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Second Call for Submissions: Fantastic Fan Cultures and the Sacred

A number of great abstracts have been submitted, but we need a few more chapters to have a complete volume. Please take a look at this second call for submissions.

They ways in which people pursue religion have changed in America and the West. Traditional, institutional religions are in decline, and even among those who claim “None” as their identity, an individualized spirituality of seeking is growing in popularity. As a part of this quest, the sacred often comes in seemingly nonreligious forms. Gary Laderman, a scholar of religion asks in light of this situation:

“So what if the sacred is not only, or even primarily, tied to theology or religious identity labels like more, less, and not religious? We might see how religious practices and commitments emanate from unlikely sources today…”

One of those unlike sources of the sacred is fantastic fan cultures. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres are incredibly popular and have become multi-million dollar facets of the entertainment industry. But there is more here than meets the eye. Fantastic fandom has also spawned subcultures that include sacred aspects.

Fantastic Fan Cultures and the Sacred will be an edited anthology that explores the sacred aspects of fantastic fandom. Submissions should focus on how aspects of the fantastic function in religious or spiritual ways for individual fans, and fan cultures and communities. Chapters will be academically informed, but accessible to average readers so that it appeals not only to scholars wanting to learn more about pop culture and religion, but also to average fans who will expand their understanding of their fandom and culture. McFarland has expressed an interest in this volume, and if a contract is signed with them it will involve double blind peer review of the manuscript. Contributions should be in the 6,000 word range with a submission deadline to be determined in the near future.

Possible topics for this volume include but are not limited to:

  • Collecting and sacred relics – Of special interest is Guillermo del Toro’s and Bleak House, and his connection of this to his unique form of primal spirituality and Roman Catholic background:  “I’m not a collector. I’m a religious man.”
  • Convention participation as religious pilgrimage
  • Cosplay as immersion in sacred narrative and identity
  • Horror conventions as worlds “of gods and monsters”
  • Pop culture phrases as sacred wisdom teachings
  • Science fiction, fantasy, and horror as sacred narratives and mythology
  • Star Trek fandom as secular civil religion/spirituality
  • Buffyverse fandom and other genre “cult fandoms”

This volume will be edited by John Morehead. Morehead is the proprietor of TheoFantastique.com. He has contributed to various online and print publications including Cinefantastique Online, the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Extrapolation. In addition, he is the co-editor of The Undead and Theology, Joss Whedon and Religion, and the editor of The Supernatural Cinema of Guillermo del Toro. A publisher is interested in this volume, and if accepted, it will be peer-reviewed.

Those interested in being a part of this volume are encouraged to send a 300-word proposal and your curriculum vitae by email. Both should be in MSWord or PDF format. The deadline for submission is October 15, 2016. Materials and questions should be sent to John Morehead at johnwmorehead@msn.com.

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