OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Rebecca Black & Jonathan Alexander

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Jonathan Alexander is Chancellor’s Professor of English at the University of California Irvine. The author, co-author, or coeditor of 16 books, he writes frequently about literacy, multimedia and digital forms of composing, and issues of social difference and justice. Rebecca Black is an Associate Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She studies the role of digital media and popular culture in how young people learn, develop, and play. Today, they talk about their recent collaboration studying fanfiction.

How did you first find out about fandom or fanworks?

JA: I’ve long been a fan myself, particularly of science fiction and SF film and television, and have written in the past as (what Henry Jenkins calls) an “acafan” — an academic who also studies fandoms and the popular genres that we enjoy in our “private” lives. I’ve written about comics, graphic novels, SF, and most recently young adult fiction. In my most recent scholarly book, Writing Youth: Young Adult Fiction as Literacy Sponsorship, I look at how many young adult novels model for young people ways to manage the various media tools that surround them. But I also examine the kinds of media content — including short films or video trailers —- that young people make in response to their favorite Young Adult (YA) novels and narratives. I’m interested in how young people use popular narratives -— from Hunger Games to Harry Potter — to think about their lives, their worlds, and their futures.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Patrick Doyle

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Patrick Doyle is a PhD student in social and personality psychology at the University of Georgia under the direction of W. Keith Campbell. His research combines data science methodology with social theory to better understand the influence of celebrities on their audiences, specializing in computational linguistic approaches. He can be found talking about science, music, his life on Twitter, Instagram, and the University of Georgia’s website.

How did you first find out about fandom or fanworks?

By being a part of some! I had a few thousand followers on tumblr thanks in part to my involvement in a couple of music fandoms. The insider understanding of how fans relate to each other and talk about their favorite artists, along with a familiarity with so many of the media outlets used, has definitely informed my research. While my (near) professional level blogging days are over, I keep in touch with a lot of friends from that time in my life and still keep tabs on a lot of the same artists. I actually think much of the mainstream fan behavior you can find on Twitter is incredibly similar to the content we were posting back in 2012 on tumblr. 

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: pod_together

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

klb and Paraka are the mods for the pod_together community. klb has been active in podfic fandom since 2009 and has helped create and run a number of challenges and events, including pod_together, the Awesome Ladies Podfic Anthology, and theatripod.

Paraka joined online fandom in 2003 via vidding before discovering podfic in 2006. Her first podfic was posted in 2008 but she really got going in 2010 when she started running challenges, creating comms, talking meta, and hosting other podficcers on her website parakaproductions.com. Today, they talk about getting into fandom, the beginning of pod_together, and the collaborative nature of the community.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

klb: I always had a tendency to feel fannish about various canons (getting really invested, always wanting more and wanting to spend a lot of time talking and thinking about the characters and worlds), and sometime in high school that tendency led me to the X-Files fanfiction website Gossamer Project. I couldn’t believe how amazing fanfiction was—I never wanted to stop reading it!

paraka: I also tended to feel fannish about things before officially ~discovering~ fandom in university when my roommate introduced me to Queer as Folk (US) and vids. It was the first time I had regular access to high speed internet and the time to browse and found myself obsessed with fanvids, then later fanfic, then later still podfic.

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