Author Archive

Call for Chapter Proposals: Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, Social Media and Community Engagement

August 12, 2014

CALL FOR CHAPTER PROPOSALS: PUBLIC RELATIONS AND PARTICIPATORY CULTURE: FANDOM, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT.

We invite submissions of chapter proposals for Public Relations and Participatory Culture: Fandom, Social Media, and Community Engagement. This edited volume, to be published by Routledge in 2015, will examine the relationships and interactions between fans and organizational public relations efforts.

The purpose of this volume is to integrate stakeholder and publics theories with those of participatory cultures and media studies/fan perspectives, and to add new, fresh insight into the public relations discipline’s concept of publics and segmentation. The chapters selected for inclusion in this volume will explore challenges, opportunities, and the diversity of fan activity and relationships from a variety of perspectives, including international and intercultural. The situations analyzed will also reflect the diversity of PR situations that involve fan-publics, i.e. not limited to entertainment products. These chapters will help to answer the question: How, as practitioners, can we create meaningful, ethical, and mutually-beneficial relationships between brands/organizations and fans?

We welcome submissions from educators and practitioner on a variety of topics, including (but not limited to):
• Power, co-creation, messages, and fans
• Application of PR theories to audience studies
• Connecting fan research and fan studies theories to the segmentation of publics
• Participatory culture, transmedia, and engagement/active publics
• Community management, social media, and fan publics
• Brand community management
• Fan resistance
• New models for segmenting engaged publics
• Researching online fan-brand communities
• Circuit of culture and segmentation of fans and publics
• Crowdsourcing, crowd-funding, and activating publics

Scholars and practitioners interested in submitting chapter proposals should include a 250-word abstract and a one-page outline of your proposed chapter to co-editor Amber Hutchins at ahutch13@kennesaw.edu. Chapter proposals are due no later than September 1, 2014.

Questions can be directed to coeditors Amber L. Hutchins, Kennesaw State University (ahutch13@kennesaw.edu) or Natalie Tindall, Georgia State University (drnatalietjtindall@gmail.com)

CFP: Diffractions journal -special issue – Popping the Question: The Question of Popular Culture

August 8, 2014

Call for Articles

Diffractions – Graduate Journal for the Study of Culture

POPPING THE QUESTION: THE QUESTION OF POPULAR CULTURE

Deadline for article submissions: November 30, 2014​

As a concept, the popular – or popular culture for that matter – has never ceased to be debatable and ambivalent. Although it has come to occupy a particular place under the spotlight over the past decades within the broad study of culture, such apparently privileged position has not deprived it of the manifold ambiguities, complexities or misconceptions that have often involved its general understanding (John Storey, 2012; Angela McRobbie, 1994; Andrew Ross, 1989; John Fiske, 1989).

Following its emergence within the context of the processes of industrialization and the changes they brought about, namely in terms of cultural relations and the development of the capitalist market economy, the concept of popular culture was, for a considerable period of time, not only utterly rejected by intellectuals and scholars alike, but also denied any possibility of constituting a serious and valid topic for academic debate. Up until the mid twentieth-century, popular culture was often equated to a poor and simplistic form of entertainment and pleasure, and was even deemed morally and ethically questionable, not to mention aesthetically. However, and particularly after the 1950s, new perspectives would soon alter this perception in very significant ways, especially with the emergence of Cultural Studies and the influence their project had on both sides of the Atlantic (Lawrence Grossberg, 1997). From severe condemnation, popular culture quickly evolved into a discourse of positive reception and celebration, which resulted from critical work developed inside the academia, but also popular demand outside it.

The concept of the popular was then adopted both as an intrinsic feature, and as topic in its own right of artistic creation developed under the sign of pop. From pop art to pop music, a new understanding of culture has been put forth, building from what is embedded in the ambivalence of the popular and its many possibilities of intersection with new artistic forms of expression.

After the first decade of the twenty-first century, popular culture finds itself at a crossroads: has the concept been drained of its meaning because of its overwhelming popularity? After the euphoria around the popular, what afterlife can be expected from it? Should we still be discussing the popular as opposed to high and folk culture? And where and how do pop art forms intersect with the current notion of the popular?

Themes to be addressed by contributors may include but are not restricted to the following:
§ Popular Culture in Theory
§ Life and Afterlife of Popular Culture
§ Popular, Power and Politics
§ Popular Culture: Globalization, Centres and Peripheries
§ Material Culture
§ Popular music studies
§ Celebrity culture and Fandom: The Dynamics of Popularity
§ Contemporary Cinema and Digital Culture
§ 2.0 and Convergence practices§ Youth cultures, Subcultures, Scenes and Tribes
§ Retromania, Nostalgia and Authenticity
§ Pop and Popular: Overlap, Dissemblance and Divergence
§ Popular Culture and the Practices of Everyday Life
§ Folklore, Tradition and Preservation§ National Identities and Transnational Circulations
§ Cultural memory and popular culture
§ Fashion and luxury
§ Television and the Seriality of Popular Culture
§ Feminism, Postfeminism and Popular Culture
§ Popular Culture and Masculinities
§ Queering Popular Culture
§ Games Culture and New Media
§ Graffiti, Street Art and Urban Policies
§ Creative Industries and Cultural Economy

We look forward to receiving full articles of no more than 20 A4 pages (not including bibliography) and a short bio of about 150 words by November 30, 2014 at the following address: submissions@diffractions.net.
DIFFRACTIONS also accepts book reviews that may not be related to the issue’s topic. If you wish to write a book review, feel free to check the books available athttp://www.diffractions.net/books-for-review and contact us at reviews@diffractions.net.

Diffractions is the international, online and peer-reviewed journal of the doctoral program in Culture Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal. Find us online at http://www.diffractions.net and http://www.facebook.com/diffractionsjournal.

REGISTRATI​ON OPEN: Fan Studies Network Conference 2014

August 1, 2014

Dear all,

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

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

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

The current draft schedule is available to view online here:

https://fanstudies.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/fan-studies-network-conference-draft-schedule-2014.pdf

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

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

The FSN conference team

Call for Participants: MetaFandom Unconference, University of Waterloo, Canada, 18 & 19 September 2014

July 29, 2014

The University of Waterloo’s, (Canada), Games Institute as well as the IMMERSe Research Network is proud to host a MetaFandom Unconference on Thursday 18th and Friday the 19th September, 2014.

Unconferences are gatherings of interested scholars and experts, where they have informed conversations on a particular topic ­­ fandom and fan studies, in this case! Attendees shouldn’t prepare papers or presentations; rather, they should come to the unconference prepared to speak briefly about a specific topic as a panelist, ask informed questions of other panelists, and, most importantly, get to know other scholars, experts, and interested fans. We invite fans of all kinds to apply ­­ whether you are a fan scholar or a fan yourself, we look forward to discussing all kinds of topics with you.
If you’d like to attend, please send us a fandom biography of at least 200 and no more than 300 words to uwmetafans@gmail.com by August 14th. Let us know what fandoms you consider yourself invested in (however you define that!) and what topics you are interested in talking about, particularly those you would be comfortable speaking on a panel about. Additionally, interested parties should provide evidence of immersion in fandom, academic or otherwise , so let us know about a publication, conference presentation, fan­blog, cosplay, or other fan practice by including a link or citation. Take a look at the organizers’ bios below to get an idea of how to introduce yourself to us!
We also have a limited number of travel subsidies available, and will be happy to offer what we can to those who are making the trip to Waterloo. Please include tentative travel details in your bio if you would like to be considered.

Because we want to encourage a meaningful conversation, we can only offer invitations to 25 people, and we will notify you by August 18th. We will make our decisions in order to ensure there is a varied and balanced representation of fandoms and fan (aca­ or otherwise) practices.

Finally, the MetaFandom Unconference is a safe space. We will not tolerate bigotry of any form, and we expect everyone to respect other people’s fannish engagements. The MetaFandom Unconference is fandom­, ship­, and practice­agnostic, so there will be no favouritism or belittling of certain groups of fans. The general rule of Wheaton’s Law applies: Feel free to disagree, but don’t be a jerk about it.

Please see the attached PDF for the tentative schedule for the unconference, and information on the organisers, Kasandra Arthur, Elise Vist and Emma Vossen.

MetafandomUnconferenceCFP (1)

Call For Chapters: The X-Men Films: A Cultural Analysis

July 16, 2014

Call for Chapter Proposals on the X-Men Films

We would like to invite submissions of chapter proposals for an edited
book on the X-Men film franchise. The volume, to be published by
Rowman & Littlefield, is titled “The X-Men Films: A Cultural Analysis”
and seeks to present scholarly research on the movies, their
audiences, and their place within the entertainment industry. The
overarching framework is cultural studies and media studies, yet the
approach is interdisciplinary, so we welcome submissions that involve
related disciplines.

The book focuses specifically on the X-Men movies (not the comics) as
popular culture products of international relevance. While the films
are rooted in the original Marvel series, they depart from it in
various ways, constituting their own conceptual universe. Therefore,
chapter proposals may consider the X-Men’s transformation from comics
to movies, but should not deal primarily with the comic books.

Proposals may focus on any of the X-Men’s movie characters, on themes
that run across several films, or on particular installments of the
series—including the original trilogy that started in the year 2000,
the recent prequels, and the ‘Wolverine’ offshoots. Since the
franchise continues to expand (two more movies are already slated for
release in upcoming years) we are looking for research that is
relevant and timely. In particular, proposals may address textual
aspects of the X-Men films, consider them in relationship to social
and political issues, compare them to other superhero movie series, or
provide an understanding of their audiences. Proposals that deal with
topics of importance for international/intercultural communication are
encouraged.

The following is a preliminary list of topics of interest:
– Social issues reflected in the X-Men films
– Political subtexts found in the X-Men films
– Individual characters’ analysis (Wolverine, Prof X, Magneto, Mystique…)
– Representations of gender, race, class, age, and sexual orientation
– Issues of diversity, disability, inclusiveness, and marginalization
– Issues of otherness, identity, trauma, and belonging
– Portrayals of violence and war in the X-Men films
– Historical references (e.g. the Holocaust, the Vietnam War)
– Representations of power, politics, and the government
– Moral dilemmas, personal choices, and issues of social responsibility
– Portrayals of science, technology and change
– The X-Men’s transformation from comics to movies
– Industry aspects of the film franchise
– The X-Men in relationship to other Marvel superhero films (e.g. Avengers)
– Marvel’s X-Men versus DC-based series (e.g. Batman, Justice League)
– Original research on audiences and fans
– International/intercultural perspectives on the X-Men
– Beyond the X-Men: related themes in popular culture

Please send a 600-word abstract of your proposed chapter to
bucciferro@gonzaga.edu, along with a short bio and contact
information. The deadline for proposals is September 27, 2014.

The chapter selection will seek to represent a variety of analytical
perspectives, disciplinary frameworks, and thematic clusters. The full
chapters will be 5,500 – 6,000 words long and the manuscripts will be
due in January 2015, with further revisions due in May 2015.

If you have questions, please contact Claudia Bucciferro, assistant
professor of communication studies at Gonzaga University, at
bucciferro@gonzaga.edu or (509) 313-3635.

CFP: Harry Potter on the Page and on the Screen: Adaptation/Reception/Transformation

July 13, 2014

Harry Potter on the Page and on the Screen: Adaptation/Reception/Transformation

The eight film versions of the seven Harry Potter novels represent an unprecedented cultural event in the history of cinematic adaptation. The movie version of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, premiered in 2001, in between publication of the fourth and fifth books of this global literary phenomenon. As a result, the production and reception of both novel and movie series became intertwined with one another, creating multiple combination of fans who accessed the series first through the books, first through the movies, and in various other combinations. The decision to cast three young age appropriate actors who would mature along with their fictional counterparts further represents a cross-pollination of the interpretive process, as readers began experiencing the newly emerging novels in terms of the visual imagination of their screen experiences.

Harry Potter on the Page and on the Screen: Adaptation/Reception/Transformation is an essay collection that proposes to explore the cultural, political, aesthetic, and pedagogical implications of the adaptation of this generation-defining young adult narrative in order to expand our scholarly understanding of this far-reaching international literary and cinematic event, consider what we can learn about the process of cinematic adaptation of literary sources, and facilitate the classroom exploration of the Harry Potter series.

Some questions that might be considered:

· How does the overlapping adaptation history of the Harry Potter series affect theoretical questions of fidelity, interpretation, and transformation in film adaptation studies?

· In what ways do the novel and movie series represent the same or different narrative universes?

· How does the dual experience of the novel and movies affect the reception process of Harry Potter fans?

· How do the different media versions of the Harry Potter series impact representations of gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality?

· How was the dual development of the novel and film series affected by the concurrent development of Web 2.0 and interactive fan culture?

· How has the larger political and social context, particularly 9/11 and the wars of the 21st century, shaped the adaption and reception experience of Harry Potter?

· How have fan communities responded to issues of fidelity and interpretation within the film series? How have fan communities influenced the production process of the movie adaptations?

· How do specific examples of individual novel/movie adaptations represent different issues and developments related to the development of the dual media Harry Potter series?

Interested contributors may email inquiries or one page abstracts by 15 August 2014 to:

John Alberti
Department of English
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights KY 41099
alberti@nku.edu

Andy Miller
Department of English
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights KY 41099
millera@nku.edu

CFP: The Scandinavian Invasion: Perspectives on the Nordic Noir Phenomenon

July 9, 2014

The Scandinavian Invasion: Perspectives on the Nordic Noir Phenomenon
Edited by William Proctor

The crime genre has a long-established history in the Scandinavian countries: from the ten-part series of novels by Sjöwall and Wahlöö featuring Inspector Martin Beck to Henning Mankell’s critique of Swedish society through the lens of the Kurt Wallander novels. Since the publication of Stieg Larsson’s The Millennium Trilogy in 2005 featuring anti-heroine, Lisbeth Salander, we have seen the birth of a global phenomenon that has spread across multiple media windows including literature, film and, most notably perhaps, television. Authors such as Jo Nesbo (The Snowman), Lars Kepler (The Hypnotist), Lotte and Søren Hammer (The Hanging) and more besides, regularly feature in book store charts and on internet shopping sites. In the UK, BBC Four continue to champion the genre by airing The Killing, Borgen, and more recently, The Bridge alongside other series, such as Mammon and Arne Dahl. How can we begin to account for the popularity of the so-called Nordic Noir genre in the UK and beyond? How has this impacted other texts outside of the Scandinavian Peninsula? What can audiences and fan cultures teach us about this phenomenon? More simply, why Nordic Noir and why now?The term itself, Nordic Noir, has also grown beyond its initial ambit to encompass multiple genres rather than restricted to crime or the police procedural. Arrow Films releases Scandinavian drama on the Nordic Noir label which includes crime, but also, other genres, such as history (Anno 1790), for instance. In this way, the genre has expanded in significant ways as a ‘cultural category’ that is discursively constructed rather than confined to a limited and finite designation. Following Jason Mittell, the Nordic Noir genre ‘operates in an ongoing historical process of category formation genres are constantly in flux, and thus their analyses must be historically situated’ (2004: xiv). This collection aims to offer a varied range of perspectives on the Nordic Noir phenomenon and invites scholars to submit abstracts of 300 – 500 words. I am particularly interested in audiences and fan cultures, but other avenues of exploration may include (but not limited to):

· Genre analysis.
· History
· Society and Culture.
· Literature, Cinema, Television.
· Non-Crime texts (such as Akta Manniskor or Anno 1790 and so forth).
· Reception and Audiences.
· Gender.
· Sexuality.
· Representation.
· Influence and impact in other cultures.
· The new wave of literature.
· Industry.
· Branding.

All proposals will be considered within the remit of Nordic Noir and its impact. Deadlines for abstracts: October 1st 2014. This will form part of the proposal to Edinburgh University Press who have expressed an interest in the project. Abstracts to be forwarded to: billyproctor@hotmail.co.uk. Please send any queries, ideas etc to the same.

Call for Submissions: Edited collection on the CW television series Arrow

July 2, 2014

Call for Submissions: Edited collection on the CW television series Arrow

Editors: Jim Iaccino, Cory Barker, and Myc Wiatrowski

In just two years on the air, the CW’s Arrow has garnered both fan and critical acclaim for its ambitious storytelling, well-produced action sequences, and solid performances. Arrow’s stories and characters offer opportunities for discussions of justice and vigilantism, masculinity, dual identities, and aesthetics. Furthermore, the series has thrived in adapting DC Comics stories and characters to television, but also in translating the spirit and stylistic flourishes of comics to the televisual medium. Arrow therefore also raises important questions about media franchising, adaptation, medium specificity, and industry trends. As a young series, very little has been written about Arrow in academic circles. This collection of essays seeks to provide the opening large-scale investigation into the CW series and examine Arrow from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

Representations of masculinity, femininity, race, sexuality, class, and family within Arrow
Explorations of justice, violence, the greater good, and morality within Arrow
Examinations of secret (and dual) identities, teamwork, and secret keeping within Arrow
Deceptions of a “realistic” superhero story and the slow introduction of more fantastical elements within Arrow
Arrow’s narrative techniques, including the preponderance of flashbacks and serialization
Arrow’s fight choreography and action set pieces
Chapters discussing individual episodes or story arcs within Arrow
Chapters discussing particular character arcs or relationships (Oliver-Felicity, Oliver-Slade, Thea-Roy, etc.) within Arrow
Arrow as an adaptation of the pre-existing Green Arrow stories and its employment of characters and arcs from the larger DC Comics universe
Evolution of the Arrow figure from the Smallville series to the current show
Arrow as part of the recent push for superhero series on television (including comparisons between Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow and The Flash)
Critical reception to Arrow
Arrow themes in popular culture
Fan readings, productions, and activities related to and about Arrow
This collection is under contract with McFarland, so all that remains is securing the contributions in a timely fashion for a planned text publication in late 2015-early 2016.

The deadline for proposals of 500 words is August 31, 2014. Please email your abstract and a brief bio to jiaccino@thechicagoschool.edu. Please put “Arrow Abstract” in the subject line. If an abstract is selected for the collection, full essays of 5,000-7,000 words will be due by December 1, 2014.

Call for Chapters: A Netflix Reader: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery, and Instant Access

July 2, 2014

Call for Chapters: A Netflix Reader: Critical Essays on Streaming Media, Digital Delivery, and Instant Access, an edited collection on the cultural impact of Netflix, currently under contract with McFarland.

Areas of analysis: American Studies, Business Studies, Communication, Cultural History, Cultural Studies, Fan Studies, Film and Television Studies, Folklore, Gender Studies, Internet Studies, Media Studies, New Media, Political Policy Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Technology Studies, Telecommunication.

Editors: Cory Barker and Myc Wiatrowski, Indiana University
The editors of Popular Culture in the Twenty-First Century (2013, Cambridge Scholars Publishing) and Mapping Smallville: Critical Essays on the Series and Its Characters (2014, McFarland).

When Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph launched Netflix in 1997, they could not have predicted that their company would eventually be the catalyst for a number of shifts in media production, distribution, and consumption. What began as a way to subvert egregious late fees charged by video store chains like Blockbuster has grown into a digital distribution behemoth. Netflix and its approximately 31 million subscribers are now responsible for more than a third of all downstream Internet traffic in North America. Netflix’s practices have directly affected distribution models for film and television, changing not only what we watch, but also how and when we watch it. The popularity and ubiquity of its service has had a dramatic impact on technological developments, necessitating new, Netflix-ready devices and platforms. Recently, Netflix has been at the center of public policy debates, particularly those regarding net neutrality. Yet, despite these very real and noticeable impressions on American culture, very little has been written about Netflix in critical and academic circles. This collection of essays seeks to rectify this academic blind spot and examine Netflix from multiple perspectives and disciplines.

Potential topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

• Netflix’s impact on the broadcast television paradigm
• The role of Netflix in debates on net neutrality
• How Netflix has altered or highlights patterns of media consumption in individuals and groups (including binge watching)
• Netflix’s influence on technological developments
• How Netflix’s success has created market competition (Amazon Prime, Hulu+, etc.)
• Explorations of Netflix’s business failures (e.g. Qwickster)
• Explorations of Netflix’s expansion into international markets
• Analyses of Netflix original programming
• Fan responses to Netflix programming and/or campaigns to relaunch failed network programs

The deadline for proposals of 500 words is August 29, 2014. Please email your abstract and a short biography or CV as Word docs to Netflix.Book@gmail.com. The subject line should contain the writ-er’s surname followed by “Netflix Abstract” (e.g. Wiatrowski Netflix Abstract).

For selected abstracts, full essays of 6,000-9,000 words (inclusive of citations and endnotes) will be due December 19, 2014.

Transformative Works and Cultures journal- new issue published – special issue on materiality and object-oriented Fandom

June 16, 2014

Dear all,

Transformative Works and Cultures has published a new issue, edited by Bob Rehak and focusing on materiality and object-oriented fandom. Please see below for the issue link and table of contents.

Vol 16 (2014)
Table of Contents

http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/issue/view/17

Editorial
——–
Materiality and object-oriented fandom
Bob Rehak

Theory
——–
From Dalek half balls to Daft Punk helmets: Mimetic fandom and the crafting
of replicas
Matt Hills

Exhibiting fandom: A museological perspective
Dorus Hoebink, Stijn Reijnders, Abby Waysdorf

It’s not all about the music: Online fan communities and collecting Hard
Rock Café pins
Lincoln Geraghty

Peril-sensitive sunglasses, superheroes in miniature, and pink polka-dot
boxers: Artifact and collectible video game feelies, play, and the
paratextual gaming experience
Ian M. Peters

Praxis
——–
A pragmatics of things: Materiality and constraint in fan practices
Benjamin Woo

The invisible teenager: Comic book materiality and the amateur films of Don
Glut
Matt Yockey

The heterogeneity of maid cafés: Exploring object-oriented fandom in
Japan
Luke Sharp

Cosplaying the media mix: Examining Japan’s media environment, its static
forms, and its influence on cosplay
Matthew Ogonoski

Symposium
——–
The butcher, the baker, the lightsaber maker
Forrest Phillips

Written on the body: Experiencing affect and identity in my fannish tattoos
Bethan Jones

Fitting Glee in your mailbox
. wordplay

Interview
——–
Interview with Mark Racop
Matt Yockey

Beyond souvenirs: Making fannish items by hand
Dana Sterling Bode

Interview with Kandy Fong
Francesca Coppa

Review
——–
Cult collectors: Nostalgia, fandom and collecting popular culture, by
Lincoln Geraghty
Michael S. Duffy

Anime’s media mix: Franchising toys and characters in Japan, by Marc
Steinberg
Brandeise Monk-Payton

Send in the clones: A cultural study of the tribute band, by Georgina
Gregory
Sun-ha Hong


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