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Call for Papers: Edited Collection Fan Studies: Methods, Ethics, Research

deadline for submissions:
May 3, 2019

full name / name of organization:
Paul Booth/Rebecca Williams

contact email:

Despite the increasing visibility of fan studies as a discipline, there remains scant work that turns its focus specifically to methodological issues. This relative neglect may be due to its status as a somewhat unruly or ‘undisciplined discipline’ (Ford 2014), which takes its theoretical cues from others including sociology, media and cultural studies, psychology, and literary studies. However, as its presence begins to grow and more scholars discover the work being undertaken, it is timely and appropriate for those working within the field to turn their attention more decisively to issues of methods.

We are therefore developing the edited collection Fan Studies: Methods, Ethics, Research for the Fandom and Culture series at the University of Iowa Press as the first fan studies primer for classroom use that focuses not on the history of the field, but on the distinctive methodologies, discipline-specific ethical questions, and research foci of fan studies. To this end, and because fan studies is both “fast-moving” (Hellekson 2018) and “multi-disciplinary (Turk 2018), we are hoping for an immensely varied collection that doesn’t posit just one avenue for fan studies research, but rather unveils a diverse bounty of approaches that overlap, contradict, complement, and complicate each other.

As fan studies grows, it is important to reflect the vast array of perspectives that make up the field. In this collection, we are thus aiming for a variety of topics. Each chapter of 6000 words (inclusive of bibliography) should include a specific methodological approach to a particular type of fan studies research, filtered through the applied interest of the researcher. (That is, we are not looking for theoretical “This is what digital ethnography is” but rather case study-focused “this is how I used digital ethnography to research Doctor Who”). Each chapter should be written in an accessible style (intended for advanced classroom use) and should include both methodological explanations and personal research findings. In addition, we are particularly interested in chapters that make connections between methodology, ethics, and research as they relate to a particular type of fan studies work.

The collection has already secured chapters on a wide range of methodological approaches and topics, but we are still seeking to commission chapters in the following areas:

Research on Fan Social Activism
Content Analysis
Platform Studies
Discourse Analysis
Policy/legal research
Research Across the Life Course

Please do contact us if you have any queries.

If you are interested in contributing to the collection, please send a 300 word abstract, along with a short author biography to Paul Booth ( and Rebecca Williams ( by Friday 3rd May 2019.