Author Archive

Seminar | Participating in Fiction: Why We Speak Klingon, Play Quidditch, and Shop at Kwik-E-Mart: ACLA 2016 | Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

September 21, 2015

Seminar | Participating in Fiction: Why We Speak Klingon, Play Quidditch, and Shop at Kwik-E-Mart

This panel focuses on the intersection of fictionality and participatory culture. Specifically, we will explore the impact of public participation on the reception and ontological status of fictional entities.
As readers and text consumers, we have a propensity to actualize fiction. That is, we regularly interact with originally fictional entities in ways that effectively bring them across the ontological border, rendering them actual. Examples are myriad and multimedial: consider Quidditch (no longer a fictional sport, as it is played on scores of university campuses), Klingon (no longer a fictional language now that it is spoken by non-fictional people), and Buzz Cola (available for purchase outside of The Simpsons’ Springfield). It is becoming increasingly important to foreground the connection between the public and the humanities, and vital to this is a study of how participation and narrative are mutually influential. This session welcomes papers that address the role of participatory culture in the phenomenon of actualized fiction, and situate the reader’s propensity within existing scholarship on fictionality, popular culture, and media studies.
Paper topics could include but are not limited to the following:

 Narratives that come to life in theme parks; theme parks as adaptations
 The use of originally fictional products in marketing stories and franchises (Buzz Cola; Wonka
bars; Spın̈al Tap albums; Radioactive Man comics)
 The proliferation of communication, courses, and books in originally fictional languages
(Klingon; Sindarin; Quenya; Na’vi; Dothraki)
 The International Quidditch Association
 Google Maps’ inclusion of fictional locales such as the TARDIS and Diagon Alley
 Subway maps of fictional locales such as Westeros and Wonderland

Organizer: Rhona Trauvitch, Florida International University
Potential presenters should submit proposals by midnight PST, September 23.

CFP: Stardom and Fandom, SW PCA/ACA (11/1/15; 2/10-13/16)

September 21, 2015

CFP: Stardom and Fandom, SW PCA/ACA (11/1/15; 2/10-13/16)

Join us for the 37th Annual Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference, February 10 – 13, 2016 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Area Chair for Stardom and Fandom invites paper or panel proposals on any aspect of stardom or fandom.

Proposal submission deadline: November 1, 2015.

The list of ideas below is limited, so if you have an idea that is not listed, please suggest the new topic. We are an interdisciplinary area and encourage submissions from multiple perspectives and disciplines. Topics might include:

Studies of individual celebrities and their fans
Studies focused on specific fandoms
The reciprocal relationship between stars and fans
Impact of celebrity and fame on identity construction, reconstruction and sense of self
Reality television and the changing definition of ‘stardom’
The impact of social media on celebrity/fan interaction
Celebrity/fame addiction as cultural change
The intersection of stars and fans in virtual and physical spaces (Twitter, Tumblr, conventions)
Celebrity and the construction of persona
Pedagogical approaches to teaching stardom and fandom
Anti-fans and ‘haters’
Fan shame, wank, and fandom policing
Gendered constructions of stars and fans
Historical studies of fandom and fan/celebrity interaction

Submit 250 word paper proposals, or proposals for multi-paper panels, to: Choose the area “Stardom and Fandom” and input your information as directed. Deadline for proposal submissions: November 1, 2015. Earlier proposals are welcomed!

Please remember that there are monetary awards for the best graduate student papers – we encourage you to apply! Papers in the Stardom and Fandom area could qualify for several awards, including the Diana Cox Award for best paper on images of women in popular culture, Euro Pop Award for best presentation on European popular culture, Peter C. Rollins Award for best paper dealing with a popular culture issue, Richard Tuerk Science Fiction and Fantasy Award for outstanding essay related to science fiction and fantasy, and the Post Script Award in film studies. You can see the full list at:

Conference hotel:

Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
330 Tijeras
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 1.505.842.1234
Fax: 1.505.766.6710

Register early for discounted conference registration and hotel rates, and to reserve space at the conference hotel as discounted rooms fill quickly. For more details on the conference, please visit the Southwest Popular Culture/American Culture Association:

Direct questions to:
Dr. Lynn Zubernis
Area Chair, Stardom and Fandom

Transformative Works and Cultures 20th issue celebrations

September 7, 2015

Press release from the Organisation for Transformative Works:

Peer reviewed academic journal enlarges the field of fan studies

New York, N.Y. — The Organization for Transformative Works will be celebrating its eighth year this September with another big milestone: the release of the 20th issue of its journal. This special anniversary issue of the journal Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) comes at a time when fandom and its works – including fan fiction, fan films, and fan art – are becoming more visible.

The OTW will be celebrating throughout September, starting with a feature highlighting a unique aspect of TWC’s publication, the Symposium section, which allows contributors to bridge the gap between academic study and fan dialogue about their own activities.

The issue itself will be released September 15, and it will be followed by reflections from several contributors on its history on the 17th. Celebrations will culminate with a live chat featuring several of TWC’s early contributors on September 19. The chat will be held in The OTW’s public chatroom from 16:00 UTC to 18:00 UTC.

Transformative Works and Cultures is an online peer-reviewed Gold Open Access journal that specializes in articles about transformative works, media studies, and the fan community. It encourages a variety of critical approaches, including feminism, postcolonial theory, and literary criticism, among others. Past issues have covered topics such as anti-fan activism, the interaction of race and gender in fandom activities, and special issues on gaming and fan videos. The TWC also has published The Fan Fiction Studies Reader with The University of Iowa Press. The reader gathered essential foundational works in the field of fan studies in one place, making many of these articles accessible to mainstream audiences for the first time.

Founded in 2007, the Organization for Transformative Works is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. Supported by members and volunteers internationally, the OTW advocates that fan works are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate. More information can be found at

Call For Papers: Virtual/Physical Fan Spaces for Special Edition of the Journal of Fandom Studies

July 21, 2015

CFP: Virtual/Physical Fan Spaces for Special Edition of the Journal of Fandom Studies

As proven by the popularity of this year’s San Diego Comic Con, fan spaces are increasingly important culturally and financially. Media creators and producers have come to acknowledge the significance of their fans and the need to communicate with them, particularly through social media. Fans, however, also insist upon their own self-contained spaces where they can share their opinions and observations, as well as their transformative works, metatexual analyses, and cosplay. These spaces exist both physically (as, for example, fan run or commercial conventions, fan meet ups, and pilgrimage sites) and virtually through social media platforms such as Tumblr, twitter, and Archive of our Own.

Papers on virtual and physical fan spaces are being sought for a proposed Special Edition of the Journal of Fandom Studies. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

-creating or delineating fan spaces
-fan shrines or pilgrimage sites
-for-profit conventions such as San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World, or any run by Creation
-fan run conventions such as Otakon, 221bCon, or GallifreyOne
-policing and harassment in fan spaces
-virtual fan spaces including Tumblr, twitter, Archive of our Own, and
-fan spaces functioning as or failing to function as “safe spaces”
-cosplay and crossplay
-authenticity of mediated and live fan spaces
-language of fan spaces
-theorizing fan spaces
-differences/similarities between virtual and physical fan spaces

Priority will be given to papers that go beyond introductory level treatment of their topics. In order to round out our existing selection of papers, priority will also be given to those focusing on the physical side of fan spaces. We are especially interested in articles dealing with conventions.

Abstract submissions should be sent to by 1 November 2015 and should include the author’s CV, a short biography (100-150 words), and their abstract (250-500 words).

Articles will be due 1 March 2016. For more information on the Journal of Fandom Studies, check out,id=213/view,page=0/

CFP: Moomin Collection

July 17, 2015

Call for papers

Moomin collection

The Moomins, created by Tove Jansson, have delighted and enlightened adults and children for generations, and have been translated into several languages. In all, nine books were published , together with five picture books and a comic strip, between 1945 and 1993. The Moomins have since been the basis for numerous television series, films and even a theme park called Moomin World in Naantali, Finland.

At the centennial anniversary of their creator’s birth, a new film has been released and more of Jansson’s works are now being translated from Swedish into various other languages, including, finally, her work for older readers. This has put the Moomins back on the map, and created a second ‘Moomin boom’, which is, in itself, worthy of analysis. Her works have often been regarded in terms of potential autobiographical readings – an approach perhaps encouraged by Jansson’s much-famed ‘island’ lifestyle – but the time is ripe for revaluations and reconsiderations. This collection therefore seeks to extend the work already done in the field, and to take into consideration as many of the different variations, and incarnations, of the Moomins as it is possible to cover in a book-length study, it aims to have an open focus, and to begin conversations about The Moomins, their roles, impact and influences as children’s characters, and their status as ambassadors of a greener, more bohemian, lifestyle.

I am seeking contributions of 5000 words and envisage that the collection will comprise entries on the books, comic strips, theatre productions, TV series (Soviet & Japanese) and film, and even the theme park. At present I do not have a publisher for this book but will be approaching Palgrave, Bloomsbury et al once I have some more contributors and potential chapter abstracts to submit. Themes might include (but are not limited to):

Ecological elements

Philosophical aspects


Narrative structure

Grief and loss

Legacy (commercialisation)

If you would like to contribute, please send an abstract of not more than 500 words by October 30th 2015 to Dr Nicola Allen at:

Call for submissions: An edited collection on the work of Joni Mitchell

July 14, 2015

Call for submissions: An edited collection on the work of Joni Mitchell.

Editor: Dr. Ruth Charnock [University of Lincoln, UK].

Joni Mitchell is widely recognised as an innovative, influential, much-loved and much-imitated artist. From her debut album Song to a Seagull to her most recent Shine, Mitchell’s music: her tunings, her lyrics, her scope have drawn critical and popular acclaim. And yet, scholarly attention to her work has been relatively limited. This edited collection will attend to Mitchell as a figure worthy of sustained critical thought and appreciation, with a major publisher having already expressed interest.

Essay proposals that mix personal with critical, historical, musicological, or cultural-studies analyses are welcome. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Considerations of the relationship between Mitchell’s visual art and her music.
• Politics and political activism in Mitchell’s music [for example: Mitchell as reluctant feminist, Mitchell’s ecocriticism].
• Race in Mitchell’s work.
• Low affect in Mitchell’s work [disappointment, boredom, ennui, alienation].
• High affect in Mitchell’s work [joy, desire, excitement, enchantment].
• Commodification, stardom, the market and fame.
• Cover versions and reworkings.
• Mitchell’s milieu.
• The politics of space and travel in Mitchell’s work.
• Mitchell in popular culture.
• Mitchell’s histories.
• Queer Mitchell.

Please send 350-500 word chapter proposals to Dr Ruth Charnock by 30th September, 2015.
If your essay is selected for the collection, a first draft of 5,000-6,000 words will be due on 1st February, 2016.

Please direct all enquiries to Dr Ruth Charnock:

CFP: The Fantastic in a Transmedia Era: New Theories, Texts, Contexts, 24 & 25 November 2015, University of Southern Denmark

July 3, 2015

The Fantastic in a Transmedia Era: New Theories, Texts, Contexts

November Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25, 2015
International two-day conference at the University of Southern Denmark, SDU

Keynotes and speakers include Prof. Cristina Bacchilega, Prof. Martin Barker, Prof. Kathy Fowkes, Prof. Angela Ndalianis, Prof. Anne Gjelsvik, Senior Lecturer Stephanie Genz, Ass. Prof. Rikke Schubart

The fantastic is today’s most popular and significant genre in entertainment media. Among its developments are George R.R. Martin’s fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire and its HBO adapted series Game of Thrones; the Hunger Games film series based on Suzanne Collins’ books; The Walking Dead in comics and television; the new Disney princesses in Brave and Frozen; the rebooted superheroes emerging in games, comics, and film series; religious-themed stories in blockbuster cinema; among games are LOL and WOW. The fantastic has reached new audiences and achieved mainstream status.

Fantastic genres include fantasy, science fiction, horror, and the fairy tale, and today’s transmedia storytelling generates new versions, hybrid forms, and new audience engagements. Multiple media platforms and participatory audiences call for new theorizations of the fantastic as it expands, transforms, and migrates across media, be they grand cinemas or intimate cell phones. This raises questions about medium specificity: what does the fantastic look and feel like in different media and how do stories – affectively and aesthetically – behave when changing form? What significant developments demand our attention, from mash-up narratives to TV genre hybrids? How do audiences engage with the fantastic across media? How does the increase of female authors and female characters influence the fantastic? And, finally, the relation between imagination and the fantastic calls for re-conceptualization: Is the fantastic conservative or subversive, or can its appeal be explained by other factors?

You can go to the conference site here and read more about keynotes and speakers:

For questions contact:

CFP: Adaptation, Awards Culture, and the Value of Prestige, edited collection

June 21, 2015

CFP (Edited Collection):
Adaptation, Awards Culture, and the Value of Prestige

Adaptation studies has recently grown into a vibrant, wide-ranging field of study. Scholars in literary, media, and cultural studies have used the concepts of adaptation and intertextuality to explore how content negotiates the transition from text to image, image to text, and across media platforms and/or cultures of production and reception.

One of the key factors at stake in these intermedial transitions is the question of cultural prestige. As the written word loses ground to the moving image, it retains or even gains prestige as a locus of cultural, aesthetic, and ethical value. In screen studies, the rise of television studies in conjunction with and in contrast to film studies raises similar issues of cultural esteem. Greater critical attention to comics and graphic novels has also presented a challenge to received notions of literary and visual aesthetics. Adaptation across these and other forms is frequently, if not always explicitly, shaped by these perceptions of cultural value, and the rise of cultural prizes, or what James F. English has called the “economy of prestige,” marks one of the clearest (if not always uncontested) declarations of value in the culture industries. Yet this intersection between adaptation and the institutional prestige of awards–whether honoring accomplishment on the page, on the stage, or on various screens–remains largely unexplored.

Focusing on this intersection of adaptation, awards culture, and notions of value, this collection will address the relationship between literary, cinematic, and other cultural prizes and the process of adapting contemporary texts in and across a variety of media. We invite essays that approach this topic from cultural, social, and textual perspectives, and will consider essays that examine a broad base of prizes and assessments of cultural value, including awards made to authors, directors, artists, creators, performers, etc. involved on either side of the adaptive process.

Key questions we wish to consider include:

How is cultural value encoded into the adaptation process?
How is value embodied in cinematic, literary, televisual, theatrical, and other cultural texts?
How do adaptations shape or transform the careers of writers, directors, and performers?
How does adaptation interact with processes of canonization, both in literature and in other media?
How are specific textual features on both sides of the adaptation process affected by questions of cultural prestige?
How have recipients of particular prizes (Nobel, Booker, Pulitzer, Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmy, Tony, etc.) been adapted in different media?
To what extent is prestige transferable across media?

Topics to consider include:

Adapted Screenplay and similar awards
Television adaptations
Remakes and reboots
Auteurism and adaptation
Performance in adapted works
Adaptations of serial works
Genre fiction and adaptation
Textual and paratextual signifiers of cultural value
Reception of adapted texts
Festival awards and adaptation

A major academic publisher has expressed preliminary interest in this project. The editors are committed to publishing the volume within a reasonable time frame, and to keeping all contributors fully informed of its progress.

Please submit 200-300 word abstracts to Eric.Sandberg [at] AND kenkar [at] by August 15, 2015. Notice of acceptance will be sent to contributors no later than September 15, and the deadline for full essays (no longer than 6000 words) will be January 25, 2016.

About the editors

Colleen Kennedy-Karpat is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Design at Bilkent University, Turkey, where she teaches film and media studies. She is the author of Rogues, Romance, and Exoticism in French Cinema of the 1930s (2013) and has published essays on Bill Murray and Wes Anderson as well as the self-adapted films of Marjane Satrapi.

Eric Sandberg is University Lecturer in Literature at the University of Oulu, Finland. He teaches British and American literature, and works on the twentieth and twenty-first century novel, genre fiction, and modernism. He is the author of Virginia Woolf: Experiments in Character (2014) and has also published on topics ranging from hardboiled detective fiction to the novels of Hilary Mantel.

Call for Papers: European Fan Cultures 2015 Conference, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands 12-13 November, 2015

June 15, 2015

European Fan Cultures 2015

Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
12-13 November, 2015

Academic studies are increasingly paying attention to active audiences and participatory cultures. The figure of the fan – the enthusiastic, adoring, productive, but critical audience member perhaps best captures these cultures. Both online and offline, fans have their own subcultures, habits and local practices based around their relationship with a range of media texts and objects, both domestic and global.

Fandom represents what it means to engage with popular culture today. Fans are active, inspired and passionate followers of media content. Yet, the meaning-making processes of fans can vary greatly, especially when taking a geographical perspective. The diversity of Europe offers an interesting setting to explore the broad variety of fan practices, raising questions such as: How do fans understand objects of global or transnational pop-culture in their national or local context? How is one’s national identity of influence in (global) fan activism? What challenges unfold when fan production happens in the local language (e.g. fan fiction or fan forums)?

The conference will feature Professor dr. Cornell Sandvoss (University of Huddersfield) as a keynote speaker. He is the author of Fans: The Mirror of Consumption (2005), and co-editor of Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World (2007). His keynote will focus on “The Value of Belonging: Fans, Place and Postnationalism in Europe”.

European Fan Cultures 2015 invites inspiring talks about European fan studies and related topics. The topic of fans and fan cultures connects a wide range of disciplines, which is why we welcome scholars who investigate (but not limited to) audiences, media, leisure, tourism, games and celebrities. Early career scholars and PhD students are especially invited to contribute. We welcome proposals on, but not limited to, the following topics:

European Fan Cultures
Local fandom and audience cultures
National identity in media tourism, music and sports
Transcultural fandom
Politics and fandom

Media and European fandoms
Fan activism
Fan works and practices
Reception of video games, music, television
Construction of celebrity images

Methods and Approaches
Challenges of local fan studies, such as language issues
(Internet) ethnography
Ethics of researching fans, users and consumers

Please submit an abstract of max. 250 words (plus 3 key words to help classify your submission) and a short biography (including your name, email address, institutional affiliation and position) by the 22nd of July to Simone Driessen at:

Notifications of acceptance will be send out before the 5th of August. There is a fee of 80€ which covers participations costs (including lunch and refreshments on both days).

CFP: Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga

May 19, 2015

The UK publisher Intellect is now seeking chapters for Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga, the next edition in its Fan Phenomena book series.

Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga will be an edited collection of essays about the forces that contributed to the global popularity and commercial success of the books, films and graphic novels of The Twilight Saga. Chapters will explore Twilight’s unique appeal to fans as well as its impact on people, literature, film, music, television and social issues. Suggested topics include but are not limited to the following areas:

Creative Legacy:
– The Twilight series reignited the popularity of vampire and werewolf lore worldwide, prompting numerous books, television shows and movies. Explore Twilight’s creative and commercial impact on these industries.
– Explore the role of music in both Twilight’s appeal and success, considering the groups and songs that inspired the author or were commissioned for the movies. What lasting impact did Twilight have on its musicians and the world of music?
– Was there something unique about Twilight or its fandom that enabled the massive success of its fan fiction (i.e. Fifty Shades of Grey) plus the follow-on Storytellers project? What is Twilight’s artistic legacy?

Social Impact:
– Why did Twilight’s appeal cross generations, unexpectedly embracing “Twilight Moms” as well as teens? What was the impact of this disparate fandom on Twilight’s commercial success and social acceptance? Was Twilight’s demographic diversity unique among fandoms?
– Several conservative family values, such as the soul, redemption, abstinence, marriage, family and preserving life, laced the Twilight series. How did the books’ messages influence the development of young readers’ moral principles and the popularity of the story?
– Explore Stephenie Meyer’s presentation of the strong female and its contribution to Twilight’s uniqueness, popularity, success and social impact.

Media and Marketing Explosion:
– Explore the factors that sparked Twilight’s explosive fame and pervasive media presence around the world.
– Explore Twilight fans’ stratification of Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. What was its impact on the fandom, the franchise’s success and commercial merchandising?
– Was the Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson off-screen romance a genuinely serendipitous coincidence or a carefully crafted pairing? What was its impact on the fandom, including the fans’ romantic dedication to the story during the movies’ releases and post-production dissolution of fan conventions?

The Fan Phenomena series explores the greatest popular culture stories of our time. The collection already includes 16 iconic titles, including Star Wars, Star Trek, Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Lord of the Rings, Dr. Who, James Bond, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Supernatural. The Twilight Saga is a perfect addition to this collection. Since the release of the first Twilight novel in 2005, The Twilight Saga has generated billions of dollars in book and franchise sales1. Ten years later, the fandom’s loyal devotion to the story led to the launch of the Twilight Storytellers project, a contest in which spin-off films based on Twilight fan fiction will ultimately be judged by Twilight fans. The Twilight Saga’s enduring popularity is truly a unique and global phenomenon that demands attention, examination and celebration within the Fan Phenomena series.

This targeted anthology is intended to be an enlightening and fun addition to Twilight fans’ collections, as well as a resource for universities. As such, papers should be written for a broad audience of academics and fans. Final chapters will be 3000 – 3500 words. Questions, abstracts (maximum 400 words) and author biographies should be directed to Laurena Aker at by June 15, 2015. Final paper submissions will be due Oct. 1, 2015. Scheduled publication date is 4th quarter 2016.

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