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This Week in Fandom, Volume 89

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, did you hear that FictionAlley, the Harry Potter fanworks site, is moving to AO3? This was apparently big enough news that The Daily Dot published an article about it. You can check out the official announcement post for more information.

The Mary Sue recently published a delightful article about coffee shop AU fanfiction. The author, Samantha Puc, is actually a coffee shop employee as well as a writer, and the article talks about both why she (still) enjoys coffee shop AUs: (more…)

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 87

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, have you heard about DC Universe, the new streaming service by DC Entertainment launching this fall? The Lincoln Journal Star recently revealed that the service will include exclusive content, original series, a DC encyclopedia, and more. Let us know in the comments what you think!

People are talking about KCON, the K-pop convention that just took place in New York. The Chosunilbo reports that a record 53,000 fans attended the con, beating last year’s ticket sales by 20 percent. South China Morning Post points to the popularity of BTS as one explanation for the popularity of K-pop and KCON, while Kotaku cites “the shared joy that came from finally getting an outlet to share their passions with like-minded people”. (more…)

OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Agnese Pietrobon

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.

Agnese Pietrobon is an independent scholar in fandom studies with a master’s degree in social psychology and psychology of communication. She is currently president of the cultural association fanheart3, dedicated to fans and fan culture. Today, Agnese talks about her work for fanheart3, Italy’s first fanfiction convention, and her fannish history.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I discovered fandom before I knew what the word fandom meant! When we were kids, me and my friends used to reenact scenes from movies and shows. We loved to try and give them different endings: Star Wars, movies with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill… Then, in high school, my best friend and I used to share a journal where we wrote self-insert stories where our fictional selves met Backstreet Boys (embarrassingly normal for adolescents) and Kevin Spacey (embarrassingly not normal at 15 years old).

It wasn’t until years later that I realized those were fanfictions (and NC-17 rated, too). In my defense, the Internet was still something very, very new at the time, and living in a small town in Italy did not give me access to fanzines or similar media. So being a fan for me mostly meant these things, and collecting pics from magazines, or watching and re-watching VHS while analyzing every expression my favorite characters wore, while sharing all of this with the people I had around.

It was only when I started reading the Harry Potter books, though, that I finally gave a name to the things I was doing: I joined a blog dedicated to this fandom where I could chat to no end with other people about our favorite ships and about my absolute conviction that Snape was Harry’s father. Only 4 books had been published at the time, so we spent a lot of time discussing theories and ideas.