Conference Policies

Conference Policies

The Fan Studies Network North America is committed to creating a safe, accessible, and inclusive space for all participants. The following policies outline what you can expect from us and provide some guidelines for all attendees and presenters. By registering for the conference, you agree to abide by these policies, so please review them before you continue with registration.

Statement on Systemic Racism

FSNNA reaffirms our dedication to advancing and promoting conversations about race and fandom within the field of fan studies. We recommit to uplifting marginalized voices and continuing to decenter the ongoing whiteness of fan studies, at both at our annual conference and through our online presence. We pledge to help make fan studies a welcoming and progressive space for all, and that includes a consistent effort to address critiques and make changes where necessary.

Inclusivity Guidelines

We all have our part to play in ensuring that FSNNA is a conference where everyone can participate. Please keep the following guidelines in mind as you prepare your poster or talk and also when interacting with other attendees:

  • Be careful about how you use potentially upsetting material, including but not limited to hate speech, hate symbols, and depictions of extreme or sexualized violence. Although we recognize there are legitimate academic contexts where addressing this material may be unavoidable, participants have a responsibility to treat it with gravity and sensitivity for others. Please seriously consider whether showing examples is necessary to your presentation, ensure that you provide adequate context, and include content advisories in advance (posters) or notify your roundtable’s moderator so they can do so (talks).
  • Avoid discriminatory or biased language that, though potentially common in everyday life, will not be welcome at this conference. This includes language that is ableist, sexist, transmisogynist or transphobic, classist, or racist (if you are unfamiliar with these words and someone brings them up to you, respectfully ask them or a conference organizer for help).
  • Let everyone speak. Be mindful of whether you are dominating a conversation and not leaving room for others to speak, particularly if you are a person who is used to holding privilege due to your race, gender, professional rank, institutional affiliation, etc. Leave room for others to add their thoughts if a discussion seems one-sided. Listen to others if they say you are making them uncomfortable. If someone needs to be left alone, respect their wishes and allow them to re-engage or not on their own terms.
  • Avoid making assumptions about other people’s identity and experiences, including, but not limited to, their race, sex, sexuality, and gender. People may disclose this information if and when they choose to. If you must ask about something (like gendered pronouns), avoid situations where a person may feel singled out, such as asking one person for pronouns in front of a large group of people.
  • Avoid gatekeeping. Conference participants come from all over the world, are at different stages in their research careers, and have different experiences in fandom or with fan studies. Explain specialized terminology, both academic and fannish, and provide context so people can follow along.
  • Avoid public shaming in event spaces or on social media. Instead, please report your concerns to a conference organizer, who will document the issue and help us respond in line with our Anti-Harassment Policy.

We also encourage attendees to give feedback about what they need to make the space welcoming and accessible. If you need specific accommodations in order to participate in the conference or have particular concerns, please outline them when you register or contact the organizers directly at

Anti-Harassment Policy

FSNNA is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, gender, gender identity and expression, language, physical appearance, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.

What is harassment?

Harassment is any action or pattern of actions that makes people feel unsafe or unwelcome. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Derogatory comments or comments that target people based on any aspect of their identity
  • Misgendering participants who have communicated their pronouns
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following 
  • Harassing photography or recording, including screencaptures
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Advocating for or encouraging any of the above behaviour

This policy applies to interactions between any conference participants for the duration of the conference, regardless of platform, which include Gather, the FSNNA conference Discord, and Twitter.

What happens if I experience or witness harassment?

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. If someone is making you or other participants feel unsafe or unwelcome, please let us know so that we can address the issue.

For immediately threatening or disruptive concerns, contact the entire organizing committee by email (, direct message our Twitter account (@FSNNorthAmerica), or tag @orgz on Discord. You can also reach individual organizers on Discord (on-call organizers will be listed in the channel).

When the organizers receive a report of behavior that may violate the anti-harassment policy, they will investigate. If the report involves an organizer, it will be handled in confidence. If a participant is found to have engaged in harassing behavior, organizers retain the right to take any actions to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This may include warning the offender, expulsion from the conference with no refund, and banning from future FSNNA conferences.

Conference Platforms

Conference participants will have access to a number of digital spaces, including Gather, Discord, and Twitter. Some guidelines for each follow.


Gather is a meeting and events platform that embeds audio and video calling in an 8-bit video game–inspired environment. During FSNNA22, Gather will host our keynote presentation, synchronous roundtable sessions, asynchronous posters and exhibits, as well as informal socializing.

  • For help getting started with Gather, visit their support centre
  • During live sessions, we ask that you adhere to these guidelines:
    • Keep your microphone muted when you’re not speaking.
    • If you have a question or comment, use the chat to raise your hand and wait until you are called on to unmute.
    • In the event of high attendance at an event, moderators may ask attendees to use the chat exclusively and read selected comments aloud.
    • If you are a presenter using screen-sharing, please have a link ready to post in the chat to pdf versions of any slides or handouts.
    • If you are using screen sharing, please try to describe orally what is being shown for those who might be attending via audio only.
  • If you need or want closed captioning on Gather sessions, make sure you are accessing the site on Google Chrome and enable Chrome’s built-in automated captioning feature
  • Roundtables hosted on Gather will be recorded and uploaded to the Conference Discord for asynchronous viewing during the conference.
    • FSN-NA does not permit the copying, downloading, or distribution of recorded sessions.
    • FSN-NA does not permit the recording or distribution of any online sessions by attendees.
  • You may not republish another person’s written comments from the Gather chat without the writer’s express permission. You may paraphrase discussion, but connecting someone’s written or spoken comments with their name or social media handle without their express permission will be treated as a violation of this policy.


As with past FSNNA online conferences, Discord will be our hub for asynchronous conversation, as well as the place to access archived recordings of roundtables during the conference. If you need help with anything, it’s also the best way to get assistance from the conference organizers.

  • Contents of the server will be deleted following the conference.
  • You may not republish another person’s written comments from the conference Discord server without the writer’s express permission. You may paraphrase discussion, but connecting someone’s written or spoken comments with their name or social media handle without their express permission will be treated as a violation of this policy.


Fan studies has a great tradition of live-tweeting conference presentations to expand and extend conversations. We welcome this at FSNNA, but ask that conference participants take the following guidelines into account: 

  • If you are presenting and you don’t want your talk (or parts of it) to be live-tweeted, please let your moderator and audience know!
  • If a presenter has requested that some or all of their talk not be tweeted about, please respect their wishes
  • Use the conference hashtag (#FSNNA22) in each tweet so that all tweets about the conference are easy to follow.
  • When tweeting about panels, tag the panel number with FSN at the start (#FSN1A, , etc.) so that anybody interested in following the conversations for that specific panel can easily locate the relevant tweets (and prevents unnecessary confusion with other hashtags…), and include presenters’ Twitter handles if they’re provided.
  • Don’t tag someone being discussed in a presentation into the conversation unless the presenter expresses an interest in doing so (for example, if someone was critiquing Jason Rothenberg’s handling of Lexa’s death in a presentation, it would be ill-advised to tag Rothenberg into the conversation). “Snitch tweeting” can cause uninvited conflict even when done with the best intentions.
  • If you’re presenting and you have materials you’re willing to share, it’s worthwhile to tweet them out. This is especially important for anyone who cannot attend the conference but may be following the live-tweets at home.


These policies and guidelines were inspired by and adapted from various sources, including the Queerness and Games Conference, the Geek Feminism wiki, and the Con.Txt 2020 online code of conduct.