CFP Special Issue: Transformative Works and Fan Activism, March 2012. (Second Call)
Call for Papers Date:
Transformative Works and Fan Activism
Edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova, University of Southern California
How might research on fandom and participatory culture inform our understanding of citizenship and activism? Fan studies have long located localized resistances within the cultural productions and practices associated with fandom, looking at how fan fiction, say, might lead to new understandings of gender, sexuality, and race. Yet there has been less work that examines how these imaginative practices, at times facilitated by digital media, might lead to an enhanced sense of agency or a new vision of social change, or how the skills developed through fandom might be mobilized for getting people out to vote, protesting public policies, or encouraging contributions and volunteerism around emergency situations.
We seek articles and other work that explores the continuities between online participatory culture and civic engagement, including, but not limited to:
Case studies of U.S.-based and international fan communities who have moved toward civic engagement (including efforts to protect or promote the fandom, charity efforts, and direct forms of political activism).
Examples of how practices from fandom and participatory culture are informing more traditional activist organizations and political debates.
Examinations of how fan discussions flow into more overtly political conversations, with constructive or destructive consequences.
Interdisciplinary explorations of ways in which participatory cultures may encourage some forms of civic engagement, as well as the possible limitations of such engagement.
Considerations of how work in fan studies might contribute to ongoing discussions in cultural studies about the relationship between audiences and publics, consumers, and citizens.
Theoretical discussion relevant to the trajectories that exist between participatory culture and civic engagement.
Reflections on how a focus on "cultural citizenship" might challenge more traditional definitions of civic engagement.
Analyses of digital media participatory practices in the context of civic engagement.
Methodological discussions of how we might study the shifting relationship between participatory culture and public engagement.
Investigations of how participatory modes of civic engagement intersect with questions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class.
Mappings of the dynamics of the local and mediated in communities that form around participatory culture in the context of new media technologies.
Discussions of how fiction and fantasy can captivate us on an emotional level, providing a narrative structure that can motivate us to seek change in the real world.
Writing from fans, independent researchers, community leaders, and practitioners is actively encouraged. We are especially interested in case studies that deal with these fan practices outside of the United States.
Please see our webpage for more details:
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