Greetings from Toronto!
On behalf of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS), I would like to welcome readers to the Fall edition of our newsletter Celebrity Culture and Social Inquiry.
We are thrilled to announce that our first international conference will be held in Toronto in May 2015. Accepted papers will be published as an edited book. Selected delegates will be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Check our website and newsletter for the call next week!
On behalf of our board, I would like to congratulate CMCS Advisory Board member, Senior Lecturer and media expert Dr. Mira Moshe for her groundbreaking book The Emotions Industry coming out this month. Dr. Moshe’s book has been selected to be featured on Nova Publishers home page under the "What's Special for September" section! It is an honor for us to support Dr Moshe’s contribution to the study of media culture. For more information: https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/.
We are also pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Dr Nandana Bose has joined the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies. Dr Bose has contributed the following publications that have critically looked at Bollywood stardom:
“‘Bollywood’s Fourth Khan’: Deconstructing the ‘Hatke’ Stardom of Vidya Balan in Popular Hindi Cinema.” Celebrity Studies, 2014, DOI:10.1080/19392397.2014.91743
“From Superman to Shahenshah: Stardom and the Transnational Corporeality
of Hrithik Roshan” in Figurations in Indian Film. Ed. Meheli Sen and Anustup Basu. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013. 194-212.
Both are the first publications that shed light on the respective Bollywood stars. Dr Bose’s upcoming monograph on Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit is under advance contract with British Film Institute (BFI), and her peer-reviewed chapter is coming up in a forthcoming anthology Indian Film Stars, edited by Dr Michael Lawrence of Sussex University. For more information on Dr Bose’s research, visit her page and our media experts section.
We are proud to have Dr Robert Caine join our editorial board. As an educator, activist and public speaker, Dr Caine has the rare ability of combining anti-oppression education, environmental ethics, non-anthropocentric philosophy, persuasive writing, business writing, and corporate communications in his teaching. Check out his perceptive views of celebrity culture on our testimonials page. We are looking forward to working with Dr Caine on publications and dissemination of scholarly work.
Our centre organized critical and inspirational talk about the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this month. This talk emerged as a response to the media attention and public interests that CMCS received during TIFF last year, and was delivered by Emmanuel Lopez on September 3. The event also marked the first anniversary of CMCS. If you missed the seminar, you can read about it here and have a glimpse of the series in our gallery. CMCS Editorial Board member and UWO Doctoral researcher and Nidhi Shrivastava reviewed one of the films mentioned in the talk. Visit her blog for the review. Special thanks to Urban Television, FUSIA Magazine, SNAP Downtown Toronto newspaper, The Weekly Voice, Toronto Arts Online, blogTO, InsideToronto, Scully Love Promo, The Record and Our Windsor (Metroland Media) for their coverage of CMCS this month.
In other news, animal celebrities are becoming popular! I remember reading "Animal Celebrities" in Routledge’s Celebrity Studies journal. Esther the Wonder Pig has over 182,000 fans on social media now. CMCS Advisory Board member Dr Anita Krajnc, who was interviewed on CTV National News about celebrity activist Neil Young, raised $36,000 for her Toronto Transit Commission subway campaign in 3 weeks and included a tea date with Esther! 1000 campaign posters will be displayed next month. Visit ivegan.ca for information on supporting the campaign and check out famous athletes mentioned there! Canadian television and radio personality George Stroumboulopoulos host of the CBC Television talk show Tonight (formerly The Hour) showed support for Dr Krajnc’s campaign at 30th Veg Food Fest. Former MTV host Lauren Toyota will be hosting the campaign’s media launch event on Monday October 6 from 8:15 - 9:15 am outside the entrance to the Spadina subway station on Spadina Avenue in Toronto.
On behalf of our Advisory and Editorial Board, it is always a pleasure to honour and contribute to a vibrant community of faculty, researchers, media practitioners, artists, and activists who are dedicated to excellence in research, production, and innovation. The development of CMCS would not have been possible without its board members, partners, sponsors, donors, participants, and supporting organizations.
If you would like to discuss a scholarly publication, creative production, or share research work with our board and readers in our growing research network, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for details of our upcoming international conference in Toronto, Canada. Call for papers will be announced shortly.
In the meantime, keep in touch through our regular social media updates and visit our website www.cmc-centre.com for our media and celebrity studies Blog and Resources section. You may also share this newsletter and check out the latest papers and curriculum development in celebrity studies below. Our special thanks go to all contributors in the field.
We are proud of your contributions and look forward to supporting the progress of your work.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr Samita Nandy and Board
Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies
The Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) is an international organization and research network that helps coordinating academic research and media commentaries on celebrity culture. CMCS carries a pedagogical philosophy that inspires integration of research and media skills training in academic and public discourses of fame. The centre believes in intellectual, aesthetic, and ethical values of bridging gaps in higher education and media. With this view, CMCS helps coordinating research, publications, creative productions, and media commentaries to restore artistic and ethical acts for social change.
CFP: From Robson Green to Sean Bean: Mapping Northern Stardom on Popular British Television
From Dr David Forrest
Special dossier for the Journal of Popular Television
Edited by Beth Johnson (Keele University) and David Forrest (University of Sheffield)
We invite contributions that explore the stars of the North of England on contemporary British television. Considering and examining the intersections between stardom, Northern places, spaces and identities, the purpose of this dossier is to argue for the existence of a Northern consciousness on television that is characterized through the figure of the Northern star. In particular, this dossier is to explore how the public and private personas of Northern stars are frequently merged when such performers enact or perform Northern characters. Accordingly, we would like to receive proposals for full length articles/case-studies of specific Northern television stars. In particular, we encourage proposals (though proposers are not limited to these) on the following:
– Robson Green
– Sean Bean
– John Simm
– Sue Johnston
– Ricky Tomlinson
– Caroline Aherne
– Karl Pilkington
– Sarah Lancashire
– Chris Bisson
– Lesley Sharpe
– Maxine Peake
– Ant and Dec
– Christopher Eccleston
– Gina McKee
Please submit an extended abstract of 500 words to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org (entitled Northern Stardom), by 30th September 2014. Please also include a brief biographical note. We plan to complete evaluation of abstracts by the end of October. Those accepted will be asked to submit completed article, to a maximum of 8,000 words, by the end of March 2015. Articles will then be submitted for peer review.
Dr David Forrest
Lecturer in Film Studies
The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
The University of Sheffield
1 Upper Hanover Street
Tel: 0114 222 8493
CFP: Be your selfie: identity, aesthetics and power in digital self-representation
From Guest Editors Laura Busetta and Valerio Coladonato
Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network
This issue of Networking Knowledge will investigate the practice of
the “selfie”, one of the most significant phenomena of
self-representation in the digital mediascape. Selfies are a notable
example of how visual technologies, in conjunction with social media
platforms, are reshaping traditional notions such as subjectivity,
community, the public sphere and celebrity, among others
This issue aims to expand current scholarship by grounding the
analysis of the selfie within two different yet auxiliary
perspectives: on one hand, the debate on self-representation developed
in the tradition of aesthetics, visual studies, and art history; on
the other hand, an approach based on cultural studies, with a critique
of how the selfie reproduces, reinforces or potentially subverts
notions of identity as based on gender, race, class and other social
Selfies often solicit some of the fundamental features at work in the
tradition of self-portraiture, such as the use of mirrors, the
intimacy of the gesture, and the act of masquerading. But what happens
when these “intimate” shots are conceived for the global scenario of
social media? What structures of power determine their production,
circulation and consumption? This is a phenomenon that invites
analysis from a multiplicity of perspectives, accounting also for how
audiences engage in processes of identification, appropriation and/or
rejection of such images.
Networking Knowledge invites postgraduate students and early career
researchers to submit proposals on this topic. This issue welcomes
theoretical and methodological contributions, as well as specific case
studies and analyses; possible topics include, but are not limited to:
Abstracts and enquiries should be sent to the issue’s guest editors:
- Selfie / self-portrait: body, face, background and foreground, masquerade..
- Selfie/ sexuality and gender: hegemonic models, queer, beauty canons,
girlhood and boyhood, the pornographic selfie…
- Selfie / photography: digital/analog, mobile phones, truth and fiction…
- Selfie / stardom: celebrity and gossip, self-branding, fandom and imitation…
- Selfie / politics: politicians and power, “intimization” of politics,
new communication strategies…
- Selfie / narration: biography, confession, archive…
- Selfie / social media: circulation, exchange of social capital,
- Selfie / device: frames, mirrors…
For further details on the journal, please visit:
DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS (5000 characters max): October 1st 2014
Please include in the proposal 3-5 key bibliographic references, as
well as your name, surname, e-mail address and institutional
DEADLINE FOR FULL PAPERS: December 15th 2014
The articles will be submitted to anonymous peer-review.
EXPECTED PUBLICATION OF THE ISSUE: Summer 2015
CFP: Consuming/Culture: Women and Girls in Print and Pixels
Keynotes: Prof. Angela McRobbie and Prof. Feona Attwood
5th-6th June 2015
Submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to email@example.com by 1st October 2014.
Angela McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. Her unparalleled contribution to the study of gendered media spans 4 decades: from her seminal 1978 study of teen magazines, Jackie: an ideology of adolescent femininity, and the influential Postmodernism and popular culture (1994), to her forthcoming new book Feminism, femininity and the perfect (2015: Sage).
Feona Attwood is Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media at Middlesex University, UK. Her research in the area of sex in contemporary culture; sexualization; new technologies; and controversial media has been foundational to feminist media studies having edited books such as Controversial Images: Media Representations on the Edge (2013) and Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture (2009) and the recently launched Routledge journal Porn Studies.
This conference follows on from those held at Kingston (2012) and Cornell (2013), themed around women and magazines. We have selected a theme that will allow for a wide range of papers and we encourage submissions from scholars at all stages of their careers. We especially welcome proposals that incorporate the following themes:
The organisers encourage collaborative efforts, in both individual paper and panel submissions.
- digital platforms
- memoirs and autobiography
- all forms of identity/representational politics.
This conference will also incorporate a poster session that will allow participants to feature visual aspects of magazines. Queries about this mode of presentation and abstract of 150-250 words can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 October 2014.
There will be a small bursary that PhD students can apply to for help towards travel costs.
Should there be sufficient interest we will consider the possibility of publishing an edited collection after the conference.
The conference will be held at Oxford Brookes University and is jointly sponsored by Oxford Brookes University (UK), Arcadia University (US), and the University of East Anglia (UK). For additional information and updates, please go to http://openbrookes.net/consumingculture/ and follow @PrintAndPixels on twitter.
Cary Grant Comes Home For the Weekend Festival | 11-12 October 2014 | Bristol, UK
School of American Studies University of East Anglia
From Dr Charlotte Crofts (UWE) and Dr Anna Farthing (Harvest)
For full programme and how to book see: www.carycomeshome.co.uk
Two seminal talks at Watershed offering a critical reappraisal of his life and work:
Sat 11 October
10-12pm From Horfield to Hollywood
A panel of experts chaired by the effervescent Laura Rawlings (BBC Radio Bristol Afternoon Show). Mark Glancy (Queen Mary), Kathrina Glitre (UWE) and Andrew Spicer (UWE) will explore Cary Grant’s journey from Horfield to Hollywood, interspersed with extracts from Cary Comes Home (directed by Stuart Napier, 2004) – a documentary celebrating Cary Grant’s Bristol roots
Sat 11 October
1-2.30pm Educating Archie
International film critic, David Thomson cites Grant as “the best and most important actor in the history of cinema” reflects on the journey Archie Leach made in becoming the quintessential Anglo-America gentleman, Cary Grant. Thomson, who has been described as “The greatest living writer on the movies” (John Banville, New Statesman), will be interviewed on-stage by BBC Presenter Matthew Sweet, plus book signing of the updated 6th Edition, The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, which topped Sight & Sound’s poll of international critics and writers as the best film book ever written. UWE Film and Television Research Group in association with festival partner Bristol Festival of Ideas/Observer.
The festival culminates with gala double bill screenings at the Bristol Hippodrome, the very theatre where young Archie Leach got his first job backstage which inspired him to become an actor. Experience two of Cary Grant’s most acclaimed performances on the big screen – both screenings come both with wraparound extra treats, including a red carpet entrance, paparazzi, live entertainment and vintage music, fashions and dancing:
3pm Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) PG
Frank Capra (It’s a Wonderful Life) directs Cary Grant in this much-loved classic Halloween screwball comedy.
6.30pm North by Northwest (1959) PG
Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo) directs Cary Grant’s most stylish performance ever in this tense and sexy thriller.
Double bill offer includes Sunday backstage tour of the Hippodrome – first come first served – see website for details.
Please spread the word via your networks and social media using the links below.
Dr Charlotte Crofts (UWE) and Dr Anna Farthing (Harvest) – festival organisers
COMES HOME FOR THE WEEKEND
11-12 October | Bristol UK
Major sponsors: UWE, Bristol and Harvest Films Ltd
Festival Partners: Watershed, Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol Festival of Ideas
Supporters: BFI Film, BFI Audience Network, 123Media, Big Screen At-Bristol Millenium Square, A Suit That Fits, Visit Bristol, The Big Act, City Sightseeing Bristol
Stardom and Fandom panel
From Amanda Blake
Join us for the 36th Annual Southwest Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference, February 11 – 14, 2015 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference theme this year is “Many Faces, Many Voices: Intersecting Borders in Popular and American Culture.” The Area Chair for Stardom and Fandom invites paper or panel proposals on any aspect of stardom or fandom.
Proposal submission deadline: November 1, 2014. (Please see below)
Any and all topics will be considered, although we especially encourage proposals on:
Submit 250 word paper or 500 word panel proposals to: http://conference2015.southwestpca.org.
- The reciprocal relationship between stars and fans
- Impact of celebrity and fame on identity construction, reconstruction and sense of self
- Reality television and the changing definition of ‘stardom’
- The impact of social media on celebrity/fan interaction
- Children and stardom (Little Rascals to Toddlers and Tiaras)
- Celebrity/fame addiction as cultural change
- The intersection of stardom and fandom in virtual and physical spaces
- Celebrity and the construction of persona
- Pedagogical approaches to teaching stardom and fandom
- Straddling the stardom/fandom line: big name fans, bloggers and aca-fans
- Anti-fans and ‘haters’
- Fan shame
- Gendered constructions of stars and fans
- Studies of individual celebrities and their fans
- Studies focused on specific fandoms
- Historical studies of fandom and fan/celebrity interaction
Choose the area “Stardom and Fandom” and input your information as directed.
Deadline for proposal submissions: November 1, 2014.
Earlier proposals are welcomed and will be responded to with all due haste.
Please remember that there are monetary awards for the best graduate student papers – we encourage you to apply! Papers in the Stardom and Fandom area could qualify for several awards, including the Diana Cox Award for best paper on images of women in popular culture, Euro Pop Award for best presentation on European popular culture, Peter C. Rollins Award for best paper dealing with a popular culture issue, Richard Tuerk Science Fiction and Fantasy Award for outstanding essay related to science fiction and fantasy, and the Post Script Award in film studies. You can see the full list at: http://southwestpca.org/conference/graduate-student-awards/
Teaching with selfies: new Creative Commons syllabus
From Kath Albury, Selfies Research Network
Introducing the newest initiative from the Selfies Research Network: an six-week course for university students studying selfies, and/or university instructors who would like to touch on selfie culture in their own classes.The course (which carries a Creative Commons license) includes:
A full six week syllabus, including classroom exercises that can be used or adapted by teachers for their classes– athttp://www.selfieresearchers.com/the-selfie-course/selfie-syllabus/
A blog for discussions (everyone free to contribute) at http://www.selfieresearchers.com/selfies-course-blog/
A Flickr group for sharing photos and discussion athttps://www.flickr.com/groups/selfieworkshop/
This week ( September 2014) we will begin to run the class online with a select group of international students, but everyone is invited to participate on our blog. The schedule of topics is as follows:
Week One: Selfies, Identity & Interpellation Week Two: Selfies, Celebrity, Branding & Consumerism Week Three: Selfies, Biometrics, Dataveillance Week Four: Selfies, Sexuality, Dating Week Five: Selfies, Subaltern, Criminality and “Others” Week Six: Selfies, Space, Place and “Appropriateness” Debates
The course was developed by the following group of academics:
Theresa Senft (New York University, USA) Jill Walker Rettberg (University of Bergen, Norway) Elizabeth Losh (University of California, San Diego, USA) Kath Albury (University of New South Wales, Australia) Radhika Gajjala (Bowling Green State University, USA), Gaby David (EHESS, France) Alice Marwick (Fordham University, USA) Crystal Abidin (University of Western Australia, Australia) Magda Olszanowski (Concordia University, Canada) Fatima Aziz (EHESS, France) Katie Warfield (Kwantien University College, Canada) Negar Mottahedeh (Duke University, USA) __
During our scheduled pre-conference at the AoIR Conference Daegu, we’ll talk about the outcome of the class, what worked, what did not, and so forth. We’ll also be brainstorming ways to roll out more projects.
The Selfies Research Network will also be hosting a fishbowl on international selfies research and a roundtable on research methodologies and selfie study while in Korea. We look forward to seeing some of you there!
If you cannot join us in Korea, we are online and waiting to hear from you.If you’d like to know more about the Selfies Research Network we have a website at www.selfieresearchers.com
If you’d like to join our very active Facebook group, it is athttps://www.facebook.com/groups/664091916962292/
NB: The Selfies Research Network is an international group of academics studying the social and cultural implications of the selfie. Our membership includes teachers, students, visual artists, reporters, and others from around the globe. Our projects include publications, conference panels, gallery installations, and teaching resources regarding the politics and aesthetics of selfie culture.
Last but not least, some of you who speak languages beyond English might enjoy this, made by one of our network members: http://newhive.com/wishcrys/48hourslater
Doctoral Survey - Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
In her Doctoral research, Stefania Marghitu is exploring Kim Kardashian’s brand, and how users engage with her widely successful mobile app game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. She will also be discussing how the game was a popular example of what Jesper Juul calls a “casual game,” a type of gaming that is dominated by women users.
Currently Stefania is conducting a short survey on user participation and engagement in the Kim Kardashian mobile app game.
For the successful completion of Stefania’s critical study, please visit the following link and participate in a short survey on Kim Kardashian:
Stefania Marghitu is a PhD student in Critical Studies at the University of Southern California’s Department of Cinematic Arts. For more information on her research, please feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
Industrial Approaches to Media: A Methodological Gateway to Industry Studies
From Samuel Ward, PhD Candidate (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are pleased to announce a range of new content on our website. This is free to access and includes videos of the workshops from our recent inaugural event:
Paul Grainge and Catherine Johnson, of the University of Nottingham’s Institute for Screen Industries Research (ISIR), give a practical guide to interviewing media professionals - how to get them, do them and use them.
Steve Benford, Professor in Computer Science, talks about his experience as a Dream Fellow at BBC Research and Development and reflects on how creative and academic professionals can meaningfully engage with each other.
Steve Presence (University of the West of England) draws on his experiences of working with both activist filmmakers and commercial production companies to consider the ethics and politics of industry engagement.
Elizabeth Evans (University of Nottingham) gives a crash course in the ethical issues at stake when doing research for media companies.
We also have the director of ISIR, Gianluca Sergi give his ABC of Working with Industry, and a new blog by PhD student Elinor Groom on the place of archives in media industry studies.
On this sunny afternoon, that is truly a summer feast of advice, discussion and ideas from scholars with extensive first-hand experience of engaging with the media industries! The above joins existing contributions from Henry Jenkins, Michele Hilmes, and Amanda Lotz. Watch out for more useful resources later in the year.
IAM is aimed at postgraduate and early career researchers interested in engaging with media industry professionals and companies to produce collaborative research. The resource gathers blogs and interviews with scholars exploring methodological perspectives on the value and challenges of doing media industry studies and forming industry-academia collaborations. We are looking for postgraduates to contribute blogs or videos to the site as the project expands over the next year. Anyone interested should contact Matthew Freeman at email@example.com.
IAM Project Team: Ash Harkin, Leora Hadas, Matthew Freeman and Sam Ward
Department of Culture, Film and Media
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
University of Nottingham
Past Deadlines / Under Reviews
Call for Chapters: The Political Economy of Celebrity Activism
In early 2014, Hollywood actor Scarlet Johansson provoked a critical response from the UK charity Oxfam, for whom she functioned as an ambassador. The star had recently signed a promotional deal with SodaStream, the manufacturer of a carbonated drinks machine, with headquarters in Israel and a factory situated in a controversial settlement in the West Bank. Such settlements, Oxfam asserted, have been linked to the ongoing poverty of the location’s Palestinian inhabitants. Johansson’s dual role as the public face of both a for-profit company and a non-profit organisation critical of that company provoked considerable controversy, and ultimately contributed to the star standing down from her role within the charity. While Johansson’s example highlights the value of contemporary celebrity as a promotional aid to those within the ostensibly separate domains of charity and business, it also points to the interconnected nature of the contemporary promotional environment in which celebrities mediate both activist ideals and business initiatives. More to the point, it highlights the potential for political-economic tensions between these two facets of contemporary celebrity. This edited collection seeks contributions that explore the political economic implications of contemporary celebrity activism. Chapters might include analyses of how political economy approaches aid our understandings of celebrity activism, or how key agents within business, philanthropy and charity might be impacted by the economic structures underpinning celebrity activism and political and economic philosophies that shape it.
The aim of this book is to bring together innovative and current research on the political economy of celebrity activism that not only explores the types of tensions presented in Johansson’s example but unpacks celebrity activism from a variety of political economic angles. A diversity of case studies which include celebrities from around the world, and which encompass both the developed and developing world, is strongly encouraged. Chapters might include, but are by no means limited to,
· The role of sponsorship in celebrity activism and relationships between for- and non-profit organisations
· Non-state actors and celebrity ambassadors
· Celebrity, marketisation and branding within the non-profit sector
· The political economy of celebrity-run foundations
· Economic transparency and celebrity activism
· Celebrity activism after the financial crisis and in the ‘Age of Austerity’
· The social capital of celebrity activism
· Economic models of celebrity activism within emerging economies
· Comparative analyses of celebrity activism in different sectors, regions or historical periods
· Celebrity activism, Occupy and ‘post-neoliberalism’
· Celebrity and ‘Green Capitalism’
· Celebrity activism and the economics of post-natural disaster reconstruction
· Celebrity activism, globalisation and neo-colonialism
Keen interest has already been expressed by Routledge to include this book in their successful on-going book series ‘Popular Culture and World Politics.’ The collection will be comprised of approximately 10-12 chapters of around 7,000 words. Publication has been scheduled for late 2015.
Should you be interested in contributing or have any further questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>. The deadline for a 200-300 word abstract and short (2-3 line) biography of author/s is 15th September 2014.
Kind regards, Nathan Farrell
Dr Nathan Farrell
Lecturer in Communication & Media Room W334,
The Media School Bournemouth University
Talbot Campus Poole Dorset
BH12 5BB Tel: 01202 966739
Victorian Texts in Contemporary Fandoms (Due: Sep 25, 2014)
From Amanda Blake
In a practice Henry Jenkins famously refers to as “textual poaching,” fans appropriate characters and narratives from canonical texts in order to adapt and rewrite them in novel ways, and for a variety of reasons: artistic, political, communal, financial, emotional, sexual, and other. Contemporary fandoms are vast in scope, multi-platformed, multimedia subcultures which operate via an economy of participation that has typically held itself apart from academic study, while simultaneously being scorned as an ‘illegitimate’ subject of study by the academy. Recently, though, scholars from anthropologists to sociologists and literary theorists have begun to turn their attention to fandom and fanfiction as rich sites of cultural meaning. This attention is often a source of discomfort to the fans themselves, even as a new hybrid, “acafan” attempts to bridge the divide.
Hybridity is the essence of these transformative works. Lev Grossman states, “Fanfiction has become wildly more biodiverse than the canonical works that it springs from. It encompasses male pregnancy, centaurification, body swapping, apocalypses, reincarnation, and every sexual fetish, kink, combination, position, and inversion you can imagine and a lot more that you could but would probably prefer not to. It breaks down walls between genders and genres and races and canons and bodies and species and past and future and conscious and unconscious and fiction and reality” (Forward, Fic).
This diversity includes Victorian texts; in multiple fandoms, fanfiction authors have used Victorian source material as a starting point for writing about characters from literature, television, film and celebrity culture, creating what are called, in fan parlance, “crossovers”. These crossovers address lacunae in both canons, overwriting a broader variety of experience onto each source text.
This panel seeks to explore that variety: the biodiversity of Victorian texts within contemporary fandoms. How are the body of the text and the bodies in the texts altered by fan authors? What does this reveal about the canonical texts, the bodies that inhabit them, the bodies that wrote them, and the bodies that produce and consume them now? How, as W.H. Auden might have put it, are Victorian texts “modified in the guts of the living”?
The panel chairs are looking for contributors a planned panel at the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada 2015 conference in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, on April 10-11 (original cfp here: http://web.uvic.ca/vsawc/vsawc-conferences/2015-conference/). Please submit a 250-word abstract to Elise Mitchell (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Elyssa Warkentin (Elyssa.Warkentin@umanitoba.ca) by September 25, 2014.