Archive for April, 2012

Report: La Culture du Fan Symposium, Paris-Sorbonne University

April 30, 2012

NB: As the morning session was conducted in French – and my own grasp of the language is poor, at best – this report will cover just the English afternoon session. However, those of you more cultured than I may find the Storify live tweet report of the event useful, as the #CultFan hashtag was used throughout the day. A special mention must also go to Sebastien Francois, who provided English commentary on the French content.

Organised in association with the Maison des Sciences and held at Paris-Sorbonne University on 27th April 2012, the Culture du Fan Symposium brought together European scholars of fandom in a bilingual event that featured papers both focused on specific case studies, and asking larger questions about the state of the field. (more…)


CFP: Shapeshifters, Cyborgs, and Psychedelics: Analyzing the Alternate Worlds of J. J. Abrams’ Fringe

April 26, 2012

Coeditors Sherry Ginn, Tanya R. Cochran, and Paul Zinder invite proposals or completed essays for an edited collection of scholarly works that explore J.J. Abrams’ science fiction television series Fringe (2008-present). We are interested in a variety of topics as well as diverse disciplinary approaches. Proposals should demonstrate not only a clear methodology and strong thesis but also a familiarity with current conversations and publications about the series. We would be especially pleased to see innovative perspectives on unusual topics such as the show’s paratexts or production elements. Though not prescriptive, the following list of topics may be productive to consider:

*Alternate Worlds *Auteur Theory—J.J. Abrams, creator *Broadcasting/Scheduling *Casting *Characters/Character Development *(Dis)Ability—representations of mental illness, psychotherapeutic techniques, (de)institutionalization *Drug Use—recreational use as well as therapeutic use of recreational drugs *Discourse Analysis *Fandom *Gender *Genre *Government Intervention/Conspiracy Theories *History—LSD trials, emergence of transpersonal psychology/Consciousness Studies *Intertextuality *Interpersonal Communication *Myth(ologies) *(Neuro)Science and Technology—ethics (e.g., human experimentations) *Philosophy/Spirituality/Religion *Paratexts—web content, fan fiction, glyphs *Production—cinematography, editing, musical score *Predecessors—The X-Files, Regenesis, Eleventh Hour, etc. *Psychology *Race *Rhetoric

We strongly recommend authors familiarize themselves with these publications to extend and/or challenge published analyses of the series:

*Grazier, Kevin R., ed. Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists. Dallas: Smart Pop, 2011. Print. *Stuart, Sarah Clarke. Into the Looking Glass: Exploring the Worlds of Fringe. Toronto: ECW, 2011. Print.

Queries are welcomed; please email us at Send 350-500-word proposals or 5,000-7,000-word essays in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) to the same email address; please label your attachment with “Fringe,” your last name, and the date (day.month.year)—e.g., “Fringe, Cochran, 1.3.12.” We suggest but do not require that proposals include a working bibliography. Please provide in a separate document or in the body of the email a brief biography and selected vita.

We are currently negotiating with a publisher and working on the following timeline:
*Proposals Due: 15 May 2012
*Notification of Acceptance: 15 June 2012
*First Drafts Due: 1 November 2012

Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-first Century Batman

April 24, 2012

(Information from the I.B. Tauris website)

Publishing alongside the world premiere of Christopher Nolan’s third Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, Will Brooker’s new book explores Batman’s twenty-first century incarnations. Brooker’s close analysis of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight offers a rigorous, accessible account of the complex relationship between popular films, audiences, and producers in our age of media convergence. By exploring themes of authorship, adaptation and intertextuality, he addresses a myriad of questions raised by these films: did Batman Begins end when The Dark Knight began? Does its story include the Gotham Knight DVD, or the ‘Why So Serious’ viral marketing campaign? Is it separate from the parallel narratives of the Arkham Asylum videogame, the monthly comic books, the animated series and the graphic novels? Can the brightly campy incarnations of the Batman ever be fully repressed by The Dark Knight, or are they an intrinsic part of the character? Do all of these various manifestations feed into a single Batman metanarrative? This will be a vital text for film students and academics, as well as legions of Batman fans.

CFP: The Hunger Games: Critical Examinations

April 8, 2012

We are seeking scholarly contributions and critical examinations focused on the young adult novel and cultural phenomenon The Hunger Games. This book intends to interrogate the features that make Hunger Games such an important cultural artifact. Despite the recent book of commentary written by popular YA novelists—The Girl Who Was On Fire— few scholars have paid critical attention to Collins and Hunger Games. We are looking for essays that will begin to fill the gap in the scholarly conversation about YA literature by investigating the social and rhetorical work achieved in and through The Hunger Games.

This particular collection of essays seeks to investigate issues of audience and the novel’s function within real world spaces and situations, as well as traditional readings of the trilogy as literature, specifically as a work of children’s or YA literature. Topics include (but are not necessarily limited to) media studies and fan culture, social realities and identity, and young adult literature as a genre.

We are also interested in a limited number of creative contributions from an undergraduate audience that explore grassroots reactions to Collins’s text.

For more information, please email

To propose an essay, please send a 300-400 word proposal and an informal bio to the above email address no later than June 15, 2012.

Deidre Evans Garriott, Julie Tyler, Whitney Jones; University of Tennessee

2012 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

April 4, 2012

2012 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium
Los Angeles, CA: June 29 – July 2, 2012

Anime and manga are visual culture and media, popular entertainment,
commercial products, objects of interest and sometimes obsession – and
for many people, their first and sometimes only contact with Japan.
Scholars in Japan and around the world have increasingly become
interested in the themes, topics, and issues of anime and manga – and
of all Japanese popular culture.

The goal of the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is to highlight
cutting-edge research and critical thinking about Japanese animation
and comics by examining emerging trends in anime and manga studies
around the world. Anime Expo is the largest gathering of fans of
Japanese popular culture in the U.S., and, as an integral component of
the AX program, the Symposium will also serve to introduce anime and
manga studies to a general, non-academic audience. Another goal of
this event will be to to establish crucial connections and facilitate
briding the gaps between scholars and fans.

Speakers are invited to present papers on any topic related to
Japanese comics and animation, global anime and manga fandom, and the
anime/manga industry in Japan and elsewhere. Individual presentations
can focus on themes and topics such as:

– Close readings of particular individual anime and manga texts.
– Uses of anime and manga to present viewpoints on Japanese and world history.
– Japanese animation and comics in historical perspective: anime and
manga before Tezuka.
– Anime and manga as a corpus: Sequels, remakes, reinterpretations,
– Global conversations with Japanese popular culture – Non-Japanese
uses of anime and manga, e.g., Animatrix, Batman, First Squad, Iron
Man, Supernatural, etc.
– The role of the creator and director (and individual
creators/directors) in the development of anime and manga.
– Cultural production approaches to Japanese visual culture: Examining
production, promotion, marketing, international licensing and
distribution, translation and sales to understand anime’s global
– The activities of anime/manga fans – for example, fanfiction,
cosplay, anime music videos, and website development. Other ideas are
also welcome.
– Anime and manga adaptations and adaptations of anime and manga:
Failures and successes.
– Beyond mainstream anime and manga: Experimental and non-mainstream
Japanese animation and comics.
– Anime and manga in the classroom: Theories and experiences of
teaching Japanese visual culture.
– Popular culture responds to reality: The Great Eastern Japan
Earthquake and future directions in Japanese visual culture.

The symposium particularly welcomes studies of recent and new anime
and manga (such as Durarara, Eden of the East, Madoka, Red Line) and
papers that engage with recent Japanese and Western scholarship on
these and other related topics.

This list is not exhaustive, and other topics and approaches will be
welcome as well.

To respond, please forward the title of your paper, an abstract of
300-500 words, and your CV to the attention of Mikhail Koulikov, at

All submissions will undergo peer review.

The Symposium program will also feature several roundtable panel
discussions bringing together scholars from different institutions to
share different perspectives on anime and manga.

Roundtable panel 1: Anime and manga studies at 30: Issues and directions.
Roundtable panel 2: Fan cultures and practices in Japan, America, and beyond.
Roundtable panel 3: The future of Japanese visual culture.

If you are interested in participating in any of these discussions,
please contact Mikhail Koulikov, at, with a
summary of your experience and background plus a 300-500 word
statement of your interest and specific approaches to your topic

The deadline for all paper and panel proposals is May 15, 2012.

All speakers will receive complimentary admission to Anime Expo 2012.
Some reimbursement of travel expenses may be available.