The Melodrama Research Group presents:
At home with horror? Terror on the small screen
27th-28th October 2017
University of Kent
Keynote speaker: Dr Helen Wheatley (University of Warwick)
CALL FOR PAPERS
The recent horror output on TV and the small screen challenges what Matt Hills found to be the overriding assumption ‘that film is the [horror] genre’s ‘natural’ home’ (Hills 2005, 111). Programmes such as American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful and The Walking Dead are aligned to ‘‘quality TV’, yet use horror imagery and ideas to present a form and style of television that is ‘not ordinary’’ (Johnston 2016, 11). Developments in industrial practices and production technology have resulted in a more spectacular horror in the medium, which Hills argues is the ‘making cinematic’ of television drama (Hills 2010, 23). The generic hybridity of television programmes such as Whitechapel, and Ripper Street allow conventions of the horror genre to be employed within the narrative and aesthetics, creating new possibilities for the animation of horror on the small screen. Series such as Bates Motel and Scream adapt cinematic horror to a serial format, positioning the small screen (including terrestrial, satellite and online formats) as the new home for horror.
The history of television and horror has often displayed a problematic relationship. As a medium that operates within a domestic setting, television has previously been viewed as incompatible with ‘authentic’ horror. Television has been approached as incapable of mobilizing the intense audience reactions associated with the genre and seen as a medium ‘restricted’ in its ability to scare and horrify audiences partly due to censorship constraints (Waller 1987) and scheduling arrangements. Such industrial practices have been seen as tempering the genre’s aesthetic agency resulting in inferior cinematic imitations or, ‘degraded made-for-TV sequels’ (Waller 1987, 146). For Waller, the technology of television compounded the medium’s ability to animate horror and directed its initial move towards a more ‘restrained’ form of the genre such as adapting literary ghost stories and screening RKO productions of the 1940s (Ibid 1987). Inferior quality of colour and resolution provided the opportunity to suggest rather than show. Horror, then, has presented a challenge for television: how can the genre be positioned in such a family orientated and domesticated medium? As Hills explains, ‘In such a context, horror is conceptualised as a genre that calls for non- prime-time scheduling… and [thus] automatically excluded from attracting a mass audience despite the popularity of the genre in other media’ (Hills 2005, 118).
Helen Wheatley’s monograph, Gothic Television (2006), challenges the approach of television as a limiting medium for horror, and instead focuses on how the domestic setting of the television set is key to its effectiveness. Focusing on the female Gothic as a domestic genre, Wheatley draws a lineage from early literary works, to the 1940s cycle of Gothic women films and Gothic television of the 1950s onwards. Wheatley argues for the significance of the domestic setting in experiencing stories of domestic anxiety for, ‘the aims of the Gothic drama made for television [are] to suggest a congruence between the domestic spaces on the screen and the domestic reception context’ (Wheatley 2006, 191).
Developments in small screen horror are not restricted to contemporary output. In his work on the cultural history of horror, Mark Jancovich argues that it was on television in the 1990s where key developments in the genre were taking place (Jancovich 2002). Taking Jancovich’s work as a cue, Hills develops his own approach to the significance of horror television of the 1990s. Hills citesBuffy the Vampire Slayer and The X Files as examples of programmes striving to mobilise the genre’s more graphic elements while existing as a ‘high-end’ cultural product: ‘authored’ TV that targeted a niche fan audience (Hills 2005, 126).
Taking these recent developments into account, the aim of this conference is to engage with such advances. Can we say that it is on the small screen where critical and creative innovations in horror are now being made? How has the expansion of satellite television and online sites impacted the genre? How has the small screen format developed the possibilities of horror? Is the recent alignment with ‘quality TV’ evidence of horror’s new mainstream status? This conference will also reflect on seminal works on television horror and revisit the history of the genre. In addressing these questions the conference will underline the importance of the small screen for horror, within the study of the genre and of the medium, and ask: is the small screen now the home of horror?
Topics can include but are not limited to:
- The seasons and horror on the small screen
- Gothic television
- Gender and horror
- Historical figures and events in small screen horror
- Small screen horror as an ‘event’
- Adaptation from cinema to small screen ‘re-imaginings’
- Production contexts
- Censorship and the small screen
- Serialisation and horror production
- National television production of horror
- The impact of Netflix and Amazon Prime
- TV history and horror
- Literary adaptations
- Children’s TV and horror
- Genre hybridity
- Teen horror
- Stardom and horror
Please submit proposals of 400 words, along with a short biographical note (250 words) to email@example.com by Friday 30th June. We welcome 20 minute conference papers as well as submissions for creative work or practice-as-research including, but not limited to, short films and video essays.
Conference organisers: Katerina Flint-Nicol and Ann-Marie Fleming
CFP: Fan Studies 2017 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, Oct 18-22, 2017 St. Louis, MO, USAApril 19, 2017
2017 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference
Wednesday-Sunday, October 18-22, 2017
St. Louis, MO, USA
Hayatt Regenct St. Louis at the Arch
Deadline: April 30, 2017
Topics can include, but are not limited to fan fiction, multi-media fanproduction, fan communities, fandom of individual media texts, sports fandom, or the future of fandom. Case studies are also welcome.
Special call for Fan Fiction writers willing to share their work or portions of their work.
Please upload 250 word abstract proposals on any aspect of Fan Studies to theFan Studies area, http://submissions.mpcaaca.org/.
More information about the conference can be found athttp://www.mpcaaca.org/
Please note the availability of graduate student travel grants:http://mpcaaca.org/conference/travel-grants/.
Please include name, affiliation, and e-mail address with the 250 word abstract. Also, please indicate in your submission whether your presentation will require an LCD Projector and/or Audio hookup.
Any questions? Please email Katie Wilson at KateMarieWilson@gmail.com
Audiences 2017: A Bournemouth University/ CSJCC Workshop
Wednesday May 3rd 2017, 09:00 – 17:30.
This event is free, but spaces are limited. Interested parties please email Dr. William Proctor to book places (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bournemouth University’s Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community (CSJCC) cordially invites you to Audiences 2017, a workshop including activities and presentations. I am pleased to announce the following scholars will be speaking at the event and sharing their experience of audience research, addressing key issues such as methodology, ethics and project design.
Professor Martin Barker (Aberystwyth University):
“Not just any old data”: the role of theories and methods in audience research.
Dr. Ranjana Das (University of Leicester):
The Audiences of “Offensive” TV: Offence, Affect and Publicness in Front of Provocative Screens (drawn from research conducted by Ranjana Das and Ann Graefer, and forthcoming book, Provocative Screens, co-authored with Anne Graefer).
Dr. Jim Pope (Bournemouth University)
Reader response theory and practice, applied to readers of hypertext fiction
Dr. Richard McCulloch (Huddersfield University) & Dr. William Proctor (Bournemouth University):
The Force Re-Awakens: The World Star Wars Project
The morning will be dedicated to presentations, each focusing on individual research projects. Following lunch, we will then proceed to participatory workshop exercises designed to address the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of audience research. The following overview provides a précis of workshop activity (with thanks to Professor Barker and Dr. Das).
Audience research is at least to a small extent the awkward cousin of much else in media and cultural studies: arriving on bad days, asking difficult questions, making life complicated for the ‘family’. Not accepting favoured ‘theories’. Demanding good empirical evidence for ‘obvious’ propositions. But audience research is also now well-established and practised with dedication by an increasing number of people in our field. It has its dedicated Journals, its academic sections of major organisations, even occasional specialist conferences. Understanding what we do, why, and how – and of course with what challenges and difficulties – is surely important.
The aim of this Workshop is to give you an opportunity to think through how and why you might design a piece of audience research on something pretty current and surely very important. In the first part of the day, you will have heard four presentations from people who, in different ways, have practised various kinds of audience research. In the afternoon, we will hope to make this as concrete and exciting as we feel it to be, by taking you through some of the processes that we go through, as we plan and design our research. The topic we’ve chosen to build this around is the nature and rise of the ‘new populism’.
A lot of important work (both journalistic and academic) has been done on this topic, looking at the rise of specific websites, Fox News and radio jock shows, and social media platforms that have played a part in this. There has also been valuable work on the sociology of the phenomenon: the rust belt in America, the former industrial towns in the UK, and so on. And – more uncertainly – there has been work on the rise of new forms of racism, which is also part of the same phenomenon. But a huge amount remains unknown. So, what might be contributed if we were in a position to explore the media choices and involvements of those attracted to the ‘new populism’?
- What specifically could ‘audience research’ contribute that other kinds of research could not – however hard we might think it will be to do it in practice?
- What questions would we be aiming to ask – and how might we in theory go about answering them?
- What would be the biggest barriers to doing the research – and how might those barriers be circumvented?
- What might be our own assumptions as we approach the task, and what might we do to stop these blocking us and making us prejudge?
Call for Submissions: The Popular Culture Studies Journal
The Popular Culture Studies Journal is an academic, peer-reviewed, refereed journal for scholars, academics, and students from the many disciplines that study popular culture. The journal serves the MPCA/ACA membership, as well as scholars globally who recognize and support its mission based on expanding the way we view popular culture as a fundamental component within the contemporary world.
Aims and scope
Popular culture is at the heart of democratic citizenship. It serves as an engine driving technology, innovation, and information, as well as a methodological lens employed by the many fields that examine culture, often from an interdisciplinary perspective. Managed by The Midwest Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association (MPCA/ACA), The Popular Culture Studies Journal is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics, and students from the many disciplines that study America and American culture. The journal serves its membership and scholars globally who recognize and support its mission based on expanding the way we view popular culture as a fundamental component within the contemporary world.
– Celebrity Culture
– Comics/Cartoons/Graphic Novels
However, many scholars approach these topics from an interdisciplinary perspective, which adds significant value over single-issue or more focused/specialized journals.
All contributions to The Popular Culture Studies Journal will be forwarded to members of the Editorial Board or other reviewers for comment. Manuscripts must not be previously published, nor should they be submitted for publication elsewhere while being reviewed by The Popular Culture Studies Journal’s Editorial Board.
Please see http://mpcaaca.org/the-popular-culture-studies-journal/ for more details.
We are also planning special issues centered on topics such as Women of Color and Asian/Americans in popular culture. Bookmark http://mpcaaca.org/the-popular-culture-studies-journal/ for updates!
CALL FOR PAPERS: EDITED COLLECTION ON RACE IN FANDOM
Fan studies has consistently identified media or participatory fandom as an intertextual and selfreflexive communitarian space. Further, scholars have produced extremely important work concerning fan identity in these spaces, theorized mainly around the axes of gender and sexuality (Hellekson and Busse 2006; Stein 2015). However, a sustained examination of the effect of racial identity in these spaces has not yet occurred.
This edited collection takes its impulse from Rebecca Wanzo’s (2015) crucial intervention into the genealogy of fan studies that maintained that this glaring omission is not an oversight. Rather, race continues to be absent from broad-based theorizations about fan culture because it “troubles” foundational assumptions about its subversive and inclusive ethos. This collection therefore aims to investigate the ramifications of such trouble by highlighting the operations of race/racism within fandom spaces. It asks how our current conceptions of shared pleasure and intertextual communities interface with these dynamics. The collection aims to tackle these questions from a diverse array of theoretical standpoints and fan texts, also considering the complexity of the category of racial/cultural/ethnic/religious identity itself within a globalized fan-scape.
The collection will be published by a university press (proposal under negotiation) with the publication date of early 2018. Abstracts are solicited for essays of about 6000-7000 words from scholars working on any area of participatory/media fandom, with a broad approach to that term encouraged to include under-studied aspects of fan participation. Please send in 300 word abstracts and author bios to Rukmini Pande (email@example.com) by 30th May 2017.
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
Theoretical approaches to the category of race/racism in fandom.
The differential operations of race/racism in transnational/transcultural fandoms.
Approaches to racializing gender and sexuality in fanwork. Studies of non-white fanboys are especially encouraged.
The operations of race/racism in offline spaces such fan conventions.
The operations of race/racism in material fan practices such as cosplay, cult fan collectors, etc.
The operations of race/racism in non-traditional participatory fandoms such as sports, music, theatre, video gaming, offline gaming, RPG’s etc.
The issue of race/racism as both a disturbance to fan spaces and as an impulse to radical transformative work within them.
Historical approaches to race/racism in fandom in order to expand the “canon” of participatory fandom.
Pedagogical approaches to teaching race/racism in the fandom studies classroom.
Rukmini Pande has recently completed her PhD from the University of Western Australia. Her dissertation “Squee From The Margins: The Operations of Racial/Cultural/Ethnic Identity in Media Fandom” is currently under contract with the University of Iowa Press. She has also published on the topic of race/racism in fandom in numerous edited collection such as Seeing Fans (eds Paul Booth and Lucy Bennett) and the forthcoming Wiley Companion to Fan Studies (ed Paul Booth). She is also published in journals like Transformative Works and Cultures and The Journal of Feminist Studies.
Inside the World of Harry Potter is a proposed interdisciplinary, multi-contributer volume born of the robust field of Harry Potter Studies and the community of collaborators that exists within the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association.
This proposed volume will cover a range of topics within the works of J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series is such a rich text for analysis, particularly of social issues that can be extrapolated to real-world, non-fictional settings. The scholarship being produced surrounding the Harry Potter series is phenomenal.
As such, this call for chapters invites interested scholars to submit papers and/or proposals for publication consideration in this edited volume.
Contributions should use the works of JK Rowling (the Harry Potter series, or companion works such as The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, or Quidditch Through the Ages) to address a social or political issue, such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation, societal structure, age, muggle vs. wizard relations, technology, religion, and so forth. Work using paratexts, such as Pottermore, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Potter Puppet Pals, and the like will be accepted as well. All themes will be considered as related to the overall direction of the volume. In addition, work related to fan practices, or application to real-world issues are always welcome.
Proposals from any academic discipline will be considered. Emerging and early career scholars are especially encouraged to submit. Final papers should be no longer than 30 pages, including references, and should be scholarly in nature yet accessible in language and tone.
For consideration, please submit an abstract/proposal of no more than 500 words to Dr. Christopher Bell, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, at cbell3 uccs.edu. Abstracts/proposals should be sent as Word Document attachments, and should include the author(s)’s name, affiliation, title and email contact information. Abstracts/proposals should be submitted no later than May 1, 2017. Final papers will be due September 1, 2017.
Special Issue: Fan Cultures and Cinephilia in Southeast Asian
Responding to the shifting focus from audiences as consumers to their role
as cultural producers aided by various technological developments, fan studies have gained significant attention as a sub-field in media and film studies in the early 1990s. Despite extensive works that have shed light on fan practices surrounding Western
cultural products, limited accounts have paid attention to transcultural exchanges and fans within a specific regional context. Lori Morimoto and Bertha Chin’s work that put forward a theory of transcultural fandom (2013) points to the need to expand ways
of exploring fandom by engaging with alternative models of fan practices across different geographical contexts. This special issue seeks to extend further the discussion on fandom within a small but vibrant region of Southeast Asia, as well as Southeast Asia
in relation to other parts of the world.
Existing literature on cultural studies have begun to explore
how fans in different Southeast Asian countries have embraced and appropriated popular cultures, particularly pop music and television series from Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile, festival films from Southeast Asia have been discussed as part of the renewed
attention on global cinema and cinephilia studies. To address various practices within the increasingly transmedia cultures in the region, this special issue highlights the crossover between fans, cinephiles and other committed audience groups. Therefore,
we welcome a wide range of papers that seek to explore fans of various cultural products within the Southeast Asian context (i.e. film, music, television drama, video-game, animation and other transmedia content) and fans of different personalities (i.e. film
director, producer, star, idol, celebrity). Possible papers can focus on fan activities, as well as textual, aesthetics and performative aspects of fans/cinephiles.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
- Fan vids/mashups/tributes/video essays and transformative works
in relation to Southeast Asian transmedia context
- Fan re-enactments and performances in Southeast Asian context
- Fan meet-ups, fan clubs, cons and festivals in Southeast Asia
- Fan tourism/cinephile pilgrimage in Southeast Asia
- Crowd and fan funding in Southeast Asia context
- Fan subtitling and other activities as part of distribution
networks in Southeast Asia
- The relationship between fans and producers/filmmakers/stars/idols
within Southeast Asia
- Anti-fans and conflicts within Southeast Asian transmedia cultures
- Fan activism in Southeast Asian context
can be found at
Submissions are to be e-mailed to the Issue Editors and the
Managing Editor in MS Word format without any identifying information such as author(s) name and institutional affiliations. Authors should also submit a separate title page with the manuscript title, author name(s), institutional affiliation and contact information
for the corresponding author.
Deadline: 05 May 2017
UPDATED CFP: Sex, Subversion and Bodily Boundaries: The Darker Side of Slash Fan Fiction
Proposals are invited for essays exploring the depiction of (and engagement with) “non-normative” eroticism within online slash and femslash fan fiction.
Following the publication of Hellekson and Busse’s groundbreaking edited collection Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet (2006), academic interest in slash fiction has continued to document the evolution and development of the genre as a whole. It is generally proposed that slash fiction enjoys a simultaneous intertextual function – partly a subversive cultural dialogue and partly an unapologetically playful approach to literary convention – but a function which is ultimately more complex and nuanced than a traditional incorporation/resistance paradigm would suggest.
This collection aims to engage directly and explicitly with some of slash fiction’s less gentle aspects in order to explore the following question: in a text which not only deliberately creates but maintains unstable, unequal and ungentle paradigms, can the same critical frameworks that depict slash fiction as a valorised form of egalitarian romance still be applied? If a text refuses to moving towards the gradual equality and intimacy inherent within Romantic convention, can the ending only be an unhappy one?
This collection of essays aims to supplement existing fan academia with a small insight into what is an underrepresented but no less prolific or popular facet of slash fiction. With this is mind, proposals are invited for essays of c.8500 words exploring the following in erotic slash fiction:
· The exploration, portrayal and reception of BDSM encounters and relationships.
· The portrayal of cisgender characters which challenge heteronormative patterns of behaviour, either by non-compliance or by excessive performativity. Particular interest in the dynamics generated by two ‘butch’ or ‘girly’ characters in sexual scenes and how violence is used to regulate and code ‘unacceptable’ behaviours and desires.
· Xenofetishism and the treatment of alternative bodily configurations such as external breeding, hermaphroditic characters in slash fiction.
· Fame and infamy within fan writing; the perks and perils of having a reputation for pushing the boundaries.
· The treatment of trans* characters, non-binary gender, genderqueer and genderfluid characters in overtly sexual situations – both in canon and in fan texts.
· The portrayal of abusive behaviours, rape scenes and toxic relationships and the appeal of the themes.
· The treatment of and audience response to taboo relationships – incest, guardian/ward, underage characters and exploited characters.
· Discussions and debates within fan communities regarding explicitly non-normative sexuality within slash fiction as a whole, particularly in regard to participation in kinkmemes, Shipping Olympics, Kink Bingo, fic requests -+etc.
· Non-monogamy and non-monogamous characters and relationships, non-normative femininity/masculinity and any explorations thereof.
These lists are far from complete and should be taken only as a starting point, rather than definitive.
Generally speaking, texts under discussion should have been produced, published and released within the last twenty years, although if a text beyond this timeframe is particularly significant this can be discussed – please do get in touch with your ideas. Source media includes but is not limited to: role-playing video games, webcomics, TV episodes and series, comics and graphic novels, novels and short stories, and films. Proposals are also welcome for essays exploring the unique deictic nature of slash fan fiction as an ongoing dialogue between canon, text and audience. Particular interest will be given to papers exploring how digital accessibility has contributed to its popularity as a genre, and the cultural impacts generated by the popularity of made-to-order fan fiction commissions, such as kinkmemes, Shipping Olympics, Kink Bingo, fic requests etc.
Final inclusion in the published volume will be subject to peer review.
Please send proposals of approximately 500 words plus a short biography to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 22nd February 2017.
The University of Hull is pleased to announce the Queer/ing Animation Symposium!
Call for Essays: Stranger Things: Eighties Nostalgia, Cynicism and Innocence
I am looking for proposals for chapters for a book on the Netflix series Stranger Things to be published by McFarland & Company. As the book title suggests, the overarching theme of the volume is how the series creates, evokes, uses and exploits the eighties, eighties culture and contemporary nostalgia for both. Successful proposals will link an aspect of Stranger Things with an eighties counterpart and explore how the series engages that aspect of Reagan-era culture.
What makes this project unique is that we will wait until season two premieres to finalize the essays, so that information on and analysis of the second season will be included in the book’s essays. The individual essays will be 5000-7000 words each, with each essay focused on a specific aspect of the series and its intersection with the eighties.
- I will accept abstracts on a rolling basis up until April 30, 2017. Those whose abstracts are accepted will be sent the style guide and information regarding the preparation of manuscripts.
- I plan to submit the manuscript 6-8 weeks after the premiere of season two of Stranger Things. The second season will premiere on Halloween, 2017.
- Contributors must submit the first draft of their essays to me by the premiere of season two and then final draft by November 30. While this is a tight turnaround time, if the contributors have drafts in earlier that outline their theses and season one analyses, and then have four weeks to view and add in season two analyses, then we should be able to get the final manuscript to McFarland by late December.
- Please note, no extensions can be given once the show premieres, so please only submit abstracts if you are certain you can adhere to this timetable. The deadline for manuscript submission is set, so the expectation is that final essays will be in by the above dates.
I already have essays on:
Eighties Frankenstein films (Reanimator, Weird Science, etc.)
The monstrous feminine
Nuclear War / Cold War anxieties
Dungeons and Dragons and moral panics
I am looking for essays on any other topic relating to the volume’s theme.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
Eighties teen films and S.T.
The centrality of the school to S.T. and its antecedents
The relationships between S.T. and specific eighties texts
Winona Ryder as eighties echo in S.T.
Echoes of eighties Stephen King in S.T.
S.T. as echo of Reagan’s eighties
Echoes and uses of eighties visual culture
S.T. Fan studies and fandom
The influence of John Carpenter, Stephen Spielberg, Dan O’Bannon or other eighties filmmakers
Eighties pop music in S.T.
Please submit 200-500 word abstracts with a brief bio to: email@example.com by April 30.