Call for Proposals: Mental Health and Fandom

Before the concretization of fan studies as an academic discipline, fans would routinely be labeled and treated as “fanatics” or people with excessive love for something or someone that could lead them to engage in maladaptive, even dangerous, behavior.

In a sense, public discourses positioned fandom as a mental health issue. Along with being problematic due to class, racial, gender and other issues, this positioning meant that fandom was not well understood until the recent couple decades. Now, scholars return to this idea of mental health and fandom, but for the purposes of understanding how being a fan relates to their own mental health.

Allison Levin, Ben Abelson, and I are proposing an anthology of empirical studies that examine the intersections between mental health and fandom. We are opening up the call for chapter proposals that consider how mental health issues can relate to fan and fan community experiences.

From fanaticism and trauma to therapy and coping, this proposed anthology would collect different perspectives, theories, methods, and methodologies to help illuminate this aspect of fandom and fans’ lives.

This proposed anthology would explore what fans learn about mental health from their fandoms, and how their fandoms can impact their own mental health, for better or worse. Discussing these issues and intersections will only further our understanding of the complex ways in which fandom weaves into people’s lives.

If you are interested in having a chapter proposal considered, please email it to me at creinhard@dom.edu by January 31st, 2020. Your chapter proposal should include the following:

  • Title
  • 250-500 word abstract detailing a) the topic you are studying and b) the theory/method being used to study it
  • Contact information
  • 150 word biography

Our hope is to propose this book early 2020, and then receive first drafts of chapters mid-2020, and shoot for publication in 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact me at the email above.

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