Archive for July, 2019

CFP: Historical Perspectives on Fan Culture (SCMS: April 1-5 2020, Denver)

July 24, 2019

CFP: Historical Perspectives on Fan Culture (SCMS: April 1-5 2020, Denver)

Fan studies has been from the beginning, and continues to be, focused predominantly on contemporary movements and phenomena. This is striking, especially since fans have invested extensive labor into building historical archives. While scholars such as Roberta Pearson, Francesca Coppa, and Camille Bacon-Smith have published important historical studies on different fannish groups, the mere fact that their texts continue to be cited as the dominant references for historical context suggests a lack of breadth and depth in fan studies’ engagement with historical research questions. Other historical studies, such as Jackie Stacey’s work on female movie fans in the 1940s/1950s or historiographies of the science-fiction community written by writer-fans, stand outside the discourse of fan studies and thus don’t directly connect to the theoretical arguments in the field.

This panel argues that fan studies is depriving itself of an important archive of knowledge that could significantly alter and enrich the field. Since much of fan studies is produced by self- identified members of fan communities, the issue of identification and embeddedness is one that it has necessarily struggled with from the very beginning. The necessary distance that comes with historical research can both challenge our understanding and help show what the study of fan culture has to offer to larger disciplines. We are especially interested in papers examining sensitive topics within fan communities that involvement in fandom makes more difficult with regard to contemporary work.

Submissions should be rooted in historical, archival, and/or cross-cultural research. We welcome studies that engage with materials and communities falling outside the scholar’s own lived experience, and/or that purposefully challenge established expectations about the nature and origins of fan culture. Contributions will demonstrate a critical and expansive understanding of fan culture in relation to adjacent disciplines such as media industry studies, feminist theory, Marxist theory, queer theory, critical race studies, disability studies, and community studies, and will do so through research outside the usual circuits of western digital fandom. Topics might include, but are by no means limited to, research into the histories of previously underexposed fan communities; conflicts, controversies, and taboos in fandom history; the historical predecessors of slash; experiences of underrepresented groups in pre-internet fan communities; racialization and the construction of traditional science fiction fandom; or non-western media fandom.

Please submit abstracts of up to 2500 characters, as well as a short biography of up to 500 characters, to jg835@cornell.edu and muelleh@bgsu.edu by August 15.

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CFP: Fandom: The Next Generation Transgenerational Fans and Long-Running Media Franchises

July 23, 2019

Fandom: The Next Generation
Transgenerational Fans and Long-Running Media Franchises

Imagine taking your child to see The Last Jedi after your own parents took you to see Return of the Jedi when you were small. Picture a grandmother, mother, and daughter sitting down to watch reruns of The Golden Girls together. What keeps fans interested in after so many years? How do long-running franchises, revivals, and reboots appeal to new audiences? How do social and political changes affect longtime fan experiences? This book sets out to explore a relatively unstudied aspect of fan and audience studies: longtime fans and generational turnover.

While early fan studies was interested in ethnography, those studies tended to concentrate on small pockets of devoted fans at particular moments. More recently, the field has expanded to studying anti-fans and toxic fans, post-object fandom, and historical fandoms. This collection seeks to fill a much-needed gap between the historical and the contemporary by studying the media franchises with long durations, reboots, and revivals that create generational fan turnover and that ask longtime fans to adapt to franchise updates.

With a variety of essays focusing on various fans, communities, and theories about fan practices, this collection sets out to study how long-running franchises are shaped by the generations of fans that adore them, and in turn how those fans navigate generational cultural divides, historical vs. recent aspects of the canon, and other elements of duration. Possible essay topics might include, but are not limited to:
● Ethnographies of intergenerational or transgenerational fan communities
● Case studies in longtime fan practices and experiences, especially as they adapt over time
● Fan break-ups with or reconsiderations of long-running franchises
● The role technological changes play in shaping fan relationships to canon
● Social or cultural forces that shape fan experiences over time
● How producers and creators of long-running franchises have (or have not) changed their interactions with fans
● Strategies used by media industries to make canon accessible to new generations of fans and/or to longtime fans

At this time, the project is being developed for proposal to the University of Iowa Press’ Fandom and Culture series. Several authors are committed to writing chapters. We are seeking additional contributors, especially on topics related to global or transnational fandom, race, gender and sexuality, and/or historically understudied fan communities and canons. Essays of 6,000-8,000 words with Chicago author-date style citations, a brief author bio, and a CV should be submitted to Bridget Kies (Oakland University) at bridget.kies@gmail.com by October 1, 2019. Expressions of interest and questions about the project prior to that deadline are welcome!

CFP: Special Edition of Celebrity Studies journal on Keanu Reeves, edited by Renee Middlemost and Sarah Thomas

July 23, 2019

Call for Papers

Special Edition of Celebrity Studies, edited by Renee Middlemost and Sarah Thomas

**Keanu Reeves**

Since his emergence as a teen actor in the 1980s, Keanu Reeves has been an enduring, yet elusive celebrity who continues to fascinate and frustrate in equal measure. Despite his unwavering popularity, in recent years his lower public profile has seen Reeves assume the status of cult or folk icon; yet slowly the world appears to have fallen for Reeves all over again.  USA Today declared June 2019 ‘The Summer of Keanu Reeves’ with the release of John Wick 3Toy Story 4, the announcement of his role in X Box game Cyberpunk 2077, memorable cameo in Always Be My Maybe, memes, magazine features, the first ‘KeanuCon’ film festival, and high profile fashion brand ambassador spreads (Saint Laurent). With the latest instalment of Bill and Ted (Bill and Ted Face the Music) due for release in 2020, this special issue of Celebrity Studies will be a timely exploration of the resurgent Reeves in the transmedia age.

Often discussed as an emblematic star of 1990s postmodernist cinema and queer sensibilities with a liminal, endless screen presence that stood between the margins and the mainstream of contemporary filmic texts (c.f. Giarrantana, 2002 and Rutsky, 2001), even now twenty years on from The Matrix (1999), Reeves remains an enigmatic icon straddling boundaries of fixed identity and meaning. His 21st century stardom has extended beyond the Wachowski’s ground-breaking series and his other key roles of the 1990s, and Reeves’ performances and star persona continues to reflect the wider ages and identities he lives through, endlessly being rewritten, rebooted and reinterpreted.

His success in the John Wick series, from cult hit to global franchise phenomenon, has partly reinvigorated interest in his screen work, conceptualising the change from the physically beautiful youth (Rutsky, 2001) to the ageing, effortful labour of action role and star. The character of John Wick further mythicises the always ‘extraordinary’ Reeves, whilst his ‘ordinariness’ has been embraced by transmedia digital cultures, such as ‘sad Keanu’ meme which draws on the perception that Reeves’ tragic personal life has never been fully resolved, or viral fan encounters that emphasise an authenticity to his unstarry behaviour. His cameo in the recent Netflix productionAlways Be My Maybe brought questions of race and transnational identity back to the forefront of his star image, with his appearance reflecting an overt desire by the filmmakers to claim Reeves as an Asian-American icon (Yamato 2019) – as aspect also explored by Nishime (2013). Beyond this, the ongoing commercial appeal of the Bill & Ted series and his partnership with Winona Ryder in Destination Wedding (2018) reveals the significance of Reeves as a point of reference for exploring 80s and 90s ‘cool’ nostalgia.

We seek original, truly ‘Excellent!!” essays of 7-8000 words that address the celebrity of Keanu Reeves, particularly reflecting on and exploring his career and image post-2000. Revisiting Keanu Reeves offers a timely discussion around key contemporary media landscapes, from franchise, reboot and remake cultures; multi-media, transmedia and technology; nostalgia and memory; participatory fandom and online cultures; racial identity and transnationalism; changes across the mainstream, the independent and the marginal; ageing; narratives of contemporary celebrity authenticities; and the continuing persistence of mythic and elusive stardom.

Topics that the articles may address include, but are not limited to:

*Keanu, the 1980s and nostalgia

*Keanu as Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan – rebooting Bill and Ted

*Keanu and his relationship to other iconic 80s performers (Winona Ryder)

*The figure of ‘tragic Keanu’

*Keanu online – Keanu as meme

*Keanu and masculinity

*Asian-American identity and transnational cinemas

*Keanu and ageing stardom

*Stuntwork, physicality and labour

*Keanu and genre (action, romance and science fiction)

*Keanu and cinematic innovation

*Keanu and cinematic franchises

*Fan responses to Keanu

*Queer identity and star image, especially post-2000

*Keanu as ‘reluctant celebrity’

*Transmedia Keanu

*Keanu as producer, or from a production studies perspective

*Acting and screen performance

*Authenticity and ordinariness

*Keanu and video game cultures

*Presence, affect and ‘being’

Please send proposals of 300 words and brief author bio/contact to Renee Middlemost reneem@uow.edu.au and Sarah Thomas S.K.Thomas@liverpool.ac.uk  by 1 December 2019.

 

CFP: Autistic Representation & Engagement in Media Narratives

July 23, 2019

Autistic Representation & Engagement in Media Narratives.

Call for papers.

Autism is becoming a controversial topic within contemporary Western culture, arguably due to a lack of information and out-dated perceptions of the condition. Autistic adults are increasingly using social media as a way to try and get their voices heard, and to challenge prevalent narratives, and what they see as abusive and dangerous practices used to try and ‘cure’ the condition. The Neurodiversity movement in particular, seeks to open up discussion and awareness of Autism as something inherent to Autistic people, rather than as a disease to be cured.

However, the Anti-vax movement has served to further demonise Autistic people, whilst cult celebrities have used social media to attack Autistic activists for criticising problematic charities such as Autism Speaks. Autistic voices are still struggling to be heard, and often suffer from being infantilised or dismissed due to being perceived by archaic labels as “high functioning” and thus not “properly” Autistic.

Representation in media, is therefore, a critical issue for Autistic people. Whilst there is increasingly an acknowledgement of Autism with film and television, the way it is depicted can be controversial. Often Autistic voices are ignored, and not involved in the production of these texts. Children’s television cartoon Pablo stars an Autistic boy and has Autistic voices involved with the production. The stage play All in a Row used a creepy puppet to represent an Autistic child and created a great deal of controversy on social media, including protests from Autistic people. Netflix series Atypical has had mixed reactions due to its perceived stereotypical representations.

There are also a great deal of texts that are not necessarily open about featuring Autistic characters, but which many have interpreted that way. These include Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, Tilly in Star Trek: Discovery, and various incarnations of The Doctor in Doctor Who. This call for paper is interested in both literal representation in media, but also how Autistic communities and viewers might find and read characters as Autistic.

This is a preliminary call for papers and proposals for an edited collection using a broad range of approaches in the exploration of both Autistic representation and engagement within media texts.

Proposals could address, but are not limited to:

  • Representation of Autism in Film & TV
  • Controversial texts and promotions.
  • Autistic fandom
  • Representations of race and gender
  • Metaphors for Autism in narratives
  • Critical viability and acceptance
  • Historical and political discourses around Autism.
  • Conspiracy narratives
  • Anti-fandom and celebrities
  • Promoting Autism
  • Interpretation characters as Autistic
  • Autistic writers, directors, and actors e.g. Anthony Hopkins
  • Autistic experiences in viewing media
  • Autism, anxiety, and the horror genre
  • Co-morbid conditions and disabilities
  • Right-wing and anti-SJW Autistic fans
  • Fandom, special interests, and hyper-focus
  • Fan-fiction and fan art
  • Neurodiversity movement

Proposals and abstracts of approximately 300 words with a short bio can be submitted to Mark Richard Adams by 30th November 2019, at drmarkrichardadams@gmail.com . Also feel free to email to express interest or with any questions.