Archive for June, 2020

Reflections from the Future: A Collective Storytelling Challenge from the Civic Imagination Project

June 9, 2020

As part of the Civic Paths Group within Henry Jenkins’s Civic Imagination Project team, based at the University of Southern California, a new collective storytelling challenge has been launched. As Sangita Shresthova outlines: “we are excited to launch “Reflections from the Future”, a participatory storytelling challenge that invites people to take a minute to imagine a future far beyond our current moment and share this imagination to inspire others to share their visions too. The collection will also become an enduring archive that preserves our imaginations at this current time”.  You can read more here: http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2020/4/12/take-part-in-a-collective-storytelling-challenge-and-inspire-others-by-sangita-shresthova

All responses will become part of 2060: Reflections from the Future, a public and shared collection that connects our current hopes, concerns, and aspirations.

You can read more about the project and submit your story (which does not have to be in English) here:

https://www.ciatlas.org/prompt

 

 

Call for Papers: Celebrity Studies journal special issue on Children and Celebrities

June 9, 2020

Call for Papers: Children and Celebrities

Special Edition of Celebrity Studies journal edited by Djoymi Baker, Jessica Balanzategui, and Diana Sandars

The entertainment industries create the most widely circulated popular images of children and childhood, and yet the role of children in celebrity studies warrants further study. As John Mercer and Jane O’Connor (2017) point out, the intersection between Childhood Studies and Celebrity Studies has been gaining traction in recent years, highlighting a tension between the dominant discourses of innocence surrounding children, and the highly competitive commercial imperatives of celebrity culture.

New participatory entertainment ecologies have created new opportunities for child performers, leading to the rise of new kinds of child celebrities and surrounding reception cultures. For instance, on YouTube, the world’s most popular user-generated video streaming service, some of the most successful celebrities are children: eight year old Ryan Kaji – a North American child who reviews toys for the channel ‘Ryan’s World’ (formerly ‘Ryan ToysReview’) – was the highest-earning YouTube personality of the year in both 2018 (Statista, 2019) and 2019 (Berg, 2019).

The child on screen, the child viewer, and the child star continue to be influenced by concepts of childhood that first emerged in the 19th century, eliciting discourses of harm and protection and attracting waves of moral panic in different eras. These public debates most often reveal more about adult sensibilities around often nostalgic notions of childhood than they do about children themselves. As Karen Lury puts it, “the essential understanding of the child here is the child as being rather than becoming”(2005: 314), a subject lacking agency, which leads Hugh Cunningham to caution “we need to distinguish between children as human beings and childhood as a shifting set of ideas” (2005: 1). In the current cultural moment and in prior eras, the categories of child and adult are mutually reinforcing ideals that are articulated and reflected in a range of distinctive ways through celebrity culture. For example, since the world went into lockdown, the family home has taken centre stage for live broadcasts and social media feeds, and as a result viewers have been inundated with images of celebrities in isolation with their children.

There is more cultural evidence around childhood as a cultural concept than the lived experiences of children, a distinction which becomes key when considering children as fans of child and adult celebrities. In the field of Fandom Studies, Kyra Hunting notes the tendency to examine adolescent and teen media fans at the expense of children. She suggests this is partly due to practical, methodological reasons around collecting data, but argues it also reveals a resistance to framing children’s participatory media engagement as a form of fandom. This is despite the fact that “the playing child” functions as a “model for fandom” studies (Hills, 2002: 9). As such, we need to be mindful of how the child audience is addressed by star vehicles and paratexts, compared with what children actually do as fans, even (or particularly) if this does not accord with teen and adult models of fandom, and what intergenerational modes might be in play.

We seek original essays of 6-8000 words that address children and celebrities through an interdisciplinary approach, across a range of media forms and eras, for a special issue of Celebrity Studies (prospective publication 2023, pending the journal’s review of abstracts).

We will be looking for internationalisation, a range of scholarly experiences, gender balance, and that each of the abstracts tackles their topic or research question through broad and dynamic celebrity intersections.

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

Examination of specific child stars or celebrities
Fandom around child stars, among children and/or adults
Child fans of adult stars
On and off-screen dynamics between child stars and their co-stars
Child celebrities and their online persona
‘Fur babies’: celebrity companion animals as ‘children’
Intersectional explorations of gender, race, and/or sexuality around child stars, from their youth through to adulthood
Nostalgia around child stars of the past
Intergenerational spectatorship and child celebrities
Public discourses around child star breakdowns
Acting and screen performance
Ageing child stars
Children on reality TV
The child actor industry
Child actors in adult film and television
Celebrity families in music, film, television and social media cultures
Child labour and consent
Child stars and stalkers
Children of celebrities
Children, celebrity culture, and moral panic
Child stars and merchandising
Children, celebrities and genre
Adult stars who feature in children’s film and television

 
Please send proposals of 300 words and a 50 word author bio to Djoymi Baker djoymi.baker@rmit.edu.au, Jessica Balanzategui jbalanzategui@swin.edu.au, or Diana Sandars sandars@unimelb.edu.au by 7 August 2020.

References

Berg, M, 2019, “The highest paid YouTube stars of 2019.” Forbes 18 December. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2019/12/18/the-highest-paid-youtube-stars-of-2019-the-kids-are-killing-it/#446f8a3338cd (accessed 19 December 2019).

Cunningham, Hugh, 2005, Children and childhood in western society since 1500, New York: Routledge.

Lury, Karen, 2005, “The Child in Film and Television,” Screen, Vol. 46, No. 3, Autumn, pp. 307-314.

Hills, Matt, 2002, Fan Cultures, London: Routledge.

Hunting, Kyra, 2019, “Finding the child fan: A case for studying children in fandom studies,” Journal of Fandom Studies, Vol.7, No. 2, pp. 93-111.

Mercer, John, and Jane O’Connor, 2017, Childhood and Celebrity, London: Routledge.

Statista, 2019, “Most popular YouTube channels as of September 2019, ranked by number of subscribers (in millions).” Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/277758/most-popular-youtube-channels-ranked-by-subscribers/ (accessed 01 December 2019).

CFP: Transformative Works & Cultures special issue on Fandom Histories

June 9, 2020

Fandom Histories

https://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/announcement/view/89

Fans demonstrate a broad interest in the past, both of their objects of fandom and their own communities. They collect, catalog, preserve, restore, and publicly display historical artifacts and information in their own archives and museums. They study archival materials and collections, interview witnesses, and read historical scholarship, developing historical narratives and theses. Their research materializes in the form of analog and digital nonfiction media such as print and online publications, documentaries, podcasts, video tutorials, and pedagogical initiatives. Through their work, fans historicize their own fandom and tie it into broader historical questions, connecting to issues like heritage, gender, and the nation. While some fans do this as community historians, focused on small and self-financed groups, others work within large and well-known cultural organizations and businesses, bringing this work into the mainstream.

The goal for this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures is to explore the question of how fans produce knowledge about the past and actively engage with history. We are particularly interested in essays that show what fans do as historians, such as running publicly accessible archives and museums, and using archival materials for the production of nonfiction media. We want to shift direction from the question of why and how fans are collecting to analyses of why, how, and with what impact fans are creating and disseminating knowledge about the past. Such contributions will further our understanding of how central engagements with the past are to individual and collective fan identities, and how fandom connects to historical debates.

We encourage contributions covering all geographies and forms of fandom, including film, television, music, games, sport, fashion, celebrity culture, themed environments, theatre, dance, and opera. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Theorizing fans as historians.
Fan-produced nonfiction media about the past.
Use of archival and historical materials in fan works.
Fan-run archives and museums.
Memorialization of fandom.
Transmedial practices in fan-made histories.
Fan-made histories as fan pedagogy.
History making and inclusion/exclusion in fandom.
Fans as historians and the media and/or heritage industries.

Submission guidelines
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.
Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.
Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.

Please visit TWC’s website (http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) for complete submission guidelines, or email the TWC Editor (editor [AT] transformativeworks.org).

Contact—Contact guest editors Philipp Dominik Keidl and Abby Waysdorf with any questions or inquiries at fansmakehistory [AT] gmail.com.

Due date—January 1, 2021, for estimated March 15, 2022 publication.