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


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


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