Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

CFP: Superheroes Beyond conference, Melbourne, Australia, 6-8 December 2018

March 19, 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS

Superheroes Beyond conference

Venue: Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) – Melbourne, Australia

Date: 6-8 December, 2018*

A Conference Welcome Event will be held on the evening of December 5th

Proposal Deadline: 29 June, 2018

*please note that the dates have changed slightly from an earlier version of this CFP

Superheroes are transmedia, transcultural, and transhistorical icons, and yet discussion of these caped crusaders often fixate on familiar examples. This conference will join wider scholarly interest in going beyond out-dated definitions of superheroes. We invite papers that unmask international examples, examine superheroes beyond the comic book page, identify historical antecedents, consider real world examples of superheroism, and explore heroes whose secret identities are not cisgender men. From big screen heroes to lesser-known comic book vigilantes and real-life costumed heroes, the conference will include papers that consider superheroes across all eras and media platforms

Keynote Speaker: Comics artist, writer, and “herstorian” Trina Robbins

We are inviting submissions for individual research papers of 20 minutes as well as pre-formed panels. Proposal topics might include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

Superheroes Beyond… Comics

Superheroes are often considered comics’ defining content, as traditionally the four-colour medium was the only format capable of fully capturing the superhero spectacle. Emboldened by digital technologies, superheroes can now be found across a rich array of media formats. Proposals are invited that consider superheroes across multiple media platforms including movies, games, television, digital comics, and virtual reality.

Superheroes Beyond… Men in Tights

It is often suggested that superheroes reflect our attitudes and anxieties. However, while superheroes may articulate society’s interests, they have only recently begun to reflect its diversity. We welcome papers that consider how superheroes are no longer the white heterosexual men that once dominated the genre, with a more diverse array of characters donning capes and cowls.

Superheroes Beyond (and Before)… 1938

Is the vigilante Robin Hood a superhero? What about demigods and mythological icons such as Hercules, Māui, and Artemis? Superheroes are notoriously hard to define, making it difficult to identify when the pop culture icon first came into existence. We encourage papers that identify early examples of the superhero archetype and chart their influence on the heroes of today and tomorrow.

Superheroes Beyond… America

Comic books are often described as an American form, and the medium’s most popular character, the superhero, did much to affirm that link with dozens of star-spangled heroes created during the industry’s Golden Age. However, the superhero has been reimagined in a range of contexts to respond to local cultures, politics, and traditions. Papers that consider how superheroes engage with national and regional identities are welcome.

Superheroes Beyond… Fantasy

The term “superhero” is often applied to real-life individuals who have distinguished themselves through their bravery or compassion. However, superheroes in popular culture are often violent vigilantes. Papers are invited that consider superheroism in everyday settings and how that can be reconciled with the more colourful power fantasies.

The Superheroes Beyond conference is organised by the Superheroes & Me research team – Angela Ndalianis (Swinburne University of Technology), Liam Burke (Swinburne University of Technology), Elizabeth MacFarlane (University of Melbourne), Wendy Haslem (University of Melbourne), and Ian Gordon (National University of Singapore) – and supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).

Proposals of 250-300 words for individual presentations or full panels, as well as any queries, should be sent to Liam Burke wburke@swin.edu.au by 29 June, 2018, along with a 150-word bio.

Keynote Speaker Trina Robbins

Trina Robbins has been drawing and writing comics since 1966, when she drew comics for the East Village Other, New York’s iconic underground newspaper, while at the same time designing and selling clothes from her Lower East Side boutique, Broccoli. In 1970, she produced the very first all-woman comic book, It Ain’t me, Babe. In 1972 she was one of the founding mothers of Wimmin’s Comix, the longest-lasting women’s anthology comic book. (1972 – 1992)

In the mid-1980s, tired of hearing publishers and editors say that girls don’t read comics and that women had never drawn comics, she co-wrote (with Catherine Yronwode) Women and the Comics, the first of what would become a series of histories of women cartoonists. She has been responsible for rediscovering previously forgotten early women cartoonists like Nell Brinkley, Tarpe Mills, Barbara Hall, and Lily Renee.

In 1986 she became the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic book. In 2013 Trina was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame. In 2017 she was inducted into the Wizard World Hall of Legends, and at the San Diego comic convention she received the Eisner award for editing the two-volume reprint collection of the complete Wimmin’s Comix.

Further Speakers and Industry Guests to be announced.

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CFP: International Vampire Film and Arts Festival, 25-27 May 2017, Transylvania, Romania

October 20, 2016

INTERNATIONAL VAMPIRE FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL
http://www.ivfaf.com

CALL FOR PAPERS
The second annual International Vampire Film and Arts Festival will take place in Sighisoara in Transylvania, Romania, on May 25th ‐ 28th 2017.
Theme: VAMPIRES ON SCREEN: Life, Death, and Immortality
Curating University: EMERSON
Keynote Speaker: Cynthia J. Miller (Undead in the West, Horrors of War, The Laughing Dead)

This call for papers is for scholars interested in presenting their work in the academic symposium that runs alongside the Festival (in association with Emerson College).
From the silent era to the present day, cinematic vampires have menaced, critiqued, and entertained the living. From sexuality to race, and political‐economy to personal violence,
vampires have reflected our existential struggles as well as our everyday lives, Lending themselves to not only horror, but a wide range of genre mash‐ups and hybrids as well,
they can be found in cities and suburbs, battlefields and college campuses, the Wild West and quaint New England towns. As vampire narratives and tropes shift and evolve in
motion pictures, how do we continue to interpret their roles and functions? What do cinematic vampires—as familiar foils, monstrous Others, and cultural commentators—
bring to our theaters and homes when we invite them in? This session invites papers exploring the many forms and visions of the vampire on screen, from Nosferatu through the present day. Papers will be selected to broadly represent eras, fields of critical inquiry, and the cinematic and cultural evolution of vampire.
Proposals for single 20‐minute papers or pre‐constituted panels (of 3 x 20‐minute papers) on the conference theme are invited from scholars and advanced graduate
students. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

+ Landmarks of Vampire Film and Television (Dracula, Dark Shadows, Interview with
a Vampire, Near Dark, John Carpenter’s Vampires, True Blood)
+ Urban Vampires (Dracula A.D. 1972, Vampire in Brooklyn, Love at First Bite)
+ Genre Parody (Vampire’s Kiss, What We Do In the Shadows, Vampires Suck, Dracula:
Dead and Loving It)
+ Vampires as Social and Political Commentary (Fearless Vampire Killers, Blacula,
Vampires: Los Muertos)
+ The Vampire’s Role in Genre Evolution
+ Franchising the Vampire (Twilight, Underworld, Blade)
+ Children of Dracula: Spin‐offs, Adaptations, and Novelizations
+ Turned: Fan Editing and Vampire Cinema
+ Vampire Foodways
+ Non‐Western Cinematic Vampires (Thirst, Let the Right One In, Daughters of
Darkness, Mr. Vampire)
+ Vampires in Genre Mash‐ups (Curse of the Undead, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, From
Dusk Till Dawn, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter)
+ Still Cutting Their Teeth: Vampires for Children and Young Adults (The Little
Vampire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire’s Assistant)
+ Sex, Gender, and the Children of the Night (Near Dark, Only Lovers Left Alive,
Vampyros Lesbos)

This conference theme is curated by Professor Cynthia J. Miller and Professor Meta Wagner, and is sponsored by the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson
College (www.emerson.edu) Submit abstracts (500 words maximum) via email to vampiresonscreen2017@gmail.com, no later than February 1, 2016. Full panel proposals should include all three proposals
along with a summary (50 words maximum) of the panel’s central topic by the moderator. Accepted submitters must confirm commitment to attend and present their
own original work at the conference in Transylvania. For information on conference registration and location, visit http://www.ivfaf.com

Updated CFP: Popular Culture, Tourism and Belonging, 5-7 April 2017, Erasmus University, Rotterdam

October 20, 2016

POPULAR CULTURE, TOURISM, AND BELONGING
APRIL 5-7 2017
ERASMUS UNIVERSITY ROTTERDAM

Keynote Speakers:
David Morley
André Jansson
Marie-Laure Ryan

When the small Dutch seaside village of Urk was announced as a filming location for superstar director Christopher Nolan’s historical drama Dunkirk, featuring One Direction star Harry Styles and other big names, it was unsurprising that reports of fans traveling in hopes of catching a glimpse of the production followed. Indeed, it would have been more surprising if they hadn’t. Visiting places connected to media is increasingly mainstream – from searching for film locations of popular TV shows to taking part in literary walking tours to traveling around summer music festivals. Popular culture sets the touristic identity of regions, while fan conventions and festivals draw increasing numbers (and prices) year after year. These developments, and others like them, point to a growing interest in bridging the gap between reality and imagination through physicality, intertwining them in new ways. They also illustrate new ways in which place, and its role in creating a sense of identity and belonging, matters in a globalized and digital world in which popular culture plays an integral role.

This conference brings together these disparate threads and explores the ways in which popular culture and tourism interact in the contemporary media age. This is reflected in the keynote speakers: Professor David Morley of Goldsmiths University, author of many influential works of media theory, including The Nationwide Audience (1980) and Media, Modernity, and Technology: the Geography of the New (2007); Professor André Jansson of Karlstad University, editor of Geographies of Communication: The Spatial Turn in Media Studies (2006, with Jesper Falkheimer) and author of Cosmopolitanism and the Media: Cartographies of Change (2015, with Miyase Christensen); and Dr. Marie-Laure Ryan, author of Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media (2000) and Narrating Space/Spatializing Narrative: Where Narrative Theory and Geography Meet (2016, with Kenneth Foote and Maoz Azaryahu).

The conference will also feature a special session on Fandom and Place, bringing together experts in the field to address the contemporary issues at this complex juncture. Our invited guests are Professor Cornel Sandvoss of the University of Huddersfield, author of Fans: The Mirror of Consumption (2005); Professor Matt Hills of the University of Huddersfield, author of Fan Cultures (2002); and Dr. Mark Duffett of the University of Chester, author of Popular Music Fandom: Identities, Roles, and Practices (2013).

We seek to bring together scholars across disciplines, including, but not limited to, media studies, literary studies, popular music studies, ethnomusicology, cultural geography, fan studies, and tourism studies and management, who work at the intersections of (popular) culture, place, and tourism. We invite papers that address all themes around this subject, such as:

• fan pilgrimages
• place identity and popular culture
• contemporary literary tourism
• music tourism
• historical media tourism
• themed and simulated spaces
• music festivals
• video-game-inspired tourism
• media and fan conventions
• transmedia marketing and tourism
• place and storytelling
• media tourism in the media

The conference will be held at Erasmus University Rotterdam, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Recently chosen as one of the “best places to visit” by Lonely Planet and the New York Times, Rotterdam is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city featuring cutting-edge architecture, an innovative dining scene, and top-class art museums. The conference is organized by the ‘Locating Imagination’ research group of prof. dr. Stijn Reijnders, Leonieke Bolderman, Nicky van Es, and Abby Waysdorf, and sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC).

Please send abstracts of max. 300 words and a short biographical statement (max. 50 words) to conference@locatingimagination.com before November 1st, 2016.

Kind Regards,

The organizers of Locating Imagination 2017:
Stijn Reijnders, Abby Waysdorf, Nicky van Es and Leonieke Bolderman

Call for Fandom and Disability panel participants: 2017 PCA/ACA national conference in San Diego

September 22, 2016

From Devin Magee:
This is a call for participants in a Fan Studies panel at PCA 2017. I’d like to put together a diverse group of fan scholars who are active in various fandoms, and particularly those who create or consume transformative works.
In the Fan Studies panel at PCA 2016, participants discussed myriad reasons for reading and writing fanfiction, as well as problems within fanfiction and fandom as a whole. Examples were given of authors not properly researching race, stereotypes about gay men, exclusion of female characters in order to give priority to men– all problems stemming because they stymie the efforts of those who turn to transformative works to do what so much canon does not: reflect the diversity of experience of those creating it, reading it, or engaging with it in other ways.
That diversity of experience includes disability (both mental and physical), and as is the case in many spaces where multiple axes of oppression intersect, fandom tends to ignore or misrepresent disabled characters. In this panel, I’d like to address why that is and how it can be remedied. Specifically, I’d like to ask the questions, “where does disability fit into fan space?”, “how can able-bodied writers address disability in their works?”, “how do transformative works address canonical disability?”, and “do disabled fans interact with fandom differently than able-bodied fans? If so, how?”. I’d like to focus on physical disability, though perspectives on mental disability are also valuable and will be included.
I am looking for 3-5 other scholars to join this panel. Anybody interested should send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Devin Magee (dmnoble94@gmail.com) by September 30, 2016.

CFP: Stardom and Fandom, Southwest Popular/American Culture Association Conference (February 15-18, 2017)

September 5, 2016

38th Annual Conference, February 15-18, 2017
Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
http://www.southwestpca.org
Proposal submission deadline: November 1, 2016

Proposals for papers and panels are now being accepted for the 38th annual SWPACA conference. One of the nation’s largest interdisciplinary academic conferences, SWPACA offers nearly 70 subject areas, each typically featuring multiple panels. The Area Chair for Stardom and Fandom invites paper or panel proposals on any aspect of stardom or fandom. The list of ideas below is limited, so if you have an idea that is not listed, please suggest the new topic. We are an interdisciplinary area and encourage submissions from multiple perspectives and disciplines. (We also have a lot of fun in beautiful Albuquerque!) Topics might include:

Studies of individual celebrities and their fans
Studies focused on specific fandoms
The reciprocal relationship between stars and fans
Impact of celebrity and fame on identity construction, reconstruction and sense of self
Reality television and the changing definition of ‘stardom’
The impact of social media on celebrity/fan interaction
Celebrity/fame addiction as cultural change
The intersection of stars and fans in virtual and physical spaces (Twitter, Tumblr, conventions)
Celebrity and the construction of persona
Pedagogical approaches to teaching stardom and fandom
Anti-fans and ‘haters’
Fan shame, wank, and fandom policing
Gendered constructions of stars and fans
Historical studies of fandom and fan/celebrity interaction

All proposals must be submitted through the conference’s database at http://conference2017.southwestpca.org/

For details on using the submission database and on the application process in general, please see the Proposal Submission FAQs and Tips page at
http://southwestpca.org/conference/faqs-and-tips/proposal-submission-faqs-and-tips/

Individual proposals for 15 minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 200-500 words. Including a brief bio in the body of the proposal form is encouraged, but not required. For information on how to submit a proposal for a roundtable or a multi-paper panel, please view the above FAQs and Tips page.

SWPACA offers monetary awards for the best graduate student papers in a variety of categories. Submissions of accepted, full papers are due December 1. For more information, visit http://southwestpca.org/conference/graduate-student-awards/

Registration and travel information for the conference is available at http://southwestpca.org/conference/registration/

If you have any questions about the Stardom and Fandom area, please contact its Area Chair, Lynn Zubernis, at lzubernis@wcupa.edu. We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Call for Presentations: Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference at StokerCon 2017

August 17, 2016

Call for Presentations:

Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference at StokerCon 2017
Abstract Submission Deadline: December 31, 2016

Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference held in tandem with StokerCon 2017
Conference Dates: April 27 – 30, 2017
Conference Hotel: The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
Conference Website: http://www.StokerCon2017.org

The Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference co-chairs invite all interested scholars and academics to submit presentation abstracts related to horror studies for consideration to be presented at the Second Annual StokerCon, April 27-30, 2017 held on the historic The Queen Mary, moored at Long Beach, California (see: http://www.queenmary.com ).

Horror continues to be a dominating genre within the wider pop-culture arena, and continued academic analysis of horror remains critical. Hence, we are looking for presentations that will discuss completed or works-in-progress that expand the scholarship on various facets of horror that proliferates in:

• Art
• Cinema
• Comics
• Literature
• Music
• Television
• Video Games
• Etc.

We invite papers that take an interdisciplinary approach to their subject matter and can apply a variety of lenses and frameworks, such as, but not limited to:

• Auteur theory
• Close textual analysis
• Comparative analysis
• Cultural and ethnic
• Fandom and fan studies
• Film studies
• Folklore
• Gender/LGBT studies
• Historic analysis
• Interpretations
• Linguistic
• Literature studies
• Media and communications
• Media Sociology
• Modernity/Postmodernity
• Mythological
• Psychological
• Racial studies
• Semiotics
• Theoretical (Adorno, Barthes, Baudrillard, Dyer, Gerbner, etc.)
• Transmedia

Conference Details

• Please send a 250 – 300 word abstract on your intended topic, a preliminary bibliography and your CV to AnnRadCon@gmail.com by December 31, 2016. Responses will be sent out during January, 2017.
• Presentation time consideration: 15 minute maximum to allow for a Question and Answer period. Limit of one presentation at the conference.
• There are no honorariums for presenters; this is an academic conference. There is, however, a StokerCon2017 award opportunity; see http://horrorscholarships.com/the-scholarship-from-hell/

Organizing Co-Chairs

Michele Brittany & Nicholas Diak
Email: AnnRadCon@gmail.com

The Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference is part of the Horror Writers Association’s Outreach Program. Membership to the Horror Writers Association is not required to submit or present, however registration to StokerCon 2017 is required to present. StokerCon registration can be obtained by going to http://www.stokercon2017.org. If interested in applying to the Horror Writer’s Association as an academic member, please see http://horror.org/joining-the-hwa/ .

StokerCon is the annual convention hosted by the Horror Writers Association wherein the Bram Stoker Awards for superior achievement in horror writing are awarded.

Call for papers: “Strong Independent Shipper Who Don’t Need No Canon:” When Fans Reject Canon, 2017 PCA/ACA Annual National Conference, San Diego, USA, 12-15 April 2017

August 5, 2016

“Strong Independent Shipper Who Don’t Need No Canon:” When Fans Reject Canon

Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association 2017
San Diego, Wednesday, April 12th—Saturday, April 15th

Although not a new phenomenon in television fandom, the past several years have seen a number of fandoms, particularly slash fandoms, separate themselves from or fully reject their canons – with some fans even calling for shows to be cancelled, i.e., Sterek from Teen Wolf and Clexa from The 100. This trend is at once surprising (doesn’t the nature of fandom mean that fans support their chosen canons?) and predictable, given the transformations and expansions of fandom in the 21st century with the advent of social media and Archive of Our Own. This proposed panel for the PCA/ACA National Conference explores this phenomenon across fandoms, investigating the motivations and effects of fandoms that reject their canon shows.

Potential topics could include, but are not limited to:

In-depth examinations of a specific television fandom that has rejected its canon
How the ever-changing dynamics between fans and producers contributes to this trend and the effects of this for specific fandoms, the canon, and/or transformative fan production
Analyses of fanfiction/fanart that revises and/or “fixes” the canon (“fix-it” fics)
How this trend plays out when the ship is canonical versus non-canonical
Explorations of fandom discourses (Tumblr, Twitter, etc.) that negotiate the rejection of the canon
Fan campaigns for cancellation of shows
How queerphobia towards slash ships plays into this trend, and what this suggests about contemporary media and slash fans, particularly in relation to commonly-accepted Fan Studies theories

Proposals from any theoretical perspective are welcome, as well as proposals that take a more personal, “creative” approach to the topic.

Please email a 250-300 word abstract to panel chair Taylor Boulware at taylorjb@uw.edu by September 15th, 2016, along with a brief bio (approx. 100 words) that includes your institutional affiliation.

Questions about the panel or PCA/ACA can also be sent to taylorjb@uw.edu.

Call for abstracts, Marketing and Music in an Age of Digital Reproduction, University of Stirling, 18 November 2016

July 28, 2016

Call for abstracts
Marketing and Music in an Age of Digital Reproduction

Date: 18th of November 2016
Venue: University of Stirling, Stirling Management Centre
Deadline for abstracts: 1st of October
Please send your abstracts by e-mail to: Gary.Sinclair@stir.ac.uk

About the symposium
Funded by the British Academy and designed to develop contributions for a book to be co-edited by Dr Gary Sinclair, Professor Mike Saren and Professor Douglas Brownlie, this symposium will gather leading academics and practitioners (a maximum of 20-25 participants) to consider the current issues that surround marketing and music research and practice. While the emphasis regarding these issues has been dominated by the economic decline of the industry and the issues therein, such transformations have raised further philosophical questions regarding the nature and role of technological change in shaping markets (Heidegger, 1977; Elias, 2008). Similarly the everyday use of such technologies (Bull, 2006) in spaces such as work and leisure is worthy of further exploration.
Earlier marketing-related studies have focused on the direct impact of music on consumers and employees in retail and service spaces and its use in advancing commercial interests. Beyond this economic imperative, music has provided a context in which to explore broader issues concerning social class, subcultures and resistance (Hall and Jefferson, 1976), identity and the senses (Hesmondhalgh, 2008), gender (Goulding and Saren, 2009), commercial and artistic tension (Bradshaw et al., 2006) and hybridity and immateriality (Brownlie, 2009). These are all areas of research that can be used to generate and address new questions for marketing that are highlighted by the revolution in the technologies of music re/production and consumption. Importantly such research will offer ways in which to understand how music is created, reproduced, stored, accessed and shared. For example, what can we learn from this context about contested issues such as ownership, the sharing economy, how our music consumer data is tracked and used as a means of engagement? What can we add to our knowledge of consumer resistance, transformation and innovation and the strategic use of music by users in everyday life and producers in the marketplace? How well do existing marketing concepts and theories, such as co-creation, consumer engagement and consumer tribes, apply to this new music techno-marketspace?
This symposium should be of relevance to any researcher or practitioner with an interest in the creative industries and the topics outlined above. The inter-disciplinary nature of the topic should also encourage participants from a wide variety of research backgrounds who may also have an interest in contributing to the book.

Format
We are inviting abstracts (maximum of 1 page – i.e. 200-300 words) that address all topics concerning the theme of the symposium, not limited to the issues outlined above, from both academics and practitioners. Foregoing traditional formal presentations, successful abstracts will instead be divided into specific themes and discussed and developed within the working group of the symposium. Participants should also submit a very brief biography too (one paragraph max).

How to submit an abstract
The deadline for submissions is 1st of October. Authors responding to the call will be informed of decisions on their acceptance by the 15th of October at the latest. All submissions should have a cover sheet that includes the following information:
• Title
• Contact person’s name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address
The abstract should be no more than a page. A suggested approach would be to write it as a proposed chapter for the edited book, outlining potential research context, theoretical structure, research objectives or questions and a summary of findings if possible. We also encourage submissions from practitioners.

Registration and Accommodation
Accommodation can be booked at the University’s Management Centre upon request and further information on nearby hotels if required.
Places to this event are free and will include complimentary lunch, refreshments and music. Details regarding registration will be provided closer to the event.
You are welcome to circulate this invitation to colleagues and associates who may also be interested in this topic. Please do not hesitate to get in touch at gary.sinclair@stir.ac.uk should you require further information.
Dr Gary Sinclair

CFP: “Fanfiction in Medieval Studies: What Do We Mean When We Say ‘fanfiction’?”, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 11-14, 2017

July 20, 2016

Call for Papers
“Fanfiction in Medieval Studies: What Do We Mean When We Say ‘fanfiction’?”
52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 11-14, 2017

Organizer: Anna Wilson, anna.wilson@utoronto.ca
Deadline Sept 15

Over the past three decades, there has been increasing interest in both Fan Studies and Medieval Studies in the relationship between medieval literary culture and fan fiction (popular, ‘unofficial’, fan-generated creative writing that participates in a pre-existing fictional ‘universe’ and uses its characters). Many Fan Studies scholars have seen fanfiction as the heir to the premodern literary tradition in which authors adapt, rework, reinterpret or otherwise engages with a pre-existing literary work. Fan Studies scholars often refer to the Aeneid’s reworking of Homer, romances in the Alexander or Arthurian traditions, or specific works, such as Robert Henryson’s Testament of Cresseid, as ‘early fan fiction’. Fanfiction scholars have also claimed the medieval ‘active reader’, whose creativity spilled into glosses, commentaries and exegesis, as part of the history of fanfiction writers. Some medievalists have chafed at inaccurate representations of medieval literary culture by Fan Studies scholars, while many others have found that the analogy between the literary activity of fan communities and medieval literary cultures generates valuable and thought-provoking questions that have informed their own research or teaching.

At the first ever session on fanfiction in Medieval Studies at ICMS 2016, papers on such diverse subjects as marginal commentary on The Book of John Mandeville and Chinese fan subtitles of Disney’s Mulan showed the fertility of the idea of fanfiction for reframing the medieval reader, reading communities, affect, and modern medievalisms. However, panellists returned over and over to the question of how to use the term ‘fanfiction’ productively and accurately when discussing medieval practices and texts. Our 2017 proposed session, “What Do We Mean When We Say Fanfiction?” will invite papers that discuss medieval texts and practices with reflection on the following questions: what characterises fanfiction or fandom before the rise of the technologies – the printing press, the photocopier, the internet – without which it is impossible to imagine modern fandom? is it the intensity of readerly affect? the mere fact of rewriting or reinterpretation of a pre-existing text? resemblance to modern fanfiction tropes? the existence of a ‘virtual community’ of readers? How might using the term ‘fanfiction’ occlude or erase important details of the way medieval readers experienced texts? How might it bring to the fore elements previously neglected?

For further reading in Fan Studies, an up-to-date bibliography is maintained on Zotero, affiliated with the journal Transformative Works and Cultures. It can be found here: https://www.zotero.org/groups/11806.
Please submit abstracts of 300 words or less, and a Participation Information Form (available here: http://wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#PIF) to Anna Wilson (anna.wilson@utoronto.ca).

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: http://thedailyfandom.com/fan-studies-network-conference/