Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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 and Dr Lucy Bennett at 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.


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,

 Hills, Matt (2017) ‘It’s the stans wot (nearly) won it’, Election Analysis

 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:

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.

 Negra, Diane (2016) ‘The Reality Celebrity of Donald Trump’, Television and New Media, 17 (7).

Sandvoss, Cornel (2012) ‘Enthusiasm, Trust, and its Erosion in Mediated Politics: On Fans of Obama and the Liberal Democrats’. European Journal of Communication, 27(1): 68-81.

 Sandvoss C (2013) Toward an understanding of political enthusiasm as media fandom: Blogging, fan productivity and affect in American politics. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies 10(1):252–296.

 Sandvoss, Cornel (2015) ‘It’s the neutrosemy, stupid!: fans, texts and partisanship in the 2015 General Election’, Election Analysis

Sandvoss, Cornel (2017) ‘Corbyn and his fans: post-truth, myth and Labour’s hollow defeat’’, Election Analysis

Smith, Patrick (2017) ‘The “Mayllennials” Are Young Women Who Love Theresa May And It’s The Most Unlikely Fandom Of 2017’, Buzzfeed News, 10 May 2017

Stanfill, Mel (2019) ‘Introduction: The Reactionary in the Fan and the Fan in the Reactionary’, Television & New Media, Online First, pp. 1 – 12. DOI: 10.1177/1527476419879912

Teixeira, Lauren (2019) ‘China Is Sending Keyboard Warriors Over the Firewall’, Foreign Policy, 26 August 2019,

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin (2019) Emotions, Media & Politics, Cambridge: Polity Press.


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 and 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 by October 1, 2019. Expressions of interest and questions about the project prior to that deadline are welcome!

CFP: Special Edition of Celebrity Studies journal on Keanu Reeves, edited by Renee Middlemost and Sarah Thomas

July 23, 2019

Call for Papers

Special Edition of Celebrity Studies, edited by Renee Middlemost and Sarah Thomas

**Keanu Reeves**

Since his emergence as a teen actor in the 1980s, Keanu Reeves has been an enduring, yet elusive celebrity who continues to fascinate and frustrate in equal measure. Despite his unwavering popularity, in recent years his lower public profile has seen Reeves assume the status of cult or folk icon; yet slowly the world appears to have fallen for Reeves all over again.  USA Today declared June 2019 ‘The Summer of Keanu Reeves’ with the release of John Wick 3Toy Story 4, the announcement of his role in X Box game Cyberpunk 2077, memorable cameo in Always Be My Maybe, memes, magazine features, the first ‘KeanuCon’ film festival, and high profile fashion brand ambassador spreads (Saint Laurent). With the latest instalment of Bill and Ted (Bill and Ted Face the Music) due for release in 2020, this special issue of Celebrity Studies will be a timely exploration of the resurgent Reeves in the transmedia age.

Often discussed as an emblematic star of 1990s postmodernist cinema and queer sensibilities with a liminal, endless screen presence that stood between the margins and the mainstream of contemporary filmic texts (c.f. Giarrantana, 2002 and Rutsky, 2001), even now twenty years on from The Matrix (1999), Reeves remains an enigmatic icon straddling boundaries of fixed identity and meaning. His 21st century stardom has extended beyond the Wachowski’s ground-breaking series and his other key roles of the 1990s, and Reeves’ performances and star persona continues to reflect the wider ages and identities he lives through, endlessly being rewritten, rebooted and reinterpreted.

His success in the John Wick series, from cult hit to global franchise phenomenon, has partly reinvigorated interest in his screen work, conceptualising the change from the physically beautiful youth (Rutsky, 2001) to the ageing, effortful labour of action role and star. The character of John Wick further mythicises the always ‘extraordinary’ Reeves, whilst his ‘ordinariness’ has been embraced by transmedia digital cultures, such as ‘sad Keanu’ meme which draws on the perception that Reeves’ tragic personal life has never been fully resolved, or viral fan encounters that emphasise an authenticity to his unstarry behaviour. His cameo in the recent Netflix productionAlways Be My Maybe brought questions of race and transnational identity back to the forefront of his star image, with his appearance reflecting an overt desire by the filmmakers to claim Reeves as an Asian-American icon (Yamato 2019) – as aspect also explored by Nishime (2013). Beyond this, the ongoing commercial appeal of the Bill & Ted series and his partnership with Winona Ryder in Destination Wedding (2018) reveals the significance of Reeves as a point of reference for exploring 80s and 90s ‘cool’ nostalgia.

We seek original, truly ‘Excellent!!” essays of 7-8000 words that address the celebrity of Keanu Reeves, particularly reflecting on and exploring his career and image post-2000. Revisiting Keanu Reeves offers a timely discussion around key contemporary media landscapes, from franchise, reboot and remake cultures; multi-media, transmedia and technology; nostalgia and memory; participatory fandom and online cultures; racial identity and transnationalism; changes across the mainstream, the independent and the marginal; ageing; narratives of contemporary celebrity authenticities; and the continuing persistence of mythic and elusive stardom.

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

*Keanu, the 1980s and nostalgia

*Keanu as Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan – rebooting Bill and Ted

*Keanu and his relationship to other iconic 80s performers (Winona Ryder)

*The figure of ‘tragic Keanu’

*Keanu online – Keanu as meme

*Keanu and masculinity

*Asian-American identity and transnational cinemas

*Keanu and ageing stardom

*Stuntwork, physicality and labour

*Keanu and genre (action, romance and science fiction)

*Keanu and cinematic innovation

*Keanu and cinematic franchises

*Fan responses to Keanu

*Queer identity and star image, especially post-2000

*Keanu as ‘reluctant celebrity’

*Transmedia Keanu

*Keanu as producer, or from a production studies perspective

*Acting and screen performance

*Authenticity and ordinariness

*Keanu and video game cultures

*Presence, affect and ‘being’

Please send proposals of 300 words and brief author bio/contact to Renee Middlemost and Sarah Thomas  by 1 December 2019.


CFP: Autistic Representation & Engagement in Media Narratives

July 23, 2019

Autistic Representation & Engagement in Media Narratives.

Call for papers.

Autism is becoming a controversial topic within contemporary Western culture, arguably due to a lack of information and out-dated perceptions of the condition. Autistic adults are increasingly using social media as a way to try and get their voices heard, and to challenge prevalent narratives, and what they see as abusive and dangerous practices used to try and ‘cure’ the condition. The Neurodiversity movement in particular, seeks to open up discussion and awareness of Autism as something inherent to Autistic people, rather than as a disease to be cured.

However, the Anti-vax movement has served to further demonise Autistic people, whilst cult celebrities have used social media to attack Autistic activists for criticising problematic charities such as Autism Speaks. Autistic voices are still struggling to be heard, and often suffer from being infantilised or dismissed due to being perceived by archaic labels as “high functioning” and thus not “properly” Autistic.

Representation in media, is therefore, a critical issue for Autistic people. Whilst there is increasingly an acknowledgement of Autism with film and television, the way it is depicted can be controversial. Often Autistic voices are ignored, and not involved in the production of these texts. Children’s television cartoon Pablo stars an Autistic boy and has Autistic voices involved with the production. The stage play All in a Row used a creepy puppet to represent an Autistic child and created a great deal of controversy on social media, including protests from Autistic people. Netflix series Atypical has had mixed reactions due to its perceived stereotypical representations.

There are also a great deal of texts that are not necessarily open about featuring Autistic characters, but which many have interpreted that way. These include Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory, Tilly in Star Trek: Discovery, and various incarnations of The Doctor in Doctor Who. This call for paper is interested in both literal representation in media, but also how Autistic communities and viewers might find and read characters as Autistic.

This is a preliminary call for papers and proposals for an edited collection using a broad range of approaches in the exploration of both Autistic representation and engagement within media texts.

Proposals could address, but are not limited to:

  • Representation of Autism in Film & TV
  • Controversial texts and promotions.
  • Autistic fandom
  • Representations of race and gender
  • Metaphors for Autism in narratives
  • Critical viability and acceptance
  • Historical and political discourses around Autism.
  • Conspiracy narratives
  • Anti-fandom and celebrities
  • Promoting Autism
  • Interpretation characters as Autistic
  • Autistic writers, directors, and actors e.g. Anthony Hopkins
  • Autistic experiences in viewing media
  • Autism, anxiety, and the horror genre
  • Co-morbid conditions and disabilities
  • Right-wing and anti-SJW Autistic fans
  • Fandom, special interests, and hyper-focus
  • Fan-fiction and fan art
  • Neurodiversity movement

Proposals and abstracts of approximately 300 words with a short bio can be submitted to Mark Richard Adams by 30th November 2019, at . Also feel free to email to express interest or with any questions.


CFP: ARTIFACTS, ARCHIVES, AFFAIRS. Perspectives on fan productions, 11-13th October 2019, Cracow, Poland

June 7, 2019

We would like to invite you to the “ARTIFACTS, ARCHIVES, AFFAIRS. Perspectives on fan productions” international conference. It will take place on 11-13th October 2019 on the Faculty of Polish Studies of Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland.

Big part of fan studies focuses on fans as a community, on their relation to the source text, and on their activities as a group. To offer a bit of a different perspective we would like  to focus instead on fans as individuals and specifically on the things they make. What is it that they write, what does their art mean, how are fanvids made, how their productivity manifests itself in many different ways, from crocheting and “potions” making to nail art? We are interested in fans’ knowledge, fan archives and fanon as well as examples of fan engagement with specific subjects in a form of all consuming heated discussions (being it shipwars, anti-fans or so called fandom wank, among others). We want to study cases of fan productivity in various shapes or forms, focusing on specific artifacts along with their meaning and modes of  functioning in fandom. We want to avoid blanket theories on fans as a homogenous group based on unrepresentative research.

Suggested subjects include, but are by no means limited to:

  • case studies of fan texts
  • various manifestations of fan productivity
  • non-textual artifacts
  • fan collections
  • fanon and specific fanworks that gather a fandom of their own
  • the collective production of knowledge and sharing it: tutorials, fan archives, wikias and encyclopedias
  • manifestation of the feels
  • relation between a fan and a source text
  • relations among fans
  • shipping
  • cases of conflict in fandom

Each presentation will be about 20 minutes long and will be followed by a brief discussion. We invite you to submit abstracts of 300-500 words through EasyChair until the 16th of June 2019. Each submission needs to include a list of references for works cited within the abstract; references do not count towards the word limit. All abstracts will undergo a process of blind peer review. We will inform you about accepting or rejecting your paper by the 30th of July. The conference fee is 50 EUR (for foreign accounts) or 220 PLN (for Polish accounts). We will inform you about accepting or rejecting your paper in June. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Organizing commitee:

Dominika Ciesielska (chair)

Magdalena Kozyra

Aleksandra Łozińska

Tomasz Z. Majkowski

Maria Rutkowska

Agnieszka Urbańczyk


You can find more info here:


UPDATED CFP: Fan Studies Network Australasia @ Swinburne University of Technology

June 3, 2019

Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne, Australia December 11th – 13th, 2019

For the 2019 FSN Australasia Conference, we turn to a focus on the impact of technological, cultural, and media change on shifting fan practices, and vice versa: the impact of fan practices on technological, cultural, and media change. The Conference aims to showcase diverse approaches to a wide range of fan communities and practices across four core areas: screen and digital cultures (such as film, television, videogames, online and other digital media); public leisure cultures (such as sport, theme parks, festivals and conventions, popular culture stores, and concerts); audio cultures (such as podcasts, radio, and music); and material cultures (such as comic books, toys, books, and board games). 

In focusing on technological and industrial change, the conference aims to address pressing questions relevant to a wide range of disciplines, such as: how does the dominance of streaming services in the contemporary entertainment media landscape influence the formation of fandoms and fan practices? What role do digital platforms – from social media to taste curation websites like LetterBoxd – play in the mainstreaming of fandom? Do hacker and maker cultures, such as those that surround videogames, necessitate new theorisations of fan cultures? How do interactions in public spaces between fandoms from different cultural spheres affect or reshape fan practices and identities (for instance, in the case of Melbourne’s “Marvel Stadium” sporting arena, which connects sporting and comic book/superhero fan cultures)? 

We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words (with 150 word bio) to be submitted by 15th July 2019 for presentations that address any aspect of fandom or fan studies. We also welcome collated submissions for pre-constituted panels of three to four presenters. We encourage new members in all stages of their career to the network, and welcome proposals for presentations on, but not limited to, the following topics: 

 Screen and Digital Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Online and digital vernacular creativity 

• Streaming services 

• Curatorial culture 

• Vernacular criticism 

• Fan practices around and using specific media technologies 

• Hacker, homebrew, and maker cultures 

• Digital heritage 

Public Leisure Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Sporting team fandoms and fan practices 

• Festivals and conventions 

• The role of restaurants/cafes in fan cultures 

• The public mainstreaming of fan or geek cultures 

• Theme park fandoms and fan practices 

• Film music and other fan-oriented concerts 

• Comic book/popular culture stores and groups 

• The GLAM sector (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) 

Audio Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Podcast fandom and fan podcasts 

• Music fan practices and fandoms 

• Music streaming and curatorial culture 

• Radio fandom and fan practices 

Material Cultures 

Topics may include: 

• Comic book fandoms and fan practices 

• Archival and other materially-based fan practices 

• Toys for fans 

• Collecting and collections 

• Book fandoms and fan practices 

• Board game fandoms and fan practices 

• Fandom and clothing 

Across all of these areas, papers are welcome that approach issues such as audience research and fan studies methodologies; accessibility of fan cultures and fan studies; anti-fandom and toxic practices; fan labour; transcultural and transnational fandom; fan/industry relationships (subversions, interactions, appropriations); inter-generational fandoms and fan practices; the ethics of studying participatory culture and fandom; transgressive fan practices and fandoms (ie alt-right and serial killer fan cultures); shipping, slash fiction, and other queer fan practices; and the intersections between media/industry change and shifting fan practices. 

The conference will feature a number of innovative keynote speakers who have driven fan studies in new directions across a range of different disciplines. These include the following keynote speakers, with further speakers and industry events to be announced: 

Dr Bertha Chin 

Lecturer of Social Media and Communication 

Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia 

Editor: Crowdfunding the Future: Media Industries, Ethics, and Digital Society (with Lucy Bennett & Bethan Jones, 2015) 

Editor: Crowdfunding Issue of New Media and Society (with Bennett and Jones, 2015) 

Editor: Transcultural Issue of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies (with Lori Morimoto, 2015). 

Dr Suzanne Scott 

Assistant Professor, Department of Radio-Television-Film 

The University of Texas at Austin 

Author: Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry (2019) 

Editor: The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom (with Melissa A. Click, 2018) 

Editor: In Focus: Gender Identity and Representation in the Superhero Genre Issue of Cinema Journal (with Ellen Kirkpatrick, 2015). 

Professor Melanie Swalwell 

Professor of Digital Media Heritage 

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia 

Editor: Fans and Videogames: Histories, Fandoms, Archives (with Angela Ndalianis and Helen Stuckey, 2017) 

Editor: Born Digital Cultural Heritage Issue of Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media (with Angela Ndalianis, 2016) 

Lead Investigator of the digital heritage project “Play it Again: Creating a Playable History of Australasian Digital Games” in collaboration with the Australian Centre of the Moving Image. 

Dr Benjamin Woo 

Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Communication 

Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada 

Author: Getting a Life: The Social Worlds of Geek Culture (2018) 

Author: The Greatest Comic Book of All Time: Symbolic Capital and the Field of American Comic Books (with Bart Beaty, 2016) 

Editor: Scene Thinking: Cultural Studies from the Scenes Perspective (with Stuart Poyntz and Jamie Rennie, 2016). 

Please send a 300 word abstract and a 150 word bio by the 15th of July as a word doc attachment to the conference organising committee: Use the Subject Line: “Abstract Submission FSNA2019” and the following the file name convention: Surname_ProposalTitle 

Conference Steering Committee: 

Dr Jessica Balanzategui ( 

Dr Liam Burke 

Taylor Hardwick 

Dr Naja Later 

Tara Lomax 

Andy Lynch 

Professor Angela Ndalianis 

Special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures: Fan Studies Pedagogies (deadline 1/1/20)

June 3, 2019

Special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures: Fan Studies Pedagogies (deadline 1/1/20)

The expansion of fan studies as an academic field, and the growing visibility of fandom and fan activities in popular culture, have led to more instructors using fannish activities and engagement in the classroom, and teaching fan studies as a disciplinary focus. Teaching fandom and fan studies means drawing from a multidisciplinary spectrum of methodologies and foci. Yet, as fan studies itself is often a “moving target” — refusing, in many instances, of becoming “disciplined” enough to match traditional academic units — it becomes imperative to discuss the various contributions, methodologies, ethics, and lacunae of the field in a classroom setting. The specific pedagogical needs of the fan studies classroom require sustained interrogation because of the changing field of fan studies itself.

This special issue seeks submissions that specifically address the pedagogical methods, styles, contributions, and concerns of the fan studies course, classroom, and online space(s). We are particularly interested in pedagogical methods drawn from fan studies, fan studies’ application to the academic environment, engagement with students’ fannish affect for pedagogical purposes, and explorations of how fan studies itself is taught. We also seek papers that directly address the epistemological and ethical stakes of operationalizing fans’ approaches to their media texts for use in academic contexts, and best practices for securing permissions for student contact with fan texts themselves. In addition, we seek pieces that explore how teaching fandom/fan studies engages (or doesn’t) the demands  of the university institution itself.

 We also welcome shorter pieces focused on particular projects/pedagogies that have worked in the classroom, hybrid, or online setting, or particular assignments with specific ties to fan studies methodologies. We seek to develop the Symposium section as a useable set of lesson plans, assessment techniques, and methodological interventions with immediate pedagogical application. Hybrid approaches, detailing the stakes and theory behind a particular lesson, or describing the implementation of a fannish technique, would also be welcome here. 

 Potential topics include but are not limited to:

–       Student or Instructor fan engagement

–       Fan studies methodologies in the classroom

–       Fandom itself as pedagogical method

–       Administrative reaction to fan studies pedagogies

–       Global fan studies in the classroom

–       LMS (learning management systems) and their roles in the fan studies classroom

–       Teaching fandom versus teaching fan studies

–       Engaging with race and fan studies in the classroom

–       Student demographic changes and fan studies

–       Corporate engagement with/cooptation of fandom as pedagogical opportunity

–       Fandom as model for the academic system

–       The hybrid course as relational mode in fan studies classrooms

–       The ethics of assessing affective engagement

–       Methods of assessing the creative fan studies project

–       Collective assignments and the expression of fannish ethics

–       Leveraging students’ existing fan-expertise throughout a course

Submission guidelines

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, 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 Web site ( for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT

Contact—Contact guest editors Paul Booth and Regina Yung Lee with submissions, questions or inquiries at

Due date—January 1, 2020, for estimated March 15, 2021 publication.


Audience Lost: Minority Women and Spectatorship: 22-23 November 2019, Ghent, Belgium

May 22, 2019
22-23 November 2019, Ghent, Belgium
Keynote speakers: 
Prof. Judith Thissen (Utrecht University)
Prof. Allyson Nadia Field (University of Chicago)
In 2002, Annette Kuhn reflected, in Dreaming of Fred and Ginger: Cinema and Cultural Memory, that in regards to 1930s British cinemagoers, “we hardly know these people at all” (2002, 3); Jackie Stacey (1994, 49) focusing on British female movie fans of the 1940s and 1950s, made a similar observation in 1994, when she noted that “there is a history of female cinematic spectatorship which has yet to be written.” In their respective works, both scholars used sources such as magazines, questionnaires and interviews to begin to write exactly that history.
This conference wishes to build upon this observation that “we hardly know these people at all” by expanding its meaning in terms of the people involved, both in terms of time and in terms of demographics. We therefore invite papers focusing on marginalised female audiences in the broadest sense, and interpret this in two distinct ways. Firstly, we seek to hear from scholars focusing on rediscovering or uncovering particular audiences, marginalised vis-à-vis the texts they consumed through racial, ethnic or religious identity, through geographic or linguistic distance, through sexual orientation or gender identity, through disability status, through social class, etc. This includes a demographic analysis of such audiences, an examination of their specific and varied fan practices and attitudes, the intersectional identities of certain audience members, etc.
It also includes, however, broader contemplations on the very notion of the “marginalised” audience.
Firstly: if we are indeed all, as Henry Forman wrote in 1933, “movie-made”, what, then, does it mean to be “made” by movies or media texts specifically aimed at demographic groups with a privilege inaccessible to many other audience members? Secondly, we are keen to acknowledge and discuss the methodological challenges involved in studying such audiences, and the ways in which difficulties in terms of scholarly research may essentially serve to marginalise the group in question further. Thirdly, we wish to invite auto-ethnographic reflections from scholars working on such research topics, while also members of one or more marginalised groups themselves.
While the organisers’ own research is rooted within a film-historical context, and indeed we are very interested in hearing from those engaged in rediscovering lost historical audiences, we also invite submissions from those working on contemporary LGBTQ+, disabled, or racial/ethnic/religious minority women spectators. We particularly hope to reach out to scholars working within the multidisciplinary field of fan studies, where much fascinating work has been done, in recent years, on examining the practices of such audiences, as well as their relationship to traditional conceptions of fandom (such scholars include Kristen J. Warner, Rukmini Pande, Julie Levin Russo, Eve Ng, and others). While film and television history and fan studies have largely operated in distinct and separate spheres from one another, we believe the disciplines can come together in fruitful and methodologically interesting ways in order to allow us a more complete picture of these often invisible fans.
Potential topics can include, but are not limited to:
•       Historical perspectives on cinemagoing in ethnic communities
•       Immigrant spectatorship
•       The consumption of Hollywood movies by minority women
•       LGBTQ+ fandoms
•       Methodologies to access historically lost audiences
•       Film archives and the marginalised audience
•       Black women as movie fans
•       Disability and spectatorship
•       Studies of film reception amongst specific religious groups
•       Women-only film screenings and film clubs
•       Characteristics of marginalised spectatorship
•       The methodological challenges in examining female audiences
•       Theorising lesbian spectatorship
•       Working class women and the movies
•       Women and film criticism
•       Gender and race-specific viewing pleasures
•       National minorities and cinema culture
•       Girlhood and fandom
•       Geographically specific viewing practices
We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers, as well as panel proposals for pre-constituted panels (consisting of three papers). Conference attendance will be free of charge.
Send your proposal and a short bio to Lies Lanckman and Agata Frymus at by 30 June 2019. The conference website can be found at

Registration Open! Fan Studies Network Conference 2019, 28th & 29th June, School of Film, Media and Communication, University of Portsmouth, UK

May 19, 2019

Registration Open!

Fan Studies Network Conference 2019

28th& 29thJune 2019

School of Film, Media and Communication, University of Portsmouth, UK

Keynote Speaker:

Dr Lori Morimoto, Independent Researcher, USA

This year’s conference is on the UK’s south coast and in the historic naval city of Portsmouth, hosted by the School of Film, Media and Communication at the University of Portsmouth. Offering a diverse two-day programme our conference will sit alongside historic sites such as the Dockyards, HMS Victory and the Mary Rose while also attracting presenters to explore our cult fan trail which includes comic book, collectibles and record stores, video and board game lounges, and museum exhibits. Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes can see a permanent collection of artefacts and fans of Charles Dickens can visit his birthplace. The conference will continue FSN’s long-standing tradition of offering an enthusiastic space for interdisciplinary researchers at all career stages to connect, share resources, and further develop their research ideas. In addition to panel presentations, the two days will feature a variety of social events, workshop discussions, a keynote, and our famous speed-geeking sessions.

FSN is honoured to have Lori Morimoto as keynote speaker for 2019. Loriis an independent researcher who has published widely on transcultural and transnational media fandoms in a range of seminal collections and leading journals, including: Fandom: Communities and Identities in a Mediated World, Second EditionThe Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, and A Companion to Media Fandom andFan Studies;Participations, Transformative Works and CulturesEast Asian Journal of Popular Culture and Mechademia: Second Arc. We are very excited to have Lori in to Portsmouth as keynote for FSN2019.

Also, as previously publicised, in addition to our keynote speaker we will be having a keynote roundtable discussion on race in fandom. We hope this roundtable will offer the space for all to contribute to the ongoing debate about the invisibility of race in fan studies and the state of the field as the discipline continues to develop and grow.

Conference Details


Please use the following link to the online store to register for the conference, choose university accommodation if required, and book the Conference Dinner if you wish to attend:

University of Portsmouth Online Store

Registration includes attendance and refreshments for both days of the conference, conference pack and printed programme. Special dietary requirements should be indicated when booking.

Waged £110

Postgraduate £80


Conference B&B accommodation in university dormitories is available through the online store:

Room in Chaucer, single en-suite B&B £66 for the 27thand 28th, £60 without breakfast for the 29th

Room in Bateson – standard B&B £42 for the 27thand 28th, £36 without breakfast for the 29th

However, if you wish to make your own arrangements Portsmouth has a wide range of hotels and B&Bs to choose from. There is a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, 2 Premier Inns, and an Ibis in and around the city centre within short walking distance of the university. Nearby Southsea also offers a wide range of independent hotels and B&Bs.

Premier Inn Portsmouth

Premier Inn Southsea

Holiday Inn Portsmouth

Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth (Gunwharf Quays)

Ibis Portsmouth



Portsmouth is well connected by road, rail and air. If you are travelling in the UK via London there is a regular direct fast train service to the city from London Waterloo Station. The closest station to the university campus and conference venue is Portsmouth & Southsea Station. The main rail operator to Portsmouth is South Western Railway: South Western Railway

There are also daily National Express coach services from London Victoria Coach Station that arrive at Portsmouth’s main transport interchange, Portsmouth Harbour Station at The Hard: National Express

If you are travelling to the UK by air Portsmouth is connected by coach and rail to three major airports: from London Heathrow via the Woking National Express rail/bus service; from London Gatwick via Southern Railway; from Southampton via South Western Railway:

Woking/Heathrow National Express

Southern Railway


Pre-conference Social

On Thursday 27ththere will be the opportunity to register early at the Eldon Building followed by a social event giving people the chance to meet up at a local venue (TBA), with drinks and food available to purchase on the night. More details to follow shortly.

Conference Programme

The conference programme runs from 28thto 29thJune. The conference begins on Friday 28th with registration starting from 9am in the Eldon Building, followed by our keynote. The first day concludes with Speed-Geeking presentations and the pre-booked evening dinner (including quiz) at the King Street Tavern. Saturday 29th is the final day of conference panels, including our conference roundtable discussion. The conference will close at approximately 5pm, allowing delegates to either return home or arrange further social activities. A full draft of the conference programme will be available shortly.

Pre-booked Conference Dinner (28thJune)

Housed in an 18th century pub in the heart of Southsea, our conference meal at The King Street Tavernwill be an authentic buffet style Smoked BBQ with meats and vegetarian options. Tickets must be purchased through the online store. Special dietary requirements should be indicated when booking. The price of £14pp includes a welcome drink of sparkling wine with a wide range of beers, ales, wines, soft drinks and spirits available to purchase.


The university maps and directions guide can help you navigate the campus and locate the conference venue at Eldon Building. It also has further information about transportation:

Campus Map


General enquiries regarding FSN can be sent to:

Specific enquires about the conference, location, programme or any other details can be sent to:

You can join the discussion about the event on Twitter using #FSN2019, follow us @FanStudies or visit

Dr Lincoln Geraghty
Reader in Popular Media Cultures
School of Film, Media and Communication
University of Portsmouth
Eldon Building North
Winston Churchill Avenue
Tel: +44 (0) 239 284 5754