Archive for March, 2016

CFP: Becoming: Essays on NBC’s Hannibal

March 30, 2016 and
Deadline for Abstracts: July 1, 2016
Deadline for Completed Essays: January 15, 2017

The NBC series Hannibal has garnered both critical and fan acclaim for its cinematic qualities, its complex characters, and its fascinating reworking of Thomas Harris’ mythology so well known from Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs (1991) and its variants. The television series concluded late in 2015 after three seasons and in spite of a great deal of fan support for its continuation on a premium network or through a paid service like Netflix.

Hannibal builds on the serial killer narratives of popular procedurals, while taking them in a drastically different direction. Like critically acclaimed series such as Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, it makes its viewers complicit in the actions of a deeply problematic individual, and, in the case of Hannibal, forces them to confront that complicity through the character of Will Graham. As both an extension of and divergence from these trends, Hannibal is also worth exploring in its own right as a simultaneously stunning and grotesque exploration of the darkest depths of the human psyche. Also of interest is Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller’s easy relationship with fans, in contrast to other showrunners (Supernatural, Game of Thrones) who often clash with fans over directorial and interpretive choices.

We are soliciting essays for an edited collection and are presently in negotiation with a university press for publication in late 2017 or early 2018. Please send a 300-word abstract and brief biography to and before July 1, 2016. Completed essays of 6,000-6,500 words will be due on January 15, 2017.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
● The grotesque and the monstrous
● Transformations/metamorphosis
● The enduring appeal of Hannibal Lecter
● Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham as dual protagonists
● The seductive nature of evil/Hannibal as a Vice figure
● The viewer as voyeur or accomplice
● Queer motifs and readings
● Female characters (including those whose gender was changed from the novels)
● Horror/Gothic elements
● Visual aesthetics of violence/gore/murder
● Cannibalism
● Depictions of food/foodie culture
● Similarities and differences from Harris’ novels and previous adaptations
● Hannibal’s use of art, literature, and musical referents
● Depictions of mental illness and disability
● Serial killers in popular media
● Visual and narrative motifs of Hannibal
● Bryan Fuller’s relationship with the “fannibals,” fans of the show


CFP: Feasting on Hannibal: An Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Melbourne, Australia, 29-30 November 2016

March 30, 2016

Screen Studies and the School of Culture and Communication, The Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne
November 29-30, 2016

Keynote Speaker: Associate Professor Jane Stadler, The University of Queensland

Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lecter is one of contemporary popular culture’s most prominent and recognisable models of monstrosity. Initially conceived in the 1981-2006 novel series by Thomas Harris, Hannibal exists at the centre of a sprawling franchise that includes the critically acclaimed film, The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991), and most recently Bryan Fuller’s television series Hannibal (2013-2015). The diverse texts that constitute the Hannibal franchise demonstrate the fertile potential of the Hannibal mythology to extend and develop across multiple media, and the complexity of Hannibal himself as a boundary-defying figure of modern monstrosity and the senses. At the centre of Hannibal’s monstrosity is a breakdown of the boundaries between high and low art, the mythic and the everyday, and refinement and savagery. Accordingly, critical interest in the Hannibal franchise has focused on Hannibal’s embodiment of the boundary transgressions central to scholarly understandings of monstrosity.

Critical analyses of the books and films have been both profound and widespread across various disciplines. More recently, Fuller’s Hannibal has not only redefined what came before, but has inspired, extended and renewed interest in this seminal figure. The “Feasting on Hannibal” conference aims to push the boundaries of previous conceptualizations of the Hannibal series, while reflecting on how the television show has reframed the culture of Hannibal. This conference looks to the future of the franchise as a continually developing and mutating mythology, welcoming papers that examine Hannibal across any of his multiple incarnations, but especially considering how Hannibal mythology has been reformulated and extended since Fuller’s television series.

Screen Studies and the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne invite you to submit abstract proposals for an interdisciplinary conference feast that turns the tables on Hannibal Lecter, offering Hannibal up for a meal of multiple courses and scholarly cuisines.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

Hannibal’s influence on screen culture
Hannibal as embodiment of contemporary monstrosity
Hannibal and the sensorium
Hannibal as mythology
Aesthetics and affect in Hannibal
Hannibal as a franchise property
Hannibal, seriality and transmedia storytelling
Self-reflexivity and intertextuality
Hannibal and adaptation
Hannibal and genre
High-concept television
High art and elite tastes
The aesthetics of violence
Hannibal and fandom
The culture of food in Hannibal
Cannibalism, food and body horror
Representations of animality and the post human in Hannibal
Criminal monstrosity and moral panic
Depictions of psychology and emotions
The development of gender and sexuality in the Hannibal mythology
The music of Hannibal and Hannibal’s music

Submit queries and abstracts of no more than 300 words length, as well as a short bio, before 15th of May to

Organised by: Dr Jessica Balanzategui, Naja Later, and Tara Lomax, The University of Melbourne

New issue of Transformative Works and Culture journal published: Special issue on The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work

March 16, 2016

The following new issue of Transformative Works and Cultures has been published:

Vol 21 (2016)
The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work, edited by Ika Willis (University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)

Full issue available here:

Table of Contents
The classical canon and/as transformative work
Ika Willis

Classical monsters in new Doctor Who fan fiction
Amanda Potter

Amateur mythographies
Ika Willis

Versions of Homer: Translation, fan fiction, and other transformative rewriting
Shannon K. Farley

Abusing text in the Roman and contemporary worlds
Francesca Middleton

Fan fiction, early Greece, and the historicity of canon
Ahuvia Kahane

Virgilian fandom in the Renaissance
Balaka Basu

The role of affect in fan fiction
Anna Wilson

Are fan fiction and mythology really the same?
Tony Keen

Shipping in Plato’s Symposium
Juliette Grace Harrisson

Oresteia as transformative work
Tisha Turk

Fandom at the crossroads and Fangasm!, by Lynn Zubernis and Kathy Larsen
Judith May Fathallah

Fan CULTure: Essays on participatory fandom in the 21st century, edited by Kristin M. Barton and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley
Bertha Chin

Call for Papers: Fan Studies, 2016 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, Chicago, USA, 6-9 October 2016

March 16, 2016

Call for Papers:


2016 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference

Thursday-Sunday, October 6-9, 2016

Chicago, IL

Hilton Chicago/Rosemont O’Hare

Deadline: April 30, 2016

Topics can include, but are not limited to fan fiction, multi-media fan production, fan communities, fandom of individual media texts, sports fandom, or the future of fandom. Case studies are also welcome.

Please upload 250 word abstract proposals on any aspect of Fan Studies to the Fan Studies area,

More information about the conference can be found at

Please note the availability of graduate student travel grants:

Please include name, affiliation, and e-mail address with the 250 word abstract. Also, please indicate in your submission whether your presentation will require an LCD Projector and/or Audio hookup.

Any questions? Please email Katie Wilson at

Call for Papers: Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures, EABS annual meeting, Leuven, Belgium, July 17-20

March 15, 2016

Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures
EABS annual meeting, Leuven, Belgium, July 17-20


Sonja Ammann, Humboldt University Berlin (

Mette Bundvad, University of Copenhagen (

Frauke Uhlenbruch (


This unit brings together scholars and practitioners to investigate scribal culture in biblical and para-biblical literatures in comparison and contrast with the practice of writing fan fiction.

Writers of fan fiction are well-versed in specific canons, for example a book or TV series. They engage with their canons in depth and create literature either set in the same fictional world as their canonical material or featuring the same characters. The material produced by fans, known as fan fiction, is a way of engaging with perceived canonical material that is intuitive and emotional, and can also be subversive. This research unit investigates possible intersections of fans’ ways of creating material based on a canon and (post-) biblical interpreters’ or redactors’ ways of compiling commentary or supplementary material on biblical canons in antiquity. The unit invites constructive and critical engagement with discontinuities (as well as continuities). For example, fan fiction is a contemporary phenomenon whose increased visibility is due to the Internet; put more generally, production and distribution is based on infrastructure different from ancient writings; therefore one may also expect different power relations and institutional contexts.

Fan fiction can be compared to the practices of groups of interpreters who have impacted the Bible and biblical interpretation in significant ways. This comparison can raise and answer questions about group identity, power, subversion, and impact of derivative works upon the canon. Fan fiction as a heuristic model allows us to study historical responses to antique corpora of texts, expressions of identities couched in derivative works, subversive manipulations of a canonical status quo, and emotional reactions to a canonical work.

Call for Papers 2016

This research group uses fan fiction as an interpretative model to study ancient texts, especially biblical and parabiblical texts from the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the pseudepigrapha, the New Testament, the Christian apocrypha, and Rabbinic literature.
At the 2016 conference in Leuven, we invite papers that use expressions of identity in contemporary fan fiction to investigate questions related to authorship and identity in ancient texts. Possible topics include, for example, strategies of constructing or concealing authorship (pseudepigraphy/anonymity), or scholarly assumptions about authors/creators based on the drift of a canon-related work. We also welcome papers that explore expressions of gendered identities, and how gendered expectations affect practices of writing and interpretation. We encourage participants to make their contributions in an interdisciplinary environment and we welcome papers concerned with methodology of the study of fan fiction, fans, and scribal culture.

Click here ( to submit an abstract.

Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures

Call for Papers: Superhero Identities Symposium, Melbourne, Australia – 8-9 December 2016

March 15, 2016

Superhero Identities Symposium
Venue: Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne, Australia – 8-9 December 2016

Keynote Speaker: Professor Henry Jenkins – University of Southern California

It is hard to imagine a time when superheroes have been more pervasive in popular culture. As one of our most beloved folkloric traditions these costume-clad adventurers have become a means to negotiate and articulate identities in response to fictional heroes. Superhero identities range from those that symbolise a nation, to web communities that use cosplay to challenge gender roles, and the people of a city coming together under the banner of a caped crusader. This symposium will examine the many intersections between superheroes and identity. From big screen heroes to lesser-known comic book vigilantes and real-life costumed heroes, the symposium will include papers that consider superheroes across all eras and media platforms

We are inviting submissions for individual research papers of 20 minutes as well as pre-formed panels. Proposal topics might include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

One of the central tenets of the superhero story is the transition of unassuming civilians into costume-clad heroes. This narrative is not confined to the comic book page as the people of San Francisco demonstrated when they came together to realise the adventures of Batkid. Proposals are invited that consider how superheroes have become icons of activism and community engagement.

National and Regional Identities
Comic books are often considered an American form, and the medium’s most popular character, the superhero, did much to affirm that link with dozens of star-spangled heroes created during the industry’s Golden Age. However, the superhero has been reimagined in a range of contexts to respond to local cultures, politics, and traditions. Papers that consider how superheroes engage with national and regional identities are welcome.

Secret Identities
The masquerade and imaginative possibilities of superheroes, coupled with their high concept settings, have allowed these characters to engage with issues and interests that were often difficult to tackle in more “grounded” stories. Papers that consider how superheroes address topics such as gender, sexuality, and ethnicity are invited.

Audiences, Fans, and Superheroes
Whether it is t-shirts adorned with a familiar logo or convention cosplay and fan fiction, superheroes compel participation. We encourage papers that examine the range of this engagement from casual movie audiences to avid consumers.

The supervillain is often understood as the hero’s dark double. This symposium welcomes papers that consider the identities of the supervillains, and their relationship to the above topics.

The Superhero Identities symposium is organised by the Superheroes & Me research team – Angela Ndalianis (University of Melbourne), Liam Burke (Swinburne University of Technology), Elizabeth MacFarlane (University of Melbourne), Wendy Haslem (University of Melbourne), and Ian Gordon (National University of Singapore) – and supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).
Proposals of 250-300 words for individual presentations or full panels, as well as any queries, should be sent to by June 24, 2016, along with a 150-word bio.

Call for Abstracts: ‘Exploring Teen Wolf’ collection

March 14, 2016

Looking for papers for an essay collection on the MTV television show Teen Wolf, with an emphasis on the most recent seasons. This volume aims to discuss Teen Wolf in the context of popular and literary culture, historical analysis, and academic theory, though other approaches are also welcome.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
– Monstrosity and/or Hybridity
– Fandom
– Adolescence
– Personal Transformation
– Genre Transformation and/or Subversion
– Gender
– Race
– Heroism and/or Villainy
– History and Memory
– Power

We are also interested in the intersections of Teen Wolf with:
– the werewolf in literary history
– current media and pop culture
– fairy tales and/or folk mythology
– horror tropes
– the werewolf in other television shows (True Blood, Doctor Who, Sanctuary, Grimm)

What to Send:
300 – 500 word abstracts (or complete articles, if available) and CVs should be submitted by April 1, 2016. If an abstract is accepted for the collection, a full draft of the essay (5000 – 8000 words) will be required by July 1, 2016.

Abstracts and final articles should be submitted to both and Please include “Teen Wolf Submission” in your subject line.

Call for Submissions: Shipping and Fandoms collection

March 12, 2016

Shipping and Fandoms

Literature revolves around relationships. These may include not only relationships between authors and their readers, but also ones among readers themselves; and they may also include not only relationships between fictional characters within a work, but also potential relationships between characters that are not explicitly delineated within the text itself.

We invite chapter proposals for a volume on the phenomenon of “shipping”—whereby readers create fan fiction or other fan-generated material that brings fictional characters together into imagined relationships (sexual, amorous, or otherwise).

The volume will consist of two parts, with the chapters in Part I being issue-driven (e.g., shipping and desire, shipping and animus, shipping and canons, shipping and perversity), and the chapters in Part II focusing on individual case studies (featuring examples from a variety of different genres, languages/cultures, and historical periods). Innovative and experimental approaches are encouraged.

Although individual chapters will each have a lead author (or authors), the volume as a whole will be collaboratively authored—both to ensure a uniform tone, but also in acknowledgement of the fundamentally dialogic nature of fan fiction itself. That is to say, the editorial team expects to work closely with each contributor on issues of structure, style, and content.

Please e-mail 300-word chapter proposals, together with your full contact information and a short biographical statement, to Carlos, Clare, and Eileen at by April 15, 2016. The editors will review proposals by the end of April. If the proposal is accepted for inclusion in the volume, a draft of the complete chapter should be completed and submitted to the editors by August 1, 2016. Chapters should around 6,000 words in length, must be original work, and not be under review or accepted for publication elsewhere.

Editorial Team:
Clare Woods, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Duke University
Carlos Rojas, Associate Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies, Duke University
Eileen Chow, Visiting Associate Professor of Chinese and Japanese Cultural Studies, Duke University

Call for Papers: Journal of Fandom Studies, special issue on queerbaiting

March 11, 2016

Call for Papers: Journal of Fandom Studies, Queerbaiting special issue.

Fans use the term ‘queerbaiting’ to account for a television tactic whereby producers deliberately insert homoerotic subtext between characters in order to capture a queer viewership, yet never actualise this subtext on screen. It is near exclusively deemed by fans as an exploitative tactic that is harmful to queer viewers; one that teases queer representations, then shuts down opportunities for validation with ‘no homo’ jokes in text and denial of the existence of any subtext in commentary. It has thus attained decidedly negative connotations in its usage by fans and a degree of cultural currency in the popular sphere, the hashtag #Queerbaiting an increasingly popular device on Twitter for shaming such tactics, for example. Cult series such as Supernatural and Sherlock are among the most frequently named for queerbaiting their audiences, which given the scholarly interest by fan scholars in these texts, raises important questions for our field. Recently, investigation has begun into some of the questions posed by queerbaiting, such as the activist agenda behind the term’s coinage (Nordin, 2015), its statement on fan-producer interactions (Collier, 2015), textual readings of certain texts that queerbait (Fathallah, 2015), and of how this relatively new term bodes for understandings of particular well-canvassed fan practices, such as slash (Brennan, 2016).

The recent interest by scholars in the various issues associated with queerbaiting make a collection of essays that situate the tactic in terms of the fan studies field timely. Further, a survey of such issues is important in light of the impassioned calls from many fans for such tactics to cease, and for producers to take account of the harm caused by queerbaiting. A key argument being that in ‘baiting’ their audiences, then denying actual representations, queer viewers face invalidation of their experiences (Sheehan, 2015). This is not to discount alternate readings on the practice, such as of the potential queer readings that ‘queerbaiting’ in fact make possible, even plausible (Brennan, 2016).

This special edition of Journal of Fandom Studies aims to take account of why queerbaiting as a concept has gained the appeal it has, and why now. Not only what exactly it means to queerbait, but also the relationship between this term and the current media landscape, in which queer representations are supposedly possible in mainstream texts, yet still denied. Therefore, the issue seeks to take stock of the current state of media representations accused of queerbaiting and of the fannish culture that surrounds the development of this term. Importantly, the edition aims to consider what criticism of certain tactics might mean for longstanding debates within the field, among them: media effects, fan/producer power relations, active/passive consumption, fan production (slash, for example), and identity, to name just a few. As such, submissions are encouraged from across disciplines, with the aim to better understand what queerbaiting means to fans; what harm, if any, it causes them; and how we are to proceed with the study of fandoms that, some argue, are harmful.

Submission Details

Submissions of particular interest are not limited to but may address:

Etymology of the term
What constitutes queerbaiting?
Queerbaiting as fan activism
Good/bad representations of sexuality
Mainstreaming queer representation
Queerbaiting vs homoeroticism
Campaigns to boycott series that queerbait
Queerbaiting vs queer reading
Hoyay, fan service, subtext, ‘no homo’ jokes, and other related terms
Textual readings of particular series that queerbait, such as Supernatural, Sherlock, Merlin, Rizzoli & Isles, Teen Wolf
#Queerbaiting on Twitter
Fan-producer dynamics
Methodologies for studying queerbaiting
Queerbaiting on film (The Avengers, Victor Frankenstein, for example)
Queerbaiting in advertising
Queerbaiting and slash/femslash, ‘correcting’ queerbaiting
Queerbaiting as invalidation of identity
Cast and producer responses to accusations of queerbaiting
Celebrity queerbaiting (James Franco, Nick Jonas, etc.)
Capitalising on queerbaiting (the ‘pink dollar’)
This special edition of Journal of Fandom Studies will be edited by Dr Joseph Brennan.

Please send abstracts of 300 words and a short biographical note to by June 1, 2016. Completed articles of 6000–9000 words will be due November 1, 2016.

Editorial Information

Edited by: Joseph Brennan (

Call for Proposals: Welcome to Night Vale

March 5, 2016

Proposals related to the podcast Welcome to Night Vale are solicited for chapter contributions to an edited scholarly collection to be published by Palgrave.

The editor seeks to include a range of approaches focusing on both form and content. Topics may include but are not limited to:

• internal themes and allusions
• genre and influences
• performance, music, and effects
• politics and historical contextualization
• podcast production, distribution, and consumption
• reception and fandom
• paratexts, marketing, and merchandise

250-word proposals and abbreviated CV indicating academic position and publications due by June 15th, 2016.

5000-word chapters due by February 15th, 2017. 

Inquires and proposals to Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock at Jeffrey.Weinstock[at]