Fannish Practices

  • Contribute to Fanworks Taught Me

    By Sarah Remy on Wednesday, 2 September 2015 - 4:08pm
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    red and white banner, two people speaking, OTW in both word bubbles

    In July, the OTW joined with The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) and fans from around the world to promote their Fan Works Are Fair Use (FWAFU) campaign. Part of the OTW's mission since its founding has been to support transformative works that manifest as fanfiction, fanart, fan films, discussion communities, cosplay and other forms of fannish creativity. With the HPA, we are working to build a community of 5,000 fans and fan creators interested in protecting all types of fan-made works.

    The campaign has launched with a celebration of fanworks on social media. Using #FanWorksTaughtMe, fans are discussing the different skills, perspectives, and communities they have gained from fanworks that they love. Contributions span from tweets to videos and are shedding light on how fans use fanworks to build their confidence, refine their skills, explore issues like race and gender, understand the perspectives of others, and more.

    Several artists and fan creators are already celebrating fanworks through the campaign. Sleepy Hollow’s Orlando Jones has signed on as a spokesperson for the campaign, along with FictionAlley co-founder/original OTW Legal Committee member Heidi Tandy, wizard rockers Harry and the Potters, YouTubers Kristina Horner and Lauren Fairweather, and novelist Naomi Novik, one of the OTW's founders.

    Fandom is not a passive experience. Today, fan creators actively help to bring in new fans and add to new energy that benefits the source material and its creators. The FWAFU coalition believes that this culture is worth celebrating and protecting. If you’ve ever enjoyed a piece of fan work, you probably do, too. Visit fanworksarefairuse.org to join the community and add your voice to the celebration using the hashtag #FanWorksTaughtMe.

    Fan Works Are Fair Use grew from the fact that, under US copyright law, it is fair to use copyrighted material for certain uses, including commenting on the original, which is usually the purpose or inspiration behind fanworks. Fan Works Are Fair Use and the #FanworksTaughtMe hashtag inform fans of their right to be creative, and support changes to US copyright law that protect original content creators as well as fan creators who produce beloved parodies, homages, and works of art honoring the source material.

  • Events Calendar for September 2015

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on Tuesday, 1 September 2015 - 3:39pm
    Message type:

    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 September! 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 Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • If you're a Star Wars collector, mark your calendars. If you're Star Wars weary, you may want to avoid toy retailers on September 4, which Disney, Lucasfilm, and other Star Wars merchandisers are calling Force Friday, the day Star Wars: The Force Awakens tie-in materials officially go on sale.
    • FandomVerse Expo is a three-day multi-fandom convention. Its goal is to enlighten, inform, and entertain attendees while celebrating all areas of fandom: anime, comics, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, gaming, costuming, and more. It's September 4-6 in Lancaster, California, United States.
    • Gleekon 2015 is the first unofficial Glee convention hosted in Italy. The three-day event, September 4-6 in Milan, includes meet-and-greets with the guests, Q&A panels, individual and group photo opportunities, and autograph sessions. Dot Marie Jones is a special guest.
    • It's the first annual Scifi Wales convention, being held in the seaside town of Llandudno, Wales, United Kingdom, on September 5. Special guests include Caitlin Blackwood (Doctor Who), Virginia Hey (Farscape), Brian Wheeler (Star Wars and Harry Potter), and John Challis (Doctor Who). Attendees can also learn to make 3D paper toys with "Jedi Paper Master" Ryan Hall.

    • The goal of Alamo City Comic Con is "to celebrate the artists who provide entertainment to the public via comics, movies, TV, gaming, and cosplay." This year's special guests include John Noble, Edward James Olmos, Ron Perlman, and Manu Bennett. Photo ops will be available, and the event, September 11-13 in San Antonio, Texas, United States, will include a costume contest.
    • Shocka-Con 4, a horror/scifi convention, will feature Rose Siggins and Drew Rin Varick from American Horror Story; Bai Ling (The Crow, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow); and Jeryl Prescott from The Walking Dead. The event is September 18-20 in Charleston, West Virginia, United States.
    • Hobbit Day! September 22 is the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and it was officially declared a holiday by the American Tolkien Society in 1978.

    • Submit drafts for the Captain America/Iron Man Big Bang by September 23. Stories should focus on the relationship between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark (in any setting or continuity you can think of). Artist claims will be based on fic summaries, which will be made available beginning September 24. Minimum final word count for stories is 25,000, and final fics are due November 1. Authors are required to post their own works to an Archive of Our Own collection.
    • FACTS (Fantasy Anime Comics Toys Space), September 26-27 in Ghent, Belgium, is a forum for all fans of the “fantastic genre." Guests include Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) and Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who, The Hobbit) and a wide variety of international and local artists. Highlights include a game zone and a fan village.
    • The annual conference of the Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association, MPCA in Cincinnati will feature presentations on topics including fandom studies, gender studies, writing and rhetoric in popular culture, and more. It's October 1-4 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • Going Viral: The Changing Faces of (Inter)Media Culture. As the practice of sharing texts, images, and videos online provokes and multiplies reactions on a global scale, it can be defined as contagious—enabling any possible content to “go viral.” The 2015 fall issue of Frames will explore the palpable effects of this "contagiousness" on media culture. Topics may include but are not limited to the influence of New Media on low budget / no budget filmmaking and studio advertising strategies; piracy and copyright issues; and online film reception and its influence on fan culture. In addition to articles, video submissions are welcome. All submissions should be sent by September 14.
    • Fanfiction in Medieval Studies, a Panel at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. Over the past three decades, there has been increasing interest in both Fan Studies and Medieval Studies in the relationship between medieval literary culture and fanfiction (that is, popular, "unofficial," fan-generated fiction writing that participates in a pre-existing fictional "universe" and uses its characters). This session invites papers that reflect on points of analogy between fanfiction and medieval literatures. Abstracts of 300 words or less and a Participation Information Form are due September 15.
    • An Edited Collection on the Work of Joni Mitchell. Joni Mitchell is widely recognised as an innovative, influential, much-loved, and much-imitated artist. From her debut album Song to a Seagull to her most recent Shine, Mitchell’s music--her tunings, her lyrics, her scope--has drawn critical and popular acclaim. And yet, scholarly attention to her work has been relatively limited. This edited collection will attend to Mitchell as a figure worthy of sustained critical thought and appreciation, with a major publisher having already expressed interest. Please send 350- to 500-word chapter proposals by September 30.
    • Fan Culture and Theory, Popular Culture Association National Conference. The Popular Culture Association National Conference takes place March 21-25 in Seattle, Washington. Proposals for both panels and individual papers are now being accepted for all aspects of Fan Culture and Theory, including, but not limited to, the following areas: Fan Fiction; Fan/Creator interactions; Race, Gender and Sexuality in Fandom; Music Fandom; and Reality Television Fandom. Submit abstracts of 100-250 words with relevant audio/visual requests online by October 1. Graduate students are encouraged to submit proposals.

    Help out a researcher!

    This month we have received a request for research participation from Silja Kukka at University of Oulu, Finland. As part of her research for her PhD, she is studying kink meme communities under the oversight of Dr. Kuisma Korhonen.

    The purpose of this research is to study kink meme communities and their place in the larger context of pornography and contemporary porn studies, and to study the role that slash fiction plays in the development of humans' sexual identity.

    Note that survey participants must be at least 18 years of age. You can find the survey online.

    Contact information is kinkmeme [dot] survey [at] gmail [dot] com and kuisma [dot] korhonen [at] oulu [dot] fi.

    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!

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Tourism

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 2 August 2015 - 3:01pm
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    Banner by Alice of a road sign reading OTW Fannews: Fandom Tourism and a dotted path from a compass to an X

    • Media outlets have been engaged in 'fandom tourism' articles for some time. Although there are fewer articles these days demonstrating surprise that fandom or fanworks exist, there are still a number of fandom profiles that either serve to stoke fandom nostalgia by pointing out activity surrounding a particular canon, or by demonstrating surprise that works exist in a specific fandom. Some recent examples were run in Jezebel, Flavorwire, and The New York Times.
    • While the spate of fandom tourism articles may have been inspired by San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), other articles involved SDCC directly. In a post at Belief Net, Nell Minow discussed her participation in the San Diego Comic Con panel Fandom: The Next Generation. "We all dream of sharing our passions with our children. But it is important to be careful about it. Everyone on the panel had a story about sharing the wrong movie — or the right movie too soon — with a child who got upset, and feeling that we had 'flunked parenting.' Young children will say what they think you want to hear and if it seems too important to you, they will tell you they like something when they really do not."
    • NPR talked with screenwriter Nicole Perlman, who discussed her excitement at seeing fans of her next project. "Perlman says she got very excited the first time she saw someone dressed up as her new project, Captain Marvel. 'She looked fantastic, so I completely accosted her and I kind of whispered it shyly, 'I'm writing the movie, take a picture with me please!'"
    • Polygon contrasted the approaches of Marvel and Warner Bros when fans promoted their new projects. "When trailers leaked from Comic Con, because studios show things to huge halls of people who are all carrying recording equipment and still think they can control the footage, the response from Warner Bros. was, to put it mildly, messed up." Writer Ben Kuchera concluded, "The reaction to the Suicide Squad footage was mostly positive; this was a great thing for Warner Bros. until they had to stomp in and make sure we knew they didn't approve of the way we were excited about their product and everyone needs to cut it out at once or they'll turn this movie right around and drive home."

    What articles could your write about your fandoms? Don't wait! Post them to 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 Legal Staffers Participate in SDCC "Fandom is My Fandom" Panel

    By Janita Burgess on Friday, 24 July 2015 - 5:18pm
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    SDCC Fandom is My Fandom panelists.

    At this year's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt participated in the Fandom is My Fandom panel, moderated by Legal's Heidi Tandy.

    Betsy and Heidi were joined by Amanda Brennan (Community and Content Tumblarian), Flourish Klink (Chaotic Good, Inc., Transmedia Producer for East Los High), Meredith Levine (Fanthropologist, ZEFR), Aron Levitz (Head of Business Development, WattPad), Elizabeth Minkel (Writer, New Statesman/The Millions), and Missyjack (aka Jules) (Founder, Supernatural Wiki).

    A video of the panel is now available for public viewing.

    The panel discussed how fandom has changed now that fanworks are in the spotlight on social media and mainstream news and are being acknowledged by the companies that create and distribute source material. The panelists reflected on how advances in technology and improved understanding in copyright law, particularly in the area of fair use, have increased fandom's public reach and placed fanworks into the public consciousness.

    Panelists noted that fandom is even inspiring developments in law: in 2013, Holmesian scholar Leslie Klinger and author Laurie R. King received a "cease and desist" letter from the Conan Doyle Estate, ahead of the publication of their second anthology of stories inspired by the Holmes canon. Klinger successfully sued the Estate, claiming the copyright had expired on all of the story elements included in the anthology. Because of Klinger, all but the last ten Holmes stories are now officially part of the public domain, allowing fanfiction authors to publish and even sell works based on the majority of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.

    Many fanwork creators prefer to stay non-commercial, though, whether to be better able connect directly with their audience; to use fanworks as a "training ground" for skills that can be used professionally; to avoid legal risks; or simply because they prefer to participate in a gift and generosity based economy and community.

    The panel pointed out that the companies behind commercial works are increasingly interested in fandom and fanworks, sometimes even offering fanwork contests. Because of this, many fanwork creators no longer feel the need to hide their work from "the powers that be" and can enjoy participating in these contests, provided that they are able choose what and when to share. Companies may use these contests both as a way to reward fans for their enthusiasm and as an additional source of metrics to gauge consumer engagement. The panel suggested that, while fans often appreciate nods to fanwork in their favourite source material (e.g. Supernatural meta episodes, characters referring to tumblr, etc.), they also want space to engage in fandoms without needing acknowledgement or approval from creators of source material.

    The increased visibility of fanwork has allowed mainstream creators to acknowledge their fannish pasts. As fanwork becomes better understood by people outside of the fandom community, we hope that stigma will decrease, and that the myriad forms of fannish engagement and creation will be met with the appreciation and respect they have always deserved.

  • OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 9 July 2015 - 3:30pm
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    Banner by Kat of multiple typewriters with the sheet in one reading 'OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic'

    • An article in The Telegraph discussed how fan speculation in sports fandom is a form of fanfic. "At the heart of fan fiction’s appeal is a sort of wish fulfilment: a subtle remaking of the world in which one’s wildest fantasies can gush uncontrollably to the surface. And while a good deal of fan fiction is sexual in nature, much of it is just quite sweet: charming teenage reveries that begin with a single pleasant idea – 'wouldn’t it be nice if'...In a fortnight's time we see the opening of the transfer window, and yet despite the two being ostensibly unrelated, it strikes me that there are certain similarities between the millions of stories that teenage girls tell each other on Tumblr, and the millions of stories that football will tell itself over the next three months. For the reopening of the summer window marks the ceremonial point at which football subtly shifts in character: from a real game played on the pitch, to a fantasy enacted largely in the imagination."
    • Salon discussed the focus on women in the new season of Halt and Catch Fire. "This season...has an exuberance the first season struggled to reach, and it’s because of a storytelling device that has more popularity in fan fiction archives than Hollywood studios: the gender swap. It’s a thought experiment that pops up in fervent fandoms, ones that are also eagerly reimagining beloved characters in different settings or with new adventures...As with so many elements of fandom, it’s casually subversive—a re-creation that grapples with the social construction of gender and imagines its infinite fluidity. And as with so many elements of fandom, it is a long-standing tradition—one that Shakespeare made regular use of in his plays, which itself was a commentary on the fact that all the female roles were played by men."
    • A guest post in The Japan News explained cover dancing which "is a fun activity in which teams of dancers emulate the moves of Japanese or South Korean idols as they dance to the original music. Spectators cheer for them as if they were the real deal. While cover dancing is gaining more and more fans in Japan, I’ve often met fans in Thailand, Hong Kong and nearby areas, as well as in the United States and Latin America. I think cover dancing is similar to fan fiction for anime and manga in dojin culture, in which fans create their own works using popular manga and anime characters."
    • An article at The Guardian discussed academic analyses of fan activities on Frozen. "Fan responses have boomed on the internet and given rise to myriad readings. In fact, academia now lags behind fans when it comes to subjecting popular culture to intense analysis. The online debate about, say, Mad Men could sustain a conference for weeks. 'Fan studies talks about how carefully and critically audiences discuss texts...The internet has made fan responses so much more mainstream and accessible.' In the past, she says, you would need to do focus groups to yield similar information. 'I think the way in which it’s been really popular with traditionally marginalised communities is specific to Elsa’s characterisation...It can resonate with people who have been ostracised or stigmatised.'”

    What things have you seen compared to fanfiction? 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!

  • OTW Fannews: Fannish Psychology

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 5 July 2015 - 4:44pm
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    Banner by Alice of the side of a face with the title OTW Fannews: Fannish Psychology

    • An article at the Huffington Post explored the appeal of some canon relationships. "According to DeFife, this strong desire we feel for an onscreen couple to get together is rooted in a psychological phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik Effect. 'It was named after a psychologist who observed waiters in restaurants who would not write down their orders for a table...She found that they had memory for the order only as long as it wasn't filled, and then once it was filled that memory for the order went away.' The phenomenon now refers to the notion that an unsolved problem remains cognitively alive. Unresolved romantic chemistry in TV shows and books, DeFife says, falls neatly into this category.
    • An interview in The Independent with author Lucy Saxon revealed her health's role in fanfic. "It was thought likely that glandular fever had triggered the CFS, and doctors initially thought it would clear within a year. But as time went on it became apparent this was a condition that would be with Saxon for life...she recalled how much she had enjoyed creative writing at primary school...'I had been reading a lot of Harry Potter fan fiction, I was off school a lot, and had a lot of time on my hands...I wrote fan fiction for a good two years and alongside that I started to write original stuff.'"
    • A Boing Boing post linked to I Ship It, a short film by Yulin Kuang. The work "follows a young singer named Zoe Smallman (Mary Kate Wiles of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries fame) who recovers from a breakup by turning to Harry Potter-themed 'Wizard Rock.' It’s a charming story that shows off Kuang’s visual flare, which is clearly influenced by the likes of Wes Anderson and Edgar Wright but still feels unique. And Kuang's interest in online spaces—both as a distribution platform and as subject matter—could very well place her at the forefront of an upcoming trend in filmaking."
    • An interview in Concordiensis with the writer of a fanfic inspired play asked about the motivation for the plot. "The play starts off with Eddie who, after a run in with an ultra fan, Catherine (who is also a prolific fanfiction writer) is inspired by her slash fanfiction of The Gargoyle and the Sparrow, to try to become famous again. In an effort to reclaim his fame, Eddie seeks out Frank and convinces him to pretend to be married and basically reenact Catherine’s fanfiction to cater to their fan base." The playwright explained "[F]rom Catherine’s angle, I related to her because we are both amateur writers. Plus, identity politics has always fascinated me. Like how people love categorizing you, and how that kind of clashes with how you identify yourself. And I thought superheroes served as a great gateway to that theme because they are able to hide themselves behind a fake persona that is always under the scrutiny of the public, making it easy for them to escape their true identities."

    What meta and articles have you seen exploring fannish identities and psychology? Write about those events 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.

  • SDCC 'Fandom Is My Fandom' Panel

    By Janita Burgess on Friday, 26 June 2015 - 4:58pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    Those of you lucky enough to be attending this year's San Diego Comic Con have the opportunity to see OTW Legal chair Betsy Rosenblatt and Legal staffer Heidi Tandy on the 'Fandom Is My Fandom' panel on Thursday, 9 July at 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Room 14A.

    Heidi will be moderating. Panelists include:

    What's the panel about?

    '“Fandom” isn’t just one thing these days, and it never was. But now that fans - and their creativity, content and consumption - are something for media companies to understand, PR people to focus on, social media to thrive on and news organizations to report about - what happens to the “traditional” fan community and the fanboys and fangirls that create the culture and content? Are follow-on works like fanart, vids and fanfic to be mocked, tracked, supported, enjoyed within an organic community, or considered a stepping-stone to a creative career? What if the answer is “sometimes one, sometimes all, and sometimes something else”? We’ll look for answers and information from deep inside popular fandoms, the media companies that work with them and the sites that host them.'

    For more information, visit the SDCC webpage!

  • Events Calendar for June 2015

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on Monday, 1 June 2015 - 1:26pm
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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 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 Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Signups began May 15 for the Kurt Hummel Big Bang 2015, focusing on the Glee character. Finished fics must be at least 15,000 words long, and any ships and fic types are welcome as long as warnings and ratings are indicated. Author signups close June 15, and artist claims open August 26, with posting beginning October 20.
    • Signups are going on now for the 2015 Wincest Big Bang, which celebrates "the epic love of Sam and Dean" from Supernatural. Written works should be at least 10,000 words (for the "big bang" category) and 5,000 (for the "mini-bang"). Artists, authors, betas, cheerleaders, and pinch hitters are all needed. Author signups close on June 27, and artist claims begin July 19. Participants must be at least age 18.
    • The New York Tolkien Conference is a free conference for fans and scholars of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Mythlore editor Janet Brennan Croft and John DiBartolo of the Lonely Mountain Band are the guests of honor, and there will be paper presentations on a variety of topics related to Tolkien. The event is June 13 in New York City. While admission is free, registration is required for campus security to allow access to the conference facilities.
    • Capital Con DC, June 19-21 in Washington, D.C., is a "convention that wants to promote and foster growth in the science fiction and fantasy genres." Sci-Fi Photo Guys will be on hand with a green screen, custom backgrounds, and digital editing to let guests pose for their dream photos. Special events include a formal ball Friday evening and "crossplay pageant." Guests include actor Doug Jones (Hellboy), author Sherrilyn Kenyon, and illustrator Leanne Hannah.
    • Mississippi Comic Con is a two-day event that will bring together a diverse list of guests, vendors, artists, and fan groups, in an affordable, family-friendly environment. Guests include costumer Kristen Hughey, actor and comedian David Della Rocco (Boondock Saints), James C. Leary (Clem from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and anime voice actor Trina Nishimura. The con is June 27-28 in Jackson, Mississippi, United States.
    • For three years the Fan Studies Network has provided an enthusiastic and welcoming space for academics in all stages of study interested in fans and fandom to connect, share resources, and develop their research ideas. Following the success of their first two conferences, they're announcing a third annual event: FSN2015: The Fan Studies Network Conference, taking place June 27-28 in Norwich, England, United Kingdom. Participate in the discussion on Twitter by following hashtag #FSN2015.

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The UK publisher Intellect is now seeking chapters for the next edition in its Fan Phenomena book series. Fan Phenomena: The Twilight Saga will be an edited collection of essays about the forces that contributed to the global popularity and commercial success of the books, films, and graphic novels of The Twilight Saga. Chapters will explore Twilight’s unique appeal to fans as well as its impact on people, literature, film, music, television, and social issues. Abstracts and author biographies are due June 15; final papers, October 1.
    • Exploring Imaginary Worlds: Audiences, Fan Cultures and Geographies of the Imagination, a special section of Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, invites contributions that focus on the various ways in which audiences explore, interpret, and respond to imaginary worlds. They are interested in articles that engage with audiences as opposed to speculative accounts or textual analyses--research that maps specific communities and their rich relationships with world-building. The deadline for abstracts of 300 words is June 26, and notifications of acceptance will be sent out the week of July 6.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Doing it New School

    By thatwasjustadream on Sunday, 17 May 2015 - 6:11pm
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    • 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Doing Your Part

    By Kelly Ribeiro on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 - 4:49pm
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    Doing Your Part

    • NPR was among some reporting on a new Russian policy that began banning some memes. "In effect it really bans all memes using celebrities. Insofar as the language of this announcement, which was posted on VKontakte (ph) - which is the Russian equivalent of Facebook - they said that any images that use famous people's identities, or images, they're against the law if they take that image out of context of that person's reputation." However, "this decision is totally unenforceable. The entire point is not to purge the Internet of bad things. It's to make people online afraid of getting in trouble."
    • The New York Times warned that Net Neutrality progress in the U.S. didn't mean that it wasn't under threat elsewhere. "Last month, the European Council...adopted a proposal that would allow telecommunications companies to charge Internet businesses like Netflix and Google fees to deliver their videos and other content to users faster than could smaller companies that cannot afford to pay for preferential treatment. In India, the country’s telecommunications regulator asked for comments on whether it should adopt a provision similar to what Europe is considering. The regulator also asked if telecom companies should be able to charge users extra fees for services like YouTube, WhatsApp and Skype on top of the fees people already pay for access to the Internet."
    • The OTW has petitioned for a renewal of a DMCA exemption for fan video makers. Our Legal team has been asking that fans write in about their need for high quality source from sources that are only available on Blu-Ray; or sources from places like iTunes or Amazon when that's necessary to make a timely vid to participate in an ongoing fannish conversation. OTW Staffers will be testifying before the Copyright Office at the end of May to extend their rights to break encryption to Blu-Ray, as well as maintain them for DVD and streaming sources.

    What efforts have you seen fans making to oppose restrictive laws? 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.

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