Call for Chapters: A Cosplay Reader

deadline for submissions: 
October 9, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Drury University
contact email: 


Discipline and Freedom: Social Norms, Social Identity and Financial Implications of Cosplay

Cosplay, as a worldwide phenomenon, draws fans of film, television, and video games to express different aspects of their identity through both amateur/hobby and professional performance of characters and genres. Cosplay is an increasingly important aspect of both fan practice/produsage and franchise control of intellectual property.

This volume will address two fundamental questions related to the practice of cosplay: Why do people cosplay? and How do they cosplay? This project is envisioned as an interdisciplinary reader viewing these questions though then lenses of various fields and approaches, and submissions should be targeted at a generalist audience.

Editors Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols and Amy Lewis will provide an introductory overview of some of the key concepts related to these questions in an introduction to the volume, setting the stage for individual chapters to take deeper dives into related questions and topics. We expect these topics to include (but not be limited to):

- Gender identity and cosplay identity

- Racial identity and cosplay identity

- Beauty work identity and appearance in cosplay

- Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-concept in cosplay

- Intra- and inter-group competition in cosplay

- Professional and amateur/hobby cosplay

- Benefits and drawbacks of fandom activity

- Fan perception of franchise “ownership” vs. Corporate and intellectual property view of “ownership”

- Fans’ economic investment in cosplay practice

- Entrepreneurial angles and aspects of cosplay

We seek proposals from an interdisciplinary slate of scholars working in the fields of fan studies, media studies, beauty theory and business among others. We particularly seek proposals covering the following topics:

  • Marketing and branding in the business of cosplay
  • Racial and ethnic identities for cosplayers and characters
  • Gender fluidity, sexual and gendered identities for cosplay and cosplayers
  • Non-US examples and interrogations of cosplay

We invite potential authors to submit chapter proposals by October 9, 2020. Please submit a 1000 word (maximum)_abstract that describes your chapter proposal and the disciplinary len(es) you seek to take. Separate from this abstract, please also include a brief biography of all authors and a reference list of 3-5 key works from your discipline related to your proposal.

Submissions may be sent, with the subject line “Cosplay and Identity” to

Dr. Amy C. Lewis

Associate Professor of Management

Texas A&M University San Antonio

The editors have initial interest from several academic publishers. More detail regarding formatting guidelines and timeline for drafts will become available once a publisher is finalized.

Accepted chapters should be approximately 4000-7000 words. Contributions must be original—we cannot consider previously published work for this project. Final selection of chapters will be determined through editorial review.

We anticipate notifying selected authors by December 1, 2020, with first drafts of chapters due in early to mid 2021.