We are delighted to announce the programme for the FSN2013 symposium, taking place at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, on Saturday 30th November 2013. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet other scholars in the field.
You can find out more information and register on the symposium website: http://www.uea.ac.uk/politics-international-media/events/fan-studies-network-symposium and talk about the event on Twitter using #FSN2013.
Registration for this event is now closed. You can download the programme here: Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013
Any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013
Friday 29th November 2013
19:30 Social get-together
The Appleyard & Co, 36 Exchange St, Norwich NR2 1AX
Saturday 30th November 2013
09:00 – 09:30: REGISTRATION
09:30 – 10:20: KEYNOTE
Professor Matt Hills (Aberystwyth University) (Chairs: Lucy Bennett & Tom Phillips)
10:30 – 10:45: BREAK
10:45 – 12:00: PARALLEL PANELS
Panel A: Spaces and Performance (Chair: Tom Phillips)
Panel B: Celebrity (Chair: Sarah Ralph)
12:00 – 13:00: LUNCH
13:00 – 14:30: PARALLEL PANELS
Panel C: Gender (Chair: Bertha Chin)
Panel D: Classic Fandoms, New Narratives (Chair: Ruth Deller)
14:30 – 14:45: BREAK
14:45 – 16:00: SPEED GEEKING (Chair: Richard McCulloch)
16:00 – 16:15: BREAK
16:15 – 17:45: PARALLEL PANELS
Panel E: Transculture (Chair: Nele Noppe)
Panel F: Textualities (Chair: Bethan Jones)
17:45 – 18:00: CLOSE – Lucy Bennett & Tom Phillips (Fan Studies Network)
18:00 – 19:00: WINE RECEPTION
A: Spaces and Performance
Chair: Tom Phillips (UEA)
Lincoln Geraghty (Portsmouth) Marketing Mainstream Cult: Forbidden Planet and the Spaces of Comic Book Fandom
Nicolle Lamerichs (Maastricht) Cosplay: Material and transmedial culture in play
Rosana Vivar Navas (Granada) Genre Film Fandom and Festivity in Spain: Notes on San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, 2012-2013
Chair: Sarah Ralph (UEA)
Helena Dare-Edwards (UEA) Boy Band with a Secret?: The Larry Stylinson Fandom and Real Person Slash in the Age of Social Media
Mark Duffett (University of Chester) ‘When the Hero is Hurt, He is at His Most Vulnerable’: Rethinking Hurt / Comfort
Markus Wohlfeil (UEA) Catching Fire? New Insights into the Nature of Fans’ Parasocial ‘Romantic’ Relationships with a Celebrity
Chair: Bertha Chin (Independent)
Carrie Dunn & Deirdre Hynes (Manchester Metropolitan University) Community, authenticity and sexism: the online and offline experience of female football fans
Bethan Jones (Aberystwyth) Fifty Shades of Patriarchy: Antifandom, lived experience and the role of the subcultural gatekeeper
Bridget Kies (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) Homo-genizing Producer-Fan Relations in Popular Television
Heike Missler (Saarland) Chick-lit Fandom – Postfeminist Activism or Affective Economics?
D: Classic Fandoms, New Narratives
Chair: Ruth Deller (Sheffield Hallam)
Amber Hutchins (Kennesaw State University) Frenemies and Fanagement in the Magic Kingdom: Disney Fan Culture and Brand-Fan Relationships
Lies Lanckman (Kent) ‘Fawning Over Dead Celebrities’: Classic Hollywood Fandom and the Twenty-First Century
Richard McCulloch (Regent’s University, UK) A Game of Moans: Negotiating Negativity in Football Fandom
Natasha Whiteman (University of Leicester) Fans, Obsolescence and InSecurity: ‘The Return’ of the Commodore Amiga
Chair: Nele Noppe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
Bertha Chin (Independent) A glimpse into the transcultural fandom of (Green) Arrow in China
Ekky Imanjaya (UEA) Rediscovering “Crazy Indonesia”: Classic Indonesian Exploitation Cinema according to 2000s Western Cult Fans
John McManus (Oxford) Fandom in the diaspora: the case of Turkish football fans in Europe
Anne Peirson-Smith (City University of Hong Kong) Living Dolls: an examination of the affective motivations and creative agency of ball-jointed doll fans
Chair: Bethan Jones (Aberystwyth)
Hannah Ellison (UEA) AfterEllen’s #Gaydybunch and #BooRadleyVanCullen: Twitter second screeners and third party curated viewing
Anne Kustritz (University of Amsterdam) Fan Ontologies and the Pleasure Principle: Aesthetic, Analytic, and Narrative Persuasion in Transformative Works
Andrea Nevitt (Keele) The Expectations and Evaluations of Game of Thrones Fans before and after the televised “Red Wedding”
Billy Proctor (Sunderland) Time’s Arrow: Continuity, Canon and Fanon
Matt Hills (Aberystwyth University)
Location, location, location: Info-war and citizen-fan “set reporting” within public spheres of the imagination
Perhaps one key shift affecting recent popular culture has been a move from the ‘reactive audience’ – responding to, reading, and reworking media texts – to anticipatory fandoms seeking information about media texts far in advance of their official release and industry PR. The development of “pre-reading” (Gray 2010) means that within convergence culture, media-savvy fan audiences can be thought of not so much as textual poachers, but rather as pre-textual poachers. Fans challenge the brand control of media producers by circulating unofficial news, rumours, and photos of filming (Hills 2010, 2012 and forthcoming). The phenomenon of fan “set reporting”, where audiences tweet, blog and upload photos and videos of location filming, means that story/casting spoilers are increasingly difficult for producers to shut down. Franchises such as Twilight, Doctor Who and Sherlock have all had to contend with this new digital mode of fan productivity facilitated by “miniaturized mobilities” (Elliott and Urry 2010). Far from dematerializing the importance of location, this fan practice combines immediacy with hypermediation (Booth 2010), granting authenticity to ‘being there’ and to documenting activities of media production. Socially-networked fandom (Booth 2012) thus both reinforces the symbolic centrality of filming sites (e.g. Cardiff for Doctor Who), and brings fans into conflict with producers in novel ways. Far from being a mysterious process, location filming has become an increasingly transparent, fan-mediated event, with “citizen-fans” debating activities of media production within “public spheres of the imagination” (Saler 2012), akin to activities of citizen journalism and citizen witnessing (Gillmor 2006; Allan 2013).
About the presenter:
Matt Hills is Professor of Film and TV Studies at Aberystwyth University. He is the author of five books including Fan Cultures (2002) and Triumph of a Time Lord: Regenerating Doctor Who in the Twenty-first Century (2010), as well as the editor of New Dimensions of Doctor Who (2013). Matt has published widely on cult media and fandom. He is an Associate Editor on Cinema Journal and a regular reviewer for doctorwhonews.net.
Bertha Chin (Independent Scholar)
A glimpse into the transcultural fandom of (Green) Arrow in China
In June 2013, Stephen Amell, star of the American TV series, Arrow, arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport to be greeted by about 40 fans bearing gifts who have gone specifically to welcome him to China. The next day, Amell attended a Q&A event attended by 100 fans that was organised by a local TV station. These types of smaller meet-and-greet fan events are common in East Asian countries, where local celebrities often meet and interact with their fan club members. While the fan event was not considered large by Western standards, the turnout and subsequent sharing of photos and videos of Amell’s trip on Tumblr by fans gives us an interesting insight into the transcultural fandom of Arrow and Amell in an East Asian country.
Amell’s trip is no longer a rare event for Chinese fans of popular American TV shows. Perhaps more importantly, it also shows the importance Hollywood studios and networks place in courting the Chinese market. Asides from these promotional tours, Hollywood celebrities’ social media networks are translated into Chinese by a digital media platform called FansTang and transmitted through China’s popular social media channels like Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.
Fan studies has offered us glimpses into the rich and complex interactions in fandom, but these are often rooted in the practices of North American and European fandoms. FansTang’s success and in particular, Amell’s reception in China suggest that fandom transcends national boundaries, into territories where Western pop culture may not necessarily be the norm. However, these popular texts may become increasingly accessible as the Chinese market grows more important, and this is further facilitated by the Internet and social media networks. Using Amell’s trip to China as an example, I will look at the fan reception of Amell (and Arrow), focusing on how it might provide an extra dimension towards a more effective transcultural fan theory.
Helena Dare-Edwards (University of East Anglia)
Boy Band with a Secret?: The Larry Stylinson Fandom and Real Person Slash in the Age of Social Media
Since the boy band One Direction was formed on The X Factor in 2010 a controversial subsection of fans, primarily comprised of teenage girls, have devoted themselves to the real person slash (RPS) pairing of Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, otherwise known as ‘Larry Stylinson’. While RPS fandoms have long relied on the disclaimer that their creations are not real (Busse, 2006) Larry shippers insist that the two band members are involved in a secret-not-so-secret romantic relationship that is being forced to remain ‘in the closet’ according to the demands of One Direction’s management. Blurring the lines between shipping and tinhatting , and favouring ‘evidence’ construction over fictional narratives, I argue that the Larry fandom represents a generational shift in the form and practice of RPS which has been further complicated by the dominance of social media.
This paper will explore the polarization of fans across two different social media platforms, Tumblr and Twitter, and the internal politics that govern their use in this RPS fandom. Although blogs are publicly accessible, Tumblr is perceived as a safe and protected fan space in which to interact without the popstars’ knowledge or the prying eyes of the media. Fiercely protective over their fandom, Larry shippers condemn the use of Twitter for its role in exposing their fannish behaviour to the boys, while simultaneously utilising it to express their distress at their unveiling. Taking this into account, I will then consider the way tweets function as a form of narrative discourse that the Tumblr community draw upon in their compilation of Larry ‘evidence’.
Although Hellekson and Busse (2006) state that the Internet age has re-written traditional fandom rules; namely, to never write slash based on real people, I wish to re-open this debate by questioning how RPS is once-more potentially ‘risky’ in the age of social networking.
Mark Duffett (University of Chester)
“When the Hero is Hurt, He is at His Most Vulnerable”: Rethinking Hurt / Comfort
“Although hurt / comfort has only been labled as an explicit genre within fannish literatures, it is yet another structure that connects amateur and professional texts.” – Elizabeth Woledge (in Hellekson and Busse 2006, 110)
In the Fiskean tradition particular ‘prosumption’ practices, such as fanfic writing, have been highlighted as indications of a creative and potentially resistant audience. I wish to argue, however, that their implied counterpart – passive consumption – has always been a myth, particularly in relation to affectively invested audiences. More specifically, in this paper I depart from the usual assignation of hurt/comfort as a misunderstood subgenre of fan fiction to explore the idea that a common form of audience identification has prompted a long-running sadomasochistic impulse in popular culture. Beyond television fanfic, my illustrations will come from the cultural fields of three popular musicians: Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber. Beginning with the assumption that all cultural practices are active allows us to question an implied theoretical distinction between “active” fiction writers and “passive” viewers. It allows us to see fiction writing as part of a wider process of collusion in which both media professionals and paying audience members investigate affectively rewarding cultural forms.
Carrie Dunn and Deirdre Hynes (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Community, authenticity and sexism: the online and offline experience of female football fans
This paper examines the negative experiences of sexism reported by female football fans in two strands of football fan activism – the online forum and the cooperative supporters’ trust movement. It draws on two studies, one looking at the broad experience of female fans in men’s football in England, which used data from 100 questionnaires and 27 responsive interviews; and one drawing on the online and offline experiences of 16 female football fans through online interviews and participant observations of online forums.
It begins by looking at definitions of and the concept of community, and examines why community is such a significant part of the football fan experience. It then moves on to more closely interrogate the operation of the digital community and democratic/cooperative supporters’ trust community, and explores why respondents choose these particular communities as opposed to any others, such as traditional supporters’ clubs.
It goes on to address questions of performativity of identity, showing that female fans feel the need to hide their femaleness when discussing football online. Similarly, when they take a public role in a supporters’ trust they work to present their femaleness in an ‘acceptable’ way, behaving as much like their male counterparts as possible and not wishing to be identified as ‘female fans’, but simply as fans.
Both sets of respondents reported a fear that being too overtly traditionally ‘feminine’ would detract from the authenticity of their fandom. ‘Femaleness’ is not a quality linked with authentic fandom in men’s football, and thus they sought to minimise it wherever possible in order to prove their fandom to those outside their real-world close fan network.
Hannah Ellison (University of East Anglia)
AfterEllen’s #Gaydybunch and #BooRadleyVanCullen: Twitter second screeners and third party curated viewing
‘Second screening’ is becoming increasingly prevalent, last year Nielsen research discovered that 70% of tablet owners and 68% of smartphone owners used them while watching television. This paper looks at a specific group of twitter second screeners, asking what this means for the consumed television text.
Over the past three years the TV recap writers of lesbian entertainment website AfterEllen have been live-tweeting television shows they recap. Creating their own hashtags for each show they cover (ones that sometimes trend worldwide) and asking fans to contribute, the writers create ad hoc viewing communities, curated backchannels that police negotiated readings. AfterEllen’s hastags work to create an unofficial official conversation about lesbian relationships on these shows, whether perceived or actual; some of the shows do not feature lesbian characters.
While shows like The Fosters (ABCF, 2013) broadcast their own hashtags to use, AfterEllen forms a sub viewing group, one that highlights certain aspects and ignores others. It facilitates a curated viewing experience in which people are brought together to watch a show in a particular way. To have their participation validated in this “social tv”, viewers must comment on the right things, and in the right way; the ‘best’ tweets are then published in the recaps of episodes, suggesting a proper way to take part in the conversation.
Examining the twitter and blog output across multiple shows over a four week period, this paper looks at how these niche social viewing practices are policed and the kinds of tweets deemed appropriate. It asks how centralised negotiated readings of subtexts in real-time could affect the notion of the TV narrative and what it means to have a third party producer re-enforcing top-down shaping of the conversation.
Lincoln Geraghty (University of Portsmouth)
Marketing Mainstream Cult: Forbidden Planet and the Spaces of Comic Book Fandom
Previous studies of why comics attract devoted fan followings have focussed on the texts themselves, specifically their narratives, characters and the ever expanding fictional worlds in which they are set. But what about the spaces of comic book fandom? Where are comics collected and by whom? If these fantastic stories of superheroes and villains offer multiple universes that express concerns within contemporary culture how is this reflected in the rituals of fan consumption? In exploring these questions this paper examines cultures of consumption and the adult fans who collect comic books. Focussing on the chain store Forbidden Planet I argue that there has been a change in shared comic book fan spaces, whereby they have become less text centred (comics) and more commodity centred (merchandise and other non comic book ephemera).
Following in the history of the rise of the independent comic book and record stores, Forbidden Planet has grown to become one of the most recognisable brands for selling comics, graphic novels, books film and television collectibles, and other cult merchandise. Building on the style and characteristics of the local retail shop, Forbidden Planet caters for both mainstream and niche tastes. It promotes both an image of the alterative and cult as well as keeping up with the latest toy and merchandise brands. My following analysis of the London Megastore posits that while cult fandom has entered the mainstream (as argued in Hills, 2010), Forbidden Planet treads a thin line between both camps: as a physical location it remains a safe destination for fans to enter and connect with their favourite media texts but also it performs a role akin to the department store in that it sells something for every type of fan, whether you are a novice or die-hard collector. In this way, its locality as safe haven and connective space (including its online shop) serves to underline the potentially liberating and fulfilling aspects of fandom and cult collecting.
Amber Hutchins (Kennesaw State University)
Frenemies and Fanagement in the Magic Kingdom: Disney Fan Culture and Brand-Fan Relationships.
Given the global pervasiveness of The Walt Disney Company, Disney fandom is sometimes considered a rite of passage for almost children. But Disney fan culture extends beyond consumption of animated films and merchandise, and offers insight into the tensions between brands and fans (“frenemies”) and the various subcultures and rituals that emerge among fan communities.
Disney has recently embraced new ways to facilitate fan engagement beyond “fanagement,” especially among adult Disney fans, who are usually excluded in studies of Disney audiences. Disney fans have spent the last decade building their own thriving community, with diverse populations, who believe that Disney films and theme parks are symbolic representations of their values and beliefs. Online, fans create and negotiate identities, define the Disney lifestyle, and validate their loyalty to Disney.
However, fan activity sometimes represents the strained relationship between fans and the brand. For example, one fan who trespassed into “backstage” areas of Disney parks and posted videos of his adventures was banned for life from Walt Disney World, a consequence he found surprising because his videos were intended to celebrate his dedication to Disney. Bat Days, an annual meeting of “Goth” Disney fans at Disneyland, is tolerated but not supported by the parks. A recent horror film shot at Disneyland without permission has just secured theatrical release.
The existing research in this area usually focuses on film audiences, especially children, rather than fans of the Disney universe. This study will examine the fan culture, community and media created by high-engagement Disney fans, as well as outreach efforts on behalf of the brand. Through thematic analysis, this study will identify ways in which fans engage in participatory culture to expand their relationship with the brand and each other.
Ekky Imanjaya (University of East Anglia)
Rediscovering “Crazy Indonesia”: Classic Indonesian Exploitation Cinema according to 2000s Western Cult Fans
Most of Indonesian films recirculated in 2000s international DVD circuits are those 1970s-1990s exploitation Movies. Indonesia’s underrated Filmmakers such as Arizal and Tjut Tjalil as well as actors such as Barry Prima and Eva Arnaz are among those who are celebrated by global cult fans. Films like Lady Terminator (Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan), or The Warrior (Jaka Sembung) series are discussed among cult film fans forums and blogs, but are neglected, abandoned, and underrated in Indonesia. All the films were originally produced, distributed, and exhibited in Indonesia during the last 20 years of New Order era by dictatorship of Suharto. A Greek fan calls it s “Crazy Indonesia”. Some DVD distributors–MondomacabroDVD, Troma Team, and VideoAsia—label the movies as cult films.
The paper will analyse online fan cultures of Western audiences towards the movies. I want to elaborate their ideology of subculture: on why and how they celebrate the films. I argue that there are 2 types of films, that feed Western fans’ tastes: first, “Indigenous” genre (in Karl Heider’s term) such Legenda (legend, myth, supernatural), Kumpeni (local heroes in Dutch colonial era), and Silat (martial art) (Heider 1991) which are considered as exotic, marginalized, peculiar and unknown to Western cult community; second, Americanized Exploitation (sub)genres (cannibalism, women in prison, mockbuster, etc.) which perfectly fit their expectations.
Applying Kozinets’ Netnography, I will examine some fans’ blogs, reviews, discussions at online forums, and transactions as well as offline events (screenings, meetings). I will have discourse analysis on the computer mediated communication produced by the fans, particularly activities at AV Maniac, Backyard-Asia,enlejemordersertilbage.blogspot.com, damnthatojeda.wordpress.com, Die Danger Die Die Kill, and THE_CINEHOUND_FORUM.
Bethan Jones (Aberystwyth University)
Fifty Shades of Patriarchy: Antifandom, lived experience and the role of the subcultural gatekeeper
In 2012 E.L. James’ Fifty Shades trilogy took the publishing world by storm, and since its publication, the series has had a near-constant presence across a range of media platforms. Both the popular press and elements of fandom have derided the novels as ‘ridiculous’, ‘badly written’ and ‘potentially dangerous’, but the trilogy has also drawn criticism from other quarters. Many BDSM bloggers have commented on the inaccurate depiction of BDSM in the series and responded angrily to the framing of the lifestyle as ‘plain old hetero-patriarchal power relationships’ (Barker, forthcoming).
Early work in fan studies examined fan activities as forms of resistance, enabling fans to reclaim ownership of popular culture (Jenkins, 1992; Bacon-Smith, 1992). Jonathan Gray (2003) and Cornel Sandvoss (2005), however, argue that to fully understand what it means to interact with texts we must also examine anti-fans. This article builds on Gray and Sandvoss’ work by examining anti-fandom of the Fifty Shades series in relation to anti-fans’ lived experiences. I undertake an analysis of anti-fans with experience in the BDSM community, assessing how their experiences have affected their readings of and responses to the text. In a similar way to which Anne Marie Todd (2011) argues that fans accumulate cultural capital in ways that affect the physicality of their lived experience, I suggest that anti-fans’ lived experiences allow them to accrue subcultural capital which affects their anti-fandom (Thornton, 1995). I further argue that the subcultural capital these anti-fans have accrued as a result of their experience of BDSM positions them as ‘subcultural gatekeepers’. More than simply ‘snarking’ about the texts (Haig, 2011; Harman and Jones, forthcoming) they demonstrate an awareness of the paratextual role they play in affecting readings of the novels (Gray, 2007).
Bridget Kies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Homo-genizing Producer-Fan Relations in Popular Television
Historically, fan studies has concerned itself with examining the often contentious relationship between producers and fans. Fan practices that attempted to wrangle control and interpretation of certain television characters were seen as resistant to producer or authorial intent. The practice receiving the most attention has been the rendering of male characters who were heterosexual in the source text as homosexual or bisexual through the creation of slash fan fiction.
Today, however, more and more television programs feature LGBT characters. In fact, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation noted that the 2012-2013 American primetime line-up featured the most LGBT characters ever. This trend coincides with increasing legislation for particular LGBT issues across the Western world – most notably, same-sex marriage – as well as an abundance of celebrity coming-out stories in the media.
As LGBT presence increases on screen and in mediated stories of celebrities, the kind of narrative surrounding these characters has changed. Most often, these characters are depicted as homonormative: they have monogamous same-sex partnerships and children, and thus emulate hegemonic heterosexuality. Fan practices, in turn, are no longer resisting narratives about these characters but doing the same work as other media sources. In this way, fan practice has been “unqueered” from operating outside authority to colluding with producers.
In this presentation, I will examine homonormative narratives on television and in related celebrity gossip. I will then demonstrate how fan practices surrounding these narratives work in conjunction with producer and authorial intent to create a transmedial circuit: producers create narratives, upon which fans draw for the creation of fan works and hype, and producers respond by integrating fan works and hype into future narratives. Through this transmedial circuit, the relationship between producers and fans has become homogenized.
Anne Kustritz (University of Amsterdam)
Fan Ontologies and the Pleasure Principle: Aesthetic, Analytic, and Narrative Persuasion in Transformative Works
Although from the perspective of the media industry fan creative works seem to flow parallel to or outside of the official storyworld, from the perspective of many readers, fan works fundamentally transform narratives, characters, settings, and genres, providing a method to not only interact with the existing text, but to powerfully critique and overwrite the stories produced by the industry. At least three factors influence the extent to which fan works remain separable, merge with, or supersede the published narrative: authority, medium, and resonance/pleasure. In the first instance, the ontological status of fan works is determined by whether or not individual readers and fan communities invest in the industry or author’s ultimate right to determine “what really happened.” Investing instead in any fan author or artist’s vision of the story is a populist freedom that many fans grant themselves, and which many fan communities support and normalize. In the second instance, fan works often involve transmediation that can offer information completely unavailable in the original medium, or compete with meanings created in the original precisely because they occur in a similar medium and thus construct critiques and alternate interpretations in a “genre commensurate form.” Finally, pleasure plays the most important role in fan works. Although many overtly political, serious fan projects exist, even these often pivot upon the politics of pleasure – that is, which pleasures and whose pleasures become amplified by the mass media and which other pleasures become seemingly unimaginable. At their core, fan works provide authority to whichever version of characters, settings, events, and genre forms are most pleasurable to imagine. Fan communities amplify types of pleasures often silenced and sidelined in the mainstream industry, while fan infrastructure reserves open, uncontrolled space to circulate and share those pleasures still yet to be imagined.
Nicolle Lamerichs (Maastricht University)
Cosplay: Material and transmedial culture in play
Through “cosplay” (costume play) fans perform existing fictional characters in self-created costumes and give new meaning to existing stories. Cosplay is a scarcely studied form of appropriation that transforms and actualizes an existing story or game in close connection to the fan community and the fan’s own identity (Lamerichs, 2011; Newman, 2008; Okabe, 2012; Winge, 2006). The activity can be read as a form of dress up. In the field of game studies, dress up is an often overlooked but significant category of play with its own affordances (Fron, Fullerton, Morie, & Pearce, 2007).
I explore the possibilities of reading the costume itself as an object that facilitates performance and play. I emphasize the visual culture of the costume and its mediation at different online and offline sites through small-scaled ethnography and close-reading. The transmediality of cosplay is foregrounded in the methodology that, rather than adopting a player-centered approach, construes a cultural reading that involves both participants and spectators (e.g., photographers, fans, media professionals or outsiders such as parents). Through two case-studies, I focus on the costume’s materiality and transmediality.
First, I discuss the materiality of cosplay through its consumption culture. Increasingly, costumes and accessories are sold over platforms as eBay and Etsy which will illustrate this dynamics. I question the liminal status of the costume as it lingers between the creative domain of fandom and lucrative domains of media and creative labor. Second, I investigate the remediation of the cosplay performance. I exemplify this transmediality through cosplayer music videos (CMV) that are commonly produced at convention sites. I rely on a selected corpus of videos that are deeply connected to their source texts but also provide insights in fandom itself.
Thus, I analyze the dynamics of costume culture as it transcends the convention grounds.
Fron, J., Fullerton, T., Morie, J., & Pearce, C. (2007). Playing Dress-up: Costumes, Roleplay and Imagination. Paper presented at the Philosophy of Computer Games.
Lamerichs, N. (2011). Stranger than Fiction: Fan Identity in Cosplaying. Transformative Works and Cultures, 7.
Newman, J. A. (2008). Playing With Videogames. New York; London: Routledge.
Okabe, D. (2012). Cosplay, Learning, and Cultural Practice. In M. Ito, D. Okabe & I. Tsuji (Eds.), Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World (pp. 225-249). New Haven: Yale University Press.
Winge, T. (2006). Costuming the Imagination: Origins of Anime and Manga Cosplay. Mechademia, 1, 65-76.
Lies Lanckman (Kent University)
“Fawning Over Dead Celebrities”: Classic Hollywood Fandom and the Twenty-First Century
The Facebook page Decaying Hollywood Mansions, dedicated to 1910s-1960s Hollywood imagery, describes itself as “at its best a multi-media spookhouse of cinema’s past, at its worst just me fawning over dead celebrities.” It is but one of many online resources which have emerged over the course of the past decade focusing not on contemporary popular culture, but on an earlier time in cinema history. Whereas classic Hollywood’s original fans have received increasing scholarly attention throughout the past decade, however, this very recent but widespread online emergence of a “new-old” fan culture has not thus far been addressed.
As such, this paper aims to be an initial exploration of this phenomenon, beginning with a categorisation of the different types of online content available, ranging from top-down informative resources such as IMDB, over fan-made websites or forums often focusing on one particular star, to various communities within social networks such as Facebook or Tumblr. I will then compare the functions of these modern resources with those fulfilled by the key fan community-building resources available in the classic era: fan magazines.
Looking both at prestigious publications such as Photoplay and at popular fan-produced magazines such as the Joan Crawford Club News (described by one reader as the first time she “felt she was among those who spoke her own language” ), I discuss the ways both modern online resources and these older magazines deal with issues of star image creation and truth, fan input and participation, and fan identification with one or more particular stars. Additionally, I will reflect on the difference between fandom and historical interest in terms of these modern fans and examine how their adoration of “their” stars is impacted by the chronological gap between star and fan.
Richard McCulloch (Regent’s University, London)
A Game of Moans: Negotiating Negativity in Football Fandom
Recent scholarly work on anti-fandom has been productive in reminding us that media texts are not consumed solely for ‘positive’ reasons (Gray, 2002; Pinkowitz, 2011). Nevertheless, the label itself implies an inherent separation between those who ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ a particular fan object. In this paper, I argue that dislike and hate are in fact integral components of fandom, especially in relation to sports, where criticising one’s own team is not only acceptable, but often encouraged. At what point, then, does criticism become anti-fandom?
Through the analysis of matchday threads on the popular Liverpool Football Club fan forum Red and White Kop, this paper argues that the line between fandom and anti-fandom might actually have more to do with shifting insider/outsider discourses than positive versus negative affect. While this might seem obvious when talking about rival clubs (Theodoropoulou, 2007), I demonstrate that Liverpool fans themselves are among the biggest instigators of negative opinions about their team, its performances, or particular players. Anti-fandom, in other words, is not necessarily indicative of disagreements within or between fan communities (Sheffield and Merlo, 2010), but can also function as an everyday, unproblematic expression of (positive) fandom.
I focus on the balance that fan discourse strikes between praise/optimism and criticism/pessimism, and the ways in which these extremes are negotiated in response to victory and defeat. I argue that certain expressions of negativity are more welcome than others, but that the boundaries and definitions of acceptability are constantly re-articulated in relation to broader narratives regarding the fortunes and prospects of the club.
John McManus (Oxford)
Fandom in the diaspora: the case of Turkish football fans in Europe
Can you be a football fan for a team in another city? Manchester United fans from the south of England have had to put up with jibes questioning their loyalty for some time now. What about fans in another country? The growth over the last decade of cheap international transport and internet-mediated communication has turned the whole question of ‘space’ ‘place’ and ‘fandom’ on its head (Moores 2012).
This paper proposes a sideways glimpse into some of the processes of constructing fan communities in the twenty-first century by looking at international fans for the Turkish football team Beşiktaş. Beşiktaş are one of the most widely followed teams in Turkey but also have significant numbers of fans across diaspora Turkish communities in Europe. Based on ethnographic fieldwork – both with social media online and offline at European Cup matches – the paper teases out the issues present in the formation of the Beşiktaş fan community. International Beşiktaş fan practices form an interesting juncture, where ideas of representation online and the use of technologies (Winner 1999; Latour 2007; Miller and Slater 2000) mingle with consumption of traditional media (Scannell 2007), diaspora identity (Karim 2003) and the practices of transnational travel, tourism and mobility (Clifford 1997; Urry 2007).
The paper explores the conflicts and contestations that emerge when ‘Turks’ from a diverse array of nations, classes and diaspora communities come together in person to support a Turkish football club. It analyses how new technologies (broadly defined) are being used to shape individual identity, the spectacle of mass sporting events and the articulation of political messages. The conclusions it reaches have implications beyond the realm of fan cultures: namely, how individuals are grappling with the increasing diversity of possibilities and practices (both online and off) available to them in processes of dwelling and community creation (Ingold 2011).
Heike Mißler, (Saarland University, Germany)
Chick-lit Fandom – Postfeminist Activism or Affective Economics?
Chick lit is a marketing label for popular fiction written largely by, for and about women, Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) and Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City (1997) being the most highly mediatised examples. Although the genre was pronounced dead when three publishing houses closed down their chick-lit imprints in 2008 due to decreasing sales numbers, chick-lit books have continued to be written, published, and reviewed (cf. Coburn). There has, however, been an important shift in the production, circulation and reception of the texts: Chick lit has brought about a prolific online culture, which allows fans not just to network and connect with other fans, but also with authors and publishers. By doing so, the the boundaries between authors and readers are blurrying steadily and new opportunities for female entrepreneurship have been created.
I have analysed a number of chick-lit blogs and conducted email interviews with their contributors in order to find out how their participation in chick-lit fandom has had an impact on the representation and evolution of the genre, and also on the bloggers’ lives. My paper presents the results of this survey and uses them as a base for discussing how chick-lit fandom oscillates between affective economics and postfeminist activism. I am using Henry Jenkins’ term to describe how the publishing industries are interpellating chick-lit readers to become fans, and how they try to bind them emotionally to the novels and authors. By postfeminist activism, I mean a kind of activism which does not take feminism as its driving force but still achieves ‘classic’ feminist aims, such as the empowerment and promotion of women in fields where they have been under- or misrepresented, and the documentation of a herstory which has been ignored by the mainstream media.
Coburn, Jennifer. “The Decline of Chick Lit.” Utsandiego.com. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Feb. 2012. Web. 08 August 2013.
Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York University Press, 2006. Print.
Andrea Nevitt (Keele University)
“Hope blew out like a candle in a storm”: The Expectations and Evaluations of Game of Thrones Fans before and after the televised ‘Red Wedding’
One of Game of Thrones’ most-anticipated scenes aired in June 2013. That scene was the ‘Red Wedding’, in which three major characters died.
It is no surprise that the prevalent topics of conversation among those who were fans of the novels before the adaptation are comparisons between the wedding of the novels and the wedding of the show, and the evaluation of the quality of the latter in light of the differences between the two. This sits uncomfortably alongside a shift in adaptation theory away from linear, comparative textual analyses of monolithic texts, and evaluations based on fidelity, towards post-structural theories of transmedial texts and intertextual reading practices. It is necessary to question what is at stake in the analysis of adapted texts if academic approaches overlook insights that can be gained via research into the reading practices of fans of those texts.
In this paper I will begin by demonstrating that the discourse of fans prior to the screening of the Red Wedding was in line with adaptation theory’s shift in focus; fans drew interpretations of the chapter, and expectations of the episode, from several sources. Then will follow analysis of fans’ descriptions of the imagery of the written and on-screen weddings, using Lacan’s orders of the real, the imaginary and the symbolic as a starting point. I will argue that, through comparative analysis, fans evaluate the quality of the televised scene in terms of its ability to replicate emotions inspired by the book. This return to judgements of fidelity is suggestive of at least two interconnected situational interpretive practices; one for expectation, and one for evaluation.
The paper will highlight that a shift in the focus of adaptation theory must not overlook insights that can be gained through the application of fan studies approaches.
Anne Peirson-Smith (City University of Hong Kong)
Living Dolls: an examination of the affective motivations and creative agency of ball-jointed doll fans
This paper will examine the motivations underlying the adoption and use of ball-jointed dolls (BJD) such as Volks Super Dollfies by fans as a new type of collective intelligence, a form of creative play and as evidence of a participatory fan culture. Fans of animation, manga and cosplay pursue a DIY culture of self-display within the boundaries of commodity culture. These fans as textual performers identify with the commodification of Japanese culture and modern cosmopolitan branding as an escape from the boundaries of their own culture, also revealing a deep transcultural longing to inhabit the characters and costumes of this commodity culture. The ”other” here provides a safe and viable refuge and a way of defining an affinity with a like-minded community in the process of re-affirmation. However, tensions remain between doll fandom in terms of commodification versus commercialization and the agency status of both doll fans and doll producers.
The paper will present findings from ethnographic interviews, focus groups and observational analysis conducted with a selection of BJ doll fans and producers in Hong Kong, Japan and China in both private spaces and public or commercial places or at organized themed events. Findings will suggest that this tendency to articulate identity, belonging, difference, gender and sexuality through the purchase of specific brands can be found in the material possession and customization of ball-jointed dolls Doll fans, including cosplayers, avidly collect, modify and dress up ball-jointed dolls as mini-versions of themselves in the form of a creative performance. Their acquisition and public display amongst affinity groups appears to fill an affective void and operates as a panacea to the pressures of urban life, albeit with localised cultural nuances. These dolls seem to become best friends, sisters, brothers, children, confidantes and counselors for collectors who appear to seek gratification and unconditional love in a mute humanoid form. Doll fans also seem to acquire agency through their active consumption, performative participation and creative modification of their dolls.
William Proctor (Sunderland University)
Time’s Arrow: Continuity, Canon and Fanon
For fans of vast story-systems such as DC Comics or its bête noire, Marvel, continuity is one of the principle pleasures of engagement. Indeed, many fans patrol the narrative continuum as ‘continuity cops’ who hunt for cracks and fissures in the ontological realm of chronology and causality. In the 1960s, Marvel Comics famously offered a ‘No-Prize’ to readers who detected continuity violations and concocted inventive ways to correct the error and ‘make the pieces fit’ and repair the paradox. As Dittmer argues, ‘much as nature abhors a vacuum, comic book fans abhor holes in continuity.’
Continuity is also a concern for many readers of serial story-systems outside of the comic book medium including Sherlock Holmes novels, the Star Wars hyperdiegesis, the Oz franchise, Doctor Who, and soap operas such as Dallas and Coronation Street. This paper explores the activities of fans that negotiate inconsistency and contradiction in order to play with the text and mould the spatiotemporal dynamics into a cohesive order – even when the pieces resist chronological mapping.
The activities of so-called Sherlockians, for instance, play with the Arthur-Conan novels and compose a logical system with which to reinterpret the narrative as conducive with an Aristotelian system of causality. As Wolf (2012: 45) argues,
What is interesting is the degree to which fan communities want to see inconsistencies resolved; although they would seem to threaten the believability of a world more than the lack of completeness or invention, inconsistencies are treated by those fans as though they are merely gaps in the data, unexplained phenomena that further research and speculation will clear up. (Wolf, 2012: 45).
Thus, active readers play with the text as a ‘silly putty’ that bends and shapes contradictory elements to suit their desire for a diegetic logic that adheres to a serial system of cause-and-effect, thus, creating a personal canon, or fanon. Despite the turn to poststructuralism which sweeps linearity from the temporal table, this paper argues that fan activity often expresses a requirement for linearity and structure even if they have to do the narrative mechanics themselves.
Rosana Vivar (University of Granada)
Genre Film Fandom and Festivity in Spain: Notes on San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, 2012-2013
Since its opening in 1989 the San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (SSHFFF) has been a focal point for locals with a passion for cult movies, b movies, horror, science fiction, and exploitation movies. While the SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is a world reference for highly specialised horror and sci-fi fans, SSHFFF has built its identity upon a more modest principle, serving as an alternative to SITGES for fans seeking a more intimate, laid-back event. Taking place in late October, the festival is well known among regulars and locals for its impudent iconoclastic audience, whose heckling of guests has become a highlight of the event. Organisers encourage participation through fanzine meetings, concerts or on-line contests, while hard-core fans spontaneously convert the main festival venue into a bacchanal where the shouting out of witticisms during the screenings is de rigueur. At the same time, the theatre serves as a platform to communicate with and influence the organisers. My intention is to analyse the implication of festivity in the shaping of a genre film community that despite its uncouth members, its taste for marginal film and its niche-like condition maintains a privileged position within San Sebastian’s annual cultural programme. Drawing on the work of the historian Johan Huizinga (1954) and sociologist Roger Caillois (1967), I will examine how the presence of different forms of play in SSHFFF such as parody, ritual, fan works, and their relationship with the place, have contributed to this subculture growing stronger in Spain. Ultimately, I will consider whether this “playful conduct” can be studied at the festival site within the framework of participatory cultures (Jenkins, 1992, 2006). In doing this I will employ the concept of Participatory Culture often discussed within digital fandom debates and expand it to event-based fandom.
Natasha Whiteman (University of Leicester)
Fans, Obsolescence and In/Security: ‘The Return’ of the Commodore Amiga
In 2012, twenty years after the release of the Amiga 4000, a new ‘Amiga’ computer – the Amiga ‘Mini’ – was released to market. The launch was not successful, and provoked heated online criticism from fans and enthusiasts, many of whom denied the legitimacy of this product to bear the Amiga name.
The launch of the Amiga Mini had the potential to pose a destabilising threat to the fan communities that continue to surround this classic brand. As it was, the product and its producers were quarantined and othered by fans, and a sense of security was maintained. Through an analysis of online forum activity and blog posts, this paper examines how fans evaluated the authenticity of the Amiga Mini, articulated nostalgic affiliation to the original brand, and conceptualised the ‘essence’ of the Commodore Amiga (recruiting values which justified the persistence of their affiliation to the Amiga ‘experience’ and against which the newly launched product was judged).
In exploring fan responses to the Amiga Mini, this paper also seeks to pose broader questions about fan relationships to obsolescent technologies and texts, the self-sufficiency of fan communities, and issues of in/security in the maintenance of fan affiliation to objects that have apparently come to an ‘end.’ Theoretically, the paper will draw from studies of what Williams (2011) has termed ‘post-object fandom,’ literature on the revival and “aura” of brands (Brown, Kozinets and Sherry Jr, 2003), and studies of technological obsolescence and the ways that “temperamental or naturally life-limited systems” (Newman, 2012, 14) are kept alive by computer and videogames communities.
Markus Wohlfeil (University of East Anglia)
Catching Fire? New Insights into the Nature of Fans’ Parasocial ‘Romantic’ Relationships with a Celebrity
While consumers have always been fascinated by the works and private lives of celebrities, some consumers experience a significantly more intensive level of admiration for a particular celebrity and, subsequently, become what are commonly known as fans (Leets et al. 1995). However, scant attention has been paid to how the relationship between fans and celebrities expresses itself in everyday consumer behavior. Moreover, while the vast majority of fan studies have theorised fan culture from various critical perspectives (Fiske 1992; Hills 2002; Sandvoos 2005; Turner 2004) and/or investigated the social networks and dynamics between fans through ethnographic field research (Jenkins 1992; Kozinets 2001; O’Guinn 1991), even less is known about how and to what extent the fan-celebrity relationship occupies both a physical and mental space in the individual’s everyday life. This paper, therefore, explores celebrity fandom as a holistic lived experience from a fan’s insider point of view (Smith et al. 2007). By using an introspective research approach, I provide insights into my own personal everyday lived fan relationship with the actress Jena Malone (Wohlfeil and Whelan 2012). In drawing on narrative transportation theory, the study offers a deeper understanding of how and why a fan’s continuous personal engagement with both the celebrity’s creative work as a performer and the ‘actual’ private person behind the public image can take the form of a parasocial fan-celebrity relationship. What the fan perceives to be the ‘actual’ private person behind the celebrity’s public image is essentially his/her own intertextual reading of what s/he believes to be relevant and “reliable” media texts, which are subconsciously charged with one’s personal desires and projected back onto the admired celebrity. Subsequently, the fan can actually experience the feeling of “knowing” the celebrity like a close personal friend – or even develop romantic feelings of “love” for a person that s/he has actually never met.
Speed Geeking Sessions
Nancy Bruseker (University of Liverpool)
One Direction and Teenage Fandom
I am very interested in exploring the many negative stories about the teenage fandom around One Direction, particularly spurred on by the escalation to the recent Channel 4 programme about their ‘extreme fandom.’ There is a lot of noise around the concept of ‘entitlement’, and how many fan practices are excessive and show too much of this. In fan literature there’s a lot of discussion about economics, and the way fandom is both driven by the capitalist models of consumption and also subverts/lives beyond it. (Fiske, Busse and Hellekson, Jenkins, Sandvoss, etc) All of this is usefully applied to the current situation with One Direction fans, and should be done. However, there’s something more to get at in this discussion, around the way that teenagers are being taught how to interact in the world by participating (with their parents’ money) in the economy and society. The media’s production of the the hysterical female fan base is fuelled by the immense spending power of these fans, while simultaneously curtailing their activity by shaming them. How does this serve the economics of pop music, and what is the cost to the individual members of the One Direction audience? What lessons are teenaged girls learning about gender & the economic value of women?
Alice Chauvel (Independent Researcher)
Fans of Fan Practice
For my Master’s dissertation, I interviewed a small sample of Twilight fans about their involvement in fan charities. Two observations stood out, however I was unable to explore them at the time. First, the fans spoke of the Twilight fandom as ‘the’ fandom, unconsciously implying that there were no other fandoms. And second, rather paradoxically, a number of my interviewees distinctly identified themselves as part of the ‘Twific fandom’ (i.e. Twilight fanfiction fandom), implicitly acknowledging the existence of various fan communities within the wider Twilight fandom.
Based on this, I’d like to further explore the idea that fans can be fans of a particular practice as well as of a particular fandom. For example, there is the well-loved instance of the fanfiction writing, convention attending, cosplaying Star Trek fan. However, there are also slash fans, who will read slash fanfiction across fandoms – including fanfiction derived from a media object they are wholly unfamiliar with simply because it is slash. I would like to compare these two approaches to fandom with the aim of untangling the traditional concept of the fan who is usually defined in terms of his/her affective relationship to a media product or sport, rather than a practice.
Ruth Deller (Sheffield Hallam University)
Of Simblrs and Simstagram: Sim-ifying Social Media
Fans of the Sims games series are active across the internet, expressing their fandom through a range of blogging platforms, forums and social networking sites (Bury et al 2013). In this paper I look at how Sims fans – who are mostly female (see Gee and Hayes 2010) – use Tumblr and Instagram (often via cross-posting between these platforms) as expressions of their fandom. Many fans identify their profiles or uploads as ‘Simblrs’ or ‘Simstagrams’ as a way of creating a sense of clearly identified fan ‘space’ within these platforms (see Baym 2000, Bury 2005).
Through a combination of virtual ethnography, surveys and interviews, I explore how these fans adopt both wider ‘trends’ popular on Instagram and Tumblr (e.g. ‘selfie Sunday’; reaction gifs (see Thomas 2013)) using Sims imagery; how they integrate Sim fandom with other fandoms (e.g. ‘SuperWhoLock’; Glee; Harry Potter) and how they use these platforms to recreate more traditional forms of fan activity (e.g. fiction writing, content sharing, discussion) that were previously the domain of forums, blogs or larger websites sites in a new, more visual form.
Simone Driessen (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Aging Minds and popular music
This study aims to explore the relationship between aging minds and popular music. Current studies – in cultural sociology and cultural studies – have focuses on how music serves as a nostalgic element for baby-boomers (Bennett, 2006; 2013), or explored how ‘post-youth’ deal with ageing bodies, grown-up responsibilities and tasks in relation to their involvement in a (subcultural)scene (Hodkinson & Bennett, 2012).
Yet, these studies focus mainly on issues of ageing, instead of ageing minds (Bielby & Harrington, 2010). To explore how people give meaning to music as ‘post-youth’, I wish to explore how Millenial-generation fans produce meanings of the (current) revival (or survival in some cases) of music they grew up with (e.g. re-uniting boy- and girl-bands from the late ‘90s). While Hills (2002; 2005) acknowledges that various fandoms can become (ir)relevant to one’s cultural identity at specific times; this leaves unaddressed the important question of how fans currently give meaning to their fan-being. So I’m interested in discussing:
a) this revival/survival phenomenon
b) how it influences one’s ‘fan life course’
c) how fans legitimize their fan-being now
d) how this influences their fan practices
Emma England (University of Amsterdam)
The Separation of Fan Histories
This will look at specifically how fan-histories are built as separate constructs with very little acknowledgement of other fan histories despite similar and overlapping paths. By exploring shared fan histories we could go some way to understanding fans and fan cultures differently as well as, perhaps, enable fans to build closer bonds between seemingly disparate groups.
Claire Evans (Independent Researcher)
Fan practices and identity in motorsport
Following a discourse analytical project on the media representation of live Formula One motor racing, I am currently thinking about how I could extend this research and explore the relationship between fan practices and identity in motorsport1. One of the key questions I hope to address is whether (fan) practices in motorsport constitute consumption of a corporate brand or a celebrity one. Due to a desire to increase my specialist knowledge with fan studies research I would like to use the session as an opportunity to discuss: 1) Prior literature/research in the broad sense of whether the idea falls under the remit of fan studies (or celebrity studies). 2) Viable methods for the analysis (and possible additional collection) of data. I am particularly interested in the implications of research design on our understanding of the relationship between fan practices and identity.
Craig Hamilton (Birmingham City University)
The Harkive Project
On 9th July 2013 The Harkive Project gathered stories from thousands of music fans across the globe about how, why and where they listened to music. The aim of the project was to capture for posterity a global snapshot of the ways in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today. The project will return again in 2014, and every year thereafter. Harkive project manager, Craig Hamilton, an MA Music Industries student and visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University, is holding a speed geeking session in order to discuss the project, seek feedback on the manner in which the 2013 instance was designed and executed, and to explore possible research applications for the data set he collected.
Nele Noppe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)
How thinking of monetized fanworks as “open source cultural goods” can help fans and rights holders
Fanworks have been exchanged largely in gift economies in most parts of the world up to now. For various reasons, pressure is increasing to commodify fanworks and let them play a role in the commercial economy as well. However, various stakeholders are finding that it’s very hard in practice to make fanworks function as economic goods in this new “hybrid” economy.
In this presentation, I explore the possibilities inherent in treating fanworks as “open source” cultural goods. The economy surrounding open source software production is a very successful existing example of a hybrid economy in which products created in a gift economy are also monetized in a more market-oriented economy. Scholars from a remarkable variety of fields have already linked the production systems of derivative cultural goods like fanworks to open source-based practices. Although the influence of open source “philosophy” has now spread far beyond the area of software creation, cultural goods still remain a conspicuous blank in the long list of various “open” movements, not in the least because legal concerns make the creation of an “open source cultural good” difficult.
I argue that fanwork may be an ideal candidate for the title of “open source cultural good”. Open source and fannish production practices not identical, regardless of their similarities. However, because of their shared origins and characteristics, the vocabulary, problems, and solutions from one can help us articulate similar problems and possible solutions in the area of the other. I will examine how open source practices could be adapted to create legal, economic, and social conditions in which fanworks can be integrated into the broader cultural economy. I also argue that this way of monetizing fanworks would be beneficial economically and socially, both for fanwork creators and for the companies whose media products fanworks are based on.
Mafalda Stasi and Adrienne Evans (Coventry University)
Methods in their Madness: New Directions in Fan Studies Research
In the last 30 years, fan studies has produced groundbreaking and outstanding research. However, methodological discussion has been mostly absent-which might arguably limit the scope of future research. It is time now to raise questions such as: what kinds of knowledge do we want to produce? What are the objects being studied? Who is a fan studies researcher?
In a recent paper (now under review) we argued that the absence of methodology in fan studies reflects some of the issues of defining methodology in media and cultural studies. We propose that further groundbreaking work could be produced by drawing on new interpretative methodologies, especially when applied to the areas of the ‘aca-fan’ subject position, and on new modes of online fan activism.
In this speedgeeking session, we want to further open up the discussion of method/ology in fan studies. In doing so, we want to pose the following questions: What is your object of fan studies (e.g. fan, fandom, fan text)? What methods do you use to study this object? And how can these methods work together to further advance the field?