Archive for June, 2016

Transformative Works & Cultures journal, Special Issue CFP: Social TV Fandom and the Media Industries

June 21, 2016

Transformative Works & Cultures, Special Issue CFP: Social TV Fandom and the Media Industries

When Henry Jenkins calls the mid-2000s media landscape one of convergence culture, he describes the intersection of media industries, online social media, and television audiences. Using emerging multiplatform strategies producers can directly engage and immerse potential television audiences. Likewise, industry shaped hailing of fans creates fan-like audiences, but it does so within limits, reflecting industry concerns and agenda.

Nearly a decade later, both audiences and industry expect direct and continuous engagement between a series and its audience. Industry-instigated fandoms exist alongside and in conversation with fan-instigated community engagement. In particular, the rise of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr have made multiplatforming both more efficient and more mainstream, meaning that now nearly every television show has an online presence that welcomes fan engagement. As this reality of “social television” matures, however, the connections it promises between producers, actors, and viewers are tested by each new platform, each controversial story development, and by the ever-present politics of power and identity that shape any and all interactions between industry and audience.

This special issue aims to put emerging research on social media platforms and ongoing work on online fan culture in conversation to consider the impact the proliferation of those platforms is having on our understanding of the consumption and negotiation of television in era of on-screen hashtags, cast livetweets, Periscope, and the new world of “Social TV.” Topics may include, but are not limited to:

* Case studies of industry/fan engagement for specific series or networks
* Discursive framings of Social TV fandom in trade/popular press
* Negotiations of good/bad fandom in industry discourse
* Industry-produced transmedia storytelling and emergent platforms
* Industry-affiliated fan activism through Social TV practices
* Social TV in a global/transnational industrial context
* Adoption of fan identities by industry professionals
* Linear vs. non-linear Social TV practices
* Industry cultivation of and management of Superfans

Submission guidelines

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.
Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.
Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.

Please visit TWC’s Web site ( for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT

Contact—Contact guest editor Myles McNutt with any questions or inquiries at mmcnutt AT

Due date—March 1, 2017, for estimated March 2018 publication.


CFP: Transitions 7, New Directions in Comics Studies, at Birkbeck College, London, Saturday November 19th 2016.

June 10, 2016

Transitions 7 at Birkbeck College, London, Saturday November 19th 2016.

Organised in collaboration with Comica- London International Comics Festival, Transitions at Birkbeck College is unique in offering a regular comics studies symposium and meeting point in London, a platform for emerging research at an event that is free of charge and open to all. Originally convened by PhD students in 2009, Transitions has become an annual fixture in the UK comics scholars’ calendar.

We are still especially supportive of postgraduate and early career presenters, but open to any new and ongoing research in our field. Our aim is to provide a platform for debate and a space from which further collaborations can emerge, to further strengthen our area of study and academic community, and to support connections between comics scholars working in diverse academic departments and contexts.

We welcome abstracts for 20 minute papers, or pre-constituted panels of three, on topics including, but not limited to:

— Comics, comix, graphic novels, manga, manhwa, bande dessinée    Superheroes, genre comics, religious comics, documentary comics, children’s comics

—  Politics of representation in comics, formal approaches, trauma and comics,      transgressive comics, propaganda and comics
— Readers and fandoms, creators, publishing histories, transnational approaches, comics  and the law, web-comics and comics exhibitions

Alongside traditional panel presentations we would like to trial the more interactive format of a 20-minute workshop, potentially as a way of data collection and/or feedback on research-in-progress. Please indicate your preference by stating PAPER or WORKSHOP following your abstract title.

Apply by email to

Please attach your abstract of 250-300 words plus short biographical note (preferably as a Word document), indicating ‘abstract’ in the email subject line and your name in the file’s title.

The deadline for submissions is August 26th 2016.

With best wishes,

The Transition Team

CFP: Geek Feminism (edited collection)

June 9, 2016

CFP: Geek Feminism (edited collection)

Geek girls exist. But it wasn’t until a packed San Diego Comi-Con panel in 2010 actually entitled “Geek Girls Exist” that the ramifications of this fact began to be realized. Women’s increased visibility in science and technology, pop culture fandoms, sci-fi and fantasy storytelling, gaming, and other geeky endeavors has brought to the foreground a resistance to acknowledging a geek culture that isn’t straight, white, and male. On one level, geek feminism emerged to combat this oppressive atmosphere determined to discourage and erase the participation of geeks whose identities deviated from that norm. But on every other level, that fight is just a footnote to the myriad ways in which geek feminism is a unique (and frequently joyful) manifestation of what happens when the radical and imaginative potentiality of 1980s scientific, creative, and communications technologies intersected with the identity-conscious third wave feminism that emerged in the 1990s. While several books exist that detail first-person experiences and offer collections of resources for geek girls, this anthology will be the first book-length collection of scholarship exploring the ways in which geek feminism is expressed and practiced.

Submissions should draw on current work in fan studies, critical race theory, queer theory, feminist theory, jurisprudence, media studies, and transnational studies. While part of the anthology will need to be focused on feminist critique of geek culture, we encourage submissions that focus on the generative and imaginative aspects of geek feminism.

Potential topics and areas of interest could include:

The history of geek feminism
Analysis of geek fictions and characters
Speculative justice: when fictions correct fact
How to spot a geek girl: identity formation and performance
Cyber vs. IRL geek feminist praxis: the convergence of imagined, online, and “real” spaces
Geek-tivism as a response to systemic oppressions
The creative, productive, joyful practices of geek feminism
The business of geekdom: examinations of the creation, marketing and crafting of geek artifacts and products
And, of course, miscellaneous weird stuff

Send 300-word abstracts and short bios to Amy Peloff at and Nancy White at with subject line “CFP – Geek Feminism.” Since geek feminism is a relatively undefined term, we ask that each submission also include a brief attempt (c. 100-150 words) to define geek feminism within which to situate your proposed chapter. Our hope is to draw on the community of contributors to develop a definition of the term.

Abstracts should include title, author name, and institutional affiliation, as well as contact details. The editors will ask the authors of selected proposals to submit their final chapters no later than March 1, 2017.

Abstracts by October 1, 2016
Decision by November 1, 2016
Papers by March 1, 2017

Dr. Amy Peloff, Independent Scholar
Dr. Nancy C. White, University of Washington

Contact Info:
Amy Peloff at and Nancy White at

CFP: Uses of Fantasy in Changing Media Landscape, October 20–21, 2016, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

June 9, 2016

Uses of Fantasy in Changing Media Landscape, October 20–21, 2016, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

In recent years, fantasy fiction has gained popularity in different mediums. For instance, in television fantastic or speculative themes are more visible than ever before, and – as television scholar J. P. Telotte has noted – they are even invading the so called reality television. The Uses of Fantasy seminar focuses on the uses and users of fantasy in contemporary culture and contemporary representation of fantasy in different cultural mediums. In other words, the seminar concentrates on the reception, representation and meaning of fantasy in a changing media landscape. The seminar is organised by the project Uses of Fantasy – The World Hobbit Project in Finland in cooperation with the University of Jyväskylä and The Research Centre for Contemporary Culture.

We invite presentations and panels on the uses and users of fantasy as well as on the contemporary representations of fantasy on different mediums, such as literature, television, film, comics and graphic novels, games and new media. These may include but are not limited to:

Audience responses and the meanings of fantasy; affective attachments to fantasy; fantasy fandom and other participatory user practices
Adaptation and transmedia; representing fantasy via different mediums
The cultural meanings of fantasy; representations of cultural phenomena through fantasy; the politics of fantasy (e.g. in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, class, disability etc.)
Fantasy and narration; fantastic characters; fantastic genres (science fiction, horror etc.)

Proposals for scholarly papers from any academic discipline that seek to examine, interrogate, and expand research related to any aspect of uses of fantasy, in any medium are welcome. Papers will be allowed a maximum presentation time of 20 minutes.

One of our keynote speakers will be Emeritus Professor Martin Barker, Aberystwyth University (Great Britain), who will give a lecture on The World Hobbit Project and also participate in the seminar.

Please submit a 500-word proposal describing the content of your proposed paper, and few words about yourself and your research (including your current affiliation) to hobbitprojectfinland(at) The deadline for the proposals is September 5, 2016.

If you have any questions about the seminar, please contact hobbitprojectfinland(at)

CFP: Tolkien and Jackson Fan Studies Special Issue

June 6, 2016

CFP: Tolkien and Jackson Fan Studies Special Issue (10-01-16)

Proposals are sought for fan studies scholarship on any aspect of fan production, creation, or activities relating to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium and/or Peter Jackson’s live-action film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

The editors hope to co-sponsor at least one dedicated paper session at the national Popular Culture Conference (San Diego, April, 2017), and then to develop those papers to submit to a special theme issue of Journal of Tolkien Research the same year.

NOTE: There is no requirement that scholars must present at the Popular Culture conference in order to submit proposals to the journal, nor does participation at PCA mandate submitting to the journal issue.

However, this option, we believe, will allow for multi-disciplinary dialogue among and between scholars in the preparatory stages of thinking about the special issue.

JTR is an open-access, electronic, peer-reviewed journal:


Popular Culture Submissions:  July 1-October 1, 2016

Popular Culture Conference: April 12-15th, 2017

Deadline for submission to editors:  June 1, 2017 (Proposal or First Drafts)

Deadline for submission to JTR: September 30, 2017 (Final Drafts)


Katherine Larsen
Robin Anne Reid

CFP: Monstrous Women in Comics—an Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Comics and Graphic Novels

June 6, 2016

CFP: Monstrous Women in Comics—an Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Comics and Graphic Novels

May 2017, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Keynote: Dr. Carol Tilley, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The relationship between women and the comics industry is contested perhaps now more than ever before. Fresh conflicts in mainstream presses reveal lingering aversions to women creators, and fan-reactions to reboots demonstrate similar dis-ease with “non-canonical” re-imaginings of female characters. Far from being novel, these tensions are rooted in the very history of western comics. From the Golden Age, women were erased or marginalized in comics through, for instance, the use of “gender-neutral” monikers. Female characters were aesthetically constructed to meet and satisfy the male gaze and overwhelmingly, their narratives were penned by male authors. Women readers of comics were historically “pandered to” with romance comics but were otherwise ignored as a target audience. Even within the medium of graphic novels, where women’s work has arguably been more visible, women creators are being erased by industry-standard events like the Angoulême Festival. Here, as in other areas of popular culture, women are treated in very Aristotelian ways—at best, they are deemed to be monstrous derivatives of men, and at worst, they are simply monsters for daring to enter what has been overwhelmingly characterized as man’s domain. From a feminist perspective, there is ample room for critique of the ways in which women in comics are made into monsters, but now we want to ask if that is all there is? Must a theoretical investigation of monstrous women in comics be limited to surveys of marginalization and erasure?

Building on the work of postmodern scholars like Donna Haraway, and following from recent iterations of Monster Studies, we seek to critically engage with, and re-evaluate, monstrous women in comics. For Haraway, the figure of the monster is one who simultaneously illuminates and threatens boundaries; the monster is a creature who resides in borderlands and embodies transgression; she is the imbrication of text, myth, body, nature and the political—she is neither “self” nor “other.” To be deemed monstrous is to be situated in the margins, to be placed outside, and yet the monster is one who always threatens those margins, who promises to leak into and over. Constructively engaging with the monstrous can ultimately lead us into an “imagined elsewhere,” the monster can be full of promises. Therefore, we are seeking interdisciplinary examinations of monstrous women in comics not only in order to critically question and contest normative boundaries, but also to begin to imagine how the relationship between women and comics might be otherwise.

We invite all interested participants to join us in thinking about monstrous women in comics across genres: papers may engage with historical studies of women in comics, mainstream comics, graphic novels, indie comics, religious comics, or web comics. Paper proposals, in the form of 250-word abstracts, may also address—but are not limited to—any of the following topics:

  • The monstrosity of (early) women creators
  • Romance comics and “girl comics” as monstrous
  • Female characters as monstrous derivatives of male superheroes
  • Women characters/creators/readers as monstrous because of their sexuality, corporeality, race, religion, or (dis)ability
  • Monstrous female characters as manifestations of patriarchal desires/anxieties/fears
  • Monsters who are female
  • Female characters who transgress human/inhuman boundaries
  • Women readers/fans as monsters
  • Women fan/creator collectives as transgressive & monstrous
  • Maternity and monstrosity
  • Indie & web comics as monstrous
  • Monstrous feminism & comics

In order to further emphasize the fruitfulness of transgressing boundaries and engaging with the monstrous, this conference also seeks to leak over the boundaries of academia by inviting women comics creators who would like to submit their work for a temporary gallery exhibition and/or who would be interested in tabling the event. All interested creators/vendors should email a short bio and any relevant links to portfolios or previous works.

Accepted participants will be invited to present their 20-minute papers, or to exhibit their work, at a two-and-a-half-day interdisciplinary conference at the University of North Texas in Denton. To submit a paper proposal, or to express interest in exhibiting/tabling, please send an email with the following information:

  • Name, institutional affiliation, email address
  • 250-word abstract (if applicable)
  • Short bio & portfolio links (if applicable)