Fan Culture & Theory

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The Fan Culture & Theory Area was started in 2009 by the late Katherine Larsen and has grown in size and depth in the years since. Fan Studies as a discipline has similarly evolved from a media-focused discourse to one that widely engages with text, performance, history, and material culture.


The Fan Culture & Theory Area of the PCA offers a venue for fan scholars from across the globe to share their research and exchange ideas on this growing field. Papers on all of the many aspects of the topic are invited. The following list of past and possible topics is extensive but not exhaustive:

  • Fan activism
  • Anti-Fandom and Toxic Fandom
  • Fan collections in archives and libraries
  • Collecting, collectors, collections
  • Conventions
  • Cosplay
  • Fan/creator, consumer/producer interactions
  • Fan crafts
  • Fans as critics
  • Disability
  • Ethics and responsibilities of academics working within fan studies
  • Fan fiction
  • Food
  • Gaming - video games, table top RPG, board games
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Global fan cultures and practices
  • Historical perspectives on fans and fan studies
  • Impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic
  • Kitbashing, customizing, prop replicas
  • Pedagogy, teaching fan studies
  • Politics
  • Issues of race within fan communities as well as in the discipline of fan studies
  • Reality Television Fandom
  • Re-enactors, Renaissance faires and festivals, playtrons, living history
  • Social media and fandom
  • Specific book, comics, film, television, and music fandoms
  • Specific theories and case studies
  • Sports fandom
  • Theater
  • Fan videos and films
  • Virtual and online conventions, fan gatherings, and group watching
  • Fan tourism and pilgrimages

This call asks for individual paper proposals or submissions for entire panels. If you are submitting a panel, please make sure to note the members of your panel. In addition to general papers, if a presenter would like to propose a special panel or roundtable discussion, please e-mail the chairs.


For individual papers, please submit abstracts of approximately 250 words and a short bio (100 words). Submissions will only be accepted through the PCA website.


Panel proposals should be submitted directly to the area chair for approval (see contact information below). Include an abstract (250 words) describing the panel, accompanied by the abstracts of the individual papers that comprise the panel. Once the panel is approved, individual presenters should submit their proposals through the PCA website.


Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals.


Individuals must be current, paid members to submit to the conference


Contact information for the chairs:

Cait Coker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, [email protected]

Victoria Godwin, Prairie View A&M University, [email protected]


We also encourage those interested to follow the Fan Studies/Theory/Culture Area at PCA group on Facebook.

Submit a Paper Proposal for the 2023 PCA Conference: 

Submissions for paper proposals are now open. The submission deadline is December 20, 2022. Please be sure you read and understand all instructions, policies, and procedures before you submit your proposal.