Archive for February, 2016

CFP: Ageing celebrities and ageing fans in popular media culture, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-20 May 2016

February 22, 2016

Ageing celebrities and ageing fans in popular media culture

19-20 May 2016 at Department of Media Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen.

We are proud to announce that the following keynotes are confirmed for the seminar:

Professor Matt Hills, Aberystwyth University, Wales.
Professor. C. Lee Harrington, Miami University, USA.
Reader, Dr. Deborah Jermyn, Roehampton University, England
Senior lecturer, Dr. Kirsty Fairclough-Isaacs, University of Salford, England.

Call for abstracts

DEADLINE: 1 March 2016: 250-300 words for paper presentations. Abstracts should be submitted to and

There is increasing interest in celebrity and age within media studies, most recently represented by the edited volume Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing. The same goes for age in fan studies, with the edited volume Ageing, Media and Culture (2015) devoting a few chapters to ageing and life course in fan culture. This seminar combines these two strands of research, with a focus on both female and male celebrities and fans. The seminar is dedicated to discussions of representations of and meanings related to ageing in contemporary celebrity and fan culture across a range of media, from fashion ads and tabloid magazines to music, film, television, social media, and other media platforms.

Ageing remains contentious in popular culture, with young stars being cast to play much older characters. The ageing female body is either contained or pathologized in audiovisual media, eloquently described by Vivian Sobchack in the late 1990s. Nowhere is ageism as prominent a logic as in media production. Celebrity culture is a culture of youth. Recently, however, movements have emerged that run counter to this pervasive notion of celebrities as young and beautiful. Much effort has been made by mature female actresses to publicly call attention to the lack of older female characters in film. Jane Fonda co-stars with Lily Tomlin and co-produces the Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie, which deals with women starting over post-divorce late in life and reinventing themselves as modern single women. Elderly celebrity, writer Joan Didion, was chosen as the face of Celine’s spring campaign of 2015, as was singer Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent.

Just as with celebrities, fan cultures are mostly considered to be teen or youth phenomena. However, an increasing number of mature adults and seniors are active members of fandoms, both online on social media platforms and as participants at fan conventions. Playfulness or excessive enthusiasm for a media product or celebrity are no longer seen as the exclusive property of the younger generations, but there is still a lack of knowledge about what happens when fans become parents and grandparents or when people become fans in later life. Similarly, we seek to understand the possibilities new media and platforms, such as Tumblr, offer fans and how social media encourage older people to perform fan practices. One mature fan writes in her Twitter bio: ‘Old enough to know better, old enough not to care.’ Finally, a range of television and film series have returned with updated versions of the original older shows (including Sherlock (2010-), Doctor Who (2005-), Twin Peaks (2016), X-Files (2016)), creating an opportunity for fans of the original series to engage on social media platforms and immerse themselves in the narratives once again. This seminar examines the role fandom plays in the life course of mature and elderly fans.

In summary, we hope to shed light on new tendencies related to ageing in celebrity and fan culture in popular and entertainment media by bringing together the two research traditions and the cultural spaces in which they overlap.

The seminar includes but is not limited to:

– Tabloid and celebrity media’s focus on age and ageing

– Representations of ageing celebrities at red carpet events

– Representations of ageing in popular media narratives

– The role of fandom for mature and ageing fans in online/offline fan culture

– Old stories, old audiences? Audiences for revived narratives such as Sherlock Holmes film and TV franchises, Star Trek, Doctor Who, the X-Files, Twin Peaks, etc.

– Gender studies in relation to ageing in celebrity culture and fan culture

– Genre and ageing: the action hero, ageing in comedy, etc.


CFP: Media Engagement: Connecting Production, Texts and Audiences, 4 May 2016, University of Westminster, UK

February 15, 2016

Media Engagement: Connecting Production, Texts and Audiences

International Symposium Wallenberg Foundation, Lund University and University of Westminster

Wednesday 4th May 2016, Boardroom, 309 Regent Street, London Preceded by the seminar Media Industries and Engagement Tuesday 3rd May (CAMRI seminar series) Organisers Annette Hill and Jeanette Steemers

How do people engage with media such as television drama, twitter feeds, or reality entertainment? Media engagement is a broad term for research into how we experience media content, artefacts and events, from our experience of live performances, to social media engagement, or participation in media itself. Media engagement offers a rich site of analysis for exploring the dispersed connections across industry contexts, cultural forms, and audience experiences.

This symposium provides a platform for research on new terms of media engagement. We want to understand industrial contexts for engagement, including performance metrics, production practices and policy discourses. And we want to understand people’s shifting and subjective relations with media as live audiences, catch up viewers, illegal users, citizens and consumers, fans and anti-fans, contestants and participants. Media engagement thus encapsulates research on audiences, fans or producer-users, and the ways these different groups co-exist with those making content and driving policy and politics. The aim of the symposium is to investigate how industrial contexts, producers and audiences co-create, shape and limit experiences within emerging mediascapes.

We welcome research that relates to the following areas of enquiry for media engagement:
1.Industrial contexts for engagement: production practices, policy discourses and stakeholder coalitions
2.Empirical production and audience research: quantitative and qualitative methods and practices Audience experiences and engagement: affect, emotion and passion
3.Fans and anti-fans: labour and fan practices
4.Unmeasured audience: informal media economies and illegal practices

The conference includes a combination of invited speakers and open panels. Confirmed speakers include Professor Göran Bolin (Södertörn University, Sweden), Professor Raymond Boyle (Glasgow University, UK), Professor John Corner (Leeds University, UK), Professor Annette Hill (Lund University, Sweden), Professor Jeanette Steemers (University of Westminster, UK), Dr Paul Torre (University of Northern Iowa, USA), Professor Anne Marit Waade (Aarhus University, Denmark). The symposium is connected with the Media Experiences project, a production and audience study of television drama, documentary and reality entertainment based at Lund University, in collaboration with Endemol Shine Group, and funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (

Please submit abstracts of 300 words in English by 23rd March 2016 to Jose Luis Urueta ( There is a registration fee of 25 GBP.

Information about the CAMRI seminar series:

Call For Papers: Theorising the Popular

February 11, 2016

Theorising the Popular

Liverpool Hope University
June 28th-29th 2016

The Popular Culture research group at Liverpool Hope University welcome papers from academics and graduate students for its sixth annual international conference, ‘Theorising the Popular’. Its aim is to demonstrate the intellectual originality, depth and breadth of ‘popular’ disciplines, as well as their academic relationship with and within ‘traditional’ subjects. The group breaks down disciplinary barriers and challenges academic hierarchies.

 We would especially welcome papers in the following areas, although we invite proposals from all disciplines. As well as papers from established and early career academics, we encourage proposals from graduate students:
•       Film
•       TV
•       Music
•       Drama & Participation
•       Gender:Feminism/Femininities/Masculinities/Queering/Sexualities/Representations of the Body
•       Literature/Fiction
•       Language/Linguistics
•       Fan Cultures
•       Comedy
•       Politics
•       Sport
•       Media/Communications
•       Business Studies

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Please send abstracts of 300 words to Dr Jacqui Miller by Thursday 31st March, 2016.

Connect with us on social media:
Facebook: Theorising the Popular Conference
Twitter: @TheorisePopular

Call for Papers/Proposals: AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, Los Angeles, CA (July 1-4 2016)

February 9, 2016

Call for Papers/Proposals: AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium
Los Angeles, CA (July 1-4)
Submission deadline: April 15, 2016

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the parent organization of Anime Expo (AX), the largest anime convention in the U.S., is inviting proposals for plenary addresses, presentations, and panel discussions for the 2016 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium. The Symposium will be held from July 1 to July, 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, California) as the Academic Program track of this year’s Anime Expo.
Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) are unique forms of visual culture that attract and inspire audiences around the world. The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium serves as the premier site for presenting and sharing research on a wide range of topics related to the creation, production, distribution, and worldwide reception of anime/manga, their history, relationships with other media, and the experiences and practices of anime and manga fans.
The Symposium’s goal is to bring together a diverse, international group of scholars, and facilitate the development of anime/manga studies as a defined academic field. As an integral part of Anime Expo, and open to all attendees, it also introduces general audiences to the methods, practices and tools of academic research into popular culture and fosters a dialogue between academics and fans. Participants in the Symposium will be able to join a celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture and interact directly with the convention’s attendees. Inherently interdisciplinary, it is open to approaches from different fields, and welcomes a wide range of speakers. Early-career scholars, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent researchers/industry professionals are especially encouraged to submit proposals!
These can take the form of a longer plenary address (45-60 minutes), an individual presentation, or a round-table panel discussion. Because of the Symposium’s broad educational mission, speakers are urged to consider subjects, topics and approaches that will be of interest to general, non-specialist audiences and do not require significant theory backgrounds or familiarity with particular subjects.

Some potential areas/topics the proposals can address include:
• Genres, genre conventions and subversions, franchises, adaptations and interpretations of Japanese and non-Japanese literature and other media, cross-media adaptations (such as anime/manga into video games and stage plays), the increasing prominence of remakes and reimaginings.
• Professional and amateur translation of anime and manga, censorship/self-censorship, translation of “non-speech” elements such as signs, writing, particular fonts, etc.
• Depictions of gender and sexuality, and the role of gender in the production and consumption of anime/manga.
• Fan service and objectification, the male and female gaze, the interplay of male and female creators, producers, and audiences.
• Responses to current social and political issues, such as marginalized communities, crime, terrorism and international conflict, relations between Japan and other countries, the 3.11 Tohoku Disaster and its effects on Japanese society.
• The growing influence of Western media and Western markets on anime/manga. The effects of streaming, crowdfunding, direct involvement by Western producers. The impact of Japanese visual culture on animation and comics outside Japan.
• Fan cultures, activities, practices and experiences – clubs, conventions, cosplay, fansites, fansubbing, anime music videos – in Japan, the U.S., and around the world.
• Potentials for anime/manga as platforms for social change and the political identities of anime/manga fans.
This year, the symposium is particularly interested in exploring questions related to:
The economics of anime and manga:
• The roles of particular creators and other individuals
• Entrepreneurial and business models
• The state of the anime/manga industry in Japan, in the U.S., and around the world
• Industry trends and future projections
Teaching about Japanese animation/Japanese comics at the secondary and post-secondary level
• Developing lesson plans
• Selecting themes and titles to feature
• Interacting with different types of students
• Integrating anime and manga into other classes
• Responding to Common Core Standards

If you are interested in participating in the 2016 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, please submit the title of your proposed talk or panel, an abstract (300 words maximum) and your CV to Mikhail Koulikov,
Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2016.
Selected speakers may be offered complimentary admission to Anime Expo 2016.

For additional details about the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, including the previous years’ schedules and lists of speakers, please visit

CFP: Eating the Rude: Hannibal Lecter and the Fannibals, Criminals, and Legacy of America’s Favorite Cannibal

February 8, 2016

Call for Papers

Eating the Rude: Hannibal Lecter and the Fannibals, Criminals, and Legacy of America’s Favorite Cannibal


Editors: Kyle Moody, Ph.D. and Nicholas Yanes, Ph.D.
Publisher: McFarland Press

Deadline for Abstracts: March 18, 2016

Description of the Book:

When Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon was released in 1981, the literary community quickly became enraptured by its cannibal antagonist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Popular interest in “Hannibal the Cannibal” would only increase with the release of 1988’s The Silence of the Lambs and the 1991 movie adaptation starring Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. After several sequels were produced live action adaptations of Harris’ Hannibal books were stopped until 2013, when NBC took a chance and approved of a Hannibal Lecter TV series to be created by Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller.

Loosely defined as a prequel, the series Hannibal focused on Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s relationship with FBI Special Investigator Will Graham. With unique visualizations, off-kilter music, character reimaginings that changed race and gender, food culture, and several story arcs that addressed LGBTQ themes in a specific and idiosyncratic manner, Hannibal was a critically acclaimed show that is begging to be analyzed by scholars of all types.

Expectations for Proposals and Essays:
Ideal proposals focusing on any aspect of Hannibal texts from any period will contain a clear thesis, an abstract which is two to three paragraphs long and a list of potential sources. Essays need to be MLA formatted – parenthetical citations, not footnotes. And it is up to the author(s) to get permission to reprint copyrighted material. Though this should go without saying, we will not accept work that is plagiarized or that has been published elsewhere.

Proposed Topics:

1. Challenging the Canonical – Adaptation, Interpretation, and Re-Imaginings: Producing Hannibal, Race and Gender Bending

From adapting the books for television in the shadow of a movie franchise, to the multiple gender and race changes in the series, Hannibal pushed the limits of what people expect from a show based on a book series. Essays on this topic will examine issues of adaptation, interpretation, and re-imagining in the context of Hannibal.

2. Food for Thought for a Cannibal: The Food Culture of Hannibal

Focusing on a cannibal, a primary focus of the show was the presentation of food – whether it was human meat or not. With a sophisticated approach to food, Hannibal provides a fascinating presentation of food culture. Essays on this topic will look use food studies to examine Hannibal’s approach to cooking and his perspective of humans as food.

3. LGBTQ: The Depiction of the Queer in Hannibal’s World

In addition to characters being re-imagined as a different sexual orientation, the show’s two main male characters develop a relationship that evolves from heterosexual to possibly homosexual. As such, essays on this topic would examine the Hannibal/Will dynamic and their ancillary relationships in terms of Queer theory/analysis.

4. Diagnosing a Killer in a Lethal World – What is Hannibal and the other Killers

Unlike many shows centered on serial killers, Hannibal is deeply committed to a psychological deconstruction of Hannibal and all of the other killers that appear in the show. Other programs illustrate binary models of good and evil, but Hannibal illustrates its characters with an empathetic model that allows the audience to see inside of the character. What’s more, almost every brutal action on the show that is performed by a killer is seen in flashback as being performed by Will Graham, which illustrates both his tenuous grasp on sanity and the real horror of the actions taking place. Essays will discuss how this work shifts the paradigm of most shows focused around serial killer violence, which in turn showcases how Hannibal was a show that didn’t focus on justice but rather a psychological lack.

Hannibal also has a wide variety of imaginative killers. Essays on these characters will examine their literary and real world inspirations, while also discussing their symbolic role in the show as extensions of the main characters.

5. Fannibals – Hannibal’s Hungry Fan culture

The fans of Hannibal were unlike the core market for Harris’s novels and previous adaptations due to the proliferation of social media during the production and dissemination of Fuller’s vision. From 2013 to 2015, Hannibal’s core fanbase was heavily involved in remediating texts. Fuller and his writing team would also pay attention to the fan reactions to the show, and would also engage with them on social media.

Essays on this topic will examine Hannibal’s fandom and its relationship to the show, along with differences from fandom surrounding previous texts and adaptations.

6. Sights and Sounds of Hannibal’s dream world – the Fashion and Styles in Hannibal

The initial reaction to Hannibal as a serialized television program could be best described as lackluster because it was expected that the show would likely fall into the broadcast, wide-ranging CSI model. However, the show quickly illustrated a preference for the psychological aspects of serial killers and mentally ill psychopaths, and nowhere was this more explicit than the beautiful dreamscapes created by the production designers. Each venture into the hallucinogenic dreamscapes provided a window into the minds of the killers, as well as the greater damage that his empathy with murderers had on Will Graham’s mind. Essays on this topic will examine how the series was visualized, both in terms of episodic considerations and series-long visual conventions.

Additionally, the sartorial choices on Hannibal were unique considering the network model. The show illustrated Hannibal the character as a perfectly composed beast, right down to his clothing choices and immaculate presentation. When the show trekked to Europe for the beginning of its third season, the lush presentation was reflected in the clothing choices of its characters to show their evolution. For example, Dr. Alana Bloom evolved from wearing more appropriate federal government apparel to clothes that approximated the cold glamour of Hannibal Lecter. Essays on these topics will examine Hannibal’s world building in terms of character design, set design, storytelling, visual motifs, and other forms of universe creation.

7. Your Own Brilliant Idea?

If you have an idea for this collection that we haven’t suggested, feel free to send it to us for feedback. We are always open to new ideas.

Contact Information:

For more specific information for proposed topics please contact the editors at:

Author Information:
Kyle Moody
Assistant Professor of Communications Media
Fitchburg State University

Nicholas Yanes, PhD

CFP: Transgressive Textualities: A Postgraduate Symposium Department of English, University of Malta, 20–21 May 2016

February 1, 2016

Transgressive Textualities: A Postgraduate Symposium
Department of English, University of Malta
20–21 May 2016

Call for Papers

[T]he Text cannot stop (for example, at a library shelf); its constitutive moment is traversal….
– Roland Barthes

[L]iterature seemed to me, in a confused way, to be the institution which allows one to say everything, in every way.
– Jacques Derrida

[I]n London the most interesting literary activity is happening outside the book.
– Tom McCarthy

Language is transgressive. Any act of comprehension is in effect the demonstration of a dissatisfaction with the bounds of the mere graphic inscription or sound of words. To render sense we ‛transgress’ beyond the marks on the page, beyond the auditory phenomenon. An experience of the limit is, then, right at the (transgressively dispersed) heart of language.

Literary language multiplies and amplifies this originary transgression. It foregrounds and celebrates the potentially radically unstable metaphoricity of language that not only cannot be contained within limits, but is most what it is at the point of traversal through and beyond limits. Literary language, animated by what Wallace Stevens called ‛the intricate evasions of as’, is, it might be said, nothing if not transgressively exorbitant.

The ubiquitous word ‛text’ perhaps most starkly articulates this dual limit-and-transgression nature of language. On the one hand text is the material existence of language, but on the other it is simply that which is readable, and can only be experienced as a production, as an activity that happens beyond the page. The material text is simply the occasion of this transgression.

But literature is changing and we might now ask what new or alternative forms of material instantiation of the readable now invite transgression towards signification? Is the site of the limit
experience of the literary still predominantly the printed text, or is the literary migrating elsewhere, in the ultimate act of self-transgression, to be hosted and facilitated by new and emerging forms of textuality? Where, it might be asked, do we find transgressive textualities today?

And then there are the perennial forms of transgression associated with literature, whatever the context of its manifestation – the ways in which literature can challenge social and institutional structures, cultural and moral conventions and, indeed, law itself. Provocative and controversial, literature has always been something of an outlaw discourse, saying the unsayable, thinking the unthinkable….

This interdisciplinary Symposium is interested in exploring transgressive textualities through their various forms and manifestations, including literature and literary theory, language, cultural criticism, film, digital art, digital video games, performance, the internet, philosophy and other approaches.

Papers may discuss, but need not be limited to, issues like the following:
Taboo and censorship
Literature and protest
Transgression and subjectivity
Electronic literature
Body as a site of transgression
Multimedia adaptations of the literary
Queer literature
Fan fiction / fandom
Power, discourse and radical politics
Participatory culture
Appropriation of language
Violence and psychosis
Humour and horror
The carnivalesque
Apocalypse fiction
Transgressive philosophies and philosophies of transgression
Transgressive art and the art of transgression

Proposals of around 300 words, accompanied by a short biographical note not exceeding 100 words, should be emailed to by 18th April 2016. The organisers are planning to publish selected Symposium papers in the postgraduate journal Antae (

CFP: Fantasies of Contemporary Culture, Cardiff University, UK, 23 May 2016

February 1, 2016

Fantasies of Contemporary Culture
Cardiff University, 23 May 2016
Call for Papers

Keynote speakers:
Dr. Mark Bould (UWE Bristol)
Dr. Catherine Butler (Cardiff University)

From the record-breaking sales of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, both in print and on film, to the phenomenal success of various forms of hyperreal ‘reality television’, contemporary Western culture seems singularly obsessed by the spectacular and the fantastic. This desire to experience other(ed) realities is also evidenced by the continued popularity of neo-historical literature and period drama, the domination of Hollywood cinema by superhero movies, and by the apocalyptic and dystopian imagery that abounds across genres and target audiences. With a long critical and cultural history, conceptualised by scholars as diverse as Tzvetan Todorov, Farah Mendlesohn, John Clute, Brian Attebery, Fredric Jameson, Lucie Armitt, and Darko Suvin, fantasy has arguably become the dominant mode of popular storytelling, supplanting the narrative realism of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Rather than attempting to define fantasy, horror, weird, or science fiction as distinct genres, we wish to take up Katheryn Hume’s expansive definition of fantasy as anti-mimetic, or as ‘any departure from consensus reality’ (Fantasy and Mimesis, 1984, p. 21), in order to engage with the broader artistic motivation to question the limits of the real. This symposium, then, will explore the political and cultural functions of such fantasies. To what extent does the impulse to create fantasy art comment back upon this ‘consensus reality’, and to what extent does it represent a separate reality? How might the fantastical characters and environments that populate our contemporary cultural landscape be informed by the experience of twenty-first-century metropolitan life, and how do such texts (in)form that experience in return?

Roger Schlobin claims that the ‘key to the fantastic is how its universes work, which is sometimes where they are, but is always why and how they are’ (‘Rituals’ Footprints Ankle-Deep in Stone’, 2000, p. 161). With this claim in mind, we invite submissions from any discipline that address the relationship between current cultural, social and political dialogues and fantasy texts – specifically ones that interrogate dominant structures of power, normativity and ideology. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the relationship between fantasy texts and contemporary culture through the lens of:

• Theories of fantasy
• Ideology and world building
• Ecological fantasies
• Escapism
• Cognitive mapping
• Utopian/dystopian vision
• Categories of monstrosity and perfection
• The humanities (fantasies, futures)
• Capitalist critique
• Genre studies/border crossings
• Age studies (childhood fantasy versus adult fantasy)
• Gender studies
• Alternate histories and retrofuturism
• Postcolonial fantasy (incl. Welsh)
• Nationalism and politics
• Inequality and race relations

We welcome paper and panel proposals from postgraduate students, independent researchers, affiliated scholars, writers, and artists from any background or career phase. Paper proposals must be between 200-300 words; panel proposals should be between 400-500 words. Please send abstracts, including your name and e-mail, institutional affiliation (if any), and a short biography (100 words maximum), to Dr Tom Harman ( and Megen de Bruin-Molé ( by 21 March 2016.

The programme will include coffee/tea breaks, lunch, and a wine reception. This will be covered in the registration fee (£10 for students and part-time staff, £20 for salaried staff). For more information and updates, please visit the symposium website at