Author Archive

PopMatters CFP: Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary 

July 26, 2016

​When Star Trek debuted on NBC on September 8, 1966, there was little indication that its longevity across multiple platforms (films, series, books) would rival that of series such as Doctor Who, or that the series (and its fans) would become fixtures of popular culture, objects of academic study, and an outsized influence on science fiction.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, and celebrations of its cultural impact have been as varied as the show’s own incarnations.
To celebrate this momentous anniversary, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the television series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.
We welcome any approach to the franchise, though possible topics may include:
Identity: How has Star Trek’s representation of gender, race, and/or sexuality changed over time? In what ways has the franchise been progressive/regressive in matters of representation? Is it possible to read Star Trek queerly?
Technology: What role has Star Trek played in spurring technological innovation, especially regarding mid-century space exploration? Has the franchise changed the relationship between pop culture and science?
Culture: What role have alien languages (such as Klingon) played in the show and its wider cultural impact? How has Star Trek impacted fashion over the years? How has meme culture, or any other subcultures, appropriated Star Trek?
Fandom: What role does the Star Trek fandom play in the production of ancillary content like comics, novelizations, and video games? How do the disputes between the ‘original’ fans and the ‘reboot’ fans affect the Star Trek franchise? What role does unofficial material play in Star Trek ownership?
Remakes, Reboots and Continuity: What responsibility, if any, do the reboots have to the original franchise’s fan base? What role do original cast cameos play in maintaining continuity between the early films and the later ones? Does the idea of “canon” or “canonicity” hold any sway given Star Trek’s multiple iterations? How do initial critical reactions compare with modern expectations and experiences?
Influence: How has Star Trek influenced science fiction film and television more generally? Does the series have descendants, responses, opposites? What have been the show’s own influences? Are there novels or mythologies that have contributed to the franchise’s main themes?
Politics: In what ways does the franchise invite comparisons between its fictional content and potential real-world analogues? Is Star Trek inherently political? Does it encourage a rethinking of the division between political art and entertainment media?
Other areas of interest may include: Disability, age, special effects, and comparable productions (Roddenberry and Andromeda, Abrams and Star Wars, for example).
Deadline for Features pitches: August 12th, 2016
Deadline for final, polished articles: September 9th, 2016
For television, please submit your pitches and features to PopMatters’ editor Erin Giannini; for film, please submit your pitches and features to Carl Wilson and Desirae Embree using the PopMatters / Submittable interface:
Be sure to identify your article as StarTrek50 in the header.

Send inquiries or questions to:

​CFP: Videographic Approaches to World Cinema and Transnational Circulation

July 26, 2016

​CFP: Videographic Approaches to World Cinema and Transnational Circulation

Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, March 22-26, 2017

This panel seeks works of videographic criticism (or papers that address methodological and/or theoretical questions about this [new] form of scholarship) that look beyond the “text itself” to explore broader industrial questions about the processes through which films circulate. The videographic mode opens up rhetorical possibilities often unattainable via traditional modes of scholarship. Although it has been used overwhelmingly for—and is well suited to—close textual analysis, it simultaneously offers intriguing possibilities/challenges for explorations of other aspects of film culture such as exhibition, distribution, audience reception, and so on.

We are especially interested in proposals that address transnational circulation and/or issues related to World Cinema. Possible topics include:

Promotion (trailers, posters, etc.) and Branding
Paratexts (including opening titles, DVD packaging, making-of docs, etc.)
Film reviewing/criticism
Film Festivals
Subtitles, Dubbing and Translation
DVDs and streaming platforms
Celebrity/red carpet/awards shows
Audiences/fandom/fan vids
Social media (Youtube, Instagram, Vine, etc.)
Piracy and copyright

Please submit a 300-word abstract and brief bio to David Richler <> and Michael Talbott  <> by Friday, August 12.

CFP: Science Fiction Film and Television

July 24, 2016

Science Fiction Film and Television is seeking articles for a special
issue on Women & Science Fiction Media, intended to mark the 200th year anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Although sf was once stereotyped as a male genre, more recently women’s contributions as authors, fans, editors, and more have become more widely
acknowledged. Central to this new understanding of women’s contributions to sf has been the realization that women have always been a part of the genre, resisting another stereotype that links women’s emergence in the field to the feminist fiction of the 1960s
and 1970s. In recognition of the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein (1818) by Mary Shelley, arguably the first sf novel, we seek essays that recognize, interrogate, respond to and celebrate women’s contributions to media sf. We are interested
in reviewing any work that explores this topic, but we are particularly interested in contributions on the following topics:

·       Female directors of sf film
and television

·       Female sf showrunners

·       Female scriptwriters in sf

·       Gender and Mary Shelley’s
legacy in sf’s imagination of created beings

·       Frankenstein remakes,
adaptations, reboots and reinventions

·       Gender and casting, and character
arc in media sf 

·       Gender in sf fandom and criticism

Articles should be 7000 to 9000 words in length, including footnotes and bibliography. Submissions (in word or rtf, following MLA style) should be
made via our website at

Any queries should be directed to the editors, Mark Bould (
Canavan ( and Sherryl Vint  (

The deadline for submissions for this special issue is March 15, 2017.

​CfP: Fantastic Fan Cultures and the Sacred

July 20, 2016

​Call for Submissions for an anthology volume: Fantastic Fan Cultures and the Sacred
They ways in which people pursue religion has changed in America and the West. Traditional, institutional religions are in decline, and even among those who claim “None” as their identity, an individualized spirituality of seeking is growing in popularity. As a part of this quest, the sacred often comes in seemingly nonreligious forms. Gary Laderman, a scholar of religion asks in light of this situation:
“So what if the sacred is not only, or even primarily, tied to theology or religious identity labels like more, less, and not religious? We might see how religious practices and commitments emanate from unlikely sources today…”

One of those unlike sources of the sacred is fantastic fan cultures. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres are incredibly popular and have become multimillion dollar facets of the entertainment industry. But there is more here than meets the eye. Fantastic fandom has also spawned subcultures that include sacred aspects.
Fantastic Fan Cultures and the Sacred will be an edited anthology that explores the sacred aspects of fantastic fandom.  Its content will be academically informed, but accessible to average readers so that it appeals not only to scholars wanting to learn more about pop culture and religion, but also to average fans who will expand their understanding of their fandom and culture.
Possible topics for this volume include but are not limited to:
•         Buffyverse fandom and other genre “cult fandoms”

•         Collecting and sacred relics – Of special interest is Guillermo del Toro’s and Bleak House, and his connection of this to his unique form of primal spirituality:  “I’m not a collector. I’m a religious man.”

•         Convention participation as religious pilgrimage

•         Cosplay as immersion in sacred narrative and identity

•         Fantasy and science fiction conventions as Transformational Festivals (akin to Burning Man Festival)

•         Horror conventions as worlds “of gods and monsters”

•         Pop culture phrases as sacred wisdom teachings

•         Science fiction, fantasy, and horror as sacred narratives and mythology

•         Star Trek fandom as secular civil religion/spirituality
This volume will be edited by John Morehead. Morehead is the proprietor of  He has contributed to various online and print publications including Cinefantastique Online, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Extrapolation. In addition, he is the co-editor of The Undead and Theology, Joss Whedon and Religion, and the editor of The Supernatural Cinema of Guillermo del Toro.
Those interested in being a part of this volume are encouraged to send a 300 word proposal and your curriculum vitae by email. Both should be in MSWord or PDF format. The deadline for submission is September 2, 2016. Materials and questions should be sent to John Morehead at

FSN2016: Daily Fandom Review

July 15, 2016

This year’s FSN saw a reporter from The Daily Fandom attending, followed by a write up about the conference. 

Read about the world’s nerdiest academic conference’ here:

CFP: Online, offline and transcultural spaces in Australian Fandom

July 12, 2016

Australian fans have access to a wide array of popular culture content from around the world, developing relationships with these products that are as rich as fans from other parts of the globe. Until recently access to media products is limited by temporal
and spatial distance from countries of origin. Yet, at the same time practices from diaspora communities to preserve cultural identity introduces a multitude of global media content to a wider Australian audience. Australian fans thus engage with a mixture
of ‘conventional’ and ‘niche’ media products that places them both within the margins and in the mainstream.  While there may be parallels between Australia and other nations with multicultural communities, the geographical location, history and cultural mix
of Australian society give rise to unique contexts shaping the consumption and practices of Australian fans.

We thus ask the question: What makes the Australian fan experience unique? What influence does geo-political location have on the consumption and appropriation of popular culture in the Australian context? What impact does Australian multicultural society
have on exposure and access to popular culture? What drives Australian fan interaction with global popular culture, and how does this interaction intersect with narratives of ‘Australian-ness’ in local and globalised contexts?


This book seeks to explore the specific and unique experience of being fans living and Australia.


We seek authors to contribute critical chapters for an edited volume to be submitted to University of Iowa Press. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Online fandom
  • Offline fandom (including convention attendance, fan-celebrity interaction etc)
  • Fan perceptions of celebrity brands/identities/public persona
  • Fan fiction
  • Cosplay culture
  • Anime culture
  • Manga culture
  • Subcultures of fandom
  • Transcultural fan practices (e.g. fan Subbers)
  • World cinema fandom
  • Cult cinema fandom
  • Comic book fandom
  • Distribution practices including Fast tracked television, Streaming services and Netflix
  • Fandom and national identity

Please email 300 word abstracts and your
CV to both Celia Lam and Jackie Raphael by
August 31 2016. Proposals should be for original chapters that have not been previously published (including conference proceedings), and are not under consideration from other journals or edited collections.


Dr. Celia Lam is Lecturer in Media and Communications, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney (


Dr. Jackie Raphael is Lecturer in Design, School of Design and Art, Curtin University (


July 11, 2016

Adventures in Shondaland: Identity Politics and the Power of Representation

Editors:          Rachel Alicia Griffin, Ph.D., University of Utah

                        Michaela D.E. Meyer, Ph.D., Christopher Newport University

At this time, we have 12 confirmed and drafted chapters for our collection. Due to unforeseen circumstances, a few spaces have become available
for additional chapters. As described in our original call below, our collection is framed by three sections pertaining to Shondaland: (1) Industry, (2) Text, and (3) Audience. To compliment the strong chapters we currently have in each section, we are specifically
seeking out proposals that address:

Identity Politics (especially ability, religion, and/or nationality)


Audiences (reactions, interpretations, engagement, communication and relationships with Rhimes herself and/or Shondaland actors,
e.g., Jesse Williams via Twitter and BET)


Private Practice


The Catch


Social justice and activism


Social media activism

Proposals are due by Monday August 1st 2016 and accepted proposals will be notified
soon after. The anticipated deadline for full chapter drafts ismid to late fall, so authors who are able to make their chapter a priority in the near future or who have projects already in progress are likely the best fit for this call. Please follow
the guidelines below outlined in our original call for proposal requirements, and send proposals to by
Monday August 1st 2016 with “SHONDALAND” in the subject line.


Communication approaches to the study of television tend to be constrained by arbitrary divisions between text, audience, and production, and thus,
we often limit our engagement with the interrelationship between textual representation (rhetorical approaches), audience interpretation (cultural studies approaches), and production strategies (industry perspectives). Building upon recent works that blur
the distinctions between text, audience, and production (e.g., Holmes, 2004; Meyer, 2007; Watts & Orbe, 2002; H. Wood, 2005) to further theorize the communicative function of television, communication scholarship needs to integrate its approach to contemporary
television studies.

This edited collection aims to bridge these divides by focusing on the television legacy of Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes is the creator and/or producer
of Grey’s Anatomy (2005-), Private Practice (2007-2013), Scandal
(2012-), How to Get Away with Murder (2014-), and, most recently, The Catch (2015-2016 season pilot debut). Her narratives capture large audiences in coveted primetime slots and continue to be highly economically successful. As the most powerful
Black woman in the history of network television, Rhimes’ primetime network influence via ABC shapes the landscape of how we understand television representation, interpretation, and production in the 21st century. Simultaneously, as an influential
public figure, her success, candor, humility, and intentionality significantly shapes discussions of identity/ies and diversity in current network television. Further indicative of Rhimes’ presence/audibility/visibility/influence in public discourse, @shondarimes
boasts 961K followers, and her tweets often address identity politics and the power of representation. This influence is not limited to Rhimes herself, as the fans, actors, and writers working with/following Rhimes also contribute heavily to our public understanding
of what is at stake in current television narrative and practices.

Our goal in this collection is to offer a complex reading of “Shondaland” by interrogating: representation, audience responses to Rhimes’ narratives/public
discourse, and larger industry issues such as casting and the emergence of new media technologies.

We are currently seeking proposals to augment our collection that address the following topics:

Complex textual readings of any of Rhimes’ narratives (listed above).


Audience-centered approaches to Rhimes’ work such as focus groups, interviews, autoethnography, or analysis of fan discussion/response to particular narratives/storylines/characters.


Cultural critique of industry norms and practices that influence Rhimes’ work such as representation, casting, writing, and/or industry scandal (e.g., Washington/Knight scandal
on Grey’s, the use of Rhimes as an “all encompassing” spokesperson for diversity on television, etc.).


We are
especially interested in proposals that embrace audience-centered approaches, critique industry practices and political economy, and analyze identity politics that include a focus on ability, age, transgender and gender queer identity, nationality, religion,
and racial and ethnic identities beyond the Black/White binary.


Proposals should operate theoretically and methodologically from critical approaches to the study of television.
Via a 500-750 word abstract, each proposal should make clear: (1) the chapter’s purpose framed in relation to the call,
(2) how the chapter is theoretically/conceptually and methodologically anchored,
(3) the chapter’s primary text(s)/trajectory for analysis/argument, (4)
the scholarly conversations the chapter is contributing to, and (5) the provocative questions raised and/or addressed by the chapter. Proposals should also include a bibliography of at least 15 working sources for the chapter proposed, as well as
a brief biography for each author (150 words or less). Proposals are limited to a 1500 word maximum (not counting the bibliography and bios).


Overall, for our planning purposes, each abstract should include an explicit indication of the chapter’s focus
on text and/or audience and/or production. Although we embrace the distinctions between text, audience, and production, we also see these as fluid and simply need to know which elements will be emphasized in the chapter.


Inquiries about the call or this project can be directed to either of the editors: Rachel Alicia Griffin (
or Michaela D.E. Meyer ( ).Please
include “SHONDALAND” in the subject line of all correspondence with the editors.

CFP: New Heart and New Spirit: Perspectives on the Modern Biblical Epic

July 8, 2016

The extreme profitability of Mel Gibson’s
The Passion of the Christ in 2004 came as a great surprise to the Hollywood establishment, particularly considering its failure to find production funding through a major studio.  Since this time, the big-budget mainstream biblical epic, long thought dead in terms of widespread marketability, has become a viable Hollywood studio product with regards to seeking both profits and critical acclaim, as well as outlets for auteurist ‘passion projects’ such as Gibson’s film, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah (2014), and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings.  With this year seeing two new fiction films featuring depictions of Jesus, the crucifixion, and resurrection [Risen (dir. Kevin Reynolds) and Ben-Hur (dir. Timur Bekmambetov)], academic consideration of the modern biblical epic is both timely and highly relevant.

This is a preliminary call for papers and proposals for an edited collection using a broad range of approaches in the analysis of these films and this phenomenon specifically.  Proposals can address, but are not limited

Stylistic and narrative analysis

Considerations of genre

Historical and political contexts

Industrial efforts to capitalise on this trend (see the short-lived Fox Faith studios in the mid 2000s and its products)

Critical viability and acceptance

Intersections of, or discord between, faith and fandom

Representations of race and gender

Auteurist analyses of these films

Philosophical and more broadly theoretical approaches to these films and this trend.

Proposals and abstracts of approximately 300 words with a short bio can be submitted to Wickham Clayton by 31 August, at  Also feel free to email for expressions of interest and questions regarding the project.

CFP: Tolkien and Jackson Fan Studies Special Issue

June 6, 2016

CFP: Tolkien and Jackson Fan Studies Special Issue (10-01-16)

Proposals are sought for fan studies scholarship on any aspect of fan production, creation, or activities relating to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legendarium and/or Peter Jackson’s live-action film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

The editors hope to co-sponsor at least one dedicated paper session at the national Popular Culture Conference (San Diego, April, 2017), and then to develop those papers to submit to a special theme issue of Journal of Tolkien Research the same year.

NOTE: There is no requirement that scholars must present at the Popular Culture conference in order to submit proposals to the journal, nor does participation at PCA mandate submitting to the journal issue.

However, this option, we believe, will allow for multi-disciplinary dialogue among and between scholars in the preparatory stages of thinking about the special issue.

JTR is an open-access, electronic, peer-reviewed journal:


Popular Culture Submissions:  July 1-October 1, 2016

Popular Culture Conference: April 12-15th, 2017

Deadline for submission to editors:  June 1, 2017 (Proposal or First Drafts)

Deadline for submission to JTR: September 30, 2017 (Final Drafts)


Katherine Larsen
Robin Anne Reid

CFP: Monstrous Women in Comics—an Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Comics and Graphic Novels

June 6, 2016

CFP: Monstrous Women in Comics—an Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Comics and Graphic Novels

May 2017, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Keynote: Dr. Carol Tilley, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The relationship between women and the comics industry is contested perhaps now more than ever before. Fresh conflicts in mainstream presses reveal lingering aversions to women creators, and fan-reactions to reboots demonstrate similar dis-ease with “non-canonical” re-imaginings of female characters. Far from being novel, these tensions are rooted in the very history of western comics. From the Golden Age, women were erased or marginalized in comics through, for instance, the use of “gender-neutral” monikers. Female characters were aesthetically constructed to meet and satisfy the male gaze and overwhelmingly, their narratives were penned by male authors. Women readers of comics were historically “pandered to” with romance comics but were otherwise ignored as a target audience. Even within the medium of graphic novels, where women’s work has arguably been more visible, women creators are being erased by industry-standard events like the Angoulême Festival. Here, as in other areas of popular culture, women are treated in very Aristotelian ways—at best, they are deemed to be monstrous derivatives of men, and at worst, they are simply monsters for daring to enter what has been overwhelmingly characterized as man’s domain. From a feminist perspective, there is ample room for critique of the ways in which women in comics are made into monsters, but now we want to ask if that is all there is? Must a theoretical investigation of monstrous women in comics be limited to surveys of marginalization and erasure?

Building on the work of postmodern scholars like Donna Haraway, and following from recent iterations of Monster Studies, we seek to critically engage with, and re-evaluate, monstrous women in comics. For Haraway, the figure of the monster is one who simultaneously illuminates and threatens boundaries; the monster is a creature who resides in borderlands and embodies transgression; she is the imbrication of text, myth, body, nature and the political—she is neither “self” nor “other.” To be deemed monstrous is to be situated in the margins, to be placed outside, and yet the monster is one who always threatens those margins, who promises to leak into and over. Constructively engaging with the monstrous can ultimately lead us into an “imagined elsewhere,” the monster can be full of promises. Therefore, we are seeking interdisciplinary examinations of monstrous women in comics not only in order to critically question and contest normative boundaries, but also to begin to imagine how the relationship between women and comics might be otherwise.

We invite all interested participants to join us in thinking about monstrous women in comics across genres: papers may engage with historical studies of women in comics, mainstream comics, graphic novels, indie comics, religious comics, or web comics. Paper proposals, in the form of 250-word abstracts, may also address—but are not limited to—any of the following topics:

  • The monstrosity of (early) women creators
  • Romance comics and “girl comics” as monstrous
  • Female characters as monstrous derivatives of male superheroes
  • Women characters/creators/readers as monstrous because of their sexuality, corporeality, race, religion, or (dis)ability
  • Monstrous female characters as manifestations of patriarchal desires/anxieties/fears
  • Monsters who are female
  • Female characters who transgress human/inhuman boundaries
  • Women readers/fans as monsters
  • Women fan/creator collectives as transgressive & monstrous
  • Maternity and monstrosity
  • Indie & web comics as monstrous
  • Monstrous feminism & comics

In order to further emphasize the fruitfulness of transgressing boundaries and engaging with the monstrous, this conference also seeks to leak over the boundaries of academia by inviting women comics creators who would like to submit their work for a temporary gallery exhibition and/or who would be interested in tabling the event. All interested creators/vendors should email a short bio and any relevant links to portfolios or previous works.

Accepted participants will be invited to present their 20-minute papers, or to exhibit their work, at a two-and-a-half-day interdisciplinary conference at the University of North Texas in Denton. To submit a paper proposal, or to express interest in exhibiting/tabling, please send an email with the following information:

  • Name, institutional affiliation, email address
  • 250-word abstract (if applicable)
  • Short bio & portfolio links (if applicable)


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