Call for papers: Golden Age or Gilded Age? Fan Cultures, Past, Present, and Future
Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
The 2014 Film & History Conference
Deadline: 1 July 2014

Fan culture has been intimately linked with mass media since the beginning of the movies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As various technologies have pushed media evolution along – sound, color, television, and internet – fan culture has kept pace and fueled not only consumption but also developed communities. First in fan magazines, then at conventions, fan culture has spread and inspired fans to celebrate the media they loved. This love frequently leads to the development of derivative works such as fan fiction and fan editing—the expansion of existing media elements into whole new worlds.

Is this the Golden Age of Fan Culture, as brought about by the internet’s ability to transmit media and foster communities, or is this a Gilded Age, where fan culture has gone postmodern, sometimes eclipsing the objects and subjects of fan desire? This area welcomes proposals on a diverse range of topics pertaining to fan culture, both present and historic, with a particular emphasis on visual media such as film and television.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Fan Culture in the Silent Era
  • Fan Culture on Film
  • Fan gatherings – conventions and other meet-ups
  • Cross-media fandom, such as the Marvel media universe
  • Marketing – Mobilizing fans through viral marketing
  • Authenticity – Is the Source with you?
  • Shippers, fans, and stans – claiming identities within fan culture
  • Dissolving international boundaries – Doctor Who, Sherlock, Anime, Korean soap operas,telenovelas
  • Fan clubs and online communities
  • Performance and participatory fandom – Cosplay
  • Derivative works – Fan fiction and fan art
  • The function of technology in fan culture – from BBS to Tumblr
Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 July 2014, to the area chair:

Tiffany Knoell
Bowling Green State University

Selections from the Digital Sheet Music Cover Archive:

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