|F/F, girlslash, altfic, saffic, and most commonly, femslash: the multiplicity of terms for female same-sex pairings attests to the heterogeneous and variable history of these fannish subcultures. While the male variety (occupying the default label, slash) has received sustained scholarly attention since the 1980s, femslash as a distinct phenomenon continues to exist on the margins of both media fandom and fan studies.
As mainstream representation and online platforms have evolved, fan practices around female-female couples are becoming increasingly vibrant and visible, and a proliferation of explicitly lesbian or bisexual characters in film and television has captivated fans and researchers alike. This work points the way to a productive investigation of the turbulent boundaries between canon and subtext, between femslash and slash communities, between erotic and political interventions, and between different methodological approaches to queer female audiences (broadly conceived) – boundaries that femslash itself troubles.
This special issue is the first dedicated to femslash, and it aims to collect and put in dialogue emerging research and criticism on the subject, from histories of lesbian fandom to current fan activities around queer female characters and pairings. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
* case studies of femslash subcultures and fanworks
* femslash dynamics and demographics
* platforms, archives, and communities
* diachronic or comparative analyses
* feminist investments in centering women
* debates about queerbaiting and the politics of visibility
* queer female authorship in gift/commercial economies
* transnational circulation of queer female texts
* yuri (girls’ love) and other non-western femslash iterations
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.
Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.
Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.
Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.
Please visit TWC's Web site (http://journal.transformativeworks.org/) for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT transformativeworks.org).
Contact—Contact guest editors Julie Levin Russo and Eve Ng with any questions or inquiries at queerfemalefandom AT gmail.com.
Due date—March 1, 2016, for estimated March 2017 publication.