RRIII 2023

Call for Proposals

Since the advent of the Disney era, the Star Wars universe has expanded rapidly, manifesting in new comics, games, and animated and live-action series. Although The Rise of Skywalker was billed as the end of the Skywalker saga, streaming series like The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi have ensured that older Star Wars media also remain relevant for contemporary aca-fans. Thus, as with our previous event, this conference aims to bring together scholars from across disciplines to examine the nearly half century span of Star Wars media as cultural texts. We invite scholarly and creative interventions with an explicit focus on themes of resistance and justice. How do these films and other media objects contribute to, reflect on, or depart from broader contemporary cultural practices and social discourses?

The themes of resistance and justice remain central to our event not only because of their prevalence in the Star Wars universe, but also because of shifts in the social and political contexts in which these media are made. The sustained dangers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the worsening climate crisis, ongoing debates (and their deadly consequences) concerning guns, rising anti-trans sentiment and legislation, and attacks on civil rights in the U.S. have exacerbated inequities and dulled social progress. Star Wars, as a cultural phenomenon, has also been embroiled in controversies and transitions relating to intolerance, belonging, and unjustifiable violence. Actress Gina Carano’s fervent anti-vaccine diatribes and anti-trans bigotry, for instance, sparked debates about the political and ethical obligations of media producers and their employees. The reappearance of actor Hayden Christensen on Star Wars sets forced audiences and critics to acknowledge the unexamined cruelty that kept the actor away from the industry for so long. And misogynoirist reactions to Moses Ingram’s performance in Obi-Wan suggest that racist ideals of authenticity and entitlement still dominate amongst certain demographics of fans. We encourage presentations that reflect on these contexts to offer new perspectives and innovative methodological and disciplinary approaches to Star Wars scholarship. 

The Digital Cultural Studies Co-operative invites proposals of individual papers, panels, academic posters and infographics, media objects (critical making, comics, video, Twine, or performance), and methodology or other workshops. Topics may include but are by no means limited to:

Resistant narratives
Childhood Studies
Trauma Studies
Animal Studies
Media archeology
Fan Studies
Comics Studies
Material culture
Transmedia Studies: games, podcasts, fanfic, cosplay, etc.
Star Wars & Digital Humanities
Queering Star Wars
Galactic Indigeneity 
Human/AI relationships in Star Wars
Family & community in Star Wars
Law, justice, and authority in Star Wars
Class, economics, and the gig economy in Star Wars
Art & fashion in the Star Wars universe
Recycling/reviving/retconning stories & characters
Resisting “The Hero’s Journey”

Submit 250-word abstracts via this Google Form no later than midnight Central Time (US) on January 13, 2023.

All submissions will undergo transparent peer review. Every effort will be made to accommodate international and early career and student scholars to facilitate their participation. All interactions are governed by the DCSCO Statement of Inclusion and Accessibility.

This virtual conference will take place May 4-6, 2023.  

Registration opens is now OPEN.

Registration is be Pay-What-You’re-Able with a recommended contribution of $50.