Academia

  • Things to Come at TWC

    By Kiri Van Santen on Monday, 29 June 2015 - 5:22pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine.

    The OTW's journal, Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), will be celebrating its 20th issue this September. OTW's Communications Committee is at work planning some events to recognize the achievements of our small but extremely hard-working team that has given us several of these issues each year since its launch in 2008.

    But we would also like your help! How would you like to see TWC celebrated? As we plan for a panel discussion and posts, what topics would you like to see discussed? What kind of events would you like to take part in? Let us know!

    In the meantime, TWC has two calls for papers for future issues. The Symposium section in each issue exists for fan contributions, so even if you are not an academic, do consider submitting an essay for these issues! Or help TWC out by spreading the word.

    Special Issue CFP: Sherlock Holmes Fandom, Sherlockiana, and the Great Game (March 2017)

    "This special issue seeks to engage both academics and fans in writing about the older, long established Sherlockian fandom. We welcome papers that address all fandoms of Sherlock Holmes and its adaptations, particularly those that trace the connections and similarities/differences among and between older and newer fandoms.

    We welcome submissions dealing with, but not limited to, the following topics:

    • Questions of nomenclature, cultural distinction, class, race, gender, and sexuality.
    • The role of Sherlockian fandom and the Great Game in fandom history.
    • Academic histories of Sherlockian fandom, both organized and informal.
    • Connections between new adaptation-based fandoms and the older fandom.
    • Fan productions, e.g., pastiche, fan works, and Sherlockian writings on the Canon.
    • Influence of intellectual property law and norms on adaptations and fan productions.
    • Sherlockian publishing, e.g., MX, Titan, BSI Press or Wessex Press.
    • Community, e.g., Sherlockians on the Internet or Sherlockian “real world” gatherings.
    • Specific national fandoms, e.g., Japanese or Chinese Sherlock Holmes reception.

    Read more at their announcement on the TWC site.

    They are also looking for contributions for a special issue on Queer Female Fandom:

    This special issue is the first dedicated to femslash, and it aims to collect and put in dialogue emerging research and criticism on the subject, from histories of lesbian fandom to current fan activities around queer female characters and pairings. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

    • case studies of femslash subcultures and fanworks
    • femslash dynamics and demographics
    • platforms, archives, and communities
    • diachronic or comparative analyses
    • feminist investments in centering women
    • debates about queerbaiting and the politics of visibility
    • queer female authorship in gift/commercial economies
    • transnational circulation of queer female texts
    • yuri (girls’ love) and other non-western femslash iterations

    Read more at their announcement on the TWC site.

    And don't forget to check out the recently released issue 19, "Transnationalism, Localization, and Translation in European Fandom."

  • Transformative Works and Cultures Releases Issue 19

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 17 June 2015 - 4:09pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine

    Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 19, “Transnationalism, Localization, and Translation in European Fandom,” guest edited by Anne Kustritz (University of Amsterdam), has been released. This special issue focuses on global media and transnational studies, as well as European fan practices, broadly conceived. The issue comprises scholarly research articles, a section on pedagogy, essays related to specific countries’ fandoms, and a book review.

    As Kustritz writes in her editorial, “The articles in this issue center a global perspective, which questions assumptions about what it means to be a media fan and how the industry perceives international audiences. Therefore, the articles also address factors that persistently complicate and limit the global flow of media and fan communities.

    Paul J. Booth leads the Pedagogy section with “Fandom: The Classroom of the Future,” in which he claims that “once formal schooling is complete, one's fandom may be one of the only places where one is encouraged to think critically, to write, to discuss deeply, and to make thoughtful and critical judgments about hegemonic culture”. The three interlinked essays that follow, led by Amanda Gilroy and including work by her master’s level students, present the results of a class based around Ien Ang’s groundbreaking Watching Dallas (1982, 1985) and include audience analysis of European watchers of the Dallas (2012–14) reboot.

    The Symposium section includes essays addressing fandom in Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, Spain, and Putin’s Russia.

    Several essays discuss European fandoms surrounding American texts: two essays consider Bruce Springsteen fandom (Bill Wolff, Maryn Claire Wilkinson), one addresses Polish fan responses to the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale (Agata Włodarczyk, Marta Tyminska), and another discusses Italian fandoms of American TV shows (Eleonora Benecchi). Two essays address texts based on European fandoms, including MTV’s Welsh reality show, The Valleys (Bethan Jones), and football fandom (Abby Waysdorf).

  • OTW Fannews: At All Different Angles

    By Sarah Remy on Thursday, 28 May 2015 - 4:27pm
    Message type:

    Fannews banner green chalkboard with pencil and white arrows plus OTW Fannews in red letters

    • A webinar presentation on Open Learning in Fan Fiction Communities was held at the Connected Learning site. Presented by several scholars from The University of Washington Information School, it discussed various aspects of fanfic communities, including a term they developed called 'distributed affect' which described "emotional experiences [that] could also be embodied outside a group and led to significant increases in collaborative creativity." (No transcript available).
    • The Education Institute is also holding a webinar, this one for librarians, titled From Marvel to Middle-Earth: Fanfiction in the Library. The session expected to cover various topics including "background on the various technologies and fan-centred services—such as LiveJournal, Fanfiction.com, Archive of Our Own (AO3), and Amazon Worlds—that have grown up around the movement and how they are used. Participants will also learn how they can be incorporated into a library setting and adapted for programs" as well as "advice on how to incorporate and lead fan-driven creative programming at the library that is exciting, collaborative, and instructional. This includes suggestions for how to structure meetings, encourage participation and creativity in young writers, and provide opportunities to grow and refine literacy skills such as writing and engaging with texts in a constructive way."
    • The University of East Anglia in Norwich held an academic conference on Frozen in May. "The one-day event, or "Symfrozium", on May 12 will be the first day of academia dedicated to Disney's film" and covered "feminism, the film's music, reworking of fairy tales and the role of love, and whether Frozen can be considered a part of the 'Nordic Noir' genre which includes Stieg Larsson’s altogether darker Millennium book trilogy."
    • Stamford, Connecticut's Daily Voice reported on a fandom storytelling event that encouraged participants to show and tell their stories of fandom. "The collaborative storytelling event's theme of fandom was inspired by Jeremy Deller's 'Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode.' Deller's feature-length video piece shows Depeche Mode fans from all over the world and is currently on view in the group exhibition 'It's gonna take a lotta love.'"

    What are your favorite fan studies works about 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Find Your Passion

    By Sarah Remy on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 - 6:11pm
    Message type:

    Find Your Passion banner red arrows and yellow background

    • The new issue of Cinema Journal was guest edited by the OTW's Kristina Busse and she, along with co-editor of Transformative Works and Cultures Karen Hellekson, contributed articles. The entire issue is available for free online. Topics include articles on fan labor and feminism, fandom's gift culture, Fifty Shades and the "archive of women’s culture," and articles focusing on sampling, vidding, and cosplay.
    • Portland, Oregon's Go Local PDX hosted an article by a college admissions coach about getting writing experience. "Write fan fiction. If you care about an audience and feedback, writing fan fiction can be a great way to get both. Lots of people obsessively read (and comment on) fan fiction about their favorite characters, so a well-written spin-off from a popular novel or series can quickly develop a large readership. In addition, it’s easy to find writing prompts: people on fan fiction forums often run informal contests built around silly topics like 'a Les Miserables-inspired scene with a beach party.' Fanfiction.net is the main hub for this, but a quick search can help you find more specialized sites devoted to particular topics.
    • As a post at Candy Mag pointed out, prompts and fanworks are everywhere. Focusing on content at Pinterest, the post pointed out a variety of fandom crossover fan art exploring various fanwork genres.
    • Cult Noise interviewed Cassie Whitt about her defense of music fangirls. "You should never [be] afraid to be passionate about something. In fact, you should see your ability to do so as a strength most people don’t have. Love music in a way that makes sense to you, and as long as it’s not hurting anyone or yourself, what other people think about it doesn’t matter. And if you’re ever feeling misunderstood or without an outlet for that, find fan communities. All communities have different vibes: some of them will be good, others will suck, and others have the potential to become like a second family."

    Did you use fanfic to prep for college admissions? Are you taking courses about fanworks? Write about fandom and academia 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: Doing it New School

    By thatwasjustadream on Sunday, 17 May 2015 - 6:11pm
    Message type:

    curved lines drawn in purple, maroon, orange and yellow over a white background with shades of purple, tan and red filling the spaces between them and the word OTW Fannews Doing it New School written through the right hand side of the graphic

    • DNAInfo reported on workshops that use Sci-Fi, Fan Fiction to Teach Girls STEM and Writing Skills. "'A lot of the series that are popular today, like ‘Hunger Games’ or ‘Divergent,’ feature white characters...We think it’s really important to expose girls to visions of the future that have girls that look like them in leading roles doing the changing.' The project’s namesake, author Octavia E. Butler, inspired the founders to use science fiction as a way to talk about broader issues in social activism, gender, class and race. 'She looked at society through a real critical lens and didn’t sugarcoat anything...It blew me away because I never saw how sci-fi could be used to make me think of history and my own role.'”
    • Olin College professor Allen Downey had some of his students post a Bayesian Survival Analysis in A Song of Ice and Fire on his blog. "Using data from A Wiki of Ice and Fire, we created a dataset of all 916 characters that appeared in the books so far. For every character, we know what chapter and book they first appeared, if they are male or female, if they are part of the nobility or not, what major house they are loyal to, and, if applicable, the chapter and book of their death. We used this data to predict which characters will survive the next couple books."
    • MediaCommons is an academic site that hosts discussion on both courses, research and discussion surrounding reading, writing, and literature. Among the topics is fan fiction, such as this post by Charles Dunbar about learning to write outside one's comfort zone. "I had found the old notebook in which all those stories Colleen had been written into were hastily stuffed, and after reading them over, decided I had done a grave disservice to the character. Yes she was a fan-fiction creation, but she was also part of my writer’s experience, and as such I felt she deserved something more than the role of hostage-girlfriend...So I picked up a pen and began to write. But before I did, I decided to make one little change: rather than approach Colleen as the main character’s girlfriend…I made her the main character."

    Where have you seen appearances of fanworks in academia? 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.

  • Transformative Works and Cultures Releases Issue No. 18

    By Janita Burgess on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 - 4:38pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine

    Transformative Works and Cultures, issue number 18, “Performance and Performativity in Fandom,” guest edited by Lucy Bennett (Cardiff University) and Paul J. Booth (DePaul University), has been released. This special issue focuses on performance as it relates to fandom and comprises scholarly research articles, personal essays, interviews, and book reviews.

    As the editors write in their editorial, “We want to problematize this notion of fandom as a particular behavior and instead note the characteristics of being that permeate a fannish identity” (1.3). Accordingly, the contributions focus on fannish artworks and contributions as a form of performance, including an analysis of a Facebook group of fans of 19th-century British literature who post images of fictional constructions in the act of reading (Dawn Opel); a study of identity via fannish tattoos, with this sort of performance linked to sacred experience (Bethan Jones); and a discussion of Harry Potter slash disseminated within LiveJournal communities as a form of performance (Darlene Rose Hampton).

    Other articles address performativity through topics including language learners and Na’vi (Christine Schreyer), Doctor Who–themed weddings (Jessica Elizabeth Johnston), horror film audience reaction movie trailers (Alexander Swanson), and Sims fandom on Tumblr (Ruth A. Deller). Abigail De Kosnik links performance studies to new media studies, with a particular focus on fandom.

    Cosplay, an overt form of performativity, is directly addressed in several contributions: Ellen Kirkpatrick addresses cosplay and the superhero genre, Nicolle Lamerichs writes about cosplay music videos, and Shelby Fawn, in a personal essay, relates cosplay to her personal growth. Relatedly, Brendan Riley writes about zombie walks.

    Interviews are with Kurt Lancaster, an early scholar of performance in fan studies, and Joy DeLyria and Kris Hambrick, the cofounders of Hello Earth Productions, a theater company that produces outdoor (re)performances of classic Star Trek episodes.


    Transformative Works and Cultures, is part of the Organization for Transformative Works, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We exist entirely due to the generosity of our donors. If you would like our work to continue, please consider donating today.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Texts

    By Pip Janssen on Sunday, 8 March 2015 - 4:48pm
    Message type:

    sunset over hills with text saying Fandom Texts

    • At The Conversation, Hannah McCann discussed studying fans of popular culture. "Researchers in the field of romance studies have argued that criticism of the genre often involves patronising female readers. Similar levels of critical concern are rarely turned on texts marketed to male audiences, or those seen as part of high culture. Studying romance fans themselves has been a way to recover the agency of female readers, in part by seeing female fans as active meaning-makers."
    • Media scholar Henry Jenkins and Patrick Galbraith held a conversation on Jenkins' blog In Defense of Moe. "These are people who actively seek alternatives to expectations of men, which is to say assigned sex/gender roles, in relationships with fictional characters. This can take the form of 'marriage' to a fictional character, belonging to a community of shared interest around a character, and so on. Manga, anime and games do not necessarily get us out of hegemonic sex/gender roles, as we have seen from Gamer Gate, but some certainly see that potential. Again, there is Honda Tōru, who argues for a 'moe masculinity' that embraces both the masculine and feminine sides of one’s self, which can be nurtured and accessed in interactions with fictional characters outside of the expectations of society."
    • Syracuse.com wrote about a class on Dr. Who. "More than 200 people (about half SU students, half non-students) enrolled in the live class on the SU campus. About 3,000 people registered for the online class, meaning they can follow the lectures at home, watch the screenings and participate in the class discussions via Twitter and Google+. Rotolo said about 900-1,000 of those online students participate actively."
    • At Edge, Mary Sheehan argued for the significance of One Direction fandom for queer culture. "When both partners are the same gender, both partners have equal power. Young people seeking portrayals of open, equal relationships in media can identify with Larry Stylinson and these kinds of LGBTQIA ships. '[Larry Shippers’] actions are laden with the complexities of our current social climate. They formed a community and collective identity to solve their fears alongside those for the world around them.'"

    What are some of your favorite articles or studies about 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Running the Gamut

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 30 January 2015 - 5:11pm
    Message type:

    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
    Message type:

    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
    Message type:

    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.

Pages

Subscribe to Academia