OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Brianna Dym

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

Brianna Dym is an information science PhD student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she works in the Internet Rules Lab (IRL) with Dr. Casey Fiesler. She investigates norms in online communities and ways in which different minority groups carve out spaces for themselves online, in addition to researching how vulnerable users might empower themselves through existing technology platforms. Today, Brianna talks about her recent article in Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) that was co-authored with Casey Fiesler.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

When I was a young teenager, a friend mentioned the website and I got curious enough to go check it out for myself. I spent a lot of time reading, since I was quiet and shy, and I could never find books that had the kinds of characters I wanted to read about, such as queer women like myself. Read More

OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Rebecca Black & Jonathan Alexander

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

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

How did you first find out about fandom or fanworks?

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

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Judith Fathallah

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

Judith Fathallah is presently a postdoctoral researcher at Solent University. Her first book was Fanfiction and the Author and she is currently working on a second book, provisionally titled The Genre Fandom Shaped: Emo, New Media and Genre. Today, Judith talks about her article in Transformative Works and Cultures.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

In 2002 I was fourteen. My family had recently gotten dial-up internet at home. I was allowed about an hour a day online which I mostly used for AOL messenger and MySpace. Through MySpace I discovered some of the bands which are still my favourites to this day, and started to find community around them with likeminded teens – even including a couple who went to my school!

I was quite an unhappy teenager and found MySpace a huge help in meaningful socialization. But I probably discovered Fanfiction.net from Googling things to do with Lord of the Rings, which I was then obsessed with. It absolutely blew my mind, because like a lot of us, I’d been writing fanfiction since I was six or seven, without realizing it had a name or that anyone apart from me did it. (Except for when I managed to persuade my older brother to produce for me more stories featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. Which he never finished, incidentally.) Read More