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Final Call for Papers Singularities: Where the Old Rules no longer apply

Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and a Gorn starship captain (William Blackburn, uncredited) in the Star Trek episode Arena. Image: CBS
Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and a Gorn starship captain (William Blackburn, uncredited) in the Star Trek episode Arena. Image: CBS

A Final Call for Papers has just been issued for “Singularities: Where the old rules no longer apply“, a one-day symposium on Sci-Fi fan events in critical event, tourism and leisure studies that will take place on Monday 11th June 2018 at the Cloth Hall at Leeds Beckett University. The deadline for abstracts is 19th January 2018 (Exactly 51 years since Captain Kirk first faced off on US TV screens against the fearsome Gorn in Star Trek).

Critical studies of Science Fiction Fandom are well-established, from early engagement by sociologists interested in why so many people attended SF conventions, to the seminal work of John Tulloch and Henry Jenkins on fans of Star Trek and Doctor Who. At the same time, scholars in leisure studies have been interested in the motivations, actions, identities and spaces of sports fans.

This interest in fandom in leisure studies is now driven by a number of emerging trends: tourism studies scholars are increasingly interested in notions of fan mobilities and fan pilgrimage; critical events studies scholars are beginning to bringing their critique of events management to bear on corporate fan events, exploring the tensions between the commoditisation of space and the articulation of identity in purpose built heterotopic environments; and some sociologists of leisure are arguing that fandom is challenged by the enormous changes to society brought about by post-industrialization and globalisation. This symposium will bring together those interested in events, tourism and leisure as ways and spaces in which to make sense of SF Fandom.

Whilst the organisers say they are happy to support presentations that use PowerPoint, or similar, they wish to strongly encourage presentations that are more interactive and engage their audience in discussion and conversation, and not simply the sharing of research findings.

The symposium will be linked to a special issue of Journal of Fandom Studies, edited by the symposium organisers – and the authors of the best papers will be encouraged to submit to this issue. The symposium, and the special issue, will have the same remit. Both the symposium and the special issue are looking for papers on any research pertaining to SF Fandom that draws on concepts from leisure studies, from tourism studies, and from critical events studies.

Whilst not limited to these topics, the team are especially interested in the following topics:

  • SF Fan Tourism Pilgrimages
  • SF Fan Events and Commoditisation
  • SF Fandom and Digital Leisure
  • SF Fan Events as Tourism
  • SF Fandom as Critical Event
  • SF Fandom and Leisure Theory
  • SF Fandom Mobilities
  • SF Fan Events and Memory Studies
  • Critical Autoethnographic Reflections on Fandom Events

As this symposium is on Sci-Fi fan events you are most welcome to come to the symposium in cosplay/ crossplay. There will be a prises associated with the best cosplay/ crossplay costume at the symposium.

Anyone interested in Sci-Fi Fandom and Fan Events is most welcome to attend. The symposium will take place in the Cloth Hall, part of Leeds Beckett University (LS1 2HD), on Monday 11th June 2018. An early bird rate of £50, and £35 for students/unwaged, will be applied to those that register early. The full rate, and date from which it comes into effect, will be announced when details of the registration process are released in February 2018.

• Abstracts should be no more than 300 words, and must be submitted by 19th January 2018. Send abstracts to Ian Lamond, | Karl Spracklen,

John Freeman View All

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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