CFP for Mechademia 12.1, Transnational Fandoms

The CFP for Mechademia 12.1, Transnational Fandoms, is now available. The issue will explore the global consumption, creative (re)production, and widespread redistribution of East Asian popular culture.

The CFP will close on June 1, 2018. Questions and submissions may be directed to the Submissions Editor at submissions [at] mechademia.net.

In tandem with the 2018 Mechademia conference in Minneapolis, this volume of the Second Arc journal will focus on the theme of Transnational Fandoms. It will explore the global consumption, creative (re)production, and widespread redistribution of East Asian popular culture, including, but not limited to, fan cultures surrounding manga, anime, popular cinema, music, fashion, and gaming. Authors are invited to submit papers of 5000 words maximum by June 1, 2018.

Media fandoms arose in Japan and the United States contemporaneously, growing out of the proliferation of mass media in the twentieth century, particularly after the spread of the television in the 1950s and 1960s. As the work of scholars such as Marc Steinberg has made clear, the origins of what is known in Japan as the “media mix” and in the United States as “convergence” or “transmedia” (after the work of communications scholar Henry Jenkins) lay in the rise of Astro Boy and its associated merchandising in the 1960s. From the cross-cultural science fiction fandom scene of Worldcon, brought home to Japan in the 1970s, to the European obsession with Takemiya Keiko, Hagio Moto and the Izumi Salon in the same decade, fandom in the broadest sense has always been transnational. In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and with increasing simultaneity of access enabled by the rise of fandom cultures online since, transnational fandoms focused on East Asian media have proliferated globally. At the same time, the media mix model has increasingly conquered Hollywood, as is evident in the global success of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” at the box office.

Transnational fan cultures have played an active role in these developments, and professional creators continue to evolve in their attempts to court and to corral fandom approval and fan production. Friction between these groups, and the slippages among them evident in the doujin goods networks of Japan, the webstores of fan artists worldwide, and the growing approbation for established creators working on tie-in media, are some of the most interesting sites of study for transnational fandoms in the twenty-first century.

We welcome papers treating, among other themes:

  • The transnational networks and community formations of fan cultures
  • Transnational fandoms of specific media in anime, manga, gaming, film, toys, and literature
  • Identity formation in relation to media pertaining to gender, sexuality, class, race, ability, and age, among other social factors in transnational fandoms
  • Fans in the media (Depictions of otaku, BL fans/fujoshi, female gamers, etc. in film, television, manga, journalism, and digital media)
  • Legal issues pertaining to fan cultures and/or remix
  • Fan service by content creators in response to fandoms
  • Amateur and semi-professional fan media (Doujin goods, “Amerimanga,” fan fiction, AMVs, fanart)
  • Performative communities (Cosplay, Nico nico Douga dance parties, anime theme song group dances, practices of fan pilgrimage)
  • Historical examples of transnational fandoms predating television

Works submitted should not exceed 5000 words in the first draft. Please send papers to  submissions [at] mechademia.net by June 1, 2018. The Mechademia Style Guide and Essay Parameters is available on the Mechademia website.

All interested scholars are also invited to present about their work on Transnational Fandoms at the associated Mechademia Conference in September 2018. The deadline for submitting conference papers is April 15, 2018. For more information, please consult the conference CFP.