Fan CULTure: An Examination of Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century
With the advent of new media technologies and social networking sites making communication faster and easier than ever, there exists a dearth of opportunity to see how fan cultures have evolved as a result. For example, fans can now have a direct impact on how some of their favorite TV shows are made and have influenced the storylines taking place. This type of “participatory” fandom has reached new heights in the 21st century as fans and creators become better connected. With this in mind, Dr. Kristin M. Barton and Dr. Jonathan M. Lampley are seeking proposals for an edited volume under consideration at McFarland titled Fan CULTure: An Examination of Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century. The question this volume will seek to address is: How are fans interacting with or participating in cultures associated with popular culture objects? Proposals should look at specific properties (media or non-media) and how fan culture intersects with them using new or modern techniques. Each essay will ideally focus on a different media vehicle or object. We expect to have essays that focus on some (if not all) of the following topics: Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Lord of the Rings, Joss Whedon’s creations, Game of Thrones, the Harry Potter franchise, and LEGOs, among others. Possible topics to explore with regard to these properties include (but are not limited to):
– Fan fiction
– Incorporating fans in DVD production/distribution/release
– Use of social media
– Fan involvement in helping create/steer storylines
– Fan films/Fan trailers/“Sweding”
– Theme parks/rides
– “Shipping” (fan fictionalization of characters in existing TV/film series)
– Fan participation within a property (fans as zombies in The Walking Dead)
– Costuming (Star Wars’ 501st Legion)
– Fan activism (Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters” rallying for gay rights)
Again, the focus of the essays should be how these have been adopted into fan culture within a 21st century context.
The editors invite articles (5,000-6,000 words) that respond to the focus of the volume. Article abstracts (300-400 words) and a brief CV should be submitted by May 15, 2012 to Dr. Jonathan Lampley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions with detailed outlines or in draft form will be given stronger consideration. Completed essays must be submitted by November 15, 2012. Brief queries are welcome should there be questions about appropriate submission topics. Selected authors will be notified by the end of May 2012, and please note that invitation to submit a full essay does not guarantee inclusion in the volume.