Author Archive

Call for Expressions of Interest: Musical Fan Communities: Connected Across Borders

November 18, 2015

Musical Fan Communities: Connected Across Borders

Call for Expressions of Interest

Principal investigator: Dr. Laura MacDonald (University of Portsmouth)

Co-investigator: Dr. Jonathan Evans (University of Portsmouth)

After a successful research day in May 2015 and a presentation at the Fan Studies Network conference in June 2015, we are now preparing a bid for the AHRC Research Networking Scheme. This funding would support research events in the UK and abroad, and lead to a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. In order to submit as compelling a bid as possible, we would like to confirm the ongoing interest of our initial participants and recruit additional participants. With this in mind, we are soliciting expressions of interest, outlining projects and areas of interest that would benefit from development in an international, interdisciplinary network.

Our ongoing research investigates how film and theatrical musicals are received and remediated by fans in other cultures where other languages are spoken. Our wider questions include: How do fans of musicals deal with language difference? What sort of fan organised activity is there in relation to musicals? Our focus, therefore, is on how fans translate, literally and metaphorically, foreign musicals for themselves and their peers: both in the form of lyric translation and subtitling, but also in the form of reviews and commentary. Through an analysis of evidence of fan activities such as subtitling, YouTube performances and comments, amateur performances, fans’ international travel to sites of musical theatre performance, and online forum discussions, we will argue that the communal activity of theatre going serves as a basis for a gift culture that focuses on sharing and giving others access to foreign texts. Drawing on close readings of these materials and theories of audiovisual translation, consumption and fandom, we will suggest fan practices play a significant role in the musical’s success as a global genre and in creating communal, non-national spaces based around shared affective experience.

Network participants will be working in musical theatre, theatre, film, media, European, Asian, and/or American studies. They may also be engaged in digital humanities projects, or employed in industries relevant to this research. The fans, the stakeholders in this network’s investigations, will also be involved in research events.

Interested participants are ask to respond by 30 November 2015 to both Laura MacDonald ( and Jonathan Evans ( with an abstract or outline of no more than 250 words indicating a project or area of research that would benefit from development through this network, keeping in mind the focus on fan practices in response to stage and screen musicals in languages and cultures other than those of the musical’s origins.

Call for Papers: Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives, Networking Knowledge, the journal of the MeCCSA-PGN

November 16, 2015

Call for Papers: Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives

A special-themed issue of Networking Knowledge, the journal of the MeCCSA-PGN

Edited by Milena Popova and Bethan Jones

Deadline for abstracts: 30th December 2015

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.

Following a successful one-day symposium on this theme in November 2015, we invite proposals for a special issue of Networking Knowledge – the Journal of the MeCCSA PGN. As with the symposium, we wish to open up debates and explore the nuances of sex and sexualities within popular culture. To that end, 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 send 300 word abstracts for papers of 5,000 to 6,000 words, along with a short author biography, by 30th December 2015. Please email these to guest editors and If you have questions about Networking Knowledge in general, please contact the Journal Editor, Simon Dawes at Final, selected, articles will be due by the end of March 2016.

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.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,956 other followers