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This Week in Fandom, Volume 23

Rubin Richardson wrote an article for New York Amsterdam News about Flame Com 2, the LGBT+ comic and fan convention held in New York on August 19th and 20th. The article celebrated the humour and positivity found in contemporary LGBT+ media. “Growing up, many, if not all, LGBT stories I heard were those of tragedies,” says Richardson. Amidst a 2016 rife with media producers burying their gays, Flame Con 2 panelists talked about “the question as to the need for humor in LGBTQ comics,” saying “[for some] it was simply their writing style, whereas others drew a deeper connection. For many people, life can be hard, especially for those growing up in the LGBTQ community, and humor is something many of us as people use as a coping mechanism to deal with hardships.”


In other news, it’s time for some surveys! Two academics studying fandom are soliciting responses for their research.

Elliot Director is a a doctoral candidate in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University. Their dissertation focuses on fan fiction, and specifically the way that fans and authors engage with each other, and the impact of that engagement on both the texts that are written and the members of fan communities themselves. The research is being completed under the supervision of Dr. Susana Peña. They are asking participants to complete a survey that will take roughly 30 minutes. The survey asks some basic demographic questions for discussion of the diversity of fanfiction communities (participants may skip questions), and also prompts respondents to discuss their experience with reading, writing, and responding to different kinds of fanfiction, as well as their expectations around feedback.

Kimberly Lynn Workman is a Masters student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their dissertation focuses on fanvidders’ engagement in fandom as a result of their fanvids, the vidders’ interactions with media owners, the extent to which vidders align their identities with the media they are vidding, and what reactionary steps vidders take when identification with media goes astray. The research is being completed under the supervision of Dr. Debashis Aikat. They are asking participants to complete a survey that will take 10-15 minutes. The survey asks some basic demographic questions (participants may skip questions), and also asks respondents about their experiences with fandom and vidding.


To wrap up, Tanya Kini wrote an article for First Sports about Sports RPF fandom. “The fandoms provide a place for women sports fans to gather and share their fantasies, a tiny online ‘fam’, or family, forged away from the general dismissal we often experience as female sports fans.” The article focuses on fanfiction and the preferences and norms of the fandom, with Kini saying “I haven’t yet figured out why women don’t feature as often in my particular sub-fandoms, either as central characters or main romantic interests, but I know this isn’t true of other fandoms, like women’s footbal.”

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