Archive for September, 2012

Call for Papers: Pop Culture and World Politics Conference

September 1, 2012

Pop Culture and World Politics v5.0
9-11 November 2012
Hobart and William Smith Colleges – Geneva, NY 14456 USA

** KEYNOTE SPEAKERS **
Anne Elizabeth Moore, award-winning author, publisher, zinester and feminist activist
Reverend Billy, of the Church of Not Shopping
Elisa Kreisinger, pop culture pirate and feminist video remix artist
Legs McNeil (tentative), legendary author and rock music historian

What do zombies have to do with world politics? How might the Twilight sagas inform and illuminate our way of understanding world politics and changes in the global political economy? In what ways do videogames, the sales of which now exceed those of music CDs and DVDS combined, shape the identities and political understandings of frequent players? Is visual media destined to replace print as the primary source of news and entertainment in advanced industrial societies and how might this affect the construction of meaning of world affairs? As a means of communication readily available to an ever-expanding number of individuals and groups, how might the internet offer paths of resistance to corporate and Western news and entertainment hegemony? How can tango dancing make the world a more peaceful place?

This conference explores the multiple ways of investigating the intersections of world politics and the production, circulation, content, and consumption of various popular cultural forms. Engaging a range of disciplines and practices in the social sciences, humanities and the arts, the conference encourages participants to question what terms such as ‘global,’ ‘popular,’ and ‘culture’ mean both in isolation and when used in conjunction. It asks in what ways and with what effects popular culture has become a series of sites at which political meaning is made, where political contestation takes place, and where political orthodoxy is reproduced and challenged. The conference provides a highly-focused and interdisciplinary environment in which the increasing numbers of scholars that are engaging in culture-related research can present their work and participate in the kind of extended discussion that larger conferences do not permit. The conference aims to provide an intimate forum at which debates about interdisciplinary methods and theoretical approaches can be developed to facilitate debate across disciplines that share interests in world politics and culture. We welcome proposals for performances, screenings, panels, or individual papers, on any aspect of world politics and popular culture.

Building on the preceding four PCWP conferences, version 5.0 will be held on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a small liberal arts institution located in the beautiful Finger Lakes (wine-making) region of western New York state.

If you are interested in attending the conference please submit a brief abstract of your paper, panel proposal (including the names and titles of each presentation) or artistic contribution (max. 450 words) to PCWP@hws.edu. The deadline for proposals is 5 September 2012.
www.hws.edu/PCWP2012

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Call for Papers: Superhero Synergies: Studying Genre in the Age of Digital Convergence

September 1, 2012

“Superhero Synergies: Genre in the Age of Digital Convergence”

Edited by
James Gilmore (UCLA) and Matthias Stork (UCLA)

Publisher: Scarecrow Press

Since the late 1990s, the proliferation of digital media has opened up a seemingly infinite horizon of narrative possibilities in transmedia storytelling. Traditional ideas about the look and the texture of cinema, television, and comics have equally undergone striking revision in the age of digital convergence. New technologies–including 3-D, video on-demand, and electronic tablets–change the ways we think about media production, aesthetics, and consumption. Digital media have made popular culture a malleable entity to be modified continuously. As a result, popular media do not exist in isolation, but converge into complex multidimensional objects. The Internet further relays this multidimensionality via discussion forums, fan fiction, and video-based criticism.

Nowhere has this phenomenon been more persistent, more creative, or sparked more discussion than in the superhero genre. While the genre is home to many of the most financially successful films of the last 15 years, it has also developed life in video games, digital comics, Internet criticism, video essays, novelizations, television programs, and other forms of media. These media may speak to each other–as in a video game based on the film The Avengers which is, in turn, based on a series of Marvel comic books–or incorporate and critique forms of media–as when the television series Heroes consciously employs comic book aesthetics as a central narrative component. The superhero genre thus forms an ideal lynchpin to examine the contemporary landscape of popular media convergence.

The goal of this anthology is to explore the intricate relationship between superheroes and digital media in an era of convergence. Specifically, we encourage contributors to consider analytical, research-driven, and theoretical work that tackles the problems and possibilities of convergence culture as it relates to the experience and study of superheroes in the contemporary world of digital media. While the anthology incorporates a theoretical dimension, we predominantly seek submissions that emphasize the experience of superheroes and analysis of superhero images in this expanding and converging digital landscape.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
* How do conceptions of “genre” and “narrative” change amidst the interaction of multiple digital media forms?
* Adaptation: How might superhero texts accent themselves as acts of adaptation? How do digital media and transmedia storytelling transform the notion of fidelity?
* Reception study: What opportunities do digital media present for spectators to interact with each other and the media texts, and what are the scope and shape of those fandom culture interactions (i.e. avatar creation, fan fiction, video essay criticism)?
* Textual/aesthetic analysis: How do the texts themselves–comics, films, video games, etc.–employ digital media and technology? In what ways do their aesthetics and structures communicate a converging digital landscape?
* Cultural studies: How do digital media inform the discourse of socio-cultural issues within the genre, its texts, and their reception? How might digital media convergence foster a more complex discourse of these social, cultural, or political issues central to the genre–or do they?
* Marketing aesthetics: How do the advertising strategies for individual texts take advantage of an array of new media technologies?
* Film criticism: How does contemporary criticism use digital media technology to analyze and chronicle the development of the superhero genre?
* Gender analysis: How are male and female bodies figured in the superhero genre, and how have those representations changed over time and across different forms of media?

Interested writers should submit a proposal of approximately 400-600 words. Each proposal should clearly state 1) the research question and/or theoretical goals of the essay, 2) the essay’s relationship to the anthology’s core issues, and 3) a potential bibliography. Please also include a brief CV. Accepted essays should plan to be approximately 6,000-7,000 words.

Deadline for proposals: November 1, 2012

Please send proposals to both contact e-mails:

James Gilmore: james.n.gilmore@gmail.com
Matthias Stork: mstork@ucla.edu

Publication timetable:
November 1, 2012 – Deadline for Proposals
December 15, 2012 – Notification of Acceptance Decisions
April 15, 2013 – Chapter Drafts Due
July 15, 2013 – Chapter Revisions Due
August 30, 2013 – Final Revisions Due

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors’ ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.

If you have any questions, please contact the editors.

Call for Papers: Popular Culture and Language/Written Word

September 1, 2012

California State University, Fullerton’s Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society invites submissions to its fall conference. We are looking to reach across disciplines in a conference titled Popular Culture and the Written Word.

This conference will be a great opportunity for any undergraduate or graduate students of any discipline looking to gain more experience in an academic setting. We will offer an array of different conference events from round tables and panel discussions to workshops and keynote speaker presentations.

This conference will be held at

California State University, Fullerton
Nov. 30th-Dec. 1st

We are seeking proposals on any aspect of popular culture and language, including the following topics:

• Graphic Novels and Comic Book Culture
• Popular Fiction
• Popular Non-Fiction
• Young Adult Literature
• Television
• Film
• Print Media
• Advertisements
• Fan Culture
• Video Games and Video Game Culture
• History of Popular Culture

We are looking for both paper and poster board proposals to participate in round table discussions and panel presentations. Please send submissions to PopCulture.CSUF@gmail.com by October 26th and include your name, university affiliation, and indicate whether you are an undergraduate or a graduate student. Proposals should be 250-300 words.

*Feel free to contact Sigma Tau Delta president, Lauren Bailey at laurenbailey@csu.fullerton.edu, if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Call for Papers: Game of Thrones

September 1, 2012

The Maester’s Chain:  Essays on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

Edited by: Dr. Susan Johnston, Associate Professor of English, University of Regina

Dr. Jes Battis, Assistant Professor of English, University of Regina

“A master forges his chain with study, he told me.  The different metals are each a different kind of learning, gold for the study of money and accounts, silver for healing, iron for warcraft.  And he said there were other meanings as well.”

George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire (1991-), has produced a constellation of intertext:  fan fiction, merchandise, artwork, graphic novels, and an acclaimed HBO television program.  Many would argue that the series diverges from traditional epic fantasy, in its preoccupation with the grim realities of a medieval world.  Martin’s ambiguous treatment of the supernatural, and his interest in the radical failure of chivalry, has made A Song of Ice and Fire unique among fantasy texts.  The success of HBO’s Game of Thrones has created new fan communities, possibly reinvigorating the genre as a subject of critical inquiry, although there are significant differences between the source-text and its recent adaptation.  Game of Thrones has also received as much criticism as acclaim, largely due to its presentation of sexuality and violence.

We aim to collect a diversity of essays on the world of Westeros and its characters.  Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Adaptation
  • Animals (dire wolves, shape-shifting, animal consciousness)
  • Artwork
  • Childhood
  • Chivalry, monarchy, and other power structures
  • Disability and/or monstrosity
  • Fan communities and texts
  • Food and cultures of consumption
  • History and national myth-making
  • Knowledge networks (maesters, ravens, print culture)
  • Languages (Old Valyrian, Dothraki, Braavosi, and others)
  • Literary antecedents (fantasy traditions, classical and medieval influences)
  • Magic and the supernatural
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Religions (monotheism, polytheism, other treatments of the sacred)
  • Sexualities (reproduction, queerness, eunuchism, prostitution, incest)
  • Songs and mummery

The submission deadline is December 15, 2012.  Abstracts (500 – 1000 words, in .doc or .docx format) should be emailed to:

susan.johnston@uregina.ca
jes.battis@uregina.ca

Completed chapters (20-25 pages, double-spaced) are due April 15, 2013.

Call for Papers: Stardom and Fandom

September 1, 2012

Join us for the 34th Annual Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference, February 13 – 16, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The theme of this year’s conference is “Celebrating Popular/American Culture(s) in a Global Context.” The Special Topics Area Chairs invite paper or panel proposals on any aspect of stardom or fandom.

Proposal submission deadline: November 16, 2012.

Any and all topics will be considered, although we especially encourage proposals on:

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
Children and stardom (Little Rascals to Toddlers and Tiaras)
Celebrity/fame addiction as cultural change
The intersection of stardom and fandom in virtual and physical spaces
Celebrity and the construction of persona
Pedagogical approaches to teaching stardom and fandom
Straddling the stardom/fandom line: big name fans, bloggers and aca-fans
Anti-fans and ‘haters’
Fan shame and fame shame
Gendered constructions of stars and fans

The list of ideas is limited, so if you have an idea that is not listed, please suggest the new topic. We encourage submissions from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Submit 250 word paper or panel proposals (with separate abstracts and user accounts for each presenter) to: http://conference2013.swtxpca.org. Choose the area “Special Topics – Stardom and Fandom” and input your information as directed.

Direct questions to: Lynn Zubernis, lzubernis@wcupa.edu

Deadline for proposal submissions: November 16, 2012. Earlier proposals are welcomed and will be responded to with all due haste.

For more details on the conference, please visit the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture/American Culture Association: www.swtxpca.org.

Call for Papers: First Annual FANS Conference

September 1, 2012

We are pleased to announce a CFP for submissions to the First Annual Fandom and Neomedia Studies (FANS) Conference in Dallas, TX, on 1 and 2 June 2013.  We are privileged to have Helen McCarthy as our keynote speaker.

Fandom for us includes all aspects of being a fan, ranging from being a passive audience member to producing one’s own parafictive or interfictive creations.  Neomedia includes both new media as it is customarily defined as well as new ways of using and conceptualizing traditional media.

Ours is an interdisciplinary group, including historians, psychologists, geologists, writers, and independent scholars.  We welcome contributions from all disciplines and from all levels of academic achievement.  Submissions are welcome from professors, students, and independent researchers.  Topics may come from anime, manga, science fiction, television series, movies, radio, performing arts, or any other popular culture phenomenon and their respective fandom groups.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words must be submitted by 1 February 2013.  Please also include your CV.  Authors accepted for the conference will be notified by 1 March 2013.  Successful submissions to the conference will also be published in the July edition of The Phoenix Papers, our quarterly peer-reviewed journal.  If you wish to submit a paper for inclusion in the journal but not for conference consideration, the same requirements and deadlines apply.  Please indicate your preference in your submission email.  Because conference papers will be included in our journal, they must conform to our Style Guide.  Presentations will be 20 minutes long with 10 minutes for Q&A sessions.  The Sunday sessions will be given over to extended discussion on the three most popular topics from the Saturday presentations and a final “How Did We Do?” panel.

The FANS Conference is hosted and sponsored by A-Kon, the longest continually running anime and manga convention in North America.  It will be held at the Dallas Hilton Anatole Hotel.  Conference pre-registration is $60.  Pre-registration closes on 28 April 2013.  Pre-registration includes a full weekend pass to A-Kon 24, which will provide an excellent opportunity for in-person research into anime and manga fandoms.  On-site registration will also be available for $70.  All presenters must pre-register.  Information for the hotel and luncheon is being finalized as of this writing.

Please use our Contact Us page should you have any questions.  All submissions should be sent to fansconference@gmail.com.

Call for Papers: The 34th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts

September 1, 2012

ICFA 34 will explore the ubiquity of adaptation in all its Fantastic forms. In addition to essays examining our Guests’ work, conference papers might consider specific adaptations, adaptation theory, translation, elision and interpolation, postmodern pastiche, transformation and metafictionality, plagiarism and homage, audience and adaptation, franchise fiction, or the recent resurgence of reboots, retcons, remakes, and reimaginings. Panels might discuss the intersection of fantasy and adaptation, the question of fidelity, the relationship between adaptive creation and target audiences, the impact of fan fiction, the popular reception of adapted classics, the perils of translation, or the challenges of adaptation and multiple media. If everything must adapt or die, then join us in Orlando and put off death for another year.

Guest of Honor: Neil Gaiman
Guest of Honor: Kij Johnson
Guest Scholar: Constance Penley

Submission Guidelines

We welcome paper proposals on all aspects of the fantastic, and especially encourage papers on the work of our special guests and attending authors. Paper proposals must consist of a 500-word proposal accompanied by an appropriate bibliography, and a 300-word abstract. Please send them to the appropriate Division Head below. See our website at www.iafa.org for information about how to propose panel sessions or participate in creative programming at the conference.

The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2012. Participants will be notified by

November 15, 2012, if they are accepted to the conference. Attendees may present only one paper at the conference and should not submit to multiple divisions. If you are uncertain as to which Division you should submit your proposal, please contact Sherryl Vint (sherryl.vint@gmail.com).

DIVISIONS

Children’s and Young Adult Literature and Art (CYA): Alaine Martaus <acmartaus@gmail.com>

Fantasy Literature (F): Stefan Ekman <stefan.ekman@englund.lu.se>

Film and Television (FTV): Kyle Bishop<BishopK@suu.edu>

Horror Literature (H): Rhonda Brock-Servais <brockservaisrl@longwood.edu>

International Fantastic (IF): Rachel Haywood Ferreira <rhaywoodferreira@gmail.com>

Science Fiction Literature (SF): David M. Higgins <dmhiggin@gmail.com>

Visual and Performing Arts and Audiences (VPAA): Isabella van Elferen <I.A.M.vanElferen@uu.nl>

Call For Papers: ‘Adventures in Textuality – Adaptation in the Twenty-First Century

September 1, 2012

Two-Day International Conference: University of Sunderland
3rd/ 4th April 2013.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Will Brooker (author of ‘Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman’, ‘Batman Unmasked’ and editor of ‘The Blade Runner Experience’).
  • Professor Christine Geraghty (author of ‘Now a Major Motion Picture: Film Adaptations of Literature and Drama; ‘Foregrounding the Media: Atonement as Adaptation’; and the BFI TV monograph, ‘Bleak House’).
  • Professor Jonathan Gray (author of ‘Show Sold Separately’; ‘Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World’; and ‘Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody and Intertextuality’).

In the twenty-first century, adaptation studies has become a figurative combat zone. Some commentators, armed with post-structuralist weapons of dialogism and intertextuality, decry the  analysis of dyadic relationships between source and target text given the wealth of enunciations spiralling within what Jim Collins calls the ‘intertextual array’ (1992: 331) Across the post-millennial landscape, digital convergence and transmediality have shifted adaptation studies foci from what Murray describes as an ‘academic backwater…intellectually parochial, methodologically hidebound and institutionally risible’ into ‘an inclusivist conception of adaptation as a freewheeling cultural process: flagrantly transgressing cultural and media hierarchies, wilfully cross-cultural, and more weblike than straightforwardly linear in its creative dynamic’ (Murray, 2012: 2). Indeed, the turn to poststructuralist models of adaptation have led to a dialogic widening of the analytical playing field to include the many varied utterances of convergence culture which include, but are not limited to: film, comic books, theme park rides, TV, literature, merchandising, and computer games. This orchestration of cross-platform, or transmedia storytelling, is ‘clearly…adaptation operating under a different name’ (ibid: 17). For some, adaptation is not a simple conjunction of source and translation, but a dialogic sphere of influence, appropriation and citation. From this position, all texts borrow, steal and assimilate from a wellspring of textual enunciations which demonstrate a “long chain of parasitical presences, echoes, allusions, guests [and] ghosts of previous texts” (Miller 2005: 22) that have no static, explicit origin point. Stam argues that critics should ‘be less concerned with inchoate notions of fidelity and give more attention to dialogic responses (Stam 2000: 76). The rigid binarisms of ‘original’ and ‘copy’ give way to what Jacques Derrida calls ‘mutual invagination’ where the ‘auratic prestige of the original does not run counter to the copy; rather, the prestige of the original is created by the copies, without which the very idea of originality has no meaning’ (Stam, 2007: 8). Perhaps, when it comes to questions of fidelity, it ‘is time to move on’? (Geraghty, 2008: 1)

For some commentators, however, fidelity is, and remains, an important critical issue. According to Dudley Andrew (2011:27), ‘Fidelity is the umbilical cord that nourishes the judgement of ordinary viewers [yet] for some time, the leading academic trend has ignored or disparaged this concern with fidelity’. As Geraghty puts it, ‘faithfulness matters if it matters to the viewer’ (2008: 3)). In True to the Spirit: Film Adaptation and the Question of Fidelity (MacCabe et al, 2011:216), Fredric Jameson argues that excessive fidelity is annoying and that for original and copy to have equal merit then ‘the film must be utterly different from, utterly unfaithful to, its original’ (ibid:218). Other contributors to this volume discuss the dyadic relationship between novel and film, but offer something rather different to simple comparative hand-wringing and ‘the book is better than the film’ denunciations. For some, the adaptation is a different text altogether, while others claim that the translation is but one enunciation connected in an eternal ‘phantasmal spiderweb’ of heteroglossia and remediation (Miller 1990: 139). Rather than acknowledging that it is time to move on from fidelity analysis, is it not, rather, time to recognise the validity of multiple to approaches to the thorny topic of adaptation?

This conference invites papers on ALL aspects of adaptation and aims to provide a linchpin for all divergent and convergent strands of this burgeoning field. Papers are invited on the following topics:

Fidelity; Comparative Analysis; Audiences; Dialogism; Intertextuality; Post-Structuralism; Remakes and Reboots; Franchising; Sequels, series and serials; Transmedia Storytelling; Industry; Film; Comic Books; TV; Theme Park Rides; Animation; Computer Games; Merchandising; Paratexts.

This list is not exhaustive: any topic will be considered that fits in with the scheme described above. Panel proposals will be considered.

Abstract Deadline: 1st October 2012.

Conference Organisers: William Proctor; Professor John Storey. Email for Abstracts and all queries: billyproctor@hotmail.co.uk