Author Archive

CFP: Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies Bridging Gaps Conference

November 8, 2015

This updated version has corrected dates.


Bridging Gaps: What are the media, publicists, and celebrities selling?

Red Room, Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal

Barcelona, Spain

July 3rd – 5th, 2016

Public personalities hold the power to draw attention to products, services, and charities through their endorsement. Celebrity activists, for example, can help to change the world. From Elizabeth Taylor to George Clooney, celebrities have proven that their status can help raise awareness and funds for issues such as aids, poverty and global warming. However, many activists have also gained fame by standing up for their beliefs such as Harvey Milk, Dian Fossey, Malala Yousafzai, and Rosa Parks, thereby bridging gaps between celebrity activists and activists as celebrities. Thanks to social media, people today have a platform to share their views and gain a following, meaning activism is now in the power of the people. They can bring communities together from around the world to make a difference.

We invite you to send in abstracts about media control, activism, and celebrity status to interrogate, draw attention to the good that is being done, and suggest ways we can improve the world. What actions need to be taken and how can celebrity status help achieve this? How much power does a celebrity really have? Can someone create celebrity status through their activism? What role does public relations and the media play in promoting messages from beauty ideals to saving the planet?

The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) Bridging Gapsconference series aims to connect scholars with industry professionals and generate a discussion and practice that will inspire change. CMCS in association with sponsors Centre for Ecological, Social, and Informatics Cognitive Research (ESI.CORE) and WaterHill Publishing, invite academics, filmmakers, journalists, publicists, advertisers, charity organizers, and guests to attend, speak and collaborate at the international conference. Attendees may present papers, take part in a workshop or create a roundtable discussion on the theme of celebrity activism, media ethics and endorsements.

Extended versions of selected papers will be published in an edited book by WaterHill Publishing, while others will be invited for the opportunity to publish work in the CrossBridge Journal.

We also invite people to send in videos for the Celebrity Chat Award. The best video/documentary will be selected based on its ability to draw attention to a significant matter, be relevant to the conference theme and inspire change.

Registration includes: Your printed conference package, catered lunch, coffee / tea breaks, evening drinks, professional development workshop, access to evening receptions, eligibility to publish in edited book, and consideration for the $100 best paper and screen awards.

Submission guidelines:

250-word abstract or workshop / roundtable proposalInclude a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable. Submit to conference Chairs Dr Jackie Raphael and Dr Celia Lam at email address:
Deadline for abstract submission: December 20, 2015
Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2016
Full text due: June 4, 2016
Pre-Conference Reception: July 3, 2016
Conference presentation: July 4-5, 2016
Publication of edited book:Approximately November 30, 2016

Celebrity Chat Video Submissions:

Video length should be 10-20 minutes. Include a title, your name, e-mail address, and affiliation if applicable. Submit to conference Chairs Dr Jackie Raphael and Dr Celia Lam at email address:
Deadline for submission: December 20, 2015
Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2016
Conference screening: July 4-5, 2016

Topics include but are not limited to:

Mass media and social media
Public relations and publicity
Social Advocacy
Human rights and animal rights
Environmental sustainability
Celebrity activists 
Activists as celebrities
Journalism and newsworthy topics
Fame and Fortune
Beauty Ideals
Film and Video
Laws and Policies
Theory and Methods
Research Agenda
Business Models
Ethics and Morality
Cognition and Memory
Media Literacy
Social Innovation and Change
Education and Advocacy
Community Building
Business and Community Partnerships

Conference Chairs: Dr Jackie Raphael and Dr Celia Lam

Conference Committee Members: Dr Samita Nandy, Dr Louis Massey, Josh Nathan, and Andrea Marshall

Conference URL

CFP: 3rd International Celebrity Studies Conference: Authenticating Celebrity

October 19, 2015

3rd International Celebrity Studies Conference: Authenticating Celebrity

June 28-30, 2016
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam

Routledge, Celebrity Studies Journal, and the University of Amsterdam are pleased to announce the third Celebrity Studies conference. The conference will take place in Amsterdam, June 28th-30th, and will be organized by Gaston Franssen, James Bennett, Hannah Hamad, Su Holmes, and Sean Redmond.

The 3rd International Celebrity Studies Conference will be themed on the question of ‘Authenticating Celebrity’. This subject will run through our plenaries and form a strand running throughout the conference. 

Drawing on the strength of the CSJ editorial team, the conference welcomes submissions from a broad range of disciplines that generate new ways of thinking and understanding celebrity: from film, television, literary, digital media and theatre studies through to psychology, sociology, politics, and business studies.

We invite abstracts for individual 20-minute papers or pre-constituted panels of 3 x 20-minute papers on any topic related to the conference theme.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
• David Giles, University of Winchester
• Joke Hermes, University of Amsterdam/Inholland University of Applied Sciences
• Jo Littler, City University London
• Alice E. Marwick, Fordham University
• Ginette Vincendeau, King’s College London

A Special Issue of the best papers from the conference will be published inCelebrity Studies in 2017. Stipends to help with conference costs will be awarded for the best PhD abstracts submitted.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• Celebrity and the experience of authenticity
• Sincerity and stardom
• Committed celebrity
• The phenomenology of fame
• Authenticating celebrity and gender, race, class, ethnicity
• Reality-tv celebrity
• Audience and affect
• Representations of talent and genius
• Fame in virtual reality
• Socializing celebrity
• Online authenticity
• Disingenuous and/or exposed celebrity
• True fans/anti-fans
• Trusting celebrity
• Gossip culture
• Celebrity hoaxes
• Celebrity facts, celebrity fictions
• Sport stars, performance and authenticity
• (In)sincerity and political celebrity
• Memory and celebrity authenticity.
• The will to truth: stories of the celebrity self
• Auto-ethnography and reflections of the real
• Fandom and the search for celebrity authenticity
• Celebrity pilgrimages
• Illness and celebrity
• Marketing authenticity
• Celebrity do-gooders and ambassadors
• Documenting the celebrity
• Rock idols and rebellion

Deadline for abstracts: November 6th, 2015 (250 words, plus a 50 word biography)

Successful abstracts will be notified by: December 11th, 2015

Enquiries/abstracts to:

CFP: Revisiting Audiences: Reception, Identity, Technology

October 12, 2015

Revisiting Audiences: Reception, Identity, Technology

9th – 10th, June 2016

Second MFCO Early Career-Graduate Conference hosted by the Department of Media, Film and Communication, University of Otago, New Zealand

Featuring: Associate Professor Sean Redmond (Deakin University, Australia) & Associate Professor Catherine Fowler (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Conference conveners: Owain Gwynne and Kevin Fletcher

We are surrounded by media texts – films, television shows, songs, comics, videogames to name but a few. With the growing range of technologies at our disposal, our relationships with media texts and practices are continually evolving, opening up new avenues for inquiry into audiences and reception research. What do these texts mean to us? How do they shape our lives and experiences? Rather than merely receive the texts they encounter, audiencesexperience texts, not as commodities, but as instances of intense emotional or affective engagement. Texts shape our understanding of the world and the ways we experience it – they make us laugh, cry, think and dream. They delight and infuriate. They have the power to help us create realities, to relive the past, or to stir us to action and activism. Our everyday interactions with media take many forms and range from identity performance on social media, to nostalgic attachments, and to fandoms. This conference is interested in new ways of making sense of these special relationships between texts and audiences, taking into account how such textual interactions are situated culturally, transnationally and historically.

This interdisciplinary conference invites papers to address the ways in which audiences receive, create, engage withand experience texts. Papers that address (but are not limited to) new approaches to the following topics / questions are welcome:

·  Youth audiences – How might younger audiences engage with texts in different ways than older audiences? Does new media affect generational engagement?

·  Fandom – What does it mean to be a ‘fan’ of something? How are different fandoms enacted / performed, including in an academic context? What is the distinction between research and fandom?

·  Celebrity culture – How does contemporary celebrity culture inform industrial shifts in media production and consumption? What are the racialised and geographical dimensions of celebrity and star production?

·  Paratexts – How do people take up paratexts (e.g., trailers, prequels, conventions)? How do paratexts construct frameworks of expectations or redefine the meanings of the primary text?

·  Relocating moving images – How are accepted models of viewing and reception changed by the ‘relocation’ of cinema in art galleries, museums, public and private spaces?

·  Audience research and methodologies – What new research and technological developments are being employed in the study of audiences? How do new technologies such as eye tracking, virtual and augmented reality contribute to reception studies?

·  Affective audiences – How do debates about embodiment and cognition offer new ways of understanding viewer engagement with texts in both domestic and theatrical contexts? How does phenomenological research intersect with moving-image culture?

·  Audiences and intellectual property – What is the audience’s role in contributing marketing labour to media companies in the contemporary global copyright regime? How do fan-activists use copyrighted texts to promote counter-hegemonic interests?

·  Audiences and space – What is the role of space in fandom, cinephilia and telephilia? How do diasporic people engage with texts from the ‘homeland’?

·  Old versus new media in audience studies – How does the focus on new media displace the continuing importance of old media for audiences? Does engaging with ‘old’ media through new media platforms complicate that engagement, and if so how? What do ‘new’ media forms reveal about ‘older’ audience practices?

The conference is free for accepted presenters and open to interested attendees. There will also be a masterclass led by Associate Professor Sean Redmond on June 8, and a workshop on audience study methodologies by Dr. Rosemary Overell. The masterclass and workshop are also free but are open to a limited number of participants. For more information on the masterclass and the workshop, and how to register, please contact the conference conveners below.

Presenters at Revisiting Audiences will be offered the opportunity for a refereed publication in Working Paper Series in the Department of Media, Film and Communication’s flagship journal (

Please contact the conference conveners with any enquiries and / or expressions of interest. Abstracts of about 200 words with an accompanying bio of no more than 50 words should be submitted as an email attachment in Microsoft Word to the conference email address:  byApril 15, 2016. A response to all submissions will be sent by May 1, 2016

CFP: Kick Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries

October 6, 2015


Kick Starting Media: Cultures of Funding in Contemporary Media Industries

One-Day Conference: 9 June 2016

Media Futures Research Centre, Bath Spa University

Held at Bath Spa University, Newton Park Campus, Newton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN

Confirmed keynotes:
Professor Gillian Doyle, University of Glasgow
Dr James Cateridge, Oxford Brookes University

With recent threats of change to the BBC’s future public funding regime, not to mention news of the British broadcaster’s former Top Gear presenters signing to subscription-based streaming service Amazon Prime, the subject of new media funding models and their impact on how audiences can – or should – consume media has become a point of public discussion. Trends such as crowdfunding and co-creation – where producers and audiences share responsibility for financing and producing media – as well as subscription-based platforms like Netflix and video-on-demand services such as iTunes have all made media more sharable and personal, but all of these trends and services also raise further questions about the funding priorities, strategies and policies in the arts, media and culture sectors. It is thus timely to take stock of the cultures of funding in contemporary media industries, and this conference provides a platform for analysing the impact of these contemporary funding cultures, be it on texts, audiences, technologies or industries.

Recent public debates over funding in the media industries seem tied to the impact of digitalisation, which has provided a catalyst for change in terms of how media is now produced and consumed across multiple platforms. As such, basic business models for funding media are changing. While digitalisation is seen to have redefined ideas of ownership amidst shifts from a top-down corporate-driven model to a more bottom-up consumer-driven model (Jenkins 2006), how is such a shift continuing to shape the type of media now being financed? Moreover, how are digitised media interfaces – bringing greater individualised choice for media audiences (Tryon 2013) – impacting funding patterns and creative imperatives for such media? What is the impact of convergences and the need to spread content across multiple platforms on license fee funding? Equally, emerging digitalised funding models such as co-creativity raise questions about entrepreneurship in the media but also about unequal power structures as audiences may come to function as free labour (Scholz 2013; Smith 2015). In what ways, then, might such blurring of power structures redefine basic notions of media funding? And how do different media industries now orchestrate, manage and perceive the turn towards crowdfunded, video-on-demand or co-created content as business models of the future?

To address these questions, the conference organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers from both researchers and media practitioners. As well as exploring the broader questions above, proposals can be on, but are not limited to, the following topics:
Contemporary film funding (e.g. Hollywood franchise-based models of financing, independently-financed productions, crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, public/private sector film financing, etc)
Contemporary television funding (e.g. subscription-based streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, public service/license fee funding models, new sponsorship models, product placement, TV promo companies, video-on-demand services such as iPlayer, etc)
Contemporary videogame funding (e.g. co-creation, social media gaming production, etc)
Contemporary comics and book funding (e.g. digital/motion comics, online publishing trends, etc)
Contemporary music funding and new economic models (e.g. live-touring, streaming, downloading platforms such as iTunes, etc)
Contemporary advertising and transmedia funding (e.g. social media marketing, online apps, intermediary agency funds, branded entertainment, etc)
Impacts of contemporary funding practices on audiences (e.g. exploitability of co-creativity, crowdfunding as fandom, fan-fiction, binge watching, etc)
Impacts of contemporary funding practices on media texts (e.g. changing narrative formats, participatory content, etc)

A Special Issue devoted to the conference theme of ‘Funding in the Convergence Era’ will be published in The International Journal on Media Management in February 2017, co-edited by Matthew Freeman and journal editor Bozena Mierzejewska. Conference speakers will be invited to submit their papers to this Special Issue for consideration.

Please send proposals (300 words plus a 100 word bio) to Dr Matthew Freeman ( by no later than15 January 2016. Delegates will be informed of acceptance by mid-February 2016.

This event is part of the Media Futures Research Centre ‘Economic Futures’ 2015-16 programme of activities at Bath Spa University.  

CFP: BAFTSS 2016 Trans/media: Trans/national Screens

September 5, 2015

BAFTSS 2016 University of Reading April 14-16 2016

Trans/media: Trans/national Screens

Individual and Panel Proposals are invited for the April 2016 BAFTSS conference at the University of Reading. At a time when distinctions between national boundaries and between media platforms are increasingly fluid, we wish to interrogate the many ‘in-betweens’ that this fluidity gives rise to. We also want to embrace the very concept of how not only form but identity is in a state of flux and transports us from one position to another. Keynote speakers (to be announced in due course) embrace and question these spaces and networks and, as more academic works from a new generation of screen analysts who identify with neither old nor new media come to the forefront, being trans- seems to encapsulate post-postmodernity. Examples of topics can be found below, but papers are invited examining all screen forms and subjects beyond the thematic list below. 

Transnational stars
International television and the impact of the contemporary epic
Questioning national identities
European identities
Policy, Regulation and Funding
Transnational genres on all screen platforms
Trans… identities
Transnational versus international
Historical transnationality (e.g. early cinema, émigré directors and performers, industry collaborations)

To submit a proposal, email Anna Claydon at for a proposal form. The deadline for proposals in October 14th 2015. Proposals will be reviewed and decisions communicated during December.

We aim to keep the conference fee as low as we can and there will be a substantial discount for PGR, non-salaried and retired conference attendees but the conference fee (which will not include accommodation or the conference dinner) will not be announced until we have a rough idea of numbers based on paper submissions and can set the price accordingly.

CFP: Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives

August 24, 2015

Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives

Call for Papers for a 1-day postgraduate symposium hosted by the Digital Cultures Research Centre

Abstract deadline: September 27th, 2015

Conference date and location: November 7th, 2015, Digital Cultures Research Centre, The Watershed, Bristol

Eligibility: Postgraduate students (MA/MSc onwards) and creative practitioners

Send abstracts and

Popular culture, as can be seen through the GamerGate controversy for one example, has a profound impact on feminist issues and discourses. Representations of sex and sexualities influence public opinion and individual attitudes and perceptions. Discussions – in both media and academia – are continuing to take place about the impact of Fifty Shades, sexism and misogyny in computer game and comic book fandom, the sexualisation of girls and the sexual desires of both young and adult women. Moral panics abound surrounding Fifty Shades and the “irrational” behaviour of One Direction fans, while LGBTQIA+ identities and sexualities are often represented tokenistically at best. Creative practitioners can easily come under fire for poor representations of sex and sexualities, as evidenced most recently by the reception of Joss Whedon’s treatment of Black Widow in The Avengers: Age of Ultron; equally they can be celebrated for their efforts, as was the case with BioWare’s inclusion of a consent negotiation scene in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

This one-day symposium will open up debates and explore the nuances of sex and sexualities within popular culture and will afford a platform for postgraduate students (MA/MSc onwards) and creative practitioners exploring these areas to meet peers, share work and learn from each other. We aim to create a space safe for experimentation – both with new ideas and with presentation formats. We therefore encourage a range of submissions, including workshops, discussions, pecha kucha, as well as the traditional 20-minute paper format.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
– Representations of women’s desire and sexualities in popular culture
– Non-cis- and heteronormative sexualities in popular culture, especially beyond “gay and lesbian”
– Representations of sex work
– Infertility and sexual dysfunction
– Sexual intersections: race, disability, religion, class and socioeconomic status, gender
– Sex and sexualities in gaming
– Sexual pleasure in popular culture
– Invisibility: (a)sexualities unrepresented
– Sex, sexualities and social media
– Sex and sexualities in fan and transformative works

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bio to and by September 27th, 2015.


July 3, 2015




Proposals for both panels and individual papers are now being accepted for all aspects of Fan Culture and Theory, including, but not limited to, the following areas:

Fan Fiction

Fan/Creator interactions

Race, Gender and Sexuality in Fandom

Music Fandom

Reality Television Fandom

Social Media and Fandom

Individual Fan Communities

Fans as critics

Fan videos and films

Fan crafts

Fan pilgrimages

Comics fandom

Ethics and responsibilities of academics working within fan studies

Global fan practices

Please submit abstracts of 100-250 words with relevant audio/visual requests online.  Click here for instructions for doing so. Deadline for proposals is October 1, 2015.

Panel proposals should include one abstract of 200 words describing the panel, accompanied by the abstracts (100 – 250 words) of the individual papers that comprise the panel.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals.

All proposals & abstracts must be submitted through The PCA Database. Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules.

If you are unsure whether your proposal fits in this area, please contact the area chair, Katherine Larsen at

CFP: Shame, Gender, and Cultural Capital: The Problems of Reading and Writing Fan Fiction

July 1, 2015

This is a call for participants for a Fan Studies panel at PCA 2016. We’d like to put together a diverse group of speakers, ideally acafans who are also active in their fandoms and aware of the intersectional issues that occur when it comes to responses to fannish reading and writing.

There are very specific histories and stigmas associated with women’s writing and reading. Whether it’s a question of popular reading or canon formation, the responses are still the same: “that’s not good for you!”/ “that’s trashy!” / “why can’t you read Serious Literature?” The big questions we would like to especially consider are: “Why is reading and writing fic a problem for some people?” and “Where does reading fit into participatory culture?” It seems that in the scholarship fic is viewed is as something women write, and that we as scholars read critically–but we seldom to never consider how fans read fic for pleasure as leisure activity.With the increasing mainstream knowledge of and exposure to fanworks, this topic is especially pertinent, given public attacks on women’s writing (and especially young women’s writing) in television and news media.This roundtable would like to discuss how the fan models of women’s writing and its reception is complicated both through genre and fan history. And finally: Why must women always defend what we want to read and write?

We would like to add 3-4 additional participants to the three scholars already assembled (myself, Candace Benefiel from Texas A&M, and Katherine Larsen from George Washington University).

Please send a statement of interest of no more than 250 words to by September 1, 2015.

CFP: Journal of Fandom Studies special issue on ethics in fan studies

June 28, 2015


In November 2014 an article by Adrienne Evans and Mafalda Stasi appeared in Participations calling for us as a field to consider whether a unified methodology is necessary or desirable for the field. In April 2015 the conversation at the Journal of Fandom Studies roundtable during the annual Popular Culture Association conference quickly turned to the dual (and perhaps inextricably related) topics of methodology and ethics in fan studies.

This month that conversation will continue at the Fan Studies Network 2015 conference during a workshop on ethics.  As the description of that workshop suggests, there are several questions we have all been grappling with for quite some time, questions that have become perhaps more pressing in the light of increasing use of social media by fans and increasing attention from the media on fan activities.  The four questions posed during this workshop: “what should ethics in fan studies look like, do we need a standard ethical framework; how should fan studies scholars approach ethical issues in their work; what does the future of the field hold” all raise discreet questions of their own.

This special issue of The Journal of Fandom Studies aims to examine these and related questions.  How do we define privacy? Do we need to re-examine the notion of the aca-fan? Where are our boundaries as researchers? As fans? When do we need IRB approval? To what extent might our desire to “protect” fans actually being doing a disservice to the fans and the field?

Please submit proposals for papers (250-400 words) by August 15, 2015 to

Call for Chapter Proposals: Doctor Who and History

June 25, 2015

Deadline: 1 September 2015 (contributors will be notified within two weeks of the deadline)

When Sydney Newman created a new family-orientated show for the BBC back in early 1963, he envisioned it as being, in John Reith’s terms, to “educate, inform and entertain”, one in which all stories “were to be based on scientific and historical facts as we knew them at that time”. It was no coincidence therefore that consequently the Doctor took on board the TARDIS a science teacher and a history teacher to learn from and share in his travels. “How wonderful,” Newman would later recall, “if today’s humans could find themselves on the shores of England seeing and getting mixed up with Caesar’s army in 54 BC, landing to take over the country; be in Rome burning as Nero fiddles; get involved in Europe’s tragic 30 years war, etc.” There would be no bug-eyed monsters, Newman warned, and the Doctor was not allowed to interfere in history, only to observe.

Over fifty years later, Doctor Who has itself become part of the cultural history of Britain, and its many stories across television, audio plays and books – whether set in the past or populated with the inevitable bug-eyed-monsters – have engaged directly and indirectly with important contemporary and historical issues, characters and events.

We invite contributions for an edited volume that focuses on Doctor Who and History: A Cultural Perspective. While there have been many publications recently celebrating the show’s longevity, or those reflecting on the programme as a product of the BBC as British institution, this volume focuses specifically on the topic of history. This publication promotes a scholarly and interdisciplinary approach to Doctor Who, exploring how the programme reflects on and contributes to notions of history. 

Doctor Who engages with history in multifarious ways and can therefore reveal much about how history is practised, produced, consumed and remediated. Chapter proposals may therefore seek to explore Doctor Who from a diverse range of academic approaches (e.g. media studies; reception theory; fan studies; education) and should draw on and identify appropriate historiographical methods and debates. It is envisaged that the collection will speak both to the programme and to history as a subject area.

Your contribution may focus on the classic series, the reboot (or both), the Big Finishaudios, original novels, or fan fiction.

That said, your contribution might focus on some aspect of

*Reflections in the programme of particular social and political eras and events

*How the show engages with historical cultural icons

*How the show expresses a continuing dialogue with literature, folklore, and mythology

*Tensions between academic and ‘public history’, between history from above and below

* How changing approaches to history and alterations in understanding of historical fact have impacted upon the show

*Non-canonical historical travels or themes

*The interaction of media and technologies in how they inform the practice of history in the programme

*Developments in the Doctor’s strict policy of non-intervention – or not

*Case studies of the ‘pure historicals’/pseudo historicals/celebrity historicals

Topics already under consideration include the depiction of Nero and the early Roman Empire in 1965’s The Romans, imagery of the Holocaust, focalisation techniques in lost story Marco Polo, and an investigation into the cultural practices and social sign-posting in The Awakening

Proposals/abstracts should be 300-350 words in length and sent as a Word file. Accepted proposals will be developed into5000-8000 word essays (including notes and references). Please send your abstract (and all correspondence) to Carey Fleiner, University of Winchester ( James A. Jordan, University of Southampton ( and Dene October, University of Arts London (

See https://doctorwhoandhistory.wordpress. for details


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