Call for Expressions of Interest: Musical Fan Communities: Connected Across Borders

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Musical Fan Communities: Connected Across Borders

Call for Expressions of Interest

Principal investigator: Dr. Laura MacDonald (University of Portsmouth)

Co-investigator: Dr. Jonathan Evans (University of Portsmouth)

After a successful research day in May 2015 and a presentation at the Fan Studies Network conference in June 2015, we are now preparing a bid for the AHRC Research Networking Scheme. This funding would support research events in the UK and abroad, and lead to a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. In order to submit as compelling a bid as possible, we would like to confirm the ongoing interest of our initial participants and recruit additional participants. With this in mind, we are soliciting expressions of interest, outlining projects and areas of interest that would benefit from development in an international, interdisciplinary network.

Our ongoing research investigates how film and theatrical musicals are received and remediated by fans in other cultures where other languages are spoken. Our wider questions include: How do fans of musicals deal with language difference? What sort of fan organised activity is there in relation to musicals? Our focus, therefore, is on how fans translate, literally and metaphorically, foreign musicals for themselves and their peers: both in the form of lyric translation and subtitling, but also in the form of reviews and commentary. Through an analysis of evidence of fan activities such as subtitling, YouTube performances and comments, amateur performances, fans’ international travel to sites of musical theatre performance, and online forum discussions, we will argue that the communal activity of theatre going serves as a basis for a gift culture that focuses on sharing and giving others access to foreign texts. Drawing on close readings of these materials and theories of audiovisual translation, consumption and fandom, we will suggest fan practices play a significant role in the musical’s success as a global genre and in creating communal, non-national spaces based around shared affective experience.

Network participants will be working in musical theatre, theatre, film, media, European, Asian, and/or American studies. They may also be engaged in digital humanities projects, or employed in industries relevant to this research. The fans, the stakeholders in this network’s investigations, will also be involved in research events.

Interested participants are ask to respond by 30 November 2015 to both Laura MacDonald (laura.macdonald@port.ac.uk) and Jonathan Evans (jonathan.evans@port.ac.uk) with an abstract or outline of no more than 250 words indicating a project or area of research that would benefit from development through this network, keeping in mind the focus on fan practices in response to stage and screen musicals in languages and cultures other than those of the musical’s origins.

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