Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Call for Papers, Video Games: Time and Nostalgia

November 15, 2022

12 May 2023, one-day symposium run by @ExeterComms, Department of Communications, Drama and Film, University of Exeter

Organisers: Aditya Deshbandhu, Neil Ewen, Shannon Lawlor, and A.R.E. Taylor

About the conference:

This one-day in-person conference at University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus will be structured by two thematic strands. One will focus on ‘time’ and the other on ‘nostalgia’.

Time – Morning Session

Keynote: Professor Christopher Hanson, Syracuse University   

Video games are an inherently interactive medium that offer players and researchers multiple avenues to explore time and temporality. These temporalities can unfold across multiple scales, from the narrative time of the game itself to the time that exists beyond game worlds. Video games demand time if they are to be completed or mastered and, similarly, players require time to reconfigure and make games their own. Video games have incorporated time-based mechanics and dynamics in myriad ways – some games, like MMORPGs, are effectively never ending, while others have their engagement durations extended through updates, DLCs or reward systems that incentivise player engagement or time spent in-game.

Time in games has been a key area for study in the field of video game studies and is a dimension that often unifies this very diverse domain. This panel hopes to initiate new conversations on time and temporality in video games by reflecting on how new developments in gaming culture (as well as new game and console releases) alter experiences of game time and temporality. Increasingly, games are emphasising temporality in their play mechanics, enabling players to manipulate narrative time, while the rising popularity of mobile gaming means that ‘game time’ increasingly moves beyond the temporal confines of the game itself. For example, game-accompanying platforms like companion apps have allowed game time to seep into the mundanity of everyday life and vice-versa. We welcome contributions that approach the theme of temporality and video games from a range of angles, such as (but not limited to): 

  • Grinding and ‘no lifing’ as temporal experiences
  • Journeys of the collector, the quest for gathering in-game items, gear, and trophies
  • Playing with permadeath
  • Altering dimensions of time in the play experience to showcase mastery of the game or a willingness to win with increased complexities – speed runs and Nuzzlocke-like challenges
  • Understandings of time and temporality through acts of leisure, labor and playbor
  • Representations of time and temporality in video game narratives/play mechanics
  • Lived experiences of game time
  • Conceptions of time and temporalities in mobile and free-to-play games
  • Game time beyond the screen 
  • The ‘always on’ and ‘live’ worlds of online games
  • Game and console development and launch time (including ‘crunch time’ and launch/release anticipations)

Nostalgia – Afternoon Session

Keynote: Professor Debra Ramsay, University of Exeter

Nostalgia permeates gaming in various forms, from remakes of classic games to new games made to mimic the look and feel of early games (such as the use of 8bit aesthetics and music). Companies like Nintendo repeatedly revisit their core franchises (Mario, Legend of Zelda, Pokémon, etc.) which continue to attract new and returning players, while companies like Rockstar and Bethesda re-release their biggest titles on new consoles, such as Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V, with great commercial success. The appeal of rediscovering the same games in new and ‘improved’ forms has resulted in a slew of remakes and reboots in gaming, while at the same time the rise of retro gaming reflects a desire to discover new stories in old formats, due to nostalgia for previous gaming experiences. The afternoon session of the conference will be dedicated to critically exploring and critiquing nostalgia and games in various ways, including but not limited to:

  • Nostalgia’s role in intra-generational gaming
  • Nostalgia and fandom
  • Games and memory
  • Nostalgia in games as comfort / pleasure / affect
  • Nostalgia as regression
  • The value of nostalgia in games
  • Nostalgia and aesthetics
  • Nostalgia and interactive storytelling
  • Nostalgia and sound

We look forward to receiving proposals from established scholars, emerging career researchers, and postgraduate candidates who are engaging with video game studies within or across multiple disciplines.   

This in-person event will take place on the University of Exeter’s Streatham Campus. Attendance is free.

Proposals for 20-minute presentations should include:

  • Your name, email, and affiliation
  • Proposed paper title
  • Abstract (400 words max)
  • Bio (100 words max)

Please send proposals to Aditya Deshbandhu and Shannon Lawlor by 20 January 2023: a.deshbandhu@exeter.ac.uk and shannonlawlor92@gmail.com

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 5 February 2023.

Conference presentations will be considered for two edited volumes (Temporality in Video Game Studies and Nostalgia in Video Games) in the Routledge series Games and Contemporary Culture, edited by the symposium organisers.

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CFP: Fandom After #MeToo/#BalanceTonPorc

January 24, 2022

 1 July 2022, The University of Chicago, Paris 

 Keynote speakers:
Kristina Busse (University of South Alabama)
Alexis Lothian (University of Maryland)
 

In late 2017, in the wake of the widespread scandals surrounding American film producer Harvey Weinstein, the hashtag #MeToo started trending on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Using this hashtag, primarily (though not exclusively) female victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault shared their experiences and decried the ubiquity of these experiences even in a supposedly modern and egalitarian world. 

Although the #MeToo hashtag has since been used to decry experiences of sexual violence in any context, the origins of the movement in the Weinstein scandal, and the subsequent sharing of the hashtag by various well-known actors, has ensured a continued focus of the movement on the entertainment industry. In the wake of the Weinstein scandal, actors/comedians such as Louis CK and Jeffrey Tambor also found themselves under public scrutiny in this context, with Tambor, for example, being fired from the Amazon Prime Video series Transparent in February 2018. 

Similar movements also developed in other national contexts, such as France, where the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal in 2011 prompted increased public discourse on sexual harassment and assault, and where the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc started trending at the time of the Weinstein scandal, explicitly inviting women to name and shame their harassers and abusers. The movement quickly gathered steam in France, but also received criticism, for example in a public letter in January 2018, which was signed by over 100 French women in entertainment and which denounced the movement as going too far and punishing core French values such as chivalry. The letter itself was heavily criticised, as well, with particular signatories issuing apologies a week later.  

Given this particular focus on the entertainment industry, it is not surprising that the global #MeToo movement has affected audiences and fans of media forms, including film, TV, music, video games, and more. Since fans often develop affective, parasocial relationships with the objects of their fandom–including the producers of particular content, actors, characters, etc–the accusations and scandals emerging in the wake of #MeToo have necessarily provoked discussion and even conflict within fan communities, have affected the ways in which fans relate to their fandoms, and have impacted even the “forms of cultural production” (Jenkins 2013, 1) these fans have proceeded to produce. 

In recent years, these effects have not been limited to accusations of sexual violence within the context of #MeToo movement; indeed, this movement has become part of a wider trend toward holding popular entertainment figures accountable for particular views considered morally unacceptable or damaging. An example of this is, for example, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, who has come under scrutiny since late 2019 for her purported views on civil rights for transgender people; these views have impacted the Harry Potter fandom in various ways, with particularly LGBTQ fans vowing to cease purchasing licensed Harry Potter products, alongside other reactions of a similar nature (Yehl 2021).  

While fan studies as an academic discipline has existed since the early 1990s and has since both proliferated and become increasingly mainstream in the anglophone world (Scott and Click 2018, 1) and in France (Bourdaa 2015), no academic work or event has yet confronted the important question of the impact of #MeToo, #BalanceTonPorc and their offshoots on fan communities and practices. This conference, then, aims to bring together international scholars interested in this issue. Potential topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Social media discussions and arguments between fans concerning revelations or accusations of celebrity sexual/sexist violence. 
  • Empirical research on fans’ reactions to such revelations/accusations. 
  • Accusations of sexual/sexist violence within fan communities.  
  • Representations of, or reactions to, #MeToo/#BalanceTonPorc in fan works (fan art, fanfiction, fan vids…).     
  • Representations of the #MeToo movement in media works (e.g. The Morning ShowPromising Young WomanBombshellThe Loudest Voice) and fan reactions to them. 
  • Attempts by celebrities accused of sexual or gender-based violence to appease their fans. 
  • Posthumous reconsiderations of specific celebrities in the #MeToo/#BalanceTonPorc era. 
  • Reconsiderations of past works (including characters, themes, stories…) in the #MeToo/#BalanceTonPorc era. 
  • The position of the “acafan” (Jenkins 2011) when the object of their research is accused of sexual or gender-based violence. 
  • Writing and rewriting film and media history in the #MeToo/#BalanceTonPorc era. 
  • Teaching film and media studies in the #MeToo/#BalanceTonPorc era. 

We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers, to be sent to eve.bennett@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr and l.lanckman@herts.ac.uk by 18 March 2022

Please also indicate if you would like to present your paper face-to-face (in Paris) or remotely. We hope that the Covid-19 situation will enable us to offer both options.

Symposium attendance will be free of charge. 

Reflections from the Future: A Collective Storytelling Challenge from the Civic Imagination Project

June 9, 2020

As part of the Civic Paths Group within Henry Jenkins’s Civic Imagination Project team, based at the University of Southern California, a new collective storytelling challenge has been launched. As Sangita Shresthova outlines: “we are excited to launch “Reflections from the Future”, a participatory storytelling challenge that invites people to take a minute to imagine a future far beyond our current moment and share this imagination to inspire others to share their visions too. The collection will also become an enduring archive that preserves our imaginations at this current time”.  You can read more here: http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2020/4/12/take-part-in-a-collective-storytelling-challenge-and-inspire-others-by-sangita-shresthova

All responses will become part of 2060: Reflections from the Future, a public and shared collection that connects our current hopes, concerns, and aspirations.

You can read more about the project and submit your story (which does not have to be in English) here:

https://www.ciatlas.org/prompt

 

 

Call for Papers: Celebrity Studies journal special issue on Children and Celebrities

June 9, 2020

Call for Papers: Children and Celebrities

Special Edition of Celebrity Studies journal edited by Djoymi Baker, Jessica Balanzategui, and Diana Sandars

The entertainment industries create the most widely circulated popular images of children and childhood, and yet the role of children in celebrity studies warrants further study. As John Mercer and Jane O’Connor (2017) point out, the intersection between Childhood Studies and Celebrity Studies has been gaining traction in recent years, highlighting a tension between the dominant discourses of innocence surrounding children, and the highly competitive commercial imperatives of celebrity culture.

New participatory entertainment ecologies have created new opportunities for child performers, leading to the rise of new kinds of child celebrities and surrounding reception cultures. For instance, on YouTube, the world’s most popular user-generated video streaming service, some of the most successful celebrities are children: eight year old Ryan Kaji – a North American child who reviews toys for the channel ‘Ryan’s World’ (formerly ‘Ryan ToysReview’) – was the highest-earning YouTube personality of the year in both 2018 (Statista, 2019) and 2019 (Berg, 2019).

The child on screen, the child viewer, and the child star continue to be influenced by concepts of childhood that first emerged in the 19th century, eliciting discourses of harm and protection and attracting waves of moral panic in different eras. These public debates most often reveal more about adult sensibilities around often nostalgic notions of childhood than they do about children themselves. As Karen Lury puts it, “the essential understanding of the child here is the child as being rather than becoming”(2005: 314), a subject lacking agency, which leads Hugh Cunningham to caution “we need to distinguish between children as human beings and childhood as a shifting set of ideas” (2005: 1). In the current cultural moment and in prior eras, the categories of child and adult are mutually reinforcing ideals that are articulated and reflected in a range of distinctive ways through celebrity culture. For example, since the world went into lockdown, the family home has taken centre stage for live broadcasts and social media feeds, and as a result viewers have been inundated with images of celebrities in isolation with their children.

There is more cultural evidence around childhood as a cultural concept than the lived experiences of children, a distinction which becomes key when considering children as fans of child and adult celebrities. In the field of Fandom Studies, Kyra Hunting notes the tendency to examine adolescent and teen media fans at the expense of children. She suggests this is partly due to practical, methodological reasons around collecting data, but argues it also reveals a resistance to framing children’s participatory media engagement as a form of fandom. This is despite the fact that “the playing child” functions as a “model for fandom” studies (Hills, 2002: 9). As such, we need to be mindful of how the child audience is addressed by star vehicles and paratexts, compared with what children actually do as fans, even (or particularly) if this does not accord with teen and adult models of fandom, and what intergenerational modes might be in play.

We seek original essays of 6-8000 words that address children and celebrities through an interdisciplinary approach, across a range of media forms and eras, for a special issue of Celebrity Studies (prospective publication 2023, pending the journal’s review of abstracts).

We will be looking for internationalisation, a range of scholarly experiences, gender balance, and that each of the abstracts tackles their topic or research question through broad and dynamic celebrity intersections.

Topics that the articles may address include, but are not limited to:

Examination of specific child stars or celebrities
Fandom around child stars, among children and/or adults
Child fans of adult stars
On and off-screen dynamics between child stars and their co-stars
Child celebrities and their online persona
‘Fur babies’: celebrity companion animals as ‘children’
Intersectional explorations of gender, race, and/or sexuality around child stars, from their youth through to adulthood
Nostalgia around child stars of the past
Intergenerational spectatorship and child celebrities
Public discourses around child star breakdowns
Acting and screen performance
Ageing child stars
Children on reality TV
The child actor industry
Child actors in adult film and television
Celebrity families in music, film, television and social media cultures
Child labour and consent
Child stars and stalkers
Children of celebrities
Children, celebrity culture, and moral panic
Child stars and merchandising
Children, celebrities and genre
Adult stars who feature in children’s film and television

 
Please send proposals of 300 words and a 50 word author bio to Djoymi Baker djoymi.baker@rmit.edu.au, Jessica Balanzategui jbalanzategui@swin.edu.au, or Diana Sandars sandars@unimelb.edu.au by 7 August 2020.

References

Berg, M, 2019, “The highest paid YouTube stars of 2019.” Forbes 18 December. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2019/12/18/the-highest-paid-youtube-stars-of-2019-the-kids-are-killing-it/#446f8a3338cd (accessed 19 December 2019).

Cunningham, Hugh, 2005, Children and childhood in western society since 1500, New York: Routledge.

Lury, Karen, 2005, “The Child in Film and Television,” Screen, Vol. 46, No. 3, Autumn, pp. 307-314.

Hills, Matt, 2002, Fan Cultures, London: Routledge.

Hunting, Kyra, 2019, “Finding the child fan: A case for studying children in fandom studies,” Journal of Fandom Studies, Vol.7, No. 2, pp. 93-111.

Mercer, John, and Jane O’Connor, 2017, Childhood and Celebrity, London: Routledge.

Statista, 2019, “Most popular YouTube channels as of September 2019, ranked by number of subscribers (in millions).” Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/277758/most-popular-youtube-channels-ranked-by-subscribers/ (accessed 01 December 2019).

CFP: Transformative Works & Cultures special issue on Fandom Histories

June 9, 2020

Fandom Histories

https://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/announcement/view/89

Fans demonstrate a broad interest in the past, both of their objects of fandom and their own communities. They collect, catalog, preserve, restore, and publicly display historical artifacts and information in their own archives and museums. They study archival materials and collections, interview witnesses, and read historical scholarship, developing historical narratives and theses. Their research materializes in the form of analog and digital nonfiction media such as print and online publications, documentaries, podcasts, video tutorials, and pedagogical initiatives. Through their work, fans historicize their own fandom and tie it into broader historical questions, connecting to issues like heritage, gender, and the nation. While some fans do this as community historians, focused on small and self-financed groups, others work within large and well-known cultural organizations and businesses, bringing this work into the mainstream.

The goal for this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures is to explore the question of how fans produce knowledge about the past and actively engage with history. We are particularly interested in essays that show what fans do as historians, such as running publicly accessible archives and museums, and using archival materials for the production of nonfiction media. We want to shift direction from the question of why and how fans are collecting to analyses of why, how, and with what impact fans are creating and disseminating knowledge about the past. Such contributions will further our understanding of how central engagements with the past are to individual and collective fan identities, and how fandom connects to historical debates.

We encourage contributions covering all geographies and forms of fandom, including film, television, music, games, sport, fashion, celebrity culture, themed environments, theatre, dance, and opera. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Theorizing fans as historians.
Fan-produced nonfiction media about the past.
Use of archival and historical materials in fan works.
Fan-run archives and museums.
Memorialization of fandom.
Transmedial practices in fan-made histories.
Fan-made histories as fan pedagogy.
History making and inclusion/exclusion in fandom.
Fans as historians and the media and/or heritage industries.

Submission guidelines
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.
Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.
Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.

Please visit TWC’s website (http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) for complete submission guidelines, or email the TWC Editor (editor [AT] transformativeworks.org).

Contact—Contact guest editors Philipp Dominik Keidl and Abby Waysdorf with any questions or inquiries at fansmakehistory [AT] gmail.com.

Due date—January 1, 2021, for estimated March 15, 2022 publication.

FanLIS: Building Bridges Symposium (London, UK, 9 April 2020) – registration now open

March 6, 2020

Regitstration is now open for FanLIS: Building Bridges.  A one day, interdisciplinary symposium exploring the intersections between between fandom, fan studies and library and information science.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fanlis-building-bridges-symposium-registration-93408526417

About this Event
Building Bridges: exploring interdisciplinary intersections between fandom, fan studies, and library and information science.
Interdisciplinary Symposium: 9th April 2020 hosted by CityLIS, at City, University of London

Organisers: Ludi Price & Lyn Robinson

Event Image Artist: Ludi Price

Programme: https://blogs.city.ac.uk/fanlis/fanlis-symposia/fanlis-2020/fanlis-2020-programme/

Website: https://blogs.city.ac.uk/fanlis/

Twitter: #FanLIS @CityLIS #CityLIS

Our first FanLIS symposium will take place on 9th April 2020, at City, University of London.

The theme of the event is “Building Bridges: exploring interdisciplinary intersections between between fandom, fan studies, and library and information science.”

We invite all who have an interest in the ways in which fandom, fan studies, and library & information science overlap. Examples include the ways in which fans create, organise, disseminate, classify and preserve fanworks; the publishing of fanfiction as mainstream literature; fans as citizen journalists; or the beta-reader as editor. This symposium will contribute to the nascent interdisciplinary dialogue, by bringing together scholars from fan studies, LIS and beyond, to find commonalities, inspire new conversations, reveal hidden and unexpected intersections, and suggest new methodological approaches that will enrich the current discourse of fandom and fan practice.

As part of its research strategy, the Department of Library & Information Science, CityLIS, at City, University of London, explores the liminal areas between disciplines, seeking out new domain approaches, innovative practice, and the as yet undiscovered ways in which the processes of the information communication chain can be further refined and understood.

Recently the fan studies community has become interested in building bridges between different cultures and disciplines, with Dr.Naomi Jones, during the Fan Studies Network Conference 2018, emphasising the importance of interdisciplinarity in moving the field forward. This challenge was taken up by Kelley, Price, Schuster and Wang in the Fan Studies Network Conference of 2019, where they presented their interdisciplinary, collaborative project on fandom, which started in the Spring of 2018. This collaboration brought together scholars from the fields of cultural studies, the digital humanities, and library and information science to talk about fandom and fan practice, and has allowed a wider exchange of ideas between disciplines.

In common with fan studies, library and information science has a keen interest in the utility of their research outside the field, and in understanding to what extent it effects an impact outside its own disciplinary boundaries. For example, while library and information science (LIS) has a rich history of user studies, its impact outside of the field is less clear, despite multidisciplinary studies being shown to have more impact (Ellegaard & Wallin, 2015). Thus, it would seem that this is the perfect opportunity to bring members of these two disciplines – fan studies and LIS – together, in order to move the concept of ‘interdisciplinarity’ away from just a subject of conversation, towards something real and tangible.

Fan practice shows many parallels with the interests of information professionals, such as librarians, archivists and curators. Fans are ardent collectors (Geraghty, 2014); they take pride in the classification of their work; they develop best practice in the preservation of fanworks (Swalwell et al., 2017); and as some of the first adopters of the internet (Jenkins, 2006), they are comfortable using technological innovations which many information professionals have yet to embrace. Other fan activities with which LIS has overlapping engagement are the publishing of fanfiction as mainstream literature (Peckosie & Hill, 2015), classification of fanfiction, such as on the Archive of Our Own (Price, 2019), and copyright, to name but a few. Rarely, however, does LIS literature acknowledge the relevance of work carried out in the fan studies discipline, e.g. Versaphile’s (2011) look at the preservation of fannish history and Johnson’s (2014) look at fanfiction metadata. Likewise, there is little evidence that fan studies authors are aware of the rich troves of relevant work carried out within the LIS discipline. This creates a significant lacuna in knowledge, which could be assuaged by a less siloed approach to research conversations.

The CityLIS FanStudies Project pulls together previous work we have undertaken along the boundary of fanstudies and LIS, and hopes to create a framework for future collaboration and research.

See our call for papers; now closed.

Announcement: Fan Studies Network Conference 2020

February 4, 2020

We are disappointed to announce that there will be no Fan Studies Network conference held in the UK in 2020. The annual FSN conference has become a fixture of many of our academic calendars since we began in 2013, yet unfortunately this year it has been difficult to find the capacity to deliver a conference that would be of a comparable standard to our previous events.

Principally our efforts to organise a 2020 event have been impacted by the UCU industrial action that began in November 2019, and will soon resume again. The FSN Board is proud to support this action and offers solidarity to all affected colleagues.

We do, however, see this break in our conference schedule as a blessing in disguise.  Following conversations last year around whiteness in fan studies, and reflecting on the FSN Board’s own role in that, we are going to use the time afforded to us this summer as an opportunity to formalise FSN’s governance and practices, particularly focussing on ways to promote new voices within our field. While our presence may be less visible in 2020, we hope our members are confident that we will be continuing our efforts to make fan studies a welcoming place for all.

We will miss seeing old friends and meeting new ones this year, and thank you for your continued support.

See you in 2021,

The Fan Studies Network Board

 

 

CFP: Fandom and Controversy – special journal issue of American Behavioral Scientist

January 9, 2020

CFP: Fandom and Controversy

Special issue of American Behavioral Scientist edited by Rebecca Williams and Lucy Bennett

In 2005, American Behavioral Scientist published a special issue on Fandom, which contained articles that continue to resonate and influence the field today. This proposed special issue seeks to offer a follow-up to that foundational issue, offering new perspectives on fan cultures which respond to the changes that have happened in the fifteen years since its publication and acknowledging the complex cultural, social and political landscape that we currently occupy. The issue seeks to showcase voices from both established and emerging scholars, offering work that addresses these key concerns from a range of perspectives. Its focus is on the relationship between fandom and moments of fissure or controversy, including how this intersects with the current political and cultural moment.

Although fandom can very often involve admiration and pleasure towards a person or text, there are also moments where disappointment, shame, and displeasure occur (Jones 2018). In the past decade accusations of sexual harassment and assault surrounding celebrities such as Michael Jackson, R, Kelly, and the spread of the #metoo hashtag, have caused some fans to re-evaluate their attachments to famous figures and celebrities, challenging how we conceive of concepts such as ‘anti-fandom’ (Gray 2003), so-called ‘cancel culture’, or the spread of forms  of ‘toxic fandom’ (Proctor and Kies 2018) or ‘reactionary fandom’ (Stanfill 2019). However, other fans have sought to maintain their fandom for these celebrities, offering justifications and solidarity to their object of fandom in the face of these controversial moments.

Indeed, the wider current social and political landscape offers a set of unique challenges that has a clear impact on how we understand the discourses and practices of fandom. As the United Kingdom deals with the consequences of Brexit and leaving the European Union, as Europe itself negotiates its future, and as the United States faces a series of new challenges under the Trump Presidency, the political and the personal intersect like never before. Meanwhile protests in Hong Kong have captured the world’s attention as fannish modes of communication including memes are appropriated for political and cultural purposes (Teixeira 2019). The issue thus encourages scholars from a range of national perspectives, especially those from non-Western countries and those outside of the Global North.

The emerging overlaps between fandom, controversy and the political moment can be seen in the use of fannish language to describe key politicians such as those who support the UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as Corbynistas (see Hills 2017, Sandvoss 2017, Dean 2017), fans of the previous Leader Ed Miliband which led to the so-called Milifandom (see Hills 2015, Wahl-Jorgensen 2019, Sandvoss 2015), or the emergence of young female fans of former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, referred to as Mayllenialls (Smith 2017). The approaches of Fan Studies have been employed to understand loyal supporters of President Donald Trump (Wahl-Jorgensen 2019), whilst the tools of online fandoms such as forums, social media, memes and hashtags have been employed by a range of groups with varying political viewpoints and agendas (Sandvoss 2013, Booth et al 2018, Wilson 2018). The increasing celebrification of politics has perhaps reached its nadir in the star status of Barack Obama (Sandvoss 2012) and the election of Donald Trump to the office of President (see Negra 2016) but the blurring of boundaries between the political and the famous continues as rumours swirl about the intentions of famous figures as diverse as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Disney CEO Bob Iger to run for office.

Meanwhile, existing fandoms continue to mobilise both political and activist efforts (Jenkins 2012, Hinck 2019) to combat human rights violations and respond to natural disasters (e.g. the efforts of the Supernatural fandom in raising money for relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas). Other fan groups often find themselves thrown into unforeseen controversial political moments, as in the juncture of singer Ariana Grande fans with narratives around international terrorism after the bombing of her concert in Manchester, or the co-option of Taylor Swift by members of the alt-right.

Given these intertwining threads, this issue focuses on the confluence of fandom and controversy. Seeking contributions from a range of disciplines including media and cultural studies, fan studies, politics, celebrity studies and beyond, contributors are invited to submit proposals on any of the above examples, the following topics, or any other aspect of the linkages between fandom, controversy and politics (in all its forms):

  • Celebrity/fan connections
  • Discourses of “superfandom”
  • Disappointment and shame within fandom
  • Links between fandom, controversy and the public sphere (e.g. fandom of certain figures or political parties, fannish resistance to political readings of texts)
  • Fandom as citizenship/fans as citizens
  • Forms of anti-fandom or non-fandom
  • The intersections between celebrity, fandom and political culture
  • Fan activism
  • The use of social media and its language (e.g. memes, hashtags, GIFs)
  • Affect and emotion
  • The importance of places and spaces, both physical and virtual
  • The creation of transformative works (e.g. fanfiction, fan videos) that address these issues
  • Material cultures
  • The ethics of studying these forms of participatory culture and fandom
  • Stan culture
  • Fandom and cancel culture
  • Toxic fandom

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words in length, plus a short author biography to Dr Rebecca Williams at Rebecca.williams@southwales.ac.uk and Dr Lucy Bennett at BennettL@cardiff.ac.uk by 31st March 2020. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 30th April 2020.

Please note than acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication. All submissions will undergo double blind peer review once completed articles are submitted.

References

Booth, Paul, Amber Davisson, Aaron Hess and Ashley Hinck (2018) Poaching Politics: Online Communication During the 2016 US Presidential Election, Peter Lang.

 Dean, Jonathan (2017) ‘Politicising Fandom’, The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 19 (2) 408–424.

 Gray, Jonathan (2003) ‘New audiences, new textualities: anti-fans and non-fans’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 6 (1): 64-81.

 Hills, Matt (2015) ‘The ‘most unlikely’ or ‘most deserved cult’: citizen-fans and the authenticity of Milifandom’, Election Analysis 2015, http://www.electionanalysis.uk/uk-election-analysis-2015/section-7-popular-culture/the-most-unlikely-or-most-deserved-cult-citizen-fans-and-the-authenticity-of-milifandom/

 Hills, Matt (2017) ‘It’s the stans wot (nearly) won it’, Election Analysishttp://www.electionanalysis.uk/uk-election-analysis-2017/section-8-personality-politics-and-popular-culture/its-the-stans-wot-nearly-won-it/

 Hinck, Ashley (2019) Politics For the Love of Fandom: Fan-Based Citizenship in a Digital World, LSU Press.

 Jenkins H (2012) ‘Cultural acupuncture’: Fan activism and the Harry Potter Alliance. Transformative Works and Cultures 10. Available at: http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/305/259

Jones, Bethan (2018) ‘Navigating Grief and Disgust in Lostprophet’s Fandom’. In: Williams, R. ed. Everybody Hurts: Transitions, Endings, and Resurrections in Fan Cultures. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, pp. 43-60.

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CFP: Historical Perspectives on Fan Culture (SCMS: April 1-5 2020, Denver)

July 24, 2019

CFP: Historical Perspectives on Fan Culture (SCMS: April 1-5 2020, Denver)

Fan studies has been from the beginning, and continues to be, focused predominantly on contemporary movements and phenomena. This is striking, especially since fans have invested extensive labor into building historical archives. While scholars such as Roberta Pearson, Francesca Coppa, and Camille Bacon-Smith have published important historical studies on different fannish groups, the mere fact that their texts continue to be cited as the dominant references for historical context suggests a lack of breadth and depth in fan studies’ engagement with historical research questions. Other historical studies, such as Jackie Stacey’s work on female movie fans in the 1940s/1950s or historiographies of the science-fiction community written by writer-fans, stand outside the discourse of fan studies and thus don’t directly connect to the theoretical arguments in the field.

This panel argues that fan studies is depriving itself of an important archive of knowledge that could significantly alter and enrich the field. Since much of fan studies is produced by self- identified members of fan communities, the issue of identification and embeddedness is one that it has necessarily struggled with from the very beginning. The necessary distance that comes with historical research can both challenge our understanding and help show what the study of fan culture has to offer to larger disciplines. We are especially interested in papers examining sensitive topics within fan communities that involvement in fandom makes more difficult with regard to contemporary work.

Submissions should be rooted in historical, archival, and/or cross-cultural research. We welcome studies that engage with materials and communities falling outside the scholar’s own lived experience, and/or that purposefully challenge established expectations about the nature and origins of fan culture. Contributions will demonstrate a critical and expansive understanding of fan culture in relation to adjacent disciplines such as media industry studies, feminist theory, Marxist theory, queer theory, critical race studies, disability studies, and community studies, and will do so through research outside the usual circuits of western digital fandom. Topics might include, but are by no means limited to, research into the histories of previously underexposed fan communities; conflicts, controversies, and taboos in fandom history; the historical predecessors of slash; experiences of underrepresented groups in pre-internet fan communities; racialization and the construction of traditional science fiction fandom; or non-western media fandom.

Please submit abstracts of up to 2500 characters, as well as a short biography of up to 500 characters, to jg835@cornell.edu and muelleh@bgsu.edu by August 15.

CFP: Fandom: The Next Generation Transgenerational Fans and Long-Running Media Franchises

July 23, 2019

Fandom: The Next Generation
Transgenerational Fans and Long-Running Media Franchises

Imagine taking your child to see The Last Jedi after your own parents took you to see Return of the Jedi when you were small. Picture a grandmother, mother, and daughter sitting down to watch reruns of The Golden Girls together. What keeps fans interested in after so many years? How do long-running franchises, revivals, and reboots appeal to new audiences? How do social and political changes affect longtime fan experiences? This book sets out to explore a relatively unstudied aspect of fan and audience studies: longtime fans and generational turnover.

While early fan studies was interested in ethnography, those studies tended to concentrate on small pockets of devoted fans at particular moments. More recently, the field has expanded to studying anti-fans and toxic fans, post-object fandom, and historical fandoms. This collection seeks to fill a much-needed gap between the historical and the contemporary by studying the media franchises with long durations, reboots, and revivals that create generational fan turnover and that ask longtime fans to adapt to franchise updates.

With a variety of essays focusing on various fans, communities, and theories about fan practices, this collection sets out to study how long-running franchises are shaped by the generations of fans that adore them, and in turn how those fans navigate generational cultural divides, historical vs. recent aspects of the canon, and other elements of duration. Possible essay topics might include, but are not limited to:
● Ethnographies of intergenerational or transgenerational fan communities
● Case studies in longtime fan practices and experiences, especially as they adapt over time
● Fan break-ups with or reconsiderations of long-running franchises
● The role technological changes play in shaping fan relationships to canon
● Social or cultural forces that shape fan experiences over time
● How producers and creators of long-running franchises have (or have not) changed their interactions with fans
● Strategies used by media industries to make canon accessible to new generations of fans and/or to longtime fans

At this time, the project is being developed for proposal to the University of Iowa Press’ Fandom and Culture series. Several authors are committed to writing chapters. We are seeking additional contributors, especially on topics related to global or transnational fandom, race, gender and sexuality, and/or historically understudied fan communities and canons. Essays of 6,000-8,000 words with Chicago author-date style citations, a brief author bio, and a CV should be submitted to Bridget Kies (Oakland University) at bridget.kies@gmail.com by October 1, 2019. Expressions of interest and questions about the project prior to that deadline are welcome!