UPDATED CFP: Fan Studies Network Australasia @ Swinburne University of Technology


Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, Australia December 11th – 13th, 2019

For the 2019 FSN Australasia Conference, we turn to a focus on the impact of technological, cultural, and media change on shifting fan practices, and vice versa: the impact of fan practices on technological, cultural, and media change. The Conference aims to showcase diverse approaches to a wide range of fan communities and practices across four core areas: screen and digital cultures (such as film, television, videogames, online and other digital media); public leisure cultures (such as sport, theme parks, festivals and conventions, popular culture stores, and concerts); audio cultures (such as podcasts, radio, and music); and material cultures (such as comic books, toys, books, and board games). 

In focusing on technological and industrial change, the conference aims to address pressing questions relevant to a wide range of disciplines, such as: how does the dominance of streaming services in the contemporary entertainment media landscape influence the formation of fandoms and fan practices? What role do digital platforms – from social media to taste curation websites like LetterBoxd – play in the mainstreaming of fandom? Do hacker and maker cultures, such as those that surround videogames, necessitate new theorisations of fan cultures? How do interactions in public spaces between fandoms from different cultural spheres affect or reshape fan practices and identities (for instance, in the case of Melbourne’s “Marvel Stadium” sporting arena, which connects sporting and comic book/superhero fan cultures)? 

We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words (with 150 word bio) to be submitted by 15th July 2019 for presentations that address any aspect of fandom or fan studies. We also welcome collated submissions for pre-constituted panels of three to four presenters. We encourage new members in all stages of their career to the network, and welcome proposals for presentations on, but not limited to, the following topics: 

 Screen and Digital Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Online and digital vernacular creativity 

• Streaming services 

• Curatorial culture 

• Vernacular criticism 

• Fan practices around and using specific media technologies 

• Hacker, homebrew, and maker cultures 

• Digital heritage 

Public Leisure Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Sporting team fandoms and fan practices 

• Festivals and conventions 

• The role of restaurants/cafes in fan cultures 

• The public mainstreaming of fan or geek cultures 

• Theme park fandoms and fan practices 

• Film music and other fan-oriented concerts 

• Comic book/popular culture stores and groups 

• The GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) 

Audio Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Podcast fandom and fan podcasts 

• Music fan practices and fandoms 

• Music streaming and curatorial culture 

• Radio fandom and fan practices 

Material Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Comic book fandoms and fan practices 

• Archival and other materially-based fan practices 

• Toys for fans 

• Collecting and collections 

• Book fandoms and fan practices 

• Board game fandoms and fan practices 

• Fandom and clothing 

Across all of these areas, papers are welcome that approach issues such as audience research and fan studies methodologies; accessibility of fan cultures and fan studies; anti-fandom and toxic practices; fan labour; transcultural and transnational fandom; fan/industry relationships (subversions, interactions, appropriations); inter-generational fandoms and fan practices; the ethics of studying participatory culture and fandom; transgressive fan practices and fandoms (ie alt-right and serial killer fan cultures); shipping, slash fiction, and other queer fan practices; and the intersections between media/industry change and shifting fan practices. 

The conference will feature a number of innovative keynote speakers who have driven fan studies in new directions across a range of different disciplines. These include the following keynote speakers, with further speakers and industry events to be announced: 

Dr Bertha Chin 

Lecturer of Social Media and Communication 

Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia 

Editor: Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society (with Lucy Bennett & Bethan Jones, 2015) 

Editor: Crowdfunding Issue of New Media and Society (with Bennett and Jones, 2015) 

Editor: Transcultural Issue of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies (with Lori Morimoto, 2015). 

Dr Suzanne Scott 

Assistant Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film 

The University of Texas at Austin 

Author: Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry (2019) 

Editor: The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom (with Melissa A. Click, 2018) 

Editor: In Focus: Gender Identity and Representation in the Superhero Genre Issue of Cinema Journal (with Ellen Kirkpatrick, 2015). 

Professor Melanie Swalwell 

Professor of Digital Media Heritage 

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia 

Editor: Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandoms, Archives (with Angela Ndalianis and Helen Stuckey, 2017) 

Editor: Born Digital Cultural Heritage Issue of Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media (with Angela Ndalianis, 2016) 

Lead Investigator of the digital heritage project “Play it Again: Creating a Playable History of Australasian Digital Games” in collaboration with the Australian Centre of the Moving Image. 

Dr Benjamin Woo 

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication 

Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada 

Author: Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture (2018) 

Author: The Greatest Comic Book of All Time: Symbolic Capital and the Field of American Comic Books (with Bart Beaty, 2016) 

Editor: Scene Thinking: Cultural Studies from the Scenes Perspective (with Stuart Poyntz and Jamie Rennie, 2016). 

Please send a 300 word abstract and a 150 word bio by the 15th of July as a word doc attachment to the conference organising committee: jbalanzategui@swin.edu.au. Use the Subject Line: “Abstract Submission FSNA2019” and the following the file name convention: Surname_ProposalTitle 

Conference Steering Committee: 

Dr Jessica Balanzategui (jbalanzategui@swin.edu.au) 

Dr Liam Burke 

Taylor Hardwick 

Dr Naja Later 

Tara Lomax 

Andy Lynch 

Professor Angela Ndalianis 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: