PopCAANZ started when the Popular/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) prompted selected overseas scholars to develop their own regional popular culture organisations in 2008. We are the first to bring this to fruition. Canada, Europe, and Asia are planning similar associations and are preparing for their first conferences.
Our first conference had over 120 delegates from Canada, China, France, Japan, Taiwan, Sweden, the UK and the USA. We were thrilled with the breadth of topics and impressed with the range of scholars who attended. At the noisy meals and social functions, many new scholarly alliances were made and hopefully friendships formed. There was a buzz about the place, and when the BBC and the Sydney Morning Herald joined us, some of our research made media headlines. All in all it was an extremely successful conference—and encouraged us to expand.
While the main aim of PopCAANZ is to provide an avenue for the dissemination of popular culture research, we also hope people will form intellectual alliances and foster international collaborations. Furthermore, we need to ensure that more students, collectors, enthusiasts, fans and anyone with an intellectual investment in our topics feels welcome and comes to our conferences. In 2010 romance writers and academics attended a forum on romance—we plan to have more of these in future. Please suggest a topic! Lastly, we invite submissions for areas such as indigenous studies, popular religion, celebrity culture, and sports just to name a few.