Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHSR/IRB)

PROPOSAL ID:3321
TITLE:RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL PLAYTRON EXPERIENCES OF PLACE AND PILGRIMAGE
PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:MARTENS, SUSAN
EML
816-271-4315
SMARTENS@MISSOURIWESTERN.EDU
OTHER INVESTIGATORS:
IRB SUMMARY: File Created: October 4, 2019
Department Chair Action Date: October 4, 2019
Current Status: Final Status Report Received
Confidentiality Data are linked to individuals.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

This study seeks to gather information about the experiences of Renaissance festival fans who attend in costume at area Renaissance festivals. It will focus on the experience of place by these fans (known as “playtrons”) by examining their use of various public spaces within the festival grounds and their interactions with one another, with festival staff, cast, and performers within these spaces. The study will investigate the ways in visiting certain sites and participating within certain settings contribute to experiences of fandom community and pilgrimage for playtrons. It will also investigate the role that playtrons play in contributing to the sense of place unique to particular sites within the festival grounds. It is the intent of the principal investigator to share the results of the study with scholars of popular culture through presentations and publications which contribute to understandings of fandom culture and theory.

STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Field observations will be conducted at area Renaissance festivals, with notes focused on playtron presence, movements, activities, and interactions at various sites within the festival grounds. Interviews with willing participants may be conducted as well, both at the festival and in follow-up communications via email contact. Interviews will be conducted either via phone or in person, and the interview will be recorded. Questions may also posted in social media groups and forums related to Renaissance festivals. Field observations and subject interview data will be collected and analyzed with the intent to be shared through presentations and publications to further the study of Renaissance festival fan culture and theory within the scholarship of popular culture.

ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITS

There are no known risks or discomforts associated with this project. There are no immediate benefits or compensation to participants in the study. The interview subjects will be asked to sign a statement of informed consent. Subjects may choose to discontinue participation at any time.

SUBJECT SELECTION

Field observations of festival attendees will occur during attendance at area Renaissance festivals. Interview subjects will be invited to participate following conversations during field observations, via requests for participation through the private Facebook group, and by referral through established social affiliations and fandom networks. No more than 20 interview subjects are expected at this time.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Participant data will remain confidential. Pseudonyms will be used to identify participants in the data. Participants will be asked how they would like to be represented in presentations or publications resulting from the study. All data will remain safeguarded on computers and file storage sites that are password protected.

PRIMARY SUPPORTING DOCUMENT

Click for Word Document

Extension Request on 09-05-2021

I would like to extend the deadline for this research project, which was halted during COVID 19 lockdowns in 2020. Extending the project through 2022 would be ideal. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your time!

Extension Request on 09-25-2021

I would like to extend this project through April 2022 to include the current festival season. Thank you for you time.

Final Report Submitted on 10-04-2022

The findings of this study were shared at the Annual Convention of the Popular Culture Association in Spring 2022.

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Any questions about proposals, procedures, etc. should be directed to the chair of the CUHSR