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

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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!

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