CFP - The Politics of Fandom
Call for Papers

Edited Volume on The Politics of Fandom
John Walliss – Liverpool Hope University
Katherine Larsen – The George Washington University

Deadline for proposals: December 15, 2010
Deadline for completed manuscripts: June 30, 2011

Early studies of fandom emphasized fan communities as social spaces characterized by egalitarianism, mutual support, and non-hierarchical organization. Collections such as Helleckson and Busse’s Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, following in the footsteps of earlier authors such as Bacon-Smith and Jenkins, enforced this often utopian view of fan spaces and practices More recent work, however, has questioned this belief, showing that fan communities mirror the larger society in which they exist, containing their own forms of politics and struggle.

The proposed edited volume would contribute to this debate by examining at the theoretical and empirical level the multiple forms of politics that exist within fan communities, between fan communities and ‘the mainstream’, and between fan communities and media producers. We seek to suggest another narrative, not as a correction, but as a correlative, deepening our understanding of the ways in which these communities operate from within and the ways in which they are perceived from without.

Potential topics could include:
•Identity politics
•The ways in which fans negotiate” the powers that be” (in the form of producers, networks, actors, writers) and the new dynamic of the formerly ”powerless elite”.
• Hierarchies within fan communities including , the phenomenon of the BNF (Big Name Fan), the politiics surrounding the ostracized fan (cast out most often for doing or saying something inappropriate in the presence of an actor), and the divisions caused by disagreement over “acceptable” fan practices. .
•Fans’ reaction to academic interlopers.
•The cultural politics of a mainstream media that continues to cast fans as risible others, despite the growing perception of fandom as “cool”, including the ongoing negotiation of “fan shame”..
•Textual Poaching or Gamekeeping?
• ‘The Moral Economy of Fandom’
•Copyright , fair use, and the issue of who “owns” the media being consumed.


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