May 19, 2008
More News for Aca-Fen

Back in March, Sam Ford ran some information about the new Transformative Works and Cultures journal, from The Organization for Transformative Works. I recently wrote about that new publication on my blog, and I wanted to cross-post that here as a reminder to C3 blog readers. This also includes information about another new organization, The International Association of Audience and Fan Studies.

As I said on my blog, this past term has run away from me and I never seemed to have gotten around to posting these announcements, both of which are relevant of those of you who are fans but especially for those of you, across a range of different disciplines, who are involved in studying fan culture.

The first comes from the Organization for Transformative Works and centers around the launch of a new online journal.

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) is an open access, international, peer-reviewed journal published by the Organization for Transformative Works edited by Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson

TWC publishes articles about popular media, fan communities, and transformative works, broadly conceived. We invite papers on all related topics, including but not limited to fan fiction, fan vids, mashups, machinima, film, TV, anime, comic books, video games, and any and all aspects of the communities of practice that surround them. TWC's aim is twofold: to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics, and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community.

We encourage innovative works that situate these topics within contemporary culture via a variety of critical approaches, including but not limited to feminism, queer theory, critical race studies, political economy, ethnography, reception theory, literary criticism, film studies, and media studies. We also encourage authors to consider writing personal essays integrated with scholarship, hypertext articles, or other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory accepts blind peer-reviewed essays that are often interdisciplinary, with a conceptual focus and a theoretical frame that offers expansive interventions in the field of fan studies (5,000-8,000 words).

Praxis analyzes the particular, in contrast to Theory's broader vantage. Essays are blind peer reviewed and may apply a specific theory to a formation or artifact; explicate fan practice; perform a detailed reading of a specific text; or otherwise relate transformative phenomena to social, literary, technological, and/or historical frameworks (4,000-7,000 words).

Symposium is a section of editorially reviewed concise, thematically contained short essays that provide insight into current developments and debates surrounding any topic related to fandom or transformative media and cultures (1,500-2,500 words).

Reviews offer critical summaries of items of interest in the fields of fan and media studies, including books, new journals, and Web sites. Reviews incorporate a description of the item's content, an assessment of its likely audience, and an evaluation of its importance in a larger context (1,500-2,500 words). Review submissions undergo editorial review; submit inquiries first to

TWC has rolling submissions. Contributors should submit online through the Web site. Inquiries may be sent to the editors (

The editorial board for the journal reads like the roster from our Gender and Fan Cultures conversation here last summer:

Nancy Baym, U of Kansas - Will Brooker, Kingston U - Wendy Chun, Brown U - Melissa Click, U of Missouri - Abigail Derecho, Columbia C Chicago - Catherine Driscoll, U of Sydney - Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Pomona C - Sam Ford, Convergence Culture Consortium - Jonathan Gray, Fordham U - Judith Halberstam, USC - C. Lee Harrington, Miami U - Heather Hendershot, City U of New York - Matt Hills, Cardiff U - Henry Jenkins, MIT - Derek Johnson, U of Wisconsin - Roz Kaveney, Independent - Derek Kompare, Southern Methodist U - Anne Kustritz, U of Michigan - Elana Levine, U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - Farah Mendlesohn, Middlesex U - Helen Merrick, Curtin U of Technology - Jason Mittell, Middlebury C - Lori Morimoto, Indiana U - Roberta Pearson, U of Nottingham - Sheenagh Pugh, U of Glamorgan - Aswin Punathambekar, U of Michigan - Bob Rehak, Swarthmore C - Robin Anne Reid, Texas A&M-Commerce - Sharon Ross, Columbia C Chicago - Cornel Sandvoss, U of Surrey - Avi Santo, Old Dominion - Louisa Stein, San Diego State U - Catherine Tosenberger, U of Florida

On other fronts, from Robin Anne Reid, a participant in this same Gender and Fan Culture conversation, comes news of the launch of a new scholarly organization focused on the study of fan cultures.


Audience and Fan Studies are fields of scholarship that have developed in a number of traditional academic areas, including but not limited to anthropology, communication, composition/rhetoric, computer science, film studies, folklore studies, information technology studies, law, library science, literary studies, media studies, performance studies, psychology, sociology, television, studies, etc.

This new organization will promote cross-disciplinary communication, activities, and scholarship through traditional academic venues, including:

  • Creation and management of a web page with forums for announcements and discussions for scholars in a range of fields;

  • Creation and management of an e-mail listserv to serve the interests of scholars in the field;

  • Publication of an online newsletter;

  • Creation and management of interdisciplinary activities such as study days, mini-conferences, and, eventually, an online conference in Second Life;

  • Creation and management of on-line academic journal;

  • Other academic projects dictated by the interests of the membership.

Scholarship in any of the following areas can be considered to fall under the association's area of interest (although this list is selective not comprehensive):

  • Audience Research
  • Conventions
  • Convergence Culture
  • Cosplay/Costuming
  • Fan Art, Culture, Fiction, Film, Vids
  • Filking
  • Folklore/myth/urban legend
  • Hypertexts
  • Memorabilia and Collecting
  • Music
  • Role-playing Communities
  • Trading Cards
  • Video gaming (online, console, PC)
  • Virtual and face-to-face communities and cultures
  • Viral Marketing

As new media technologies and the World Wide Web offer more venues for creativity, more new topics for scholarship will develop.

If interested contact:

Yahoo Announcement List

LiveJournal Community

Both of these projects suggest signs of growth in the number of people doing work on fans and participatory culture.