt Disney
- Imagineering and urban planning
- Disney+, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, The Wonderful World of Disney
- DisneyNature, the True Life Adventures, and Ecology
- Diversity and Disney Hegemony
NOTE: Proposals for acquired properties (e.g. Star Wars, The Muppets) are welcome, but need to connect to Disney.