Academia

  • OTW Fannews: Running the Gamut

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 30 January 2015 - 5:11pm
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    Banner by Alice of with the words 'OTW Fannews: Running the Gamut' with Gamut centered in a tablet, and a quill pen writing the top line in black and a paintbrush writing the bottom line in red.

    • GamaSutra presented a roundup of videogame criticism "on topics ranging from the 'ludocentrism' of games discourse to a different take on Eric Zimmerman's 'Ludic Century.'" The roundup of videogame blogging included a look at German gaming blogs, and a blog post by Maggie Greene that compares "Tales of Xillia to Chinese literary traditions. Specifically, she looks at multiple endings and the effort to capture both tragic compromise and fairy tale and fan-fiction happiness ever-after."
    • Hoodline wrote about a bookstore's book fanfiction with local authors. "We pick a book every month, either one that we just love and is classic, or is just in the zeitgeist for whatever reason, and we assign each writer a character—they don’t get to pick. And then they write 800-1200 words of fan fiction about that character, or heavily featuring them or centered around them. They can do anything they want. Whoever wins gets to come back. The structure of the show is that there are six readers total, and they’re all read by our 'thespian in residence,'...and the audience gets to vote."
    • At The Guardian, Katie Welsh posted about the best vlog reinventions of classic books. "[F]resh-faced teens and twentysomethings aren’t only vlogging about their own lives; they’re dressing up as fictional characters and telling modern reworkings of familiar stories into their webcams as YouTube adaptations of classic novels go viral. The teams behind them may be professional actors or simply fans of the books, and the quality of both scripts and production can vary, but at their best they could give the BBC a run for its money."
    • The Otago Daily Times published a piece on cosplaying runners at Disney. "'I love the atmosphere,' said Lauren Harrell, 27, after she finished the November super heroes race in a hand-painted T-shirt and foam headpiece as Groot, the human-like tree in Disney's Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy. 'People are cheering you every step of the way. And nobody judges you for dressing in costume,' said Harrell, who had a speaker attached to her waist so she could dance and sing to the Guardians soundtrack." Other half marathons include Disney Princess or Tinker Bell themes.

    How far and wide have you seen fandom activities? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanwork Inspiration

    By Pip Janssen on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 - 5:23pm
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    Image of birds flying in blue sky with overlaid text

    • ComicBook.com recommended that readers check out the Five Best Fan-Made Superhero Series & Short Movies. "In case you didn’t notice, Comicbook.com is really into covering fan-made films and web-series. YouTube and increasingly-intuitive technology has made it easier than ever for passionate fans to share their own tales about superheroes, video game characters, or whatever fictional realm that’s captured their imaginations. It’s fan-fiction for the 21st century, and never has it been more abundant and impressive. This year marked a rather significant turning point in fan-made films with Nightwing, a YouTube series that scored almost $35,000 in Kickstarter funding for production costs. What resulted was one of the most highly-produced fan series to hit the Internet so far."
    • The inspiration mentioned in the above article was evident when Patton Oswalt discussed the effect Star Wars had on him. "I could imagine that these characters would go off and do other things, have other adventures. I'd draw cartoons of what this one guy in the cantina went and did after that scene…you felt there were all these little stories happening after you'd left these characters, all these other avenues to explore. It was like Fisher Price's My First Fan Fiction, and that had never happened to me with a movie before."
    • The Tyee suggested that January would instead be a good month for people to hunt out popular fanfic online, even if they shortchanged the number of online archives. "Boy bands aren't your thing? Well, you're in luck then since Wattpad also publishes stories about celebrities and Harry Potter characters. Or you can find tales more to your taste at any of more than a dozen of these online writing communities. Start with two of the largest ones: FanFiction and Archive of Our Own."
    • Fanworks aren't just inspiring viewers and fans but future academics. Mass Live highlighted the accomplishment of a local student who is a recipient of the "prestigious Marshall Scholarship for study in United Kingdom." Student Tess Grogan is "interested in instances of transgressive violence in children’s and young adult literature as well as alternative systems of justice and responses to this violence. She is interested in the implications of 'genderswap' fan fiction – pieces written by fans of books or television that reverse the genders of the primary characters."

    What sources have you seen as fanwork inspiration? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Education

    By Please leave a name on Tuesday, 9 December 2014 - 5:47pm
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    Banner by Rachel of a generic Newspaper banner with the OTW logo and the words OTW Fannews
    • At Campaign Asia-Pacific Dave McCaughan wrote about studying fans to develop marketing strategies. "Personally I was a little surprised that when we asked 20,000 people around the world about being a fan of something, only around 40 per cent see themselves as fans. Of that number, 5 per cent say they are die-hard fans. Of course the numbers vary. Higher in the USA, much lower in Hong Kong and China. And this was fans of anything, not limited to football or sports. But as I said it was self-defining. And regardless, the numbers of 'fans' are huge. And among those millions who recognize their devotion, we noted three distinct new behaviors."
    • Loyola University's Student Dispatch wrote about a lecture on Harry Potter's links to Christianity. "John Granger came to speak at Loyola University on 'The Seven Keys to Harry Potter', hosted by the club Alliance for Awesome...He told the crowd that reading the [first] book brought him to tears and the comparisons to Christianity are unmistakable. 'I realized by the end of the book that she was a Christian,' Granger said. 'She chose to entrench the books with Christian symbolism like Narnia.' The lecture continued to dissect each book, and several characters and moments and relate them back to Christianity. Granger also commented on J.K. Rowling and her faith life."
    • NPR reported on Robert Morris University-Illinois' institution of 45 to 50 athletic scholarships to competitive gamers. The "school of 7000 students, reports it has received 70 applications and over 500 email inquiries since the announcement. The only qualm Shaffer has, he said, is the existence of varsity sports in the first place, and the millions of dollars spent on them by universities around the country. 'Whether it makes sense to award scholarships to an academic institution based on performance in a sport (whether electronic or not) is less clear.' In other words, if giving kids money to hit buttons on a controller seems strange, so is rewarding kids who are good at putting a ball through a hole."
    • Fanfiction is increasingly seen as a way to get young people writing, but Camp Lejeune's The Globe profiled a library making fandom a family affair. "'The goal of the event is to celebrate all the fandoms out there and remind people that being a fan of something is good and cool,' said Pittman. 'Also for the families to have something different to do on base and above all have fun.' After competing in costume contests and bean bag toss games, families gathered for popcorn and treats as they watched Marvels 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'"

    Did you get to study fandom in school? Write about your courses in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom and Publishing

    By Janita Burgess on Wednesday, 3 December 2014 - 5:45pm
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    OTW Fannews Fandom and Publishing

    • Transformative Works and Cultures editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson were interviewed by fan studies scholar Henry Jenkins about the book they published earlier this year, The Fan Fiction Studies Reader (the book's royalties go to the OTW). Said Jenkins, "And that brings us to the second thing that the focus on 1991-92 as the birth of fan studies may get wrong. The Fan Fiction Studies Reader is focused in expanding this time line in important ways, calling attention to the kinds of writing on fan fiction that existed prior to Enterprising Women or Textual Poachers, work that often came out of the second wave of feminism and was also embedded in the fan community itself. Many of these essays have been out of print or scattered across obscure journals so there is an enormous contribution in bringing them together again, reframing them for contemporary readers, and reappraising their contributions to the early development of this field."
    • School Library Journal discussed the manga landscape and reasons for its resurgence in the U.S. They include "a selection of titles that includes some long-lived classics, a few series that started during the manga bust and have endured, and a handful of new series that launched in the past few months. After each title is the number of volumes published in Japan (to give a sense of the length of the total series) and a note as to whether it is complete or still ongoing."
    • The Kernel featured a long look at fangirl influence on book publishing. "These fans, most of them women, began by claiming ownership of their fanworks to an unprecedented degree. Then they spent the waning years of Twilight fandom forming small publishing presses and setting up shop as editors, designers, marketers, and writers to publish and sell the works of fanfiction they loved...And they did it all amid a tremendous amount of negative pushback from all sides—most of all from members of their own community."
    • At Reading Today Online, assistant professor Jayne C. Lammers wrote about studying a fanworks community. "In particular, I studied adolescent literacy in an online forum called The Sims Writers’ Hangout...[which] was an online space for fans of the videogame The Sims to gather and support each other’s writing of Sims fanfiction—multimodal, digital texts that pair images taken in the video game with narratives authors write...Over its five-year existence, The Hangout had more than 12,000 members, mostly adolescent females, from all over the world who posted over 660,000 messages on a variety of Sims-related and community-building topics to establish an online network of readers and writers."

    What are your favorite works about fandom and fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Delving Into Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 - 5:21pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Delving into Fandom

    • The University of Iowa libraries, which partner with the OTW's Open Doors project, have announced a major fanzine digitization project. "10,000 science fiction fanzines will be digitized from the James L. 'Rusty' Hevelin Collection, representing the entire history of science fiction as a popular genre and providing the content for a database that documents the development of science fiction fandom."
    • At Swarthmore College, Professor Bob Rehak talked fandom studies and his article in the OTW's academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures. "It was fascinating to see fixtures of my own media passions, such as Star Trek props and the Batmobile, filtered through the contributors’ different theoretical approaches. This sense of rediscovering the familiar is characteristic, I think, of fan studies that deepen and complexify the apparent superficialities of popular culture...Twenty years of fan scholarship have done a great deal to concretize and personalize those relationships, but object-oriented studies now promise to move us even further from the reductive idea of the media fan as gullible consumer."
    • The Prince George Citizen interviewed researcher and author Andrei Markovits about the motivation of sports fans. "[W]hile female fandom is on the rise 'it's very clear it's a gendered world,' he said. 'The emotional investment for men is so much more, but the pain [when their team loses] is also so much more,' Markovits said. 'When I was a kid, every English soccer games started Saturday at 3 p.m. Why? Because the factory gates closed at 2 p.m.... and that gave them time to get to the game. For it to become part of the hegemonic sports culture, you have to have a large group of working-class men.' However, these sports do create a mixing place for people of different social classes within society."
    • At The Daily Dot Aja Romano wrote about the Harry Potter Alliance's equality campaign. "The newest HPA project, named after one of the Harry Potter series' most beloved characters, is designed to raise a new generation of fandom activists. The Granger Leadership Academy, named after Hermione Granger, is a leadership conference taking place this weekend (October 17–19) at Auburn University. The goal is to empower people to turn their fandom into real-world activism, something that HPA founder Andrew Slack found transformative in his own life."

    Where research about fandom do you like to turn to? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Educated Readers

    By Kiri Van Santen on Thursday, 2 October 2014 - 5:51pm
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    Graphic by Lisa of a bookcase and window in a modern library

    • LancasterOnline introduced its readers to the basics of fanfic in an article that gave a broad overview of fic types and issues--good, bad, and ugly. In an interview, a local library employee discussed her history of reading and writing Supernatural fic and shared her experience stumbling across uncomfortable elements: “'There have been times where I’ve come across summaries or some such, you honestly don’t know — should I call the police?' she says, only half-jokingly. Plenty of fan fiction is benign, though, she says, noting, 'You kind of have to wade through.'" The article also covers shipping and alternate-universe fics.
    • Another librarian described bringing fandom into her workplace in Steal This Idea: I Dig Fandom. Autumn Winters described using fandom-based events to draw teen readers into her library for the summer reading program. In addition to asking teens what fandoms they were interested in and researching them online, she wrote, "I also thought about ways to remake previously successful programs with an eye toward fandom. For example, Perler beads to Minecraft pixels or button making to My Little Pony cutie marks." Ultimately, her Doctor Who and Minecraft events turned out to be the most popular.
    • In other Minecraft news, We all know Minecraft draws kids (and adults) to their computers and consoles, but a popular book series is now encouraging kids to read. TheLedger.com reports on a Scholastic guide series that has become popular with the game's target audience. In the article, a parent of a 7-year-old notes that "there are books kids are reading for schools and books that they hopefully like in their free time. And if ‘Minecraft' books are a motivation to read, that's a good thing, right? At the very least, they're developing skills, reading skills." The article also cites the popularity of fanfic and another hit book based on The Legend of Zelda.

    What have been your guides to fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • Events Calendar for July 2014

    By Angela Nichols on Tuesday, 1 July 2014 - 5:30pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of July! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • The Almost Human fandom believes that Fox's decision to cancel Almost Human was disappointing, but they want to send the boys out in a blaze of creativity! The Almost Husbands Fic Challange is a mini Jorian fic and art challenge, with open posting throughout July. Slash and close friendship pieces welcome.

      More about Almost Human on Fanlore

    • Westercon is the "West Coast Science Fantasy Conference" held annually in the western part of the United States. Westercon 67 will take place in Sacramento, California from 3-6 July 2014. In addition to workshops and panels, the program features special guests, a masquerade and costume ball, an art show, musical events, and a writers workshop.

      More about Westercon on Fanlore

    • Readercon is an annual conference or convention devoted to "imaginative literature" — literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the unclassifiable works often called "slipstream." Readercon features over 150 writers, editors, publishers, and critics, attracting prominent figures from across the U.S., and international. They are joined by some 600 of their most passionate and articulate readers for a long weekend of intense conversation. Readercon 25 is 10-13 July 2014 in Burlington, Massachusetts.

      More about Readercon on Fanlore

    • Wolf's Bane The UK's second Teen Wolf convention, will be in Birmingham 11-13 July. The weekend will be complete with Guest Talks, Photo and Autograph sessions, Evening Entertainment and lots of fun! Guests include Holland Roden, JR Bourne, Daniel Sharman, Adam Fristoe, Seth Gilliam, Charlie Carver, and Max Carver.

      More about Teen Wolf on Fanlore

    • DashCon is an event on where Tumblr fans can gather and meet. Tumblr is a community so full of love, support, and creativity, and DashCon will be a place where they collaborate and connect outside of their laptops in Chicago 11-13 July 2014.

      More about Tumblr on Fanlore

    • System Administrator Appreciation Day is held to show appreciation for the work of systems administrators and other IT workers. It is celebrated on the last Friday in July. The first System Administrator Appreciation Day was celebrated on 28 July 2000. There are many suggestions for the proper observation of the holiday, the most common being cake and ice cream, so if you're reading this, thank your SysAdmins!
    • Comic Con International returns to San Diego, California for its 45th year. This mult-media, multi-genre, multi-fandom convention features panels involving celebrities, entertainers, and creators from a diverse range of entertainment. Special events, autograph signings, an exhibition hall, and screenings of films and television episodes occur throughout the 4-day event. San Diego Comic-Con will run from 24-27 July.

      More about Comic Con International on Fanlore

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • “Manga Futures: Institutional and Fannish Approaches in Japan and Beyond” Manga Studies is now emerging as an important field of scholarship and criticism within Japanese Studies and Cultural Studies. Today’s students are not simply consumers of manga. They live in a convergent media environment where they occupy multiple roles as fans, students and “produsers” (producers + users) of Japanese cultural content. Many students are engaged in “scanlation” and “fansubbing” sites as well as the production and dissemination of dōjin (fan-produced) work. These practices contribute to manga’s global appeal, influence and ease of access, but also raise ethical and legal issues, not least infringement of copyright.

      Invited proposals include, but are not limited to, the following themes: Fan appropriations of and contributions to manga culture in Japan and beyond, Ethical and legal challenges in the production and consumption of manga, Institutional support for or criticism of manga culture, The use of manga in Japan studies and Japan language pedagogy, The future of “manga studies” – theory and methods.
      Due date for proposals: 13 July 2014

    Help out a researcher!

    This month we have received a request for research participation from Barbara Galiza, a masters student of Digital Culture & Society at King's College London. She is writing a thesis on the evolution of digital platforms used for fandom and is looking for participants to answer a survey. Her study was approved by the college's Research Ethics Office.

    If you have any questions about her research, she may be contacted at barbara.galiza [at] kcl.ac.uk. Her supervisor is Btihaj Ajana who may be reached at btihaj.ajana [at] kcl.ac.uk and by telephone at +44 (0)20 7848 1011, or by mail at:

    King's College London
    Room 222, 26-29 Drury Lane
    London WC2B 5RL

    The research results will be presented at the Digital Research in Humanities and Arts conference in September and her completed dissertation will be published online and shared with the OTW.

    If you have requests for research participation, please view our policy for inclusion at our website.


    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • Events Calendar June 2014

    By Angela Nichols on Sunday, 1 June 2014 - 4:10pm
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    Event Calendar Icon

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of June! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Archive of Our Own is the site for the Crossovering Challenge. Crossovering is a multi-fandom crossover exchange. It’s your opportunity to request crossovers between your favorite fandoms and to write them too! Sign ups are open June 4-13. If you do not have an AO3 account and would like to participate, please let the mods know before sign-ups and they can get you an invitation.

      More about Crossovers on Fanlore

    • Alpha Con on June 6th is an unofficial Teen Wolf & Vampire Diaries Convention in Vösendorf, Austria. At AlphaCon fans will have the opportunity to meet your favourite actor/actress first-hand, attend Q&A panels and themed parties, get autographs and photo shoots and participate in a few more surprises!

      More about Teen Wolf on Fanlore
      More about The Vampire Diaries on Fanlore

    • Sinpozium, aka “Sinpoz” is a multifandom Sydney slash gathering. It is a fan-run, not-for-profit weekend-long slash slumber party! Activities will include discussions, fandom pimping, games, vid watching and more. Sinpozium is open to programming ideas. You must be 18 or older to attend.

      More about Sinpozium on Fanlore

    • VuPop2: An Academic Conference Where YOU are the Hero: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online For several decades gamebooks like Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy have been finding ways to directly involve the reader in the narrative of the book and to encompass multiple possibilities within a single volume. Computer games and other digital media have brought fiction into new and infinitely variable realms. On 9 June in Villanova, PA VuPop2 conference will examine the evolution of interactive fiction and discuss ways in which it can be studied and used pedagogically.
    • Supanova is Comic-con, Australian style!
      Supernova is where the adoring public comes face to face with Supa-Star celebrities and the creative talent that inspire their imaginary worlds under one big roof. The event includes comic books, animation, science-fiction, TV/movies, toys, gaming, fantasy, technology, books, internet sites and fan-clubs, the result is an amazing atmosphere tailor made for expressing your inner geek and where getting into cosplay obvious thing to do! Notable Guest include Jon Heder, Michael Rosenbaum, Robin Hobb, and many more! Supanova will be in Sydney June 13-15 and Perth June 20-22!

      More about Supanova on Fanlore

    • EyeCon is well known for bringing our attendees the absolute most "personal" time with the stars is announcing their first ever convention devoted to the fandom surrounding the epic, ultra popular MTV series Teen Wolf! Meet and mingle with Tyler Posey, Tyler Hoechlin, Adelaide Kane, and more! at Q&As, Autographs, parties, and more in Atlanta, Georgia on June 13-15.

      More about Teen Wolf on Fanlore

    • CON.TXT on June 13 in Silver Springs, Maryland id a place to gather and celebrate the joy of slash fandom. Indulge in endless conversation about your favorite guys (or girls), debate metaslash topics of great import, and squee over the pretty, all in the company of like-minded folk.

      More about CON.TXR on Fanlore

    • Cakebang: The Supernatural and Supernatural RPF Podfic Big Bang Cakebang is open to podficcers and artists. Podficcers can submit 10,000 word minimum for the Mini Bang and/or a 20,000 word minimum for the Big Bang. Artists may check out the claims post and claim any available podfic. If you wish to create art or can sign up and make note that you would like to be alerted when a new podfic is added to the list. Cakebang will be accepting new sign-ups until Friday, June 13 with posting scheduled to begin Monday, June 16.

      More about Big Bang challenges on Fanlore
      More about Supernatural on Fanlore

    • Join tens of thousands of fans as they converge on the Pennsylvania Convention Center June 19-22 at Philadelphia Comic Con to celebrate the best in pop culture. Philadelphia Comic Con brings it all - Movies, Comics, Toys, Video Gaming, Games, TV, Horror, Wrestling, MMA, Original Art, Collectibles, Anime, Manga & More! Guests include Cast from Marvel Films, Doctor Who, the Whedonverse, The Walking Dead, and more
    • Days of the Wolf Join Teen Wolf fans from around the in celebrating this fantastic MTV hit show on June 28-29 in Chicago. Join guests Tyler Hoechlin, Holland Roden, JR Bourne, and Linden Ashby for on stage events, Cosplay, Music Video Contest,Gala Party, Trivia and more!

      More about Teen Wolf on Fanlore

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • Manga Futures Postgraduate Workshop Manga Futures is hosting a postgraduate workshop entitled, “Research and Career Futures in Japanese Popular Culture Studies”. Postgraduate students who are currently working on topics related to contemporary Japanese popular culture and are looking for an open space where they can share their knowledge and experience in their respective fields are welcome to submit a proposal on the following themes: Commonalities and differences in fandom-based creation and criticism between Japan and other countries, Ethical and legal challenges in the production and consumption of manga, The use of popular culture in Japan studies and Japan language pedagogy. The due date for proposals is 13 June 2014
    • Intellect's Fan Phenomena book series is now seeking chapters for a new volume on fandom and James Bond. Phenomena: James Bond is aimed at both fans and those interested in the cultural and social aspects of James Bond. As such the book is intended to be entertaining, informative, and accessible to a broad audience. Suggested topics include: Bond as lifestyle icon, Bond merchandise, memorabilia and collecting, Bond fans’ use of different media to create community, etc. Please send a 300 word abstract and a short bio by 30 June 2014 to be considered.

      More about James Bond on Fanlore


    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • TWC's Top 10

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 8 May 2014 - 5:00pm
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    Partial view of the TWC word cloud

    One of the OTW's projects is Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), an open-access academic journal dedicated to fandom and fandom studies.

    But don't think that just because it's a peer-reviewed, scholarly quarterly with a bibliographic listing in the MLA bibliography of journals that the contents of TWC aren't for fans like you to enjoy!  Check out this sampling, ranked by number of DOI resolutions:

    1) "Why we should talk about commodifying fan work", by Nele Noppe. How would legalizing fanwork influence the question: should fan work be free?

    2) "Book Review: Boys' love manga: Essays on the sexual ambiguity and cross-cultural fandom of the genre"by Nele Noppe. "The focus of the book remains squarely on the fans of boys' love manga, which makes it relevant to anyone interested in fan studies."

    3) "Women, "Star Trek," and the early development of fannish vidding", by Francesca Coppa. This paper discusses how early female Star Trek fans structured the practices and aesthetics of vidding, in order to heal the wounds created by the displacement and fragmentation of women on television.

    4) "'The epic love story of Sam and Dean': 'Supernatural,' queer readings, and the romance of incestuous fan fiction," by Catherine Tosenberger. Tosenberger examines the literary, cultural, and folkloric discourses of incest and queerness as invoked by the show in order to argue that "Wincest" fan fiction is best understood not as a perverse, oppositional reading of a manly dudebro show, but as an expression of readings that are suggested and supported by the text itself.

    5) "Endless loop: A brief history of chiptunes", by Kevin Driscoll and Joshua Diaz. Driscoll and Diaz explore the confusion surrounding what chiptunes is, and how the production and performance of music connected to 80's electronic video game soundtracks "tells an alternate narrative about the hardware, software, and social practices of personal computing in the 1980s and 1990s."

    6) "Stranger than fiction: Fan identity in cosplay", by Nicolle Lamerichs. Lamerichs argues that "costuming is a form of fan appropriation that transforms, performs, and actualizes an existing story in close connection to the fan's own identity," and that "cosplay motivates fans to closely interpret existing texts, perform them, and extend them with their own narratives and ideas."

    7) "Repackaging fan culture", by Suzanne Scott. Scott argues that "the strategic definition of fandom as a gift economy serves as a defensive front to impede encroaching industrial factions" like FanLib and Kindle Worlds, and examines "the Seinfeldian roots" of the social taboo of "regifting," relative to fan culture.

    8) "Thirty political video mashups made between World War II and 2005", by Jonathan McIntosh. The creator of the famed Buffy vs. Edward remix vid explores subversive pre-YouTube remixes.

    9) "Book review: Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture, by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green", by Melissa A. Click. "Readers with stakes in the tug-of-war between fans and industry will likely enjoy, and be invigorated by, the authors' arguments about spreadability."

    10) "The Web planet: How the changing Internet divided "Doctor Who" fan fiction writers", by Leora Hadas. Hadas explores how evolving participatory culture clashed with traditional fandom modes and came to a head over one Whovian fanfic archive, using the conflict there to argue that "the cultural logics of fandom and of participatory culture might be more separate than they initially appear."

    And if you want to move beyond the Top 10 articles on TWC, here's a word cloud of the most frequently used words taken from the titles of every article that TWC has published in its 6-year history.

    Would you like to help us generate even more words? Head over to Fanhackers to see how you can celebrate acafandom, meta, and more with us—or check out the TWC Submissions Guidelines for submitting your research or essay to the journal!

  • OTW Fannews: Acafans of today and tomorrow

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 5:39pm
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    • For those fans who enjoyed the OTW's academic panel chat you may also want to look at Participations: Dialogues on the Participatory Promise of Contemporary Culture and Politics. This conversation among seven academics included Sarah Banet-Weiser, Nancy Baym, Francesca Coppa, David Gauntlett, Jonathan Gray, Henry Jenkins and Adrienne Shaw. Coppa discusses Welcome to Night Vale: "[I]t looks to me like something that could have been invented by an artist trying to imagine Henry’s definition of transmedia’s best self: radio, so giving fans an opportunity to imagine the visuals individually and collectively, which they have done with gusto; central characters who are queer and of color; an open invitation to make other things for and in the world (I wouldn’t even say 'an invitation to fans,' because, in a way, we’re not fans; we’re explicitly framed as citizens of Night Vale)."
    • Anna Von Veh presented Beyond the Text at the “Books in Browsers IV” conference in San Francisco in October 2013 and it is now available online as part of the Conference Proceedings which were published in The Journal of Electronic Publishing. "The technology of the Internet is perfectly in tune with Jacques Derrida’s notion of 'difference'...where meaning is always deferred; and where, in a postcolonial understanding...meaning and agency are to be found in the gaps between locations of power and certainty. The Internet allows a metaphorical and literal leaking of content from the container and from those who 'own' it. So just as the conventional two-dimensional format of the book (or I believe its digital facsimile, the ebook) is no longer the appropriate technology for content in a networked world, the understanding of the ‘contained’, owned, settled story is no longer the appropriate concept of text in such a world."
    • The Examiner.com paired fandom and education in its report on the Chesterfield Library's Comic-Con 2014. "[T]he concept of a Library System sponsoring a Comicon is unique enough to elicit more than passing interest, especially when that system holds more than 11,000 graphic novel volumes in circulation." In addition to comics vendors, a cosplay contest, and the participation of local artist Chris Otto, of "A Dog's Life" web comic, local teachers and school clubs contributed content.
    • Master's degree student Tara Popp shared her capstone project on fandom where she "created and narrated a PowerPoint presentation on the 6 Cs of fanworks and its impact on youth development from a technological viewpoint." These 6 Cs were Cognitivity, Communication, Community, Contribution, Character, and Cheer. "[F]anwork is a 'spark' for young people. Sparks are special interests and abilities that inspire youth to pursue their passion on their own, and Benson (2008) advocates that parents and other youth professionals encourage them to do something they enjoy. For some youth, their spark may not advance further than their adolescent years, but for others, it is a life-long endeavor."

    What fandom research or academic discussion has grabbed you? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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