Archive for May, 2014

CFP: TRANSITIONS 5 – New Directions in Comics Studies, October 25th 2014, Birkbeck, University of London

May 27, 2014

Call for Papers:
TRANSITIONS 5 – New Directions in Comics Studies

Saturday October 25th 2014 at Birkbeck, University of London

Keynote: Dr Jason Dittmer (UCL, Captain America & the Nationalist Superhero)
Respondent: Dr Roger Sabin, Central Saint Martins, Comics, Comix & Graphic Novels)

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for the forthcoming 5th Transitions symposium, promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics/ comix/ manga/ bandes dessinée and other forms of sequential art. By deliberately not appointing a set theme, we hope to put together a programme reflecting the diversity of comics studies. We welcome abstracts for twenty minute papers as well as proposals for panels.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

text-oriented approaches – studies of key creators – historical and contemporary studies of production and circulation of comics – readerships and fan cultures – critical reception – formats, platforms and contexts – the (im)materiality of comics – archival concerns – formalist/narratological approaches – comics and aesthetics – adaptation, convergence and remediation – international iterations and transnational comics – children’s comics – political comics – comics and cultural theory – ideological/discursive critiques – web comics – graphic medicine – non-fiction comics – comics as historiography – comics practice and theory– cultural histories/geographies…

Abstracts for twenty minute papers should be no more than 250 – 300 words. Proposals for papers and panels should be sent as Word documents, with a short biography appended, and submitted by the 30th of July 2014 to Hallvard, Tony and Nina at

Transitions is supported by Comica, The Centre for Contemporary Literature (Birkbeck), and the Contemporary Fiction Seminar.


CFP: Manga Futures: Institutional and Fannish Approaches in Japan and Beyond, University of Wollongong, 31 October – 2 November 2014

May 27, 2014

Call for Papers

“Manga Futures: Institutional and Fannish Approaches in Japan and Beyond”

Manga Studies is now emerging as an important field of scholarship and
criticism within Japanese Studies and Cultural Studies, but its
methodologies and theoretical foundations are still being developed in
relation to both existing academic disciplines and everyday practices.
This conference approaches “manga culture” in the broadest
sense.Speakers address the interrelations between aspects of
production, distribution and consumption inside and outside of Japan.
Perspectives adopted include institutionally established
industry-insiders,fandom-based creators and critics, and academics
with social-science and humanities-oriented backgrounds. Manga has
given rise to a new participatory culture which reaches far beyond
graphic narratives. Today’s students are not simply consumers of
manga. They live in a convergent media environment where they occupy
multiple roles as fans, students and “produsers” (producers + users)
of Japanese cultural content. Many students are engaged in
“scanlation” and “fansubbing” sites as well as the production and
dissemination of dōjin (fan-produced) work. These practices contribute
to manga’s global appeal, influence and ease of access, but also raise
ethical and legal issues, not least infringement of copyright. In
addition to invited speakers who include manga researchers and
creators from Japan, Japanese Studies experts, language teachers and
other stakeholders, the organizers welcome critical contributions
which reflect on how the study of manga should develop as a scholarly
field to support young people’s enthusiasm and ensure the prosperity
of manga culture now and into the future.

Paper proposals are invited on the following themes:

• Fan appropriations of and contributions to manga culture in Japan and beyond
• Commonalities and differences in fandom-based creation and criticism
between Japan and other countries
• Ethical and legal challenges in the production and consumption of
manga (copyright, representations of violent and sexual content,
potential fictional “child abuse” images etc.)
• Institutional support for or criticism of manga culture
• The use of manga in Japan studies and Japan language pedagogy
• The future of “manga studies” – theory and methods

Please note that the above issues may be also addressed via
discussions of manga-related media such as anime and video games.

Due date for proposals: 13 July 2014
Notification of acceptance: August 2014
Deadline for registration: 3 October 2014

You may submit your abstracts by using our submission form.

Stay tuned for updates by subscribing to our mailing list or following
us in social media.

Reminder: CFP The Fan Studies Network 2014 Conference

May 26, 2014

Dear all,
we just wanted to offer a little reminder that abstracts for the Fan Studies Network conference 2014 are due in at the end of this week (by Sunday 1st June)!

You can read the CFP here:

The video of last year’s event is here:

We hope to see you there!

CFP: Otherness and Transgression in Celebrity and Fan Cultures, Aarhus University, Denmark, 21-22 November 2014

May 8, 2014

Otherness and Transgression in Celebrity and Fan Cultures
Hosted by the Cultural Transformations Research Group, Aarhus University.
November 21-22, 2014

Keynote speaker:
Matt Hills, Aberystwyth University –
“Fans as Celebrities, Celebrities as Fans: The Rise of an Affective Economy?”

The notions of otherness and transgression play an essential part in the cultural work and practices celebrities and fandoms perform inasmuch as these concepts are inseparable from the celebrity and fan cultural processes of social in/exclusion, identification and dissociation, uniformity and diversification,
and forces both drawing and disrupting demarcations between normalcy and deviance. To the extent that these processes are actively shaped by and partake in shaping our desires, contempt, ways of thinking and being, otherness and transgression constitute pertinent sites for critical exploration within
the two overlapping fields of research, Fan and Celebrity Studies.
A complex and multivalent term, otherness is conventionally signaled by markers of “difference” and the unknown. As difference remains a condition for any determinate sense of identity, otherness is also inevitably implicit and complicit in considerations of subjectivity, identity, and sameness rendering it a pivotal aspect in discussions on both their constitution and impossibility. Likewise, in the field of Fan and Celebrity culture – where categories such as class, gender, race, sexuality, and age dynamically intersect and interact in manifold ways – the identity work, social meanings, and cultural preferences informing both these cultures’ production and consumption of cultural and media texts are also
constantly negotiated. Reflexive of the values, biases, and tensions of the social body, they are useful indicators of contemporary configurations and devices for othering; for example, the ways in which the discourses of immorality, pathology, monstrosity, impropriety, and cultism, among others, inform the construction of difference, and function as vehicles for othering that additionally cut diagonally across various imbricating “-isms,” such as racism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and lookism.
As difference often implies the perception of deviance, otherness is accompanied by the constant impending threat of transgression, to undo and redraw the differentiating limits determining the
provisional identities of entities, behaviors, and bodies. While transgression refers to a violation and exceeding of bounds, it also ambiguously realizes and completes these boundaries as it helps define them and reaffirms a given social order by designating the illicit. This dialectic of the de/stabilizing
effects of transgression summons further inquiry in relation to fandoms and celebrity cultures, in which deviance is an attractive commercial component. Construed as particularly excessive, both celebrity personas and subcultural fan practices are defined by their distance from the norm, but where celebrity
culture concerns the consumption of transgressive content and narratives of extraordinary personalities, in the case of fan culture, consumption itself is purportedly transgressive. Celebrities are conventionally conceptualized as power-saturated signs seductively reinforcing cultural norms – either
through glossy portraits of charismatic individuals advertizing luxurious lifestyles and the censure of celebrities in the scandal genre respectively – and fandoms, conversely, as subversively contesting these norms through the fetishistic appropriation of cultural icons, media products, and playful textual poaching. However, hardly homogenous, both celebrity power and fandoms channel a multitude of contradictory and inconsistent ideological inflections, and entail a complex mesh of conformity and heterogeneity, which informs, for example, the social interaction among fans and their interpretive communities, whose internal fractions struggle over affect and meaning, as well as the pervasive circulation and currency of certain im/proper celebrity images and fan identities. Accordingly, the need to study, explain, and analyze the semiotic labor invested in the celebrity sign and by the fan in a given media product respectively only becomes greater.
In light of today’s new socio-political subjectivities, prosumer and participatory culture, new technologies and distributive modes, expanding networks, and means of communication enabling transcultural proximity between individuals from different parts of the world, new encounters, expressions, and understandings have emerged and with it, transformed nuances of othering, saming, and transgression. As a result, Fan and Celebrity cultures, are in need of a reappraisal in which the new
fickle and permeable boundaries between identities, cultural practices, private and public spheres, products and consumers, celebrity and fan bodies, intimacy and estrangement are investigated.
Refracting otherness and transgression from overlapping prisms, the pleasures, representations, productions, and affects of celebrity and fan cultures opens up a fruitful and invigorating space for further research.
It is this variety of formulations which this conference wishes to convene on from divergent disciplinary
and theoretical perspectives. The Cultural Transformations Research Group at Aarhus University
therefore invites submissions exploring celebrity and fan cultures within the scope of the critical spaces
and contexts offered by otherness and transgression.

The Intersection of Celebrity and Fan Studies
Sex, Gender, Sexual Differing, and Queering the Fan / Celebrity Body
Cross-Over Celebrities; Ethnicity, Hybridity, and Fandom in Transcultural Contexts
Celebrity Representations of Dis/ability and through Fan Works
The Intersectionalities of Social Categories in Celebrity and Fan Cultures
Notoriety, Infamy, Scandal, Deviance, and Excess
Social Media and the Construction of Celebrity as Other
The Construction of Otherness in Fandom and Fan Works
Monstrosity, the Abject, and Uncanny in Fan Fiction, Fandoms, and Celebrityhood
Pathology, Addiction, Cultism, Confession, and Therapy
Mashing and Vidding: Viral and Violating
Authenticity, Secrecy, Intimacy, and Publicity
Post-feminist Celebrity Narratives and Cultural Forms
Power, Prosumerism, and Participatory Culture
New Modes of Self-Other Relations within Para-social Contexts
Fan and/or Celebrity Shaming
The (Im)Material Other Worlds of Fandoms and the Alternative Spaces of Fan Communities

We are pleased to announce that qualified research papers are considered for prospective publication in
a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Otherness: Essays and Studies, Submitted articles will follow the standard review process of the

The conference is open to scholars and students of all disciplines. Those wishing to participate in the
conference are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to the organizers at by Friday, August 22, 2014. The convenors will have reviewed the
abstracts and notified the authors of whether their proposals have been accepted no later than
September 12, 2014. Papers may be given in English with citations in any language, and are limited to
20 minutes.
All questions regarding conference content (abstracts, presentations, speakers etc.) may be directed to
the organizers at

Matthias Stephan, Ph.D. scholar Claus Toft-Nielsen, Ph.D.
Lise Dilling-Hansen, Ph.D. scholar Susan Yi Sencindiver, Ph.D.

Call For Papers: Fan Phenomena: James Bond

May 2, 2014

Call for Papers
Fan Phenomena: James Bond

Having recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films in 2012, and with pre-production on Bond 24 underway, Intellect’s Fan Phenomena book series is now seeking chapters for a new volume on fandom and James Bond. The Fan Phenomena books explore and decode the fascination we have with what constitutes an iconic or cult phenomenon and how a particular person, TV show or film character/film infiltrates its way into the public consciousness. Over the years Bond has proved to be popular with fans, and is an enduring global cultural phenomenon, making him a perfect icon to be covered by the series.

From the original Bond stories written by Ian Fleming, through to the success of the EON-produced films, and other licensed Bond novels, video games and tie-in products, the Bond franchise is long-running and highly financially lucrative, having generated billions of dollars in revenue. But unsurprisingly, given his status as a global icon, Bond has also evolved well beyond this official image to become a popular hero who is deeply influential and widely appropriated. The James Bond (Fan Phenomena) title will examine aspects of the Bond fan culture, and may consider in particular what exploring fans and fandom might bring to debates about Bond’s continued cultural relevance. The emphasis will be on fan culture as an aspect of the Bond phenomenon, and the collection will aim to analyse some of the ways in which this iconic character has been taken up and (re)interpreted, (re)appropriated and (re)branded by and for his fan-base, and across media.

Topics of particular interest might include, but are not limited to:
– Bond as lifestyle icon
e.g. Bond’s influence on fashion, the emulation of Bond through the purchase of clothing/accessories/fragrance, fan appropriation or identification with the Bond image or role, Bond-themed experiences, or Bond as cult hero

– The Bond brand
e.g. the creation of brand partnerships, brand recognition and reinforcement, the significance of ‘Bondomania’, the Bond brand reboot, transmedia Bond, the Bond villain, or Bond girl

– Bond merchandise, memorabilia and collecting
e.g. the significance of product consumption, marketing or creation

– Bond fans’ use of different media to create community
e.g. fan clubs, fanzines, Bond on the internet, video games, books, music or comic books

– The phenomena of Bond fan art, fan fiction, fan films and other fan responses
e.g. the Bond/Q pairing, crossover fan fiction (such as Bond and Harry Potter, Bond and Dr Who, or Bond and Batman), fan interpretations of the Bond character, or Bond fan fiction and copyright

– Bond fan demographics
e.g. the role of gender, sexuality, age in the Bond fan base, global examples of Bond fandom, or stereotypes of the Bond fan

– Arguments and divides between Bond fans
e.g. fans of the Bond books vs. fans of the films, Bond bests and worsts (actors/films/characters), or fan responses to particular characters, casting choices or the direction of the Bond franchise (such as

– Bond-inspired tourism
e.g. fans who visit Bond film shooting locations, Bond tours, Bond’s London, or the Bond-related tourist industry

– Bond-inspired spoofs, satires, parodies, imitations and references in film, books, videogames, on TV or other media
e.g. Austin Powers (1997, 1999, 2002), James Pond (1990), ‘You Only Move Twice’ (1996) The Simpsons’ episode, Johnny English (2003), or the short story ‘Bond Strikes Camp’ (1963)

– Bond and philosophy
e.g. the philosophical questions raised by Bond, or the appeal of Bond’s philosophy

– The language of Bond
e.g. key terminology (the ‘Bondian’), the significance of Bond’s body language, or of the repetition of iconic phrases (by fans)

Like other titles in the Fan Phenomena series, this book is aimed at both fans and those interested in the cultural and social aspects of James Bond. As such the book is intended to be entertaining, informative, and accessible to a broad audience.
Please send an abstract (300 words) and a short bio, or direct enquiries to Claire Hines by 30 June 2014. Final chapters will be 3,000 – 3,500 words.