A Day at the (Academic) Circus: Reporting from the Popular Culture Association National Conference - CircusTalk

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A Day at the (Academic) Circus: Reporting from the Popular Culture Association National Conference

Last month in Washington DC, the Marriott Wardman Park hotel played host to the 2019 Popular Culture Association’s National Conference. The hotel was abuzz with attendees, ranging from academics and enthusiasts, to speakers and viewers, and people with interests ranging from sci-fi and fantasy to comics and horror, young adult literature, visual effects–and even circus and sideshow got its due attention. With all the circus and sideshow panels arranged into one full day, it was an intense experience brimming with historical research, social questions and cultural exchanges.
Chairing over the day was Dr. Stacey Mascia-Susice of North Country Community College, who brought together a diverse range of speakers for three panels of various aspects in the world of circus and sideshow. The first panel was titled “Social Evolution of Sideshow: Rejection and Reception of Past and Present Performances”. Ilse Carter (AKA The Lady Aye) courageously opened the day with her talk “Alive on the Inside: Life, Death, and the Sideshow”, exploring the unusual history of dead bodies in sideshow...
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Stav Meishar

Stav Meishar was born and raised in Israel and leads a double life all around the world, mostly in New York City. During the day she runs Dreamcoat Experience, an award-winning nonprofit organization for arts-driven, experiential Jewish education. At night she is a writer and stage artist specializing in circus and theater. Sometimes, when she's lucky, she gets to be both at the same time – like with her most recent project, a solo performance based on the true story of a Jewish acrobat woman who survived the Holocaust by hiding and working at a German circus. Stav is committed to pursuing the gestalt of circus, history and education, but is incapable of committing to a single hair color.