It’s at moments like this that I realize how much I have to learn about fandom, its far-reaching impact on global popular culture forms, and its awesome and endless variety. With that in mind, I heartily encourage fans, fan scholars, and acafans with the relevant expertise to think seriously about submitting a piece of writing to this upcoming special issue of the academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures. The editors have put together a welcoming and intellectually exciting set of questions to inspire contributions from a range of disciplinary and fannish perspectives. I can’t wait to see how the issue takes shape. But enough about me, onto the editors’ CFP: Transnational Boys’ Love Fan Studies Edited by Kazumi Nagaike and Katsuhiko Suganuma, Oita University ‘BL’ (Boys’ Love), a genre of male homosexual narratives (consisting of graphic manga, novels, animations, games, films, and so forth) written by and for women, has recently been acknowledged, by Japanese and non-Japanese scholars alike, as a significant component of Japanese popular culture. The aesthetic and style of Japanese BL have also been taken up, deployed and transformed by female fans transnationally. The current thrust of transnational BL practices certainly raises a number of important issues relating to socio/cultural constructs of BL localization and globalization. A historiographic approach to Japanese BL studies clearly shows that Japanese BL originally developed through fans’ amateur aniparo (anime-parody) writing, in which the male characters in popular animations (as well as manga and other genres) are recast in homosexual pairings. From the outset, then, BL was a fan-oriented activity, established on the basis of a fervent, female-oriented fan community which has produced, circulated, and consumed dōjinshi (amateur coterie magazines) and other materials in this genre. The Tokyo Comic Market, the biggest fan-dōjinshi event in Japan, is held twice a year and attracts more than half a million participants in each event. A large portion of these Comic Market participants consists of BL fans, who have become a dominant force in the development of such dōjinshi activities. As well, Japanese female BL fans have recently received a great deal of public attention in relation to the popularized concept of fujoshi, which literally means rotten women and connotes the presumed “perversions” of women who fantasize about male-male eroticism. A specialized body of academic analysis concerns the formation of Japanese BL fujoshi, detailing their consumptive and productive activities, both as individual fans and as members of specific fan communities. Such scholarly endeavors would certainly be enriched by further research concerning the activities of transnational BL fans. This research would examine BL fans, fan communities, fandom, and fan fiction in each of the regions where BL (or BL-like) activities have originated and developed. For example, several critics (e.g. Antonia Levi 2010) have previously described the arrival of BL in the West, but this is surely premised on the existence of local fan communities and practices. Further, Matthew Thorn (2005) has investigated the similarities between Japanese BL fans and North American female slash fans and found, in both cases, that these fans “come out” only among fellow fans, showing that women’s pleasure in such “unhealthy” materials still possesses some degree of public stigma. On the other hand, Ting Liu (2009) has examined the development of BL fan communities in China and Hong Kong, along with the gradually shifting cultural perceptions which surround them, demonstrating the ways in which BL fan activity problematizes established gender formations in these regions. Thus, transnational BL fan studies can and should also be incorporated into the broader socio/political critical frameworks offered by studies concerning economy, gender/sexuality, race/class, and others. In order to develop transnational BL fan studies further, we are therefore seeking contributors working in this field, in particular those engaged in the exploration of non-Japanese and non-North American contexts (e.g. Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, and others). We welcome submissions dealing with, but not limited to, the following topics: Case-studies and ethnographic examinations of BL fans, specifically examining fans’ sex/gender, age, occupation, class, race/ethnicity, et cetera. Local ethnographies relating to BL fans’ production, distribution, and use of these materials. Discussions concerning the ways in which broadly framed socio/political issues or forms of consciousness (e.g. gender/sexuality formations, authorities’ interference, censorship, and so forth) impact fans’ BL activities. Media and social responses to fans’ involvement in BL activities. Commercial aspects of BL and fans’ contribution to the development of BL economics. The integration of research on BL fans into a wider discussion of social theory, differing cultural discourses, and globalization. Discussions concerning the ways in which BL fans’ forms of production, distribution, and consumption might challenge traditional notions of Author, Reader, and Text. Theoretical overviews reflecting traditional/contemporary ideas of fandom, fans, fan communities, and fans’ means of communications, demonstrating how these ideas specifically relate to BL fans. Explorations of the ways in which BL participants are motivated to become involved in other fan-oriented activities (e.g. cosplay; female fans’ cross-dressing as male BL characters). Submission guidelines TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing. Contributors are encouraged to include embedded links, images, and videos in their articles or to propose submissions in alternative formats that might comprise interviews, collaborations, or video/multimedia works. We are also seeking reviews of relevant books, events, courses, platforms, or projects. Theory: Often interdisciplinary essays with a conceptual focus and a theoretical frame that offer expansive interventions in the field. Peer review. Length: 5,000–8,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract. Praxis: Analyses of particular cases that may apply a specific theory or framework to an artifact; explicate fan practice or formations; or perform a detailed reading of a text. Peer review. Length: 4,000–7,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract. Symposium: Short pieces that provide insight into current developments and debates. Editorial review. Length: 1,500–2,500 words. Submissions are accepted online only. Please visit TWC’s Web Site) for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT transformativeworks.org). Contact We strongly encourage potential contributors to contact the guest editors with any inquiries or proposals: Kazumi Nagaike, nagaike AT oita-u.ac.jp Katsuhiko Suganuma, suganuma AT oita-u.ac.jp Due dates Contributions for blind peer review (Theory and Praxis essays) are due by March 1, 2012. Contributions that undergo editorial review (Symposium, Interview, Review) are due by April 1, 2012.
[LINK] Fascinating CFP Alert! Attention Boys’ Love Fans!