Edited Volume on the topic of 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
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.