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Call for Papers: Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies

Themed Section: Comics/Fandom: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Intersection of Fan Studies and Comics Studies

Expected publication date: November 2020

Co-Editors: Sophie G. Einwächter (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany); Vanessa Ossa (University of Tuebingen, Germany); Véronique Sina (University of Cologne, Germany), and Sven Stollfuß (University of Leipzig, Germany)

Participations is an online journal devoted to the broad field of audience and reception studies. It aims to bring works and debates from various fields concerned with media and culture into dialogue. The journal has pioneered a system of open refereeing for all contributions, designed to encourage open, critical debate among researchers. For more information see: www.participations.org.

Call for Papers

Considering how crucially comic book marketing depends on loyal customers, especially fans, and to how great an extent the ever‐expanding franchises surrounding Marvel’s or DC’s comic worlds rely on user participation and fandom, it seems striking that the connection between comics studies and fan studies has hardly been explored in any great detail so far. Is this because comics studies focus on the text and fan studies on its recipient? Depending on the respective national background, comics studies, may have stronger roots in (comparative) literary studies, art history, or philology while fan studies are predominantly grounded in media and cultural studies or in sociology (focusing on individual and mass consumption practices or group phenomena).

The aim of the themed section is to bring together contributions that address overlaps and frictions between fan and comics studies. Potential topics for contributions may include, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • In which ways do approaches and perspectives, topics, and objects of investigation differ in comics studies and fan studies?
  • In how far can comics studies profit from fan studies’ approaches and conceptions – and vice versa?
  • Which production, distribution, and consumption practices of comics and other media formats rely on and inspire fan cultural practices?
  • What is the role that cult fandom plays within professional contexts, either in the industry (as comic or media fans aspire to become illustrators, designers, authors, producers etc.), or within academia (as comics scholar‐fans and film/tv scholar‐fans emerge as leading figures within certain disciplinary fields)?
  • Are there gendered notions for the respective fields – perhaps a tendency for comparatively ‘male-dominated’ comics studies to stand out against more ‘female‐oriented’ fan studies?
  • Historical perspectives on comics studies and fan studies

The editors are happy to receive submissions from a variety of disciplines and are particularly interested in encouraging submissions from a range of research contexts. We welcome theoretical essays as well as empirical studies from various methodologies.

Please submit a 500-word abstract along with a 100-word author bio to sven.stollfuss@uni-leipzig.de. Please title the email “Participations Themed Section Fandom/comics – your last name.”

Articles will be published in English. We recognize that writing in English can be challenging for authors who are not native speakers. As editors, we will help where we can, but we kindly ask authors to arrange for proofreading by a native speaker before confirming the acceptance of a submission. Please indicate in your proposal if you have access to proofreading, so that a good standard of presentation can be ensured.

Please visit the journal’s information for submission guidelines at www.participations.org.

Abstracts Due: October 31 2019
Decisions to Authors: November 30 2019
Full submissions: May 1 2020
Final drafts: September 1 2020
Publication: November 2020

Contact Info: Sven Stollfuß, Junior Professor for Digital Media Culture, University of Leipzig, sven.stollfuss@uni-leipzig.de