The Fan Studies Network: About Us

April 27, 2013 by
Formed in March 2012, the Fan Studies Network was created with the idea of cultivating an international friendly space in which scholars of fandom could easily forge connections with other academics in the field, and discuss the latest topics within fan studies. Having attracted close to 300 members across the world, the network is already fostering a sense of community and engendering fruitful debate.
In May 2013 a special section of Participations journal was dedicated to the FSN. You can read all the articles here:
http://www.participations.org/Volume%2010/Issue%201/contents.htm
You can also find us on Twitter at @FanStudies, on the discussion list at http://jiscmail.ac.uk/fanstudies and on the Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/507241072647146/
To contact the FSN, please email Lucy Bennett (bennettlucyk@gmail.com) and/or Tom Phillips (T.Phillips@uea.ac.uk)
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#FSN2019

February 11, 2019 by

Fan studies is a discipline overrun with whiteness.

This fundamental truth, put forward by a fan studies scholar on Friday 8th February, prompted a number of conversations between academics on Twitter. The resultant discussion has required us – the board members of the Fan Studies Network – to consider the role and function of the FSN within the field, and how our conference events frame representation.

Since the FSN was founded in 2012, we have worked hard to be inclusive in a range of ways, but it is clear through the recent discourse that in relation to issues of race we have failed. This is a failure that we want to rectify. This is an issue that is bigger than the Fan Studies Network, and working towards a solution will not be an overnight process. However, there are steps FSN can take to try and be better.   

This starts with our annual conference. We were delighted with the calibre of keynote speakers chosen for FSN2019, and chose these scholars because of our respect for their excellent scholarship and their support of FSN over the years. We believe that a keynote speaker should represent their field, and use their position at the conference to inform, interest, and inspire. We also believe such discourses should come from the keynote addresses themselves, rather than being informed by external discussions. As a result, in agreement with those we invited as keynotes, it has been decided that the conference will feature Lori Morimoto as the sole keynote speaker this year. The second keynote slot will instead be dedicated to a roundtable discussion on representation and diversity. We welcome thoughts on the most appropriate format for this roundtable, including potential participants.

All FSN keynotes have been chosen by the board since our first event in 2013, but we now recognise that we need to rethink our selection practices and procedures. So, over the coming months, we will be inviting everyone with an interest in fan studies (regardless of whether you have attended one of our events or not) for your thoughts on how we can make fan studies a more diverse and inclusive space. Inclusivity is an issue for us as a field to address together, and we want to ensure that the most appropriate voices are heard.  

The last 72 hours have involved a considerable amount of reflection and discussion between FSN board members, trying to react to an ongoing situation and consider the discourse with a level head. One thing that has become clear to the board is that we have underestimated the power and privilege we have in our positions. To understand why such a misjudgement has taken place, it is important to contextualise the role of the board and the ongoing management of FSN.

The network was founded by PhD students who lamented the lack of a common space for those with an interest in fan studies. It began as a group of UK-based friends and peers, keen to get a network off the ground. Unfortunately, the board’s ambitions for the network have been hampered by time and money. In regards to the former, for a large part of the lifespan of FSN the board have all been in precarious states of employment, unable to be afforded the time to work on network activities beyond the annual conference. For the latter, it is worth noting that FSN has no form of funding[1], and the conferences are entirely self-sustaining – all the money earned from delegate fees go into the conference. Ultimately the success of FSN in attracting such an international selection of keynote speakers over the last few years has relied on vast amounts of goodwill and compromise.

With this in mind, for the last few years the board has essentially seen itself as a conference organisation committee. What we did not consider, however, was how the decisions we make with our conference could have wider implications and ramifications. We now recognise that although we quite casually (albeit in good faith) began FSN to promote networking in the field, it has grown into something that warrants more considered formalisation. This is an opportunity to recognise that the board would benefit from new voices, and we are considering ways to take this forward.

Challenging the structural whiteness of our discipline is going to take more than just sticking plasters and tokenistic gestures. It will require all of us – individuals, institutions, committees, publishers, editorial boards, SIGs, research centres and beyond – to work together over the coming months and years to make fan studies a welcoming space for marginalised scholars. The six of us on the FSN board cannot and do not claim to know the answers, but we do have a platform and a presence within the field that we would like to put to good use. Please help us to do that.

We are particularly keen to hear from scholars of colour on this matter, but we welcome the comments, suggestions and input from anyone with an interest in the network and the field of fan studies more broadly. Email us at fsnconference@gmail.com (including “INCLUSIVITY” in the subject line), and if you are able to do so, please make the trip to Portsmouth (UK) in June for FSN2019 so that we can address these issues in person.


The Fan Studies Network board

[1] For the sake of transparency – the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities at the University of East Anglia makes a budget available of £500 a year available to Tom Phillips in his role as co-Chair of the network. Last year this money was used for travel and accommodation for two board members at the FSN conference in Cardiff.

 

Fan Studies Network 2019 Conference: Portsmouth, UK, 28-29 June 2019

February 1, 2019 by

CALL FOR PAPERS: Fan Studies Network Conference 2019

Fan Studies Network Conference 2019

28th & 29th June 2019

School of Film, Media and Communication, University of Portsmouth, UK

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Nicolle Lamerichs, HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dr Lori Morimoto, Independent Researcher, USA

In 2019 the Fan Studies Network will be travelling to the UK’s south coast and the historic naval city of Portsmouth. We are delighted to announce that the seventh annual Conference is taking place in the School of Film, Media and Communication at the University of Portsmouth. Offering a diverse two-day programme our conference will sit alongside historic sites such as the Dockyards, HMS Victory and the Mary Rose while also attracting presenters to explore our cult fan trail which includes comic book, collectibles and record stores, video and board game lounges, and museum exhibits. Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes can see a permanent collection of artefacts and fans of Charles Dickens can visit his birthplace. The conference will continue FSN’s long-standing tradition of offering an enthusiastic space for interdisciplinary researchers at all career stages to connect, share resources, and further develop their research ideas. In addition to panel presentations, the two days will feature a variety of social events, workshop discussions, and our famous speed-geeking sessions.

We are honoured to have Nicolle Lamerichs and Lori Morimoto as our keynote speakers for 2019. Both have contributed hugely to the field of fan studies, leading the community in new and important directions. Nicolle is senior lecturer and team lead at Creative Business at HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht. She is the author of Productive Fandom: Intermediality and Affective Reception in Fan Cultures (Amsterdam UP, 2018) and co-editor of Fan Studies: Researching Popular Audiences (interdisciplinary.net, 2014). Lori is an independent researcher who has published widely on transcultural and transnational media fandoms in a range of seminal collections and leading journals, including: Fandom: Communities and Identities in a Mediated World, Second EditionThe Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, and A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies; Participations, Transformative Works and CulturesEast Asian Journal of Popular Culture and Mechademia: Second Arc. We are very excited to have both of them come to Portsmouth as keynotes for FSN2019.

We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers that address any aspect of fandom or fan studies. We also welcome collated submissions for pre-constituted panels of four papers. We encourage new members, in all stages of study, to the network and welcome proposals for presentations on, but not limited to, the following possible topics:

  • The business of fandom (entrepreneurs, affective economics)
  • Branding fandom (promotional culture, marketing and PR)
  • Fandom, copyright and the law
  • Links between fandom, participatory culture and the political moment
  • Forms of anti-fandom, non-fandom or toxic fandom
  • The intersections between celebrity and fandom
  • Fan activism in response to contemporary political/world events
  • Fan space, place and geographies
  • Fandom and material cultures
  • Fan Studies methodologies
  • Fandom and controversies
  • Producer/fan interactions and relationships
  • Fan conventions
  • Fan labour
  • Sports fandom

In connection with our location and keynotes, the following topics may be of interest:

  • Music fandom
  • Literary fandom (Sherlock Holmes/Dickens)
  • Subcultural identities
  • Cult movies and filming locations
  • Transcultural and transnational fandom
  • Fandom, race and ethnicity
  • Cosplay and productive fandom
  • The use of social media and its language (e.g. memes, hashtags, GIFs)

We also invite short abstracts (100-200 words) from anyone wishing to present as part of our popular ‘speed geeking’ session. This would involve each speaker presenting a short discussion on a relevant topic of their choosing to a number of small groups, and then receiving instantaneous feedback, making it ideal for presenting in-progress or undeveloped ideas. If you have any questions about this format of presentation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Please send any abstracts/enquires to: fsnconference@gmail.com by the end of Sunday 24th March, 2019. Please include up to three keywords for your submission, which will help us to place your paper in an appropriate panel, and a short biographical note.
You can join the discussion about the event on Twitter using #FSN2019, follow us @FanStudies or visit http://www.fanstudies.org.

Dr Lincoln Geraghty
Reader in Popular Media Cultures
School of Film, Media and Communication
University of Portsmouth
Eldon Building North
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth
PO1 2DJ
Lincoln.Geraghty@port.ac.uk

 

 

FSN North America 2018 Conference Programme

October 19, 2018 by

Dear all,

The final programme for the inaugural FSN North America conference is here!
The conference takes place on Thursday Oct 25-Saturday Oct 27 2018 at DePaul University, College of Communication, Chicago, IL USA. You can find more information on the conference here: https://fsn-northamerica.org

The keynote is Abigail De Kosnik, from UC Berkeley, and the conference features speed geeking, a vid show, two full days of panels, and a roundtable about future directions of fan studies.

The organisers (Paul Booth, Kristina Busse, Lori Morimoto, Louisa Stein, and Lesley Willard) have put together an outstanding programme and you can download it here:

FSN NA 2018 Programme

For those who can’t make it, the hashtag to follow is #FSNNA18. This will be an unmissable event!

Fan Studies Network Inaugural North America Conference, DePaul University, Chicago, 25-27 October 2018

September 14, 2018 by
Dear all,
We wanted to offer a reminder that the inaugural FSN North America conference takes place this year! Registration closes on 15 September 2018. You can register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fan-studies-network-north-america-tickets-46167991706 and find more information on the conference here: https://fsn-northamerica.org
The conference takes place on Thursday Oct 25-Saturday Oct 27 2018 at DePaul University, College of Communication, Chicago, IL USA
The keynote is Abigail De Kosnik, from UC Berkeley, and the conference will feature speed geeking, a vid show, two full days of panels, and a concluding roundtable about future directions of fan studies. This promises to be an exciting event not to miss!
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Call for applications: Australian PhD scholarship opportunity in fan studies

May 25, 2018 by
PhD Scholarship

One PhD Scholarship is available through the Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle, Australia, for a research program in celebrity and fan cultures under the supervision of Dr Joyleen Christensen.

Expressions of interest are being sought from highly motivated and enthusiastic applicants interested in pursuing an intensive PhD program in the field of celebrity and fan cultures. Projects focusing on fan cultures based on individual celebrities and/or specific films or television series are particularly welcome. The scholarship is provided by the University of Newcastle under the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Higher Degree Research (HDR) Candidate Scholarships scheme. As part of the conditions of this scholarship, the candidate will be required to complete six-monthly progress reports. The selected HDR candidate must be a domestic candidate and must commence their program no later than the 31 March 2019. Information on the scholarships and application process can be found through the University of Newcastle’s Graduate Research office.

PhD Scholarship details

Supervisor: Dr Joyleen Christensen

Available to: Domestic

Eligibility Criteria

This scholarship is suited to a student with an Honours degree in Film, Media, and Cultural Studies (or similar).
The successful applicant must meet the University of Newcastle’s admission eligibility criteria.

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should send an email expressing their interest, including scanned copies of their academic transcripts, CV, a brief statement of their research interests and a proposal that specifically links them to the research project, to Joyleen.Christensen@newcastle.edu.au by 29 June 2018 at 5pm.

Applications Close 29 June 2018


Contact Dr Joyleen Christensen
Phone +61 2 4348 4190
Email Joyleen.Christensen@newcastle.edu.au

CFP: Eating Fandom: Intersections between Fans and Food Culture

May 24, 2018 by

Call for Chapter Proposals for Anthology

Title: Eating Fandom: Intersections between Fans and Food Culture

Editors: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Dominican University), Bertha Chin (Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia) and Julia E. Largent (McPherson College)

Rationale: An emerging field of fan studies looks at how fans interact with different aspects and elements of food cultures. This collection seeks to address the myriad ways that fandom and food culture intersect.

A food culture refers to the individuals, networks, and institutions involved in the production, distribution, and consumption of food, as well as the norms, beliefs, artifacts and activities that constitute and circulate through that culture. Food cultures vary across nations, societies, cultures, and historical periods, with trends and techniques adapting and shaping attitudes, practices, and consumption habits. Thus, a food culture can be dependent upon, and influential to, a specific community. As a fandom can represent such specific communities, fan studies scholars are now turning more attention to how fan communities view and use food as part of the practices and values that constitute that collective; or how fan practices are being replicated in the relationship between foodies and producers.

Additionally, with the perception of fan identities as involving certain affective, cognitive, and behavioral components, the conceptualization of what is a fan can be extended to understand individuals within a food culture and see them identifying as a “fan” of a specific food, culinary school, technique, and so forth. Both professionals and foodies could thus be classified as fans, and the networks and institutions that constitute the food culture could be studied for how they create and maintain such food-based fandoms.

This anthology seeks to gather research studies that examine the different ways fandoms and food cultures intersect. The goal would be for a collection of empirically-based essays that utilize a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives from different disciplines. The collection would hopefully serve to inspire other scholars on the range of intersections available to study as well as how to study such intersections. It would also hopefully serve to expand on the ways in which fan studies’ theoretical frameworks could be applied to other fields of research.

We are looking for essays that consider the relationships and roles of food in fandoms as well as the view of food cultures as fandoms. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Foodies as fans
  • Food production as fan activity
  • Food consumption as fan activity
  • Fandom-related foods
  • Chefs, culinary professionals as fans
  • Convergence culture and food culture
  • Fans of food shows
  • Fans of food celebrities
  • Fans and cooking, food literacy
  • Food community as fan community
  • Fans and food activism
  • Importance of food in fan collectives
  • Negotiating food fan identities

Chapter proposal guidelines

  • Seeking empirically-based essays of 6000-7000 words, inclusive of references (APA citation style)
  • Proposals should contain the following:
    • Contributors’ contact information (name, title, affiliation, email, highest degree obtained)
    • Chapter title
    • Chapter abstract of 250-500 words that illustrate the chapter’s
      • a) topic/subject matter
      • b) methodological approach
      • c) conclusions/argument
  • Proposals are due June 30, 2018
  • Proposals, and questions, should be emailed to CarrieLynn at creinhard@dom.edu

CfP Special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures: Fan Studies Methodologies

April 30, 2018 by

Fan studies is an interdisciplinary field, with scholars in disciplines ranging from cultural studies to law, from sociology to library science, all bringing their unique perspectives to bear on research about fans. As a result, fan studies is methodologically eclectic: approaches can include a combination of quantitative, qualitative, highly theoretical, practice-based, online, offline, archival, legal, textual, and/or community-centred methods, and this is far from an exhaustive list. This gives the field flexibility to address a huge variety of research questions while also posing challenges with regards to methodology selection and compatibility, different perspectives on rigour, as well as ethics and researcher positionality. The ways we do fan studies are as different, interesting, and challenging of academic norms as the things and people that we study.

The goal for this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, therefore, is to set a common but varied ground for doing research as a fan studies scholar. While it is clear that fan studies does use specific methodologies, those methods aren’t always explicitly stated or considered (Evans and Stasi, 2014). We recognize the variety of disciplines that make up fan studies scholarship, and seek to express a common sense of ethics, practices, stances, without privileging one as ‘the’ methodology. Despite being interdisciplinary and methodologically eclectic, the tradition of scholarship in the model of Textual Poachers has shaped what we see as “fan studies” (Ford, 2014), though other approaches have also emerged, such as Chin and Hitchcock-Morimoto (2013) who argue for an affective definition of transcultural fans, and Reid (2009) who highlights the queer practices of non-normative fans and fandoms.

We seek submissions that address or challenge that shaping, and explore and theorize key methodological challenges and approaches within fan studies. We encourage articles that address not just the how-to of a method, but also why — theoretically, ethically, fannishly — that method is a good choice (or, perhaps, why it is not a good choice in some cases), and we particularly encourage articles that consider the ethical dimension as an essential and integral part of research methodology. We welcome submissions from scholars with experience within academia as well as those working outside academic institutions, and those who conduct research on fans while primarily identifying as fans rather than scholars. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • The dual positionality of those who study fans, as both fans and researchers (aka the “aca-fandom” question)
  • The theory and practice of interdisciplinarity in fan studies
  • Conducting research outside the support structures of academic institutions
  • Negotiating disciplinary and institutional requirements with personal, fannish ethics
  • Researching fans online and offline
  • Practice-based research methodologies
  • Feminist and other caring approaches to the relationship between researcher and researched in fan studies
  • Quantitative and mixed methods approaches to fan studies
  • The place of qualitative scholarship in fan studies
  • Fan perspectives on fan studies methodologies
  • Community building among fans and scholars
  • Citational practices in fandom and fan studies
  • Embedding intersectional practices in research methods
  • The challenges/solutions to studying underrepresented fandoms, fans, and fannish phenomena
  • The role of (mitigating) shame in fan studies methods
  • “Bringing in” and “working out towards” adjacent fields, for instance Porn studies, Queer Studies, Critical Race Studies, etc.

We also welcome shorter pieces showcasing specific practical challenges, methods, and tools for the contemporary fan studies scholar.

Works cited

* Chin, Bertha, and Lori Morimoto. “Towards a theory of transcultural fandom.”Participations 10, no. 1 (2013): 92–108.

* Evans, Adrienne, and Mafalda Stasi. “Desperately seeking methods: New directions in fan studies research.” Participations 11, no. 2 (2014): 4–23.

* Ford, Sam. “Fan studies: Grappling with an ‘Undisciplined’discipline.” Journal of Fandom Studies 2, no. 1 (2014): 53–71.

* Reid, Robin Anne. “Thrusts in the dark: slashers’ queer practices.” Extrapolation 50, no. 3 (2009): 463–483.

Submission guidelines

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.

Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.

Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.

 

Please visit TWC’s Web site (http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT transformativeworks.org).

Contact—Contact guest editors Julia Largent (@julialargent), Milena Popova (@elmyra), and Elise Vist (@visticuffs) with any questions or inquiries at FSMethodologies@gmail.com. You are welcome to approach us on Twitter with informal inquiries.

Due date—January 1, 2019, for estimated March 15, 2020 publication.

Call for Papers: An Anthology on Carrie Fisher

April 26, 2018 by

Call for book chapters for a proposed edited collection

Following her death in 2016, the public mourning of Carrie Fisher revealed the breadth of her impact as star, feminist icon, and mental health advocate. We are seeking abstracts for essays to be included in an anthology on Fisher that will appeal not only to academics, but also to her fans.

In addition to analyzing Fisher’s work as a performer, writer, comedian, and advocate, this anthology aims to provide insight into the role of celebrity in social issues of gender inequality, mental health, substance addiction, and political resistance. We welcome work from a wide variety of academic approaches and fields of study, including audience & fan studies, feminist theory, queer theory, autobiography studies, celebrity studies, comedy studies, media studies, and scholarship in public health/mental health.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

* Adaptation

* Ageism

* Authorship

* Autobiography

* Bright Lights Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

* Comedic Style

* Drug Addiction

* Fan bases

* Fan Collections

* Feminist activism

* Gender Inequality

* Mental Health

* Public Mourning

* Fisher’s work as script doctor

* Social Media Use

* “Space Mom”

* Wishful Drinking stage play

A university press is interested in this collection and looks forward to a proposal from the editors after contributors and topics are finalized. Please direct any questions and 300-500 word abstracts along with a 150-word bio to Linda Mizejewski (mizejewski.1@osu.edu) and Tanya D. Zuk (tzuk1@gsu.edu) by May 25, 2018. We will respond by June 6, 2018.

Final essays will be approximately 5,000 to 7,000 words and will be due January 2, 2019.

Editors:

Linda Mizejewski, a professor at Ohio State University, is the author of five books on women and popular culture and is the co-editor of Hysterical! Women in American Comedy (2017), winner of the Susan Koppelman Award from the Popular Culture Association.

Tanya D. Zuk, a Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State University, is an editor at In Media Res a web publication out of GSU. She has also published work in the Journal of Transformative Works & Cultures, and Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Her research focuses on fandom, LGBTQ+ new media, and collaborative authorship.

CFP for Mechademia 12.1, Transnational Fandoms

April 26, 2018 by

The CFP for Mechademia 12.1, Transnational Fandoms, is now available. The issue will explore the global consumption, creative (re)production, and widespread redistribution of East Asian popular culture.

The CFP will close on June 1, 2018. Questions and submissions may be directed to the Submissions Editor at submissions [at] mechademia.net.

In tandem with the 2018 Mechademia conference in Minneapolis, this volume of the Second Arcjournal will focus on the theme of Transnational Fandoms. It will explore the global consumption, creative (re)production, and widespread redistribution of East Asian popular culture, including, but not limited to, fan cultures surrounding manga, anime, popular cinema, music, fashion, and gaming. Authors are invited to submit papers of 5000-7000 words by June 1, 2018.

Media fandoms arose in Japan and the United States contemporaneously, growing out of the proliferation of mass media in the twentieth century, particularly after the spread of the television in the 1950s and 1960s. As the work of scholars such as Marc Steinberg has made clear, the origins of what is known in Japan as the “media mix” and in the United States as “convergence” or “transmedia” (after the work of communications scholar Henry Jenkins) lay in the rise of Astro Boy and its associated merchandising in the 1960s. From the cross-cultural science fiction fandom scene of Worldcon, brought home to Japan in the 1970s, to the European obsession with Takemiya Keiko, Hagio Moto and the Izumi Salon in the same decade, fandom in the broadest sense has always been transnational. In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and with increasing simultaneity of access enabled by the rise of fandom cultures online since, transnational fandoms focused on East Asian media have proliferated globally. At the same time, the media mix model has increasingly conquered Hollywood, as is evident in the global success of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” at the box office.

Transnational fan cultures have played an active role in these developments, and professional creators continue to evolve in their attempts to court and to corral fandom approval and fan production. Friction between these groups, and the slippages among them evident in the doujin goods networks of Japan, the webstores of fan artists worldwide, and the growing approbation for established creators working on tie-in media, are some of the most interesting sites of study for transnational fandoms in the twenty-first century.

We welcome papers treating, among other themes:

  • The transnational networks and community formations of fan cultures
  • Transnational fandoms of specific media in anime, manga, gaming, film, toys, and literature
  • Identity formation in relation to media pertaining to gender, sexuality, class, race, ability, and age, among other social factors in transnational fandoms
  • Fans in the media (Depictions of otaku, BL fans/fujoshi, female gamers, etc. in film, television, manga, journalism, and digital media)
  • Legal issues pertaining to fan cultures and/or remix
  • Fan service by content creators in response to fandoms
  • Amateur and semi-professional fan media (Doujin goods, “Amerimanga,” fan fiction, AMVs, fanart)
  • Performative communities (Cosplay, Nico nico Douga dance parties, anime theme song group dances, practices of fan pilgrimage)
  • Historical examples of transnational fandoms predating television

Please send papers to submissions [at] mechademia.net by June 1, 2018. The Mechademia Style Guide and Essay Parameters is available on the Mechademia website.

All interested scholars are also invited to present about their work on Transnational Fandoms at the associated Mechademia Conference in September 2018. The deadline for submitting conference papers is April 15, 2018. For more information, please consult the conference CFP.

CFP: Superheroes Beyond conference, Melbourne, Australia, 6-8 December 2018

March 19, 2018 by

CALL FOR PAPERS

Superheroes Beyond conference

Venue: Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne, Australia

Date: 6-8 December, 2018*

A Conference Welcome Event will be held on the evening of December 5th

Proposal Deadline: 29 June, 2018

*please note that the dates have changed slightly from an earlier version of this CFP

Superheroes are transmedia, transcultural, and transhistorical icons, and yet discussion of these caped crusaders often fixate on familiar examples. This conference will join wider scholarly interest in going beyond out-dated definitions of superheroes. We invite papers that unmask international examples, examine superheroes beyond the comic book page, identify historical antecedents, consider real world examples of superheroism, and explore heroes whose secret identities are not cisgender men. From big screen heroes to lesser-known comic book vigilantes and real-life costumed heroes, the conference will include papers that consider superheroes across all eras and media platforms

Keynote Speaker: Comics artist, writer, and “herstorian” Trina Robbins

We are inviting submissions for individual research papers of 20 minutes as well as pre-formed panels. Proposal topics might include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Superheroes Beyond… Comics

Superheroes are often considered comics’ defining content, as traditionally the four-colour medium was the only format capable of fully capturing the superhero spectacle. Emboldened by digital technologies, superheroes can now be found across a rich array of media formats. Proposals are invited that consider superheroes across multiple media platforms including movies, games, television, digital comics, and virtual reality.

Superheroes Beyond… Men in Tights

It is often suggested that superheroes reflect our attitudes and anxieties. However, while superheroes may articulate society’s interests, they have only recently begun to reflect its diversity. We welcome papers that consider how superheroes are no longer the white heterosexual men that once dominated the genre, with a more diverse array of characters donning capes and cowls.

Superheroes Beyond (and Before)… 1938

Is the vigilante Robin Hood a superhero? What about demigods and mythological icons such as Hercules, Māui, and Artemis? Superheroes are notoriously hard to define, making it difficult to identify when the pop culture icon first came into existence. We encourage papers that identify early examples of the superhero archetype and chart their influence on the heroes of today and tomorrow.

Superheroes Beyond… America

Comic books are often described as an American form, and the medium’s most popular character, the superhero, did much to affirm that link with dozens of star-spangled heroes created during the industry’s Golden Age. However, the superhero has been reimagined in a range of contexts to respond to local cultures, politics, and traditions. Papers that consider how superheroes engage with national and regional identities are welcome.

Superheroes Beyond… Fantasy

The term “superhero” is often applied to real-life individuals who have distinguished themselves through their bravery or compassion. However, superheroes in popular culture are often violent vigilantes. Papers are invited that consider superheroism in everyday settings and how that can be reconciled with the more colourful power fantasies.

The Superheroes Beyond conference is organised by the Superheroes & Me research team – Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology), Liam Burke (Swinburne University of Technology), Elizabeth MacFarlane (University of Melbourne), Wendy Haslem (University of Melbourne), and Ian Gordon (National University of Singapore) – and supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

Proposals of 250-300 words for individual presentations or full panels, as well as any queries, should be sent to Liam Burke wburke@swin.edu.au by 29 June, 2018, along with a 150-word bio.

Keynote Speaker Trina Robbins

Trina Robbins has been drawing and writing comics since 1966, when she drew comics for the East Village Other, New York’s iconic underground newspaper, while at the same time designing and selling clothes from her Lower East Side boutique, Broccoli. In 1970, she produced the very first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t me, Babe. In 1972 she was one of the founding mothers of Wimmin’s Comix, the longest-lasting women’s anthology comic book. (1972 – 1992)

In the mid-1980s, tired of hearing publishers and editors say that girls don’t read comics and that women had never drawn comics, she co-wrote (with Catherine Yronwode) Women and the Comics, the first of what would become a series of histories of women cartoonists. She has been responsible for rediscovering previously forgotten early women cartoonists like Nell Brinkley, Tarpe Mills, Barbara Hall, and Lily Renee.

In 1986 she became the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic book. In 2013 Trina was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. In 2017 she was inducted into the Wizard World Hall of Legends, and at the San Diego comic convention she received the Eisner award for editing the two-volume reprint collection of the complete Wimmin’s Comix.

Further Speakers and Industry Guests to be announced.