Archive for May, 2023

CFP: This is Me: Interrogating the Female Pop Star Documentary

May 22, 2023

This is Me: Interrogating the Female Pop Star Documentary.

From Lady Gaga’s Five Foot Two (2017) to BlackPink’s Light Up the Sky (2020), Billie Eilish’s The World’s A Little Blurry (2021), Love, Lizzo (2022) and many more, documentaries on female pop stars have been released with increased frequency in the past decade. Many of the world’s most famous female artists both in (and beyond) the pop genre have allowed fragments of their onstage and offstage lives to be filmed and released for public consumption as part of the bolstering of their brand.

This broad, interdisciplinary collection (which will be the first full length study of its kind) to be published by Bloomsbury Academic in early 2025, will address the ways in which women in pop music documentaries have played a significant role in shaping the narrative of popular music history. Such documentaries shed light on the experiences, challenges, and achievements of female artists in the pop music genre and provide a platform to explore the artistry, cultural impact, and personal stories of women who have made an indelible mark on the pop music landscape. The portrayal of women in pop music documentaries occupies a crucial space in the exploration of popular music history. Such documentaries celebrate the achievements of iconic female pop artists, challenge and reaffirm gender stereotypes, highlight artistic prowess, and influence, and share personal journeys of resilience.

The collection will address the complexities of the construction of female celebrity as portrayed through the pop star documentary. The essays in this volume will employ broad cultural theory frameworks to investigate what this often-overlooked genre of documentary has to offer in understanding both popular music and celebrity culture today.

Suggested topics/themes for chapters (without being limited to):

• Constructions of celebrity
• Abuse narratives
• Ageing
• Gender identities
• Materiality
• Narratives of motherhood
• Racial identities
• Social histories
• The music industry
• Mental health narratives

Proposals/abstracts should be 500 words maximum outlining your proposed chapter. Please include up to 5 keywords and a brief biography (150 words) of the author(s) which includes an institutional affiliation and your contact email.

Editor: Kirsty Fairclough (SODA at Manchester Metropolitan University)
Please send your proposal(s) to:

Important Dates:

•Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday 30th June 2023
•Notification of Acceptance: Sunday 30th July 2023
•Full Chapter Submission: Tuesday 30th January 2024
•Expected Publication: January 2025


CFP: Fright Nights: Live Halloween Horror Events

May 18, 2023


Fright Nights: Live Halloween Horror Events

Editors: Kieran Foster, University of Nottingham (UK), and Cassie Brummitt, University of Nottingham (UK)

Horror’s origins – with its roots in folklore, mythology and the oral tradition – stretch much further back in time than screen media, and beyond even ‘canonical’ literature such as Frankenstein and Dracula. However, in the 20th century and beyond, horror as a media genre has become big business, especially in the screen industries where horror film and television franchises have become globally-exploited intellectual properties ripe for spin-offs, sequels, remakes, transmedia world-building and merchandising (Fleury and Mamber 2019, Harris 2010, Mee 2022).

What remains less explored in extant scholarly literature, which this edited collection intends to address, is the phenomenon of space and place within horror’s commercial logics. Importantly, the past few decades have seen a rise in immersive, interactive environments that draw on horror imagery as an indelible part of the attraction. Events such as escape rooms, immersive experiences and fan-led celebratory events enable horror intellectual property to escape the confines of the big and small screen to pervade cultural spaces globally (Kennedy 2018, Ndalianis 2010). These physical, participatory, often visceral environments have implications for the ways in which horror properties are materialised, remediated, and engaged with.

These kinds of immersive attractions are no more popular than at Halloween, where it has become increasingly common to see both branded and non-branded horror events take place across the globe. For example, in the UK, pop-up ‘scream parks’ such as York Maze’s ‘HallowScream’, or theme park events such as ‘Fright Nights’ at Thorpe Park, draw on non-branded horror, folklore and supernatural imagery. Meanwhile, internationally, events such as ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ (at Universal Studio sites in Orlando, Hollywood, Singapore and Japan) and ‘Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party’ (at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando and Disneyland Paris) exploit branded iconography, IP, and franchises.

Horror’s preoccupation with the abject and the visceral offers arguably unique opportunities to translate cultural fears into a physically inhabitable and interactable experience. Seeking to address this important phenomenon, this edited collection will examine Halloween-focused horror events as an under-explored but sizable part of horror media’s global creative and commercial logics, both historically and contemporarily.

We are seeking abstracts of up to 250 words in response to this theme (plus author biography up to 100 words). The form of contributions can be flexible, whether a standard chapter, an interview (for example, with a practitioner, an industry professional, or fans), an autoethnographic piece, or another creative means of exploring the topic.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Issues of labour in Halloween horror events
  • Marketing and promotional discourses of Halloween horror events
  • Franchising and intellectual property in Halloween horror events
  • Immersion and interactivity
  • Halloween horror events as film, media or literary tourism
  • Notions of play and lusory attitudes to Halloween horror events
  • Performance and emotion in Halloween horror events
  • Audience engagement and experience
  • Fan studies of horror events
  • Narratives and storytelling
  • Industrial relationships, logics and practices

Please send your abstract and bio to Dr. Kieran Foster ( and Dr. Cassie Brummitt ( The deadline for abstracts is July 24th 2023.

CFP: The SA Fan Hub: Fan Studies in the Global South

May 16, 2023

19 – 20 October 2023 at Nelson Mandela University, South Campus, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape

There is an idea that everyone is a fan of something and has a corresponding attachment to a text/object. The aim of understanding how or what this attachment inspires, and the perception thereof is the intention of fan studies.

Social and new media has introduced new practices that has formed an integral part of contemporary culture. These practices, with its roots entrenched in fandom, continues to expand in terms of not only its cultural influence but also the diversity of the participants. As it stands, the field of fan studies demonstrates a distinct lack of discussion in and around transcultural fandom, especially that of the global south and, particularly, Southern Africa. Chin and Morimoto (2013), two prominent fan studies scholars affirm that non-Western fandoms remain part of the periphery of mainstream fan culture and remain disconnected despite the migration of fandom to online spaces (2013:105). As such, this symposium intends to bring together academics, acafans, and fans who want to discuss and understand how fandom is developing across the cultures and borders of the global south and Southern Africa. We are seeking participants whose approach to fan studies shares the intention of contemplating new avenues of inquiry that consider fan studies from an interdisciplinary and distinctly African perspective.

The prospective presentations, panels, and/or discussions will ideally have a clear global south perspective and may include but are not limited to:

  • Fan practices and social media platforms
  • Fan identities
  • Transcultural fandom
  • Industry
  • Race
  • The ethics of fan studies
  • Fans as curators
  • African fan fiction
  • African/Global South sports fans
  • Fan tourism
  • Music fandom
  • Queer fandom
  • Masculinity
  • Femininity
  • Fan cultures
  • Whiteness in fandom
  • Intersectional fandom
  • Political fandom
  • The future of fan studies

Topic/abstract Submissions: 31 June 2023

Please Note: Although the symposium is scheduled to be held in person on the NMU campus in Gqeberha, arrangements will be made, upon request, for hybrid presentations to accommodate participants who are unable to travel.

Submissions must include the following elements:

  • Complete contact information and institutional affiliation (if applicable) for the participant;
  • Biography
  • An indication of which aspect you want to form part of. i.e. presentation, panel, discussion;
  • A 250-word overview of your topic

Chin, B. and Morimoto, L. H. (2013). “Towards a theory of transcultural fandom,” Participations, 10, pp. 105.

The SA Fan Hub

Dr. Catherine Duncan
Dr. Janelle Vermaak-Griessel
Dr. Natalie Le Clue

CFP: The 50th Anniversary of The Princess Bride

May 9, 2023

Signum University Press is pleased to announce a call for papers in honor of the 50th anniversary of William Goldman’s The Princess Bride, to be released in 2024 and edited by Faith Acker and Maggie Parke. We welcome papers by experienced and renowned or young and emerging scholars, of all nationalities, genders, identities, and colors. Interested contributors may submit a 500-word abstract in English by 26 May 2023 to and Full drafts of 4,000-6,000 words maximumwill be due by 1 October 2023.

While existing academic scholarship on The Princess Bride is sparse, contributions should draw upon secondary criticism in relevant areas to situate their essays within existing critical conversations. The editors are happy to discuss options with prospective and accepted authors. While we are open to all approaches to the text and film, some starting points might include:

● Connections to traditions of folklore and fairy tales

● Connections to Goldman’s larger literary or cinematic canon

● Goldman’s frame narrative

● Critical (feminist, racial, socioeconomic, etc.) readings of the text

● Language and wordplay

● Misogyny and/in satire

● Cinematic adaptation

● Fandom and the role of fandom

● Afterlives of The Princess Bride

● The Princess Bride as a cultural icon

We expect completed chapters to be released in serial form beginning in 2024. When serial release has concluded, the chapters will be published in eBook, audiobook, and printed codex formats. The Signum University Press pays generous royalties: usually around 50% on net, which will be shared among all book authors and editors. Our authors are never asked to pay anything up front to offset publication costs. SUP also welcomes full book manuscripts on this and related topics. Learn more at For any further inquiries, contact us at