CFP: Transmediating the Whedonverse: An Edited Collection

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Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2017

In the last two decades, scholarly attention to transmedia storytelling (TS) has increased dramatically. Approaches to the topic vary widely, ranging from a focus on the effects of TS on narratives and texts (Harvey, Mittell); explorations of paratexts, metatexts, intertexts, and pretexts (Gray, Clarke); and the increase in fan participation and agency with regard to narrative agency since the transmedia turn (Jenkins, Geraghty, Hills). More recently, scholars such as Raúl Rodríguez-Ferrándiz have returned to what might be considered the beginning, looking to Gerard Genette’s discussion of paratexts and building on Genette’s print-bound ideas with transmediated frames. This edited collection aims to open a conversation about the ways in which the extended Whedonverse crosses narrative platforms, combines authorial voices, and blurs the boundaries between and among issues of production, dissemination, and consumption.

Whedon stands as a transmedia icon. His role in advancing transmedial narratives includes media code switching from movies to TV to comic books to web texts as well as his tendency to encourage fan inclusion and agency. While not exhaustive, Whedon scholars have addressed transmedia activism (Cochran), authorial and audience agency (Hadas, Kociemba), semiotics (Beddows), hyperdiegsis (Buckman), and narrative destabilization (McCormick). Whedon scholars have placed their TS scholarship in various, broader edited collections and journals; however, Transmediating the Whedonverse seeks to advance these conversations while showcasing the extent of Whedon’s influence on TS.

The anticipated collection seeks to showcase a range of theoretical lenses and approaches to transmedial world-building, branding and franchising, and research including but not limited to feminism(s), posthumanism, new materialism(s), and speculative realism(s), in order to frame the significant conflicts and contributions of the meta- and paratextual Whedonverse. Successful proposals will explore the constructions of, complications with, and relations between and among narratives across media, possibly including effects on audience-consumers, creator-producer(s), and user-disseminators.

Key ideas this text aims to address include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Narrative conflicts and complications created by or resolved through transmediation
  • Production, dissemination, and consumption of transmediated materials
  • The relationship between creator-text-audience/producer-product-consumer
  • The impact of transmediation on Whedon scholarship and classroom pedagogies
  • Complications with real-world representations of creator, audience, and texts (i.e. social media, Save the Day, public appearances, speeches, etc.)
  • Fan-created content as narrative instantiation (i.e. mash-ups, wikis, fan fiction, etc.)

Editors Juliette Kitchens and Julie Hawk invite query letters and abstracts for proposed chapter-length original work (300-500 words); please send to transmedia.verse@gmail.com (subject line: Whedon Transmedia Collection) no later than June 1, 2017. Selected contributors will be notified by July 1, 2017. 

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