Call for Chapters: Sartorial Fandom: Fashion, Beauty Culture, and Identity


Call for Chapter Proposals for Anthology

Title: Sartorial Fandom: Fashion, Beauty Culture, and Identity

Editors: Elizabeth Affuso (Pitzer College) and Suzanne Scott (University of Texas at Austin)

In recent years, geeks have become chic and the fashion and beauty industries have responded to this trend with a plethora of fashion-forward merchandise aimed at this audience.  This cultural ascendence can be seen in the glut of pop culture t-shirts lining the aisles of big box retailers as well as the proliferation of geek culture lifestyle brands and digital retailers over the past decade. While fashion and beauty have long been integrated into the media industry with tie-in lines, franchise products, and other forms of merchandise, there has been limited study of fans’ relationship to these industries.  Fashion and beauty cultures are significant areas for study due to their role as markers of identity and position as industries that prop up forms of hegemony along the lines of race, gender, age, ability, size, and so on. We are particularly interested in how fan fashion and beauty cultures reflect larger socio-cultural trends related to normative values, consumer culture, capitalism, and identity performance.

This collection seeks to think about fashion and beauty as related to fandom across a range of modes of practice including retailers, branded products, fan-made objects, and fandom of these.

Fan fashion and fan-oriented beauty products also offer a space to productively expand what we consider to be a “fan object,” as media texts, musicians, sports teams, celebrities, and retail lines all involve distinct forms of sartorial fan expression. These forms of expression range from purchasing and collecting to wearing and sharing (often via social media) and frequently convey messages about imagined or desirable fan identities, bodies, and demographics. This collection pointedly uses the word “fashion,” rather than the more general designation of “fan merchandise,” to acknowledge both the industrial specificities of the fashion and beauty industries, as well as the cultural significance of style. Just as Dick Hebdige and others have engaged subcultural style as a politically charged space, this collection aims to address both the affective and performative dimensions of fan fashion, as well as the identity politics that inform sartorial expressions of fan identity.

Our goal is to explore how fan fashion has evolved over time, and how it is performed in a wide array of fan communities and cultures, from early fan magazines to sports arenas to comic book conventions to theme parks to music venues. We also welcome considerations of digital incarnations of fan fashion, from hair/make-up tutorial videos on YouTube to analyses of specific social media accounts (e.g. Instagram, Tumblr) of fan fashion influencers, brands, or subcultures. Centrally, essays in this collection will explore how identity (broadly defined) intersects with fan fashion and beauty culture as a consumer lifestyle brand.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical approaches to fan fashion (or histories of fan-oriented fashion and beauty products)
  • Fan cultures surrounding celebrity fashion and beauty lines  (e.g. Fenty, Yeezy, Ivy Park, Goop, etc.)
  • Fantrepreneurialism and fashion
  • Fashion and/as performance of fan identity (gender, class, age, sexuality, and so on)
  • The legalities of fan fashion (licensing, copyright, trademark, etc.)
  • Fan culture retailers and lifestyle brands (Thinkgeek, Her Universe, Jordandene, Espionage Cosmetics, etc.)
  • Fan fashion and merchandise subscription services (and unboxing or “haul” videos)
  • Cosplay (or Everyday Cosplay, Disneybounding, etc.)
  • Auctions and fashion and/as memorabilia
  • Fan-centric Jewelry and Accessories (purses, hairbows, etc.)
  • Couture fan fashion and class
  • Identity and model selection for fan fashion lines
  • Fan lingerie and intimates
  • Fan-produced fashion (Etsy, crafting cultures, etc.)
  • Fan-oriented make-up and hair tutorials
  • Fan fashion shows
  • Fandom or geek culture as fashion “trend”
  • Fandoms around specific products or brands (sneakerheads, hypebeasts, etc.)

Proposal guidelines:

  • Seeking essays of 5000-6000 words, inclusive of references
  • Proposals should contain the following:
    • Contributors’ contact information (name, title, affiliation, email, highest degree obtained)
    • Chapter title
    • Chapter abstract of 250-500 words that illustrate the chapter’s
      • a) topic/subject matter
      • b) methodological approach
      • c) conclusions/argument
  • Proposals are due March 1, 2019.
  • Proposals or questions should be emailed to Elizabeth Affuso ( and Suzanne Scott (



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