Call for papers


Expanding Beyond Borders.
Fictional worlds, Transmedial Universes, Fan communities

28-30 September 2017, Kraków (Poland)


It is no co-incidence that a growing number of publications dedicated to world-building theory and postclassical approaches to narrative and media studies has coincided with the acquisition of LucasArts by The Walt Disney Company or massive changes in movies and video games development. It has already been shown many a time that so-called transmedial universes composed of various “work-specific storyworlds”, as Jan-Noël Thon terms them, prove immense success in setting-up successful franchises which allow for new recipient practices to emerge. This is why the organisers of Expanding Beyond Borders. Fictional worlds, Transmedial Universes, Fan communities international conference would like all the interested attendees to focus on that particular phenomenon—and ponder whether the ideal of world-consistency, pursed by so many filmmakers, video game developers, and writers in the industry, is really only a matter of economical control, or maybe it can be only provided by transfictional links in-between a variety of diverse, both top-down and bottom-up-created storyworlds. Proposed topics may include but are not limited to:

  • key and emerging concepts in transmedia studies and transmedial narratology;
  • transmedial strategies in narrative representation;
  • faces of transfictionality: cross-overs, spin-offs, merging worlds;
  • the paradigm of coherence: retroactive continuity (ret-cons) and fix-ups,
  • massive universes and heterocosms and their role in setting-up a franchise: Marvel Cinematic Universe (Disney/Marvel Studios), Dark Univer­se (Universal), DC Universe (DC Comics), Star Wars Universe (Disney/Lucas Arts) etc.
  • possible worlds, fictional worlds, storyworlds, and transmedial universes;
  • top-down and bottom-up world-building and storytelling;
  • ways of inhabiting fictional/virtual worlds: immersion, attraction, engagement, entrancement;
  • ways of engaging fans in convergent world-building;
  • participatory narratives: fan fiction, slash fiction, fan art, fanimes, video game mods etc.
  • fan & fandom studies with particular emphasis on shaping fan communities (e.g. Dr Who or Sherlock fandom) and social worlds (e.g. MMORPG or table top RPG communities);
  • economy of fictional world-building: brands, franchises & merchandise;
  • canonical and apocryphal narratives: who’s really steering the mothership?
  • various media channels (musical, graphic, textual) as world-building engines;
  • fictionalization of heteroreferential elements (like different variations of Disney’s castle in the opening of Disney-produced movies);
  • migration of transfictional elements to the internet (e.g. music cosplay in The Piano Guys or Lindsey Stirling’s videos);
  • case studies of fictional/transmedial/virtual/online worlds and their multimedia representations (in literature, films, video games, graphic novels, animations, mangas & animes).

Keynote speaker

Confirmed conference keynote speaker is a prominent narrative theorist, Jan-Noël Thon (Department of Media Studies, University of Tuebingen), author of the recently published well-received monograph Transmedial Narratology and Contemporary Media Culture (2016) and well-known expert in transmedial narrative studies.

Registration, submissions & fees

The conference language is English. To register for the conference, one should sent in editable format (.doc, .docx.) max. 600-words abstracts featuring (1) the title of presentation, (2) a concise bio-note, (3) current affiliation, and (4) all necessary contact information (official email address & phone number) at by September 5th 2017. Successful applicants will be notified within two weeks after the deadline.

Attendees are also encouraged to send us full panel proposals composed of (1) abstracts from a minimum number of 4 delegates, (2) up to 600 words description of the pa­nel, (3) a suggested title of the panel and, most importantly, (4) email addresses of all delegates included in the proposed panel. The conference fee of 100€ will cover conference materials, catering and all other essentials, but does not include accommodation.

More info

Further details regarding the venue, suggested accommodation and transportation will be continuously updated at the website Organisers do welcome all questions and requests at The conference will be followed by a peer-reviewed monograph, published by Facta Ficta Research Centre and licenced under Creative Commons 4.0 as an ebook stored in a globally accessible repository (CeON Center for Open Science) and / or a peer-reviewed special edition of open access scholarly journal. We look forward to seeing you in Kraków!

The Organising Committee

Prof. Bogusław Skowronek, PhD (Pedagogical University of Kraków)
Ksenia Olkusz, PhD (Facta Ficta Research Centre in Kraków)
Piotr Kubiński, PhD (University of Warsaw)
Barbara Szymczak-Maciejczyk (Pedagogical University of Kraków).
Krzysztof M. Maj (Jagiellonian University, Facta Ficta Research Centre in Kraków) – project co-ordinator