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DisNet at PCA: Day 1

Updated: Aug 22, 2023


That's right! DisNet was at PCA 2023 April 5th to the 9th. We were there, we were excited, and we loved seeing everyone and their projects!

Before telling you, my DisNeteer, about Day 1 at PCA 2023 - a prologue is needed to set the scene.


The lights dim. Planes whirring in the distance as suitcases smash into each other in baggage claim. We fade in on a figure tiredly lugging their bag towards the exit and into the blaring bright light of the mid-morning. Grumbling at the sun and slapping on some sun glasses, our figure trudged towards the taxis. That's right, Bee had arrived in San Antonio.

Many scholars arrived on Tuesday for the PCA conference. I arrived early because I presented on Wednesday and my presentation needed...well...let's say it needed some TLC before appearing in the real world.

My taxi drove me into the city of San Antonio. I had never been to Texas before. I wasn't expecting so much greenery. To be fair, I knew two facts about Texas:

  1. Everything is bigger

  2. Everybody has a cowboy hat

Both of which were accurate.

The taxi dropped me off at the hotel after an arduous ten minute drive. I strolled inside and realized, I couldn't check-in for THREE HOURS! Oh boy. That was a lot of time to sit in the lobby of a hotel. But, my dear DisNeteer, I sat down and started showing that presentation some TLC.

However! A DisNeteer signal must have lit up the midday sky. Musical birds tweeted and chirped, sending out the message into the world: Bee needed a distraction.

Don't ask me how, for I do not know nor understand. But, as I sat alone in the lobby, two fabulous people strolled in with bags decked out with Disney logos and images. My distraction had arrived.

Being Bee, well, I strolled over and introduced myself. My palms were sweaty and my heart raced. What if these weren't DisNet scholars? I swallowed down the lump in my throat and told these two scholars who I was. They smiled. The two DisNet scholars before me invited me to lunch. I was thrilled.

We spent the entire day excitedly chatting, laughing, and eating some amazing food. Many of us realized this was the FIRST time we met each other in the three dimensional world.

Four Academics in the wild. Photo credits to Dr. Priscilla Hobbs.

Here we see four academics in the wild, learning about the Alamo and heading for some delicious food along the River Walk.

If you're like me and not from Texas, you might say: 'Bee, what in the heck is a River Walk?'

The San Antonio River Walk is actually a park that you can find below street level. It is a lovely walkway along the river that has restaurants, eateries, and shops - oh my!

The early DisNet arrivals met with some Horror Studies folks to enjoy a fun lunch full of interesting discussions and delicious food at a local chain restaurant called Saltgrass.

Once lunch had been devoured, some of our leadership team met for the very FIRST time. The group spent the day scoping out the River Walk and mapping out the next few days and preparing for our presentations, and seeing what presentations were to come! Because, after all, this is an academic conference.


Now my dear DisNeteer, the background has been set. One of food and excitement.

I know you're thinking: 'Bee, what was the point of that background? Where's the story?'

Well, I wanted you to know the impact the pandemic had on all of us. Meeting people for the first time in person can be terrifying. Even after getting to know them for almost a year in only a virtual setting, we were all still nervous to meet in person. Yet, when we did, it was a very emotional experience to be together in person.

However, even being in person, we understood that some of our colleagues could not be with us. Our phenomenal Area Chairs, Dr. Peter Cullen Bryan and Dr. Sabrina Mittermeier, were able to ensure that those who could not be with us in person, were still able to present. This hybridity is still necessary for accessibility. It is why DisNet's first conference is virtual!

Knowing all of this, we can now begin a story of an eventful conference full of scholarship (obviously), teamwork, and most importantly, friendship.


So! (claps hands together to wake up DisNeteers)

We begin Day 1 of the Popular Culture Association 2023.

A few of the DisNet scholars met for breakfast, dressed and ready for the first day of the conference.

With the excitement buzzing in the air, I could hardly keep still. For my dear DisNeteer, I have a confession to make. This was the first in-person conference I had been to where I actually knew people. What a difference that makes! But...more on that later.

It was a gorgeous morning at PCA, so a few of the DisNet scholars went for a morning stroll. We were awake before most of San Antonio, which allowed us to see some of the beautiful artwork and sculptures without much interruption.

Finally, we made it to the first day of PCA.

After such a refreshing stroll, the DisNet team headed to the Disney Studies panels. Now, we must show some appreciation to our panel chairs once more, as their amazing organization skills were put to the test this week. Dr. Peter Cullen Bryan and Dr. Sabrina Mittermeier delt with a flurry of last minute changes to the schedule and were still able to pull off a series of amazing feats.

Due to last minute changes, the Disney Studies panels started with Disney Studies Panel II: "The "Lost" Histories of Disney." Dr. Heather Holian, Jonathan Winchell, and Hannah Neuhauser all presented on the fascinating history of Disney from various aspects. Dr. Holian presented "The End of the Disney-Courvoisier Era: A Reconsideration of the Narrative" which looked into the history of Disney-Courvoisier. Jonathan Winchell's "Teacher’s Pet: Looking Askew in the Warped World of Disney" discussed a wonderful Disney show, Teacher's Pet (2000-2002). Hannah Neuhauser finished the panel with an interesting examination of musicology and Disney in her presentation: ""It’s a Small World” - The Advent of Global Disneyfication." Each presentation was fascinating and full of passionate scholarship.

With such a great first series of presentations done, we all sprinted off to come back refreshed for the second panel of the day.

Now, my dear DisNeteer, I am incredibly biased towards this second panel. For I, Bee, presented some of my work on mythology and fairy tales with "All Hail the Prince: Patriarchal Retellings of the Demeter-Kore Myth in Disney’s The Goddess of Spring and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

The second presentation was one of collaboration between our fearless leader and founder Dr. Robyn Muir and the incomparable Dr. Rebecca Rowe entitled "Adapting Aurora: The Sleeping Beauty across Time."

Unfortunately, our third panel member was subject to delayed flights - but not to worry! For they presented later on.

The panel came to an end, and our longer break allowed the DisNet team to check out the amazing Book Room that PCAACA has at each conference.

The Book Room is where the party is at! They had so many great books on display. I will tell you my reader, I expanded my reading list by a shameful amount. But as you can see in the photographs, we had amazing Disney scholars on display, and we are so excited to see them in the wild!

(Unfortunately, my dear DisNeteer, not all of the images I have for you can be viewed on our blog! I know, it's a travesty. But wait! DisNet is now on Instagram! You can be kept up to date on all things DisNet on all our social media sites. See end of post for links.)

With the Book Room fully explored, we headed back for more great discussions with Disney Studies!

The final panel of the day saw some presentations on Disney Comics! Beginning with a presentation on "Don Rosa and Uncle Scrooge; mavericks of the Disney Comics." It revealed some of the history of Don Rosa and his impact on Disney Comics in Europe. And then, our Area Chair, the amazing Dr. Peter Cullen Bryan finished the panel with his presentation: ""Paperinik II Diabolico Vendicatore": Translation and Adaptation in Italian Disney Comics." A fascinating presentation further describing the impact of Disney Comics in Europe in the form of Paperinik.

However, the day had still not come to an end! Oh, no my dear DisNeteer. There was still a roundtable to attend: "Sleeping Beauty No More: Disney and Wokeness." The roundtable took an interesting and very engaging fishbowl style of discussion. Dr. Priscilla Hobbs aided in directing the other panelists, Dr. Antares Leask and Brittany Eldridge (that's a me!), on the rules of a fishbowl round table.

The waters of Splash Mountain! Idea and Photo credit to Dr. Antares Leask.

Sitting in a circle with Dr. Peter Cullen Bryan and Dr. Sabrina Mittermeier starting as our mandatory volunteers, the roundtable began a discussion about holy waters from Splash Mountain and censorship. The roundtable provided an engaging environment to discuss Disney and their theoretical dedication to representation and diversity, specifically turning to how they have failed in these areas and what they could do to be better.

The long day finally came to an end, and the pack of academics headed out in search for anything edible from a nearby restaurant on the River Walk. My dearest reader, we did not have to wander far - thank the academic gods!

We came upon a restaurant called Landshark. The moment that I, Bee, heard the name, my brain immediately whipped down the film screen inside my brain and showed me a clip from the great Finding Nemo film. Before I could stop myself, the words 'ooh ha ha' shoved past my lips and danced around the shiny Fins Up surfboard décor and delicately wrapped around the 'Let the Fin Begin' thematic words before settling around the group of hungry and jovial academics.

Here we see a gaggle of academics after a fabulous and long day. We also see Bee, ruler of awkward poses, standing in the center because...well...I didn't know where to stand! I'm normally behind the camera for this very reason.

Even with my inability to pose in a picture, the fun did not stop. The DisNet team with other Disney scholars, had to end the day as we all like to do - with ice cream from the Marble Slab.

My dearest DisNeteer, it was truly an amazing day full of exciting presentations and networking experiences, as well as great news abound. I could not wait to see what day 2 had in store for the DisNet team.




We now have an Instagram! While we're off doing some great conference things, and even when the conference comes to a close, we will be posting about all things DisNet!

Or, click this link: @_DisNet

But wait! There's MORE!

If you love all things Disney, if you had a presentation that you would love to see written down (and citable) come out into the world, email Bee! Check out our Want to Write for DisNet post.

(Bee's email is also



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