Archive for the ‘Announcement’ Category

#FSN2019

February 11, 2019

Fan studies is a discipline overrun with whiteness.

This fundamental truth, put forward by a fan studies scholar on Friday 8th February, prompted a number of conversations between academics on Twitter. The resultant discussion has required us – the board members of the Fan Studies Network – to consider the role and function of the FSN within the field, and how our conference events frame representation.

Since the FSN was founded in 2012, we have worked hard to be inclusive in a range of ways, but it is clear through the recent discourse that in relation to issues of race we have failed. This is a failure that we want to rectify. This is an issue that is bigger than the Fan Studies Network, and working towards a solution will not be an overnight process. However, there are steps FSN can take to try and be better.   

This starts with our annual conference. We were delighted with the calibre of keynote speakers chosen for FSN2019, and chose these scholars because of our respect for their excellent scholarship and their support of FSN over the years. We believe that a keynote speaker should represent their field, and use their position at the conference to inform, interest, and inspire. We also believe such discourses should come from the keynote addresses themselves, rather than being informed by external discussions. As a result, in agreement with those we invited as keynotes, it has been decided that the conference will feature Lori Morimoto as the sole keynote speaker this year. The second keynote slot will instead be dedicated to a roundtable discussion on representation and diversity. We welcome thoughts on the most appropriate format for this roundtable, including potential participants.

All FSN keynotes have been chosen by the board since our first event in 2013, but we now recognise that we need to rethink our selection practices and procedures. So, over the coming months, we will be inviting everyone with an interest in fan studies (regardless of whether you have attended one of our events or not) for your thoughts on how we can make fan studies a more diverse and inclusive space. Inclusivity is an issue for us as a field to address together, and we want to ensure that the most appropriate voices are heard.  

The last 72 hours have involved a considerable amount of reflection and discussion between FSN board members, trying to react to an ongoing situation and consider the discourse with a level head. One thing that has become clear to the board is that we have underestimated the power and privilege we have in our positions. To understand why such a misjudgement has taken place, it is important to contextualise the role of the board and the ongoing management of FSN.

The network was founded by PhD students who lamented the lack of a common space for those with an interest in fan studies. It began as a group of UK-based friends and peers, keen to get a network off the ground. Unfortunately, the board’s ambitions for the network have been hampered by time and money. In regards to the former, for a large part of the lifespan of FSN the board have all been in precarious states of employment, unable to be afforded the time to work on network activities beyond the annual conference. For the latter, it is worth noting that FSN has no form of funding[1], and the conferences are entirely self-sustaining – all the money earned from delegate fees go into the conference. Ultimately the success of FSN in attracting such an international selection of keynote speakers over the last few years has relied on vast amounts of goodwill and compromise.

With this in mind, for the last few years the board has essentially seen itself as a conference organisation committee. What we did not consider, however, was how the decisions we make with our conference could have wider implications and ramifications. We now recognise that although we quite casually (albeit in good faith) began FSN to promote networking in the field, it has grown into something that warrants more considered formalisation. This is an opportunity to recognise that the board would benefit from new voices, and we are considering ways to take this forward.

Challenging the structural whiteness of our discipline is going to take more than just sticking plasters and tokenistic gestures. It will require all of us – individuals, institutions, committees, publishers, editorial boards, SIGs, research centres and beyond – to work together over the coming months and years to make fan studies a welcoming space for marginalised scholars. The six of us on the FSN board cannot and do not claim to know the answers, but we do have a platform and a presence within the field that we would like to put to good use. Please help us to do that.

We are particularly keen to hear from scholars of colour on this matter, but we welcome the comments, suggestions and input from anyone with an interest in the network and the field of fan studies more broadly. Email us at fsnconference@gmail.com (including “INCLUSIVITY” in the subject line), and if you are able to do so, please make the trip to Portsmouth (UK) in June for FSN2019 so that we can address these issues in person.


The Fan Studies Network board

[1] For the sake of transparency – the Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities at the University of East Anglia makes a budget available of £500 a year available to Tom Phillips in his role as co-Chair of the network. Last year this money was used for travel and accommodation for two board members at the FSN conference in Cardiff.

 

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The Fan Studies Network Conference 2016

December 9, 2015

THE FAN STUDIES NETWORK CONFERENCE 2016

25-26th June 2016
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

FSN2016

Keynote Speaker:
Professor Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, USA).

The fourth annual Fan Studies Network Conference is returning to the University of East Anglia for a two-day programme in June 2016. The conference will continue FSN’s proud tradition of offering an enthusiastic space for interdisciplinary researchers at all levels to connect, share resources, and further develop their research ideas. In addition to panel presentations, the two days will feature social events, speed geeking, and workshop discussions.

We are delighted to welcome Professor Henry Jenkins as the keynote speaker for FSN2016. Jenkins’ work has proved extremely influential in the field: He is the author/editor of thirteen books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide; Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture, and one of the key texts of the first wave of fan studies, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture.

Registration is open here:
http://store.uea.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&deptid=9&catid=4&prodid=41

And the conference programme can be found here:

FSN 2016 draft Programme v2

Please send any enquires about the conference to: fsnconference@gmail.com

You can join the discussion about the event on Twitter using #FSN2016, or visit http://www.fanstudies.org.

CFP: A Celebration of Star Trek, DePaul University, Chicago, USA, 7 May 2016

December 8, 2015

Now accepting submissions and ideas for the fourth annual Pop Culture Colloquium at DePaul University in Chicago!

The Media and Cinema Studies program, along with the College of Computing and Digital Media, the English Department, and the Department of American Studies at DePaul University is hosting a one-day celebratory colloquium in honor the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek on Saturday, May 07, from 9am-6pm. This event will feature roundtable discussions from scholars and fans of Star Trek, speaking about the cultural impact of the show, as well as analyzing aspects of the episodes. The even will also feature keynote speaker Brannon Braga (executive producer, writer, and director of multiple episodes and films), screenings, screenwriting workshops, a costume contest, and more.

The audience for this event is both graduate and undergraduate students, both fans and scholars, and the focus should be on informed and enlightening discussion rather than formal academic papers. “A Celebration of Star Trek” will take place on DePaul’s Loop campus.

If you’re interested in speaking on a round table, please send a 200 word abstract of your topic and a CV or resume to Paul Booth (pbooth@depaul.edu) by Mar 01. Please aim your abstracts for a more general audience and for a discussion rather than a paper presentation. For more information, please check out the website http://www.mcsdepaul.com/a-celebration-of-star-trek.html and sign up for updates on Facebook (search “A Celebration of Star Trek”). We hope that you will be able to join in the discussion and celebration!

A Celebration of Star Trek (DePaul University, 07 May)

Call for Expressions of Interest: Musical Fan Communities: Connected Across Borders

November 18, 2015

Musical Fan Communities: Connected Across Borders

Call for Expressions of Interest

Principal investigator: Dr. Laura MacDonald (University of Portsmouth)

Co-investigator: Dr. Jonathan Evans (University of Portsmouth)

After a successful research day in May 2015 and a presentation at the Fan Studies Network conference in June 2015, we are now preparing a bid for the AHRC Research Networking Scheme. This funding would support research events in the UK and abroad, and lead to a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. In order to submit as compelling a bid as possible, we would like to confirm the ongoing interest of our initial participants and recruit additional participants. With this in mind, we are soliciting expressions of interest, outlining projects and areas of interest that would benefit from development in an international, interdisciplinary network.

Our ongoing research investigates how film and theatrical musicals are received and remediated by fans in other cultures where other languages are spoken. Our wider questions include: How do fans of musicals deal with language difference? What sort of fan organised activity is there in relation to musicals? Our focus, therefore, is on how fans translate, literally and metaphorically, foreign musicals for themselves and their peers: both in the form of lyric translation and subtitling, but also in the form of reviews and commentary. Through an analysis of evidence of fan activities such as subtitling, YouTube performances and comments, amateur performances, fans’ international travel to sites of musical theatre performance, and online forum discussions, we will argue that the communal activity of theatre going serves as a basis for a gift culture that focuses on sharing and giving others access to foreign texts. Drawing on close readings of these materials and theories of audiovisual translation, consumption and fandom, we will suggest fan practices play a significant role in the musical’s success as a global genre and in creating communal, non-national spaces based around shared affective experience.

Network participants will be working in musical theatre, theatre, film, media, European, Asian, and/or American studies. They may also be engaged in digital humanities projects, or employed in industries relevant to this research. The fans, the stakeholders in this network’s investigations, will also be involved in research events.

Interested participants are ask to respond by 30 November 2015 to both Laura MacDonald (laura.macdonald@port.ac.uk) and Jonathan Evans (jonathan.evans@port.ac.uk) with an abstract or outline of no more than 250 words indicating a project or area of research that would benefit from development through this network, keeping in mind the focus on fan practices in response to stage and screen musicals in languages and cultures other than those of the musical’s origins.

Call for Papers: Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives, Networking Knowledge, the journal of the MeCCSA-PGN

November 16, 2015

Call for Papers: Sex and Sexualities in Popular Culture: Feminist Perspectives

A special-themed issue of Networking Knowledge, the journal of the MeCCSA-PGN

Edited by Milena Popova and Bethan Jones

Deadline for abstracts: 30th December 2015

Popular culture, as can be seen through the GamerGate controversy for one example, has a profound impact on feminist issues and discourses. Representations of sex and sexualities influence public opinion and individual attitudes and perceptions. Discussions – in both media and academia – are continuing to take place about the impact of Fifty Shades, sexism and misogyny in computer game and comic book fandom, the sexualisation of girls and the sexual desires of both young and adult women. Moral panics abound surrounding Fifty Shades and the “irrational” behaviour of One Direction fans, while LGBTQIA+ identities and sexualities are often represented tokenistically at best. Creative practitioners can easily come under fire for poor representations of sex and sexualities, as evidenced most recently by the reception of Joss Whedon’s treatment of Black Widow in The Avengers: Age of Ultron; equally they can be celebrated for their efforts, as was the case with Bioware’s inclusion of a consent negotiation scene in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Following a successful one-day symposium on this theme in November 2015, we invite proposals for a special issue of Networking Knowledge – the Journal of the MeCCSA PGN. As with the symposium, we wish to open up debates and explore the nuances of sex and sexualities within popular culture. To that end, possible topics include but are not limited to:

• Representations of women’s desire and sexualities in popular culture

•Non-cis- and heteronormative sexualities in popular culture, especially beyond “gay and lesbian”

•Representations of sex work

•Infertility and sexual dysfunction

•Sexual intersections: race, disability, religion, class and socioeconomic status, gender

•Sex and sexualities in gaming

•Sexual pleasure in popular culture

•Invisibility: (a)sexualities unrepresented

•Sex, sexualities and social media

•Sex and sexualities in fan and transformative works

Please send 300 word abstracts for papers of 5,000 to 6,000 words, along with a short author biography, by 30th December 2015. Please email these to guest editors milena2.popova@live.uwe.ac.uk and bethanvjones@hotmail.com. If you have questions about Networking Knowledge in general, please contact the Journal Editor, Simon Dawes at simondawes0@gmail.com. Final, selected, articles will be due by the end of March 2016.

Transformative Works and Cultures 20th issue celebrations

September 7, 2015

Press release from the Organisation for Transformative Works:

TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS AND CULTURES REACHES 20th ISSUE MILESTONE
Peer reviewed academic journal enlarges the field of fan studies

New York, N.Y. — The Organization for Transformative Works will be celebrating its eighth year this September with another big milestone: the release of the 20th issue of its journal. This special anniversary issue of the journal Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) comes at a time when fandom and its works – including fan fiction, fan films, and fan art – are becoming more visible.

The OTW will be celebrating throughout September, starting with a feature highlighting a unique aspect of TWC’s publication, the Symposium section, which allows contributors to bridge the gap between academic study and fan dialogue about their own activities.

The issue itself will be released September 15, and it will be followed by reflections from several contributors on its history on the 17th. Celebrations will culminate with a live chat featuring several of TWC’s early contributors on September 19. The chat will be held in The OTW’s public chatroom from 16:00 UTC to 18:00 UTC.

Transformative Works and Cultures is an online peer-reviewed Gold Open Access journal that specializes in articles about transformative works, media studies, and the fan community. It encourages a variety of critical approaches, including feminism, postcolonial theory, and literary criticism, among others. Past issues have covered topics such as anti-fan activism, the interaction of race and gender in fandom activities, and special issues on gaming and fan videos. The TWC also has published The Fan Fiction Studies Reader with The University of Iowa Press. The reader gathered essential foundational works in the field of fan studies in one place, making many of these articles accessible to mainstream audiences for the first time.

Founded in 2007, the Organization for Transformative Works is a nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. Supported by members and volunteers internationally, the OTW advocates that fan works are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate. More information can be found at http://transformativeworks.org.

#FSN2015 Conference

February 12, 2015

The 3rd annual FSN Conference took place at the University of East Anglia on 27-28th June 2015. Keynoted by Lincoln Geraghty (University of Portsmouth, UK) and Suzanne Scott (The University of Texas at Austin, USA), the event featured scholars from around the world presenting on many different aspects of fan studies. You can view the conference programme here.

The event was widely talked about on Twitter using the #FSN2015 hashtag. You can view an interactive, searchable archive of all the tweets sent during the event here.

We look forward to seeing you at FSN2016!

 

The World Hobbit project

January 9, 2015

World Hobbit Project (www.worldhobbitproject.org)

The World Hobbit Project, the most ambitious film audience research project yet undertaken, launched on December 1 of this year to coincide with the premiere of the final film of The Hobbit trilogy. Research groups in 46 countries, operating in over 30 languages, will be gathering a range of demographic data (age, sex, country, education, occupation, etc), asking a series of orientation questions (designed to show patterns in responses, kinds of evaluation, modal questions about the kind of story The Hobbit is seen to be, etc.) and probing how people watch (and like to watch) a film of this kind. We are also interested in what else audiences do in connection with watching the films (reading the book, taking part in online discussions, following particular stars, creating fanworks, etc.). Crucially, the survey is designed on the principle of linked quantitative and qualitative questions. We believe that if we can recruit a large and diverse array of respondents, we can make contributions to many current debates: about globalisation, cultural identities, the role of online participation, and the role of film and cinema, among them.

What can we offer In return? All our findings will be made publicly available, in as many forms as we are able; and once we have completed our own work on the database, the entire body of data and materials will be placed in the public domain for other researchers to use in whatever way they choose. Please, help us in simple ways:

By completing the survey yourself, of course, if you have seen the films.
By passing on this information to students, colleagues, family, friends, and asking them to do the same.
By mentioning and pointing to the project’s address in blogs, postings, and conversations.
By mentioning the project and showing the link on Facebook and the like, so that it is as widely visible as we can possibly make it.

Our survey is available at: http://www.worldhobbitproject.org . If you have any questions about the project, we will do our best to answer them. Please contact either:

Martin Barker (mib@aber.ac.uk)
Matt Hills (mjh37@aber.ac.uk)
Ernest Mathijs (ernest.mathijs@gmail.com)

REGISTRATI​ON OPEN: Fan Studies Network Conference 2014

August 1, 2014

Dear all,

We are delighted to announce that registration for the Fan Studies Network Conference 2014 is now open. The event will take place on 27-28 September at Regent’s University, London. You can register on the conference webpage here:

http://www.regents.ac.uk/events/the-fan-studies-network-conference.aspx

There are very limited spaces for the event, so we urge you to register as soon as possible. Full information about prices and location can be found via the link above.

The current final programme is available to view online here:

https://fanstudies.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/fsn-2014-final-full-programme.pdf

Any questions, please email us at fsnconference@gmail.com

We think this will be a very exciting conference – we hope to see you there!

The FSN conference team

Reminder: CFP The Fan Studies Network 2014 Conference

May 26, 2014

Dear all,
we just wanted to offer a little reminder that abstracts for the Fan Studies Network conference 2014 are due in at the end of this week (by Sunday 1st June)!

You can read the CFP here:

https://fanstudies.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/call-for-papers-fan-studies-network-2014-conference-regents-university-london-uk-27-28th-september-2014/

The video of last year’s event is here:

We hope to see you there!