Fans demonstrate a broad interest in the past, both of their objects of fandom and their own communities. They collect, catalog, preserve, restore, and publicly display historical artifacts and information in their own archives and museums. They study archival materials and collections, interview witnesses, and read historical scholarship, developing historical narratives and theses. Their research materializes in the form of analog and digital nonfiction media such as print and online publications, documentaries, podcasts, video tutorials, and pedagogical initiatives. Through their work, fans historicize their own fandom and tie it into broader historical questions, connecting to issues like heritage, gender, and the nation. While some fans do this as community historians, focused on small and self-financed groups, others work within large and well-known cultural organizations and businesses, bringing this work into the mainstream.
The goal for this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures is to explore the question of how fans produce knowledge about the past and actively engage with history. We are particularly interested in essays that show what fans do as historians, such as running publicly accessible archives and museums, and using archival materials for the production of nonfiction media. We want to shift direction from the question of why and how fans are collecting to analyses of why, how, and with what impact fans are creating and disseminating knowledge about the past. Such contributions will further our understanding of how central engagements with the past are to individual and collective fan identities, and how fandom connects to historical debates.
We encourage contributions covering all geographies and forms of fandom, including film, television, music, games, sport, fashion, celebrity culture, themed environments, theatre, dance, and opera.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Theorizing fans as historians.
- Fan-produced nonfiction media about the past.
- Use of archival and historical materials in fan works.
- Fan-run archives and museums.
- Memorialization of fandom.
- Transmedial practices in fan-made histories.
- Fan-made histories as fan pedagogy.
- History making and inclusion/exclusion in fandom.
- Fans as historians and the media and/or heritage industries.
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 website (http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) for complete submission guidelines, or email the TWC Editor (editor [AT] transformativeworks.org).
Contact—Contact guest editors Philipp Dominik Keidl and Abby Waysdorf with any questions or inquiries at fansmakehistory [AT] gmail.com.
Due date—January 1, 2021, for estimated March 15, 2022 publication.