CFP: [29th Oct. 2010] Fanpires: Audience Consumption of the Modern Vampire

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Gareth Schott (Ed.) & Dr Kirstine Moffat (Ed.), University of Waikato, NZ
contact email: 
g.schott@waikato.ac.nz

This edited collection will examine the cultural resurgence of the vampire. It aims to provide inter-disciplinary accounts of the reception and cultural impact of contemporary representations of the vampire evident across a broad range of mediums, including literature (e.g. Evernight, The Vampire Academy), film (e.g. Twilight saga), television (e.g. The Vampire Diaries, True Blood), graphic novels (e.g. Chibi Vampire) and games (e.g. Vampire Rain). The appeal of vampire mythology and its associated folklore for modern audiences will be examined in an age characterized by the transformative possibilities of the internet with both its low barriers to artistic expression and the erosion of the boundaries between author and audience.

From evil villains to tragic heroes, modern appropriations and re-workings of the vampire genre, evident in popular manifestations such as the Twilight saga and the television adaptation of The Southern Vampire Mysteries (True Blood) are noted for their focus on the everyday. The ‘new wave’ vampire is commonly nested within communities, seeking to temper their urges and coexist with humans. Such contemporary treatments of the vampire fulfill the performative role traditionally associated with media fandom that has seen the creation of texts that ‘enact, share in, and see scenes that the canonical author never created’ (Lancaster, 2001, p. 131).

Within the context of reception and fandom, we aim to attract contributions that address (but are not limited to):

• Fan Practices (art, fiction and films as well as discussions devoted to key vampire texts)
• Anti-fans, negative reactions and responses
• Impact and appeal of the vampire for different audiences (intended and unintended).
• The scholar as fan. Distinctions between experience, interpretation and thinking as a fan and a scholar.
• Author as fan (for example, homage/adaptation works such as Pride and Prejudice retellings Vampire Darcy’s Desire by Regina Jeffers or Mr Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange)
• The journey of the fan. Where does fandom of a particular text lead audiences? A reference to the gothic appeal of Wuthering Heights in Twilight, led Publisher Harper Collins to reissue Bronte’s novel with the tagline “Bella and Edward’s favorite book,” quadrupling its annual sales.
• The role of merchandising within vampire fan culture.
• Issues related to film, television, game adaptation/translation (e.g. Why are there very few original or franchise tie-in vampire videogames? What prohibits the translation of vampire narratives into interactive games?)
• The relationship between modern representations of the vampire (e.g. TV’s Being Human or Blood Ties) and other contemporary media genres (e.g. reality tv, sitcom, murder mystery etc.)
• The construction and appeal of the ‘dark romance’ genre
• Analysis of the plight of the vampire and the burden of immortality. Inter-generational differences between vampires and humans and vampires from a different age. For example, True Blood’s Bill Compton, turned during the American Civil War, and his young progeny Jessica Hamby (who keeps her ‘own’ blog on http://babyvamp-jessica.com). How forgotten social conventions, mannerisms and standards are reintroduced into society through the presence of vampires. How vampires from a previous age negotiate the demands of a contemporary world.
• The domestication of the vampire. The shift in contemporary texts from vampires as mythic creatures to quasi-human beings confronting everyday, human problems and relationships. For example: the vampire family (such as the Cullens in Twilight), the bond between creator and ‘child’ or the challenges of bodily sustenance (such as the ‘vegetarian’ Cullens in Twilight or the vampire blood banks in True Blood).
• World media and cross-cultural comparisons (e.g. Sergei Lukyanemko’s Russian Vampire quartet currently adapted into two films Nightwatch and Daywatch).

KEY DATES:
Chapter Proposals (Abstract), 500-800 words + 6 keywords – October 29th, 2010
Notification of Acceptance – November 19th, 2010
Chapter Submission (5,000 words) – February 29th, 2011
Final Submission for Revised Chapters – 31st May, 2011

All submissions to g.schott@waikato.ac.nz or kirstine@waikato.ac.nz

cfp categories: 
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
humanities_computing_and_the_internet
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
religion
romantic