Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Journal: Transformative Works and Cultures

The first issue of the new (peer-reviewed!) fan studies journal Transformative Works and Cultures was launched yesterday. From the press release:
This open-access online multimedia fan studies journal publishes scholarly essays, personal essays, and book reviews. TWC is published under the umbrella of the nonprofit fan advocacy group Organization for Transformative Works, and although its audience will primarily be acafans (academic fans), its scope ranges widely with the aim of providing a forum for fannish voices, academic or not.

"One important aspect of the journal is its open-access nature," Karen Hellekson, coeditor of TWC, commented. "It will be available for anyone to read, without any subscription restrictions. Plus it's online, so the articles can use hotlinks and embed videos. It's really time to move beyond the print model, so it's exciting that we're able to do that." She points to Francesca Coppa's essay, "Women, Star Trek, and the Early Development of Fannish Vidding," as an example of an essay that uses embedded media. "It's got screen caps from fan vids, plus embedded links to video, all to support her argument. It really explores the range of what multimedia has to offer." The issue also contains an audio feature, presented by Bob Rehak, with two downloadable recordings of a discussion held at the 2008 Console-ing Passions academic conference.
While the journal isn't focused solely or even primarily on comics, the first issue contains Madeline Ashby's "Ownership, Authority, and the Body: Does Antifanfic Sentiment Reflect Posthuman Anxiety?" It's an article that references manga while "examin[ing] three Japanese anime texts - Ghost in the Shell, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Serial Experiments: Lain - in order to discover metaphors for female fan practices online."

They're already soliciting content for issue No. 2, to be released March 15, 2009, focused on "Games as Transformative Works." Complete information - and, of course, the journal itself - may be found at its website: http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/

TWC promises to be a journal that comics scholars should keep their eye on, both for information and for publishing opportunities.

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