CONVERGENCE CULTURE, FANDOM, AND THE EXPANDED HARRY POTTER UNIVERSE
In 2006’s Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Henry Jenkins defines “convergence culture” as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences who will go almost anywhere in search of the kinds of entertainment experiences they want” (2). In contemporary culture, we are no longer merely passive consumers of media: we are participants in the narrative to the point where fans often actively influence outcomes and storylines well after a primary text has been released. J.K. Rowling’s tendency to continuously play with her Harry Potter characters and stories a decade after the “final” book of the 7-part series was published is indicative of a growing trend towards interactive, convergence storytelling as part of the fan experience. Rowling certainly has her supporters and critics, and arguably, no one embodies the art of transmedia storytelling quite like Rowling. Since the 1997 publication of the first Harry Potter novel, the “Potterverse” has seen the addition of eight feature films (with a ninth in production), the creation of the fan-interactive Pottermore© website, the release of myriad video games for multiple platforms, the construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, several companion books (such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), critical essays and analyses, and the 2016 debut of the original stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
We invite essays for a collection that explores the topics/themes/ideas in the companion works outside of the 7-book original canon Harry Potter series. Specifically, we are looking for essays that explore the cultural implications of these narratives and the way fans (and critics) negotiate these narratives in a post-modern, convergence culture world.
We anticipate that this collection will include 16-20 essays, and as a working guide, the essays should be 4000-4500 words. Essays must adhere to the most current MLA format.
Submission Guidelines: Please send a 500-word proposal in Word, followed by a short bibliography showing the paper's scholarly and theoretical context. Please also include a short professional description of yourself.
In addition to submissions from academics taking a scholarly approach to the subject, we are also particularly interested in essays that include analyses of The Cursed Child from someone who has seen a live performance in London, any individuals who currently work or have worked at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and individuals associated with cosplay or active fandom (fan groups, organizations, etc.).