The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work (March 1, 2015; March 15, 2016)

full name / name of organization: 
Ika Willis (University of Wollongong), special issue editor for Transformative Works and Cultures

Fan fiction is often compared to the literature of Greco-Roman antiquity. Both fan writers and classical authors use the techniques of allusion, appropriation, and transvaluation to expand on and/or to critique existing works. Both circulate works within small, intimate communities, constituted as audiences for transformative works by their detailed knowledge of a shared group of texts. Furthermore, practitioners and scholars of fan fiction and transmedia storytelling explicitly refer to the megatext of Greek mythology as the historical precursor and model of the vast narrative objects of contemporary popular culture.

Although the comparison is frequently made, it is rarely fleshed out, historicized, or theorized. This special issue addresses this. We invite papers treating classical literature/art as fan work; papers on contemporary fannish uses/transformations of ancient Greek and Roman literature, mythology, or history; papers investigating similarities and differences between contemporary transformative fan work and classical literature and art; and papers reflecting on what is at stake in making the comparison: what potential benefits and risks does it bring? Submissions should be aimed primarily at a fan studies audience, but should also be credible contributions to the study of classical literature and its reception.

We welcome submissions which compare fan fiction and classical literature in relation to any of the following, or on topics not listed:

  • Narratology: prequels, sequels, and paraquels; vast narratives and megatexts
  • Intertextuality: allusion, hypertext, palimpsest
  • Community: production, distribution and reception mechanisms
  • Mythology: myth fan fic, fan fic as myth
  • Canonicity: the value and status of transformative works
  • Transmedia: fan fiction, fan art, classical visual and material culture

Submission guidelines TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing. Contributors are encouraged to include embedded links, images, and videos in their articles, or to propose submissions in alternative formats that might comprise interviews, collaborations, or video/multimedia works. We are also seeking reviews of relevant books, events, courses, platforms, or projects.

Theory: Often interdisciplinary essays with a conceptual focus and a theoretical frame that offer expansive interventions in the field. Blind peer review. Length: 5,000–8,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.
Praxis: Analyses of particular cases that may apply a specific theory or framework to an artifact; explicate fan practice or formations; or perform a detailed reading of a text. Blind peer review. Length: 4,000–7,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.
Symposium: Short pieces that provide insight into current developments and debates. Nonblind editorial review. Length: 1,500–2,500 words.

Submissions are accepted online only. Please visit TWC's Web site ( for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT

Contact Contact guest editor Ika Willis with any questions or inquiries at classicalfanwork [AT]

Due date Contributions are due March 1, 2015.