This special 10th anniversary issue of Transformative Works and Cultures seeks to explore the future of fandom while looking back to its past. How might scholarship on fandom’s past and present invite speculation about its future? And what might the possible futures invoked by technological, ecological, and political discourses mean for fandom’s communities and practices? Science fiction in particular–the field whose strategies spawned fandom, and the genre in which much fan activity occurs–has used imagined futures to shed new light on the present and the past. In turn, studying where we are and where we have been allows us to imagine where we may be heading.
We invite essays that seek to historicize and contextualize fans, fan works, and fandoms across past, present, and future. Scholarship on fandom’s futures can open connections between technology and interfaces, fannish discussions and trends, fictions of imagined futures, and cultural and political changes in order to illustrate how fandoms may be understood in their historical contexts and cultural interactions.
This issue will feature a special section, “Predictions,” that will allow fans and academics to imagine fannish futures. We particularly invite personal and creative responses, including essays from the future, documenting trends that haven’t yet come to be.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- How have interfaces affected fannish communities and production, and how may these change in the future?
- How do demographic shifts in fandom and new voices change fan works and communities? How have new generations of fans changed fandom?
- How have the intersection and interactions between industry and audiences changed, and how may they change in the future?
- How do fannish futures look from different global locations, and what will transnational landscapes of fandom look like in the future?
- How is the fannish future gendered and racialized? How have fans created or imagined different futures for queerness, transness, disability?
- How have fandoms engaged with Afrofuturism, Chicanafuturism, Indigenous futurism, and other literary, cultural, and social movements challenging the whiteness of the imagined future?
- How has the commercialization of fan works changed over time, and how will it play out in the future legally, economically, or socially? Is there still a clear distinction between fan and pro writers?
- How have social and cultural changes affect the intersections between politics and fandom? How do these changes connect to fannish social activism?
- What changes in the source material and media, in fannish social organization, platforms, and technology, in fannish access, culture, and demographics do we see emerging as we look ahead?
- How does the increasing mainstreaming of fannish behavior affect fannish identities and behaviors? How does it alter mainstream audiences’ engagement with fannish subcultures and media industries.
- What will fandom be 10 years from now, or 20? Are there some things that never change, that make us what we are––and if so, what?
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. 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.
Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.
Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.
Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.
Please visit TWC’s Web site (http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT transformativeworks.org).
—January 15, 2018, for estimated September 15, 2018 publication.
CFP: The Future of Fandom (1/15/18; 9/15/18)