Archive for October, 2013

CFP: The Politics and Law of Doctor Who, University of Westminster, UK, 5th September 2014

October 28, 2013

The politics and law of Doctor Who

 Symposium Announcement and First Call for Papers

 Friday 5th September 2014

University of Westminster

Doctor Who is the BBC’s longest-running drama television series and the world’s longest-running science fiction series.  The massive public attention devoted to the show’s 50th anniversary and to its choice of new lead actor confirms that the programme merits serious academic attention.  Politics, law and constitutional questions often feature prominently in Doctor Who stories, whether in the form of the Time Lords’ guardianship of the universe, the Doctor’s encounters with British Prime Ministers, or the array of governance arrangements in Dalek society.   The show’s politics is also an adventure through time, from the internationalising moralism of the Barry Letts-Terrance Dicks years, the dark satire of Andrew Cartmel’s period as script editor and the egalitarianism of the Russell T. Davies era.  Yet the politics and law of Doctor Who have yet to be the subject of wide-ranging scholarship.  Proposals for 20 minute papers are therefore invited for a symposium on 5th September 2014, to be held in the University of Westminster’s historic Regent Street building just metres away from BBC headquarters.  Possible subjects for papers might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Doctor Who’s ideology
  • The Doctor’s political morality
  • Comparison of politics of Doctor Who with politics of other science fiction
  • The merits/demerits of Harriet Jones as Prime Minister
  • Doctor Who and devolution
  • Portrayals of British sovereigns in Doctor Who
  • Doctor Who’s politics of class, gender and sexuality
  • Fan responses to “political” Doctor Who stories
  • International law, intergalactic law and non-interference
  • Globalisation and corporate domination
  • Satire in Doctor Who
  • Politics and law in audio adventures, comic books and novels
  • War crimes and genocide
  • The politics of UNIT and Torchwood
  • The will of villains to secure power
  • Political history and political nostalgia in Doctor Who
  • Doctor Who’s construction of British national identity

Abstracts should be 250 words in length, and should be accompanied by a 100-word biography of the author.  Abstracts should be sent to – deadline for receipt of abstracts 17 January 2014.


Fan Studies Network 2013 Symposium programme

October 28, 2013

Dear all,

We are delighted to announce the programme for the very first Fan Studies Network symposium, hosted by the School of Political, Social and International Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, on Saturday 30th November 2013.

You can find the programme here:

The event will begin with a keynote from Professor Matt Hills (Aberystwyth University).

Featuring an international cohort of over 30 speakers, there will be themed panels on spaces and performance, transculture, gender, “classic” fandoms, textualities, and celebrity. There will also be a participatory “speed geeking” session, featuring a number of scholars sharing research in its early stages.

Registration is open until Monday November 18th 2013. Cost: £16.75/£37.75 Unwaged/Waged. You can register on the symposium website: and talk about the event on Twitter using #FSN2013.

All are welcome!

Call for Papers: Producers and Audiences Conference, Lund University, Sweden, March 20th 2014.

October 28, 2013

Call for Papers: Producers and Audiences

International Conference

Media and Communication Research, Lund University, Sweden, March 20th 2014.Organisers Professor Annette Hill, Dr Tina Askanius, Joanna Doona and Carolina Martinez.

Media production and culture are intricately connected. Producers create, produce, distribute and sell content, formats and brands for international audiences.  We engage and disengage with creative content, formats and brands, as publics, viewers, listeners, fans, consumers and participants. And media producers and audiences can switch roles, leading a double life as creators and consumers, producers and users. Yet despite these connections, production and audience studies traditionally remain separate spheres. Recent developments in the business of media and cultural industries highlight shifts in production, distribution, economics and cultural experiences across a range of content from television, film, radio, music, print, digital and mobile media. How can production and audience research allow space for broader questions about culture and our engagement with it? This conference explores challenges for production and audience research, theory and practice. The aim is to examine the complex interplay between production and culture in global, political, industrial and social contexts.

The conference follows three areas of enquiry in media, communication and cultural studies: relations between producers and audiences; theories, methods and practices; and creative content for contemporary mediascapes. Areas of research enquiry include:

1.     Political, social, economic and cultural relations between producers and audiences

2.     Production and audience theories, methods and practices

3.     Empirical research in production and/or culture across diverse genres and content, including television, film, radio, music, print, digital and mobile media

4.     Fans and anti-fans

5.     International formats for global audiences

The schedule includes a combination of keynote addresses, pre-constituted panels, and open panels. Confirmed speakers include Professor John Corner (Leeds University, UK), Professor Peter Dahlgren (Lund University, Sweden), Julie Donovan (International Formats Consultant), Professor Annette Hill (Lund University, Sweden) Professor Vicki Mayer (Tulane University, USA), Jane Roscoe (Head of International Content for SBS Australia), Professor Jeanette Steemers (University of Westminster, UK), Douglas Wood (Head of Research, Shine Group).

Please submit abstracts of 300 words in English by December 9th 2013 For further information please consult our There is a registration fee of 650 SEK (70 Euros) that covers food and drink for the day and an evening buffet.

CFP: Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses, June 19-22, 2014, California State University-Sacramento.

October 12, 2013

Slayage: The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association (, the Whedon Studies Association, and co-conveners Rhonda V. Wilcox and Tanya R. Cochran solicit your proposal for the sixth biennial Slayage Conference on the Whedonverses (SCW6). This conference dedicated to the imaginative universe(s) of Joss Whedon—the Jossverse(s) or Whedonverse(s)—will be held on the campus of California State University-Sacramento, Sacramento, California, June 19-22, 2014. The university’s Alyson Buckman and Susan Fanetti are serving as local arrangements chairs.

We welcome a proposal of 200-300 words (or an abstract of a completed paper) on any aspect of Whedon’s television and web texts (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; his films (Serenity, The Cabin in the Woods, Marvel’s The Avengers, Much Ado About Nothing); his comics (e.g. Fray, Astonishing X-Men, Runaways, Sugarshock!, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight and Season Nine); or any element of the work of Whedon and his collaborators. Additionally, a proposal may address paratexts, fandoms, or Whedon’s extracurricular—political and activist— activities, such as his involvement with Equality Now. We invite presentations from the perspective of any discipline: literature, history, communications, film and television studies, women’s studies, religion, linguistics, music, cultural studies, and others. In other words, multidisciplinary discussions of the text, the social context, the audience, the producers, the production, and more are all appropriate. Your proposal/abstract should demonstrate familiarity with already-published scholarship in the field, which includes dozens of books, hundreds of articles, and over a dozen years of the blind, peer-reviewed journal Slayage.

This gathering will mark the 10th anniversary of the first Slayage Conference. As a result, we are planning several special events and guests and giving particular attention to connections among Whedon and his collaborators, his works, and social activism.

An individual paper is strictly limited to a reading time of 20 minutes, and we encourage, though do not require, self-organized panels of three presenters. Proposals for workshops, roundtables, or other types of sessions are also welcome. Fill out the appropriate Word form provided on the Slayage website ( and send as an email attachment. Submissions by graduate and undergraduate students are invited; undergraduates should provide the name, email, and phone number of a faculty member willing to consult with them (the faculty member does not need to attend). Please submit your proposal to Rhonda V. Wilcox and Tanya R. Cochran at <>. Submissions must be received by January 19, 2014. Decisions will be made by March 1, 2014.

Proposals must be submitted by January 19, 2014.

CFP: Special issue of Prism journal on ‘Fandom, Brands and Public Relations’

October 10, 2013

CFP: Special issue of Prism journal on ‘Fandom, Brands and Public Relations’
Amber Hutchins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Kennesaw  State University and Natalie T. J. Tindall, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Georgia State University

Traditional public relations methods of communicating with target publics have changed. The idea of engaged publics or audiences has arisen in multiple fields, including audience studies, media studies, sport culture, participatory culture, marketing, cultural studies, and public relations. The conceptions of the public in previous models are no longer valid across all campaigns.

With the advent of social media, content producers and audiences can be one and the same. Fans have more ownership on a global scale, without the limitations of physical proximity, yet our current conceptions of public do not delineate between active and super-active publics, let alone discuss engagement with information beyond processing and seeking it or dealing with publics virtually who are highly motivated to communicate with organizations and brands. Also, in public relations, there is a huge shift to community managers. Yet, there is not a lot of knowledge about the publics who are interacting within the community; this is a place where this special issue can provide significant insight.

Fandom and participatory culture have been identified, discussed, and lamented over in these areas and in various global contexts, and these conversations are synonymous and parallel with the ideas outlined in the segmentation strategies and the robust research on the situational theory of publics.

However, little conversation between those areas has occurred. For example,  online community management of fans and critics is a relatively new method practitioners use to engage stakeholders and public. Although there has been some work on offline community management (or brand communities), primarily in fields outside of public relations, there is not much available for online communities. The work that has been done has been focused on marketing or cultural studies. If you look at our leading public relations and strategic communication journals, research on fans is rare, and the attempt to connect fandom research to segmentation and other public relations theory is nonexistent.

The goal of this project is to bring scholarly attention to the disciplines’ interaction, engagement, and interaction with fans who are publics. The purpose of this special issue is to integrate stakeholder and publics theories with those of participatory cultures and media studies/fan perspectives; to add new, fresh insight into the public relations discipline’s concepts of publics and segmentation; and to apply new research and understandings of publics.

·         Submission deadline: 1st February 2014

·         Anticipated publication date:  During the 2014 calendar year

Submissions for review should be sent to Amber Hutchins and Natalie T.J. Tindall,