OTW Fannews: Studying Fandom

Person looking through microscope with text reading OTW Fannews Studying Fandom

  • The International Business Times was one of many outlets that wrote about a college course on Game of Thrones. “The students also take turns to lead classroom discussions, which touch on diverse topics including racialism, fanfiction, gender roles and power, identity formation, incest, cultural allegory and, of course, good, evil and the grey area in between. For their final assignment, students will create their own addition to the Game of Thrones saga.”
  • A PhD candidate created a website to share her research on fanfiction and is looking for comments. “The Fandom Then/Now project presents research conducted in 2008 and uses it to facilitate conversations about fan fiction’s past and future. What do you notice in the data from 2008? What do you think about the intersections between fan fiction and romantic storytelling? Now, in 2014, what has and hasn’t changed about fans’ reading and writing practices?”
  • The Washington Post wanted to know why female fans scream. “‘When men cry at a sports event, it’s very similar’ to the screaming that takes place at a One Direction concert, says author Rachel Simmons. ‘It wouldn’t be okay for men to do that anywhere else. But the sporting event sanctions that behavior.’ Simmons is the author of ‘The Curse of the Good Girl,’ a book in which she argues that young women are unfairly asked to squeeze into an impossible mold of politeness and modesty. Simmons says a concert is a unique event that gives girls the rare opportunity to break out of those roles. ‘In their day-to-day, non-concert-going lives, girls don’t have a lot of permission to scream,’ she says. ‘A concert offers an oasis from the daily rules about being good girls. Screaming is about letting go and leaving the confines of being the self-conscious pleaser.'”
  • Comics Beat cited a recent study which showed that younger congoers are evenly split between males and females, with a skew toward men among older congoers. “I can’t wait to see the comments talking about how this survey isn’t as valid as something some comcis publishers did 40 years ago, or these fans don’t actually BUY things or they don’t really READ comics and blah blah blah. The truth is: the world is changing and this time it’s for the better.” Indeed, for yet another year different media outlets continue to rediscover that fans aren’t all male.

What fandom studies have grabbed you? 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.