Here is another call that is speaking to research near and dear to my heart:

The Pro Wrestling Symposium: Laying the Academic ‘Smackdown’
Weekend of Saturday, 18th June 2016

Hosted by the Department of Theatre, Film & Television Studies, Aberystwyth University

As one of the only cultural forms to have had an almost consistent presence on television since the medium’s inception, and with a long history spanning back long before that, wrestling offers an intriguing case study as a form of popular culture that has endured. Pro Wrestling crosses a number of cultural modes, acting as sport, live performance and TV drama. It is an athletic display, a narrative form, a choreographed performance, a global business and a distinct combination of them all.

There have been key pieces of academic work centred around Pro Wrestling, from Roland Barthes’ seminal ‘World of Wrestling’ essay (1957) through to the work of John Fiske (1989), Henry Jenkins (1997), Sharon Mazer (1998), Chad Dell (1993), Leon Hunt (2005) and Nicolas Sammond’s edited collection in 2005. However it is only in more recent years that it has begun to find a more concentrated presence, with a module taught on wrestling at MIT commencing in 2007 as well as two panels being dedicated to World Wrestling Entertainment at the 2015 SCMS conference in Montreal. This symposium looks to continue this recent trend of research and pedagogic activity by offering a space in which areas of wrestling studies can be further explored and discussed.

The symposium will explore a range of themes from across Pro Wrestling’s incredible history of more than a century. Papers are encouraged from numerous different fields that can explore the world of wrestling from multiple angles, be it history, television, business, performance, sport, media studies or more.

We welcome proposals for papers and practice-as-research presentations that draw on pro wrestling as a case study or theme, including:
• Stardom and Celebrity
• Fandom and Audience Research
• Sport (It’s role in sporting history/in relation to sporting injuries and concussions or other)
• Wrestling’s Historical Roots and Ancestors
• Artistic Representation
• Performance
• Wrestling Documentaries
• The Business models of wrestling
• Paper’s on the film The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, 2008)
• Links to and influence of wrestling on other sports and entertainment forms (or vice versa) such as boxing, MMA and US and UK Gladiators.

Other papers drawing on pro wrestling are also encouraged.

For further information, please contact Tom Alcott or Rebecca Edwards
Deadline: 31 January 2016

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