Call for Presentations

2nd Global Conference

Fandom: Practices and Participatory Cultures

Friday 7th  November – Sunday 10th November 2014
Prague, Czech Republic


Call for Presentations:
The words ‘fan’ and ‘fandom’ often conjure up images of screaming groupies, sports supporters adorned in the colours of ‘their’ team, die-hard messageboard participants and even stalkers who perpetrate actual violence against the object of their fannish desires. Whether viewed as a positive or negative cultural force, fandoms represent participatory communities that are so thoroughly inscribed within our social fabric, and integral to the way many individuals understand their identity, that it warrants holistic study in an interdisciplinary context.

The 2nd Global Conference on Fandom: Practices and Participatory Cultures facilitates deeper engagements involving participants from across disciplinary and professional backgrounds in explorations of the nature, meaning and implications of fandom as it impacts individuals, fan communities and the societies in which they operate. The Steering Group welcome the submission of proposals for presentations, workshops, preconstituted panels, performances and installations that explore themes such as:

1- Intersections between Fandom and Tourism

The conference programme will include an interactive workshop that explores popular culture tourism and intersections between tourism research and fan studies. Tourism in the wake of popular culture phenomena such as films, literature and music is gaining interest among academics and practitioners alike. Specific destinations affected by cultural expressions or phenomenon impacting tourism have been in focus, such as Lord of the Rings and New Zealand (Buchmann, 2010; Buchmann, Moore, & Fisher, 2010; Croy, 2010; Jones & Smith, 2005; Tzannelli, 2004), Dracula and Romania (Light, 2007; 2009; Bányai 2010; Huebner, 2011; Reijnders, 2011; Shandley, Hamal, & Tanase, 2006; Tanasescu, 2006), Australia (Beeton, 2004; Frost, 2006; 2010; Ward & O’Reagan, 2009), the Twilight Saga and North America (Lundberg & Lexhagen, 2012; Lundberg, Lexhagen & Mattsson, 2011; Lexhagen, Larson & Lundberg, 2012), and the British Isles (Bolan & Williams, 2008; Brereton, 2006; Meaney & Robb, 2006; Young & Young, 2008) with examples like Notting Hill (Busby & Klug, 2001), Braveheart (Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, 2000), Heart Beat (Mordue, 2001; Tooke & Baker, 1996), Pride & Prejudice (Sargent, 1998), and Harry Potter (Mintel, 2003; Iwashita, 2006). Furthermore, few publications deal with the specific phenomenon of music tourism, based on case studies of Nashville, US (Raines & Brown, 2006) and Beatles tourism in Liverpool, UK (Jones & Wilks-Heeg, 2004; Rångeby, 2007; Vaughn & Booth, 1989; Visit Britain, 2012).

Despite the significance of converging tourism and media production and popular cultural consumption, theorising in this field is weak. We therefore welcome both formal and informal presentations that address the complex relationships among popular cultural phenomena, destination image creation and tourism consumption related to popular culture tourism and:

  • fan cultures
  • media convergence
  • hyper-real narrative layers
  • place-making
  • eventification

2- Fan Practices
• Case studies of specific fandoms and fan practices, including comparative analyses of fandoms across cultures and historical periods
• Critical reflections on individual experiences within fandoms
• Fan labour, textual poaching and (un)authorized uses of texts (i.e. studies of fanfics, fanvids, fanart, filking, etc.)
• Migration between fan objects
• Fan conventions and their significance
• Economics of fandom (monetisation, commodification, (dis)empowerment)
• High culture vs. popular culture and alternative conceptualisations of fandom (theory fans, politics fans, etc.)
• Technologies of fandom
• Taxonomies of fandom and engagment

3- Participatory Cultures
• Online versus offline participation
• Ethnographies of fan communities
• Localism versus globalism
• Perceptions and representations of fandom in the media and creative arts
• Issues of gender, sexuality and class within fandom(s)
• Impact and social value of fandom (i.e. activism, communal involvement, etc.)
• Policing fans and fandoms
• Interfaces between fandom and celebrity/stardom

4- Understanding the fan
• Psychologies of fandom: pleasures, needs and harms
• Pleasures and uses of anti-fandom
• Intersections between fandom and issues of gender/sexuality/race/nationality and other markers of identity

5- Fan Studies
• Aca-fans
• The status of fan studies in higher education
• Inter-, cross and trans-disciplinary methodologies for researching fandom
• Innovative pedagogies for teaching fan studies and/or using fandom as a teaching tool

We also welcome proposals on creative fan practices and various forms of reworkings of/responses to culture, in the form of poster sessions, exhibitions, readings or visual presentations.

In order to support and encourage interdisciplinarity engagement, it is our intention to create the possibility of starting dialogues between the parallel events running during this conference. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences. We also propose to produce cross-over sessions between these groups – and we welcome proposals which deal with the relationship between Performance, Fandom and Empathy.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 15th August 2014. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 17th September 2014. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: FAN 2 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Ann-Marie Cook:
amc@inter-disciplinary.net
Barbara Braid: barbara.braid@gmail.com
Rob Fisher: fan2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Persons series of research projects. The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

Details on the conference running alongside this project in 2014 can be found here: Performance and Empathy

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.