CFP: Rhetoric, Memory, SF/Fan

Edited Collection: Memory in Popular Culture [abstracts due 5/1/14]
full name / name of organization:
Heather Urbanski, Fitchburg State University
contact email:
Upcoming collection on memory in popular culture, under contract with McFarland and Company, seeks proposals for academic essays on the complex role of rhetorical and social memory in science fiction, fantasy, fandom, and online gaming. Abstracts due 5/1/14 with final essays due 11/15/14.

For the upcoming collection Essays on Memory in Popular Culture, I am seeking contributions that describe and analyze the complex rhetorical memory involved in contemporary popular culture reception and consumption.

The key assumption of this collection is that, contrary to the conventional wisdom that memory is no longer important, this rhetorical canon has been transformed and complicated rather than subsumed, as recent scholarship into such areas as digital media, fandom studies, and memory objects demonstrates. This collection, therefore, seeks essays that document and examine this rhetorical principle in all its complexity.

Submissions are being solicited that examine cultural memory within the following categories:
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Genre texts
• Fandom activities (including fan fiction and cosplay)
• Online Gaming
• Digital collaboration and media

In addition to traditional academic essays (approximately 5,000 words each), there will also be a section for player and participant reflections (approximately 1,000 words) that briefly describe the experience of fan memory from a non-academic perspective.

Priority will be given to those authors who are members of the fandom communities they are discussing. I am looking for fans to analyze their own interests, as opposed to academics who stand outside the community and then theorize about the activities they observe. Graduate students and junior faculty are especially encouraged to submit abstracts. I am also particularly interested in essays describing the activity-based experiences of fandom from global (i.e., non-Western) and other diverse perspectives.

While the underlying premise of this collection is rhetorically based, interdisciplinary approaches are most desirable. In particular, my goal is to collect perspectives that cover the intersection of contemporary interpretations and explorations of the ancient rhetorical canon of memory, fandom studies, narrative theory, and scholarship into digital media. Please also keep in mind, however, that the primary audience includes both fans and academics so the approach should be accessible to interested, but not expert, readers.

Please submit 250-500 word abstracts (as Word or .rtf email attachments) for essays targeted at 5,000 words or for participant reflections at 1,000 words by May 1, 2014 to

From the CFPs at UPenn.

Update: I sent in an abstract about 10:30 pm on May 1. …

This means I should quit telling my students not to do their work at the last minute, as I am also doing mine then upon occasion. Perhaps what I should instead tell them is to endeavor to get the work done ahead of time on a regular basis.

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