April Membership Drive: Spotlight on Fanhackers

Do you geek out over academic and wider media discussions about fandom? You might just be a fanhacker!

Fanhackers is one of the OTW’s most recent projects, launched last year on Tumblr and WordPress. Its goal is to connect useful research on fans, academic or otherwise, with people who want to hear about it. Right now they’re focusing on bringing fan studies scholarship closer to fans themselves, through reblogging links and quotes of interest.

The OTW’s commitment to the fascinating world of fan and media studies doesn’t stop with publishing and fostering academia. The Fanhackers team also wants to promote closer dialogue between acafans (fans who are also scholars) and fandom at large, actively promoting academic work in fannish circles and also making sure acafans know about the great meta and resources that fans make about themselves. Fans often haven’t had the chance to discover the brilliant academic work done on the communities and source materials they love, and Fanhackers is happy to connect them to excellent research that deserves more love!

Fanhackers’ Tumblr presence focuses on snapshot-quotes from exciting new and classic fan and media studies. Tumblr’s quote-friendly culture has turned out to be the perfect way to broadcast this research to a wider, broader audience; it’s been wonderful to see hundreds of followers enjoy and share what has been published. Fanhackers also live-blogged quotes from our recent wonderful Future of Fanworks chats!

Looking at the road ahead, one major project that the Fanhackers staff is working hard on is compiling a comprehensive bibliography of fan studies research. It’s still a work in progress, currently containing about 1,800 items—but they’ll soon start requesting contributions from fans all over the world. The goal is for this to be as complete and invaluable a resource as possible for anyone delving into this field. Fanhackers’ staff hopes to focus especially on gathering links and information on fan studies research across different languages and countries. Right now English-speaking and Japanese scholarship are the most represented, but they’re on the lookout for more contributions! (Feel free to make a Zotero account and join in on the fun!)

This will be another major step towards making better use of existing fan research stuff, primarily by making it more accessible and findable. “We hope it’ll become a great resource for people wanting to find info on fans to quote for use in places that require academic sources,” says chair Nele Noppe. “Like Wikipedia! Or your term paper about doujinshi!”

We have big plans and hopes for this resource, and for Fanhackers at large! Please help us keep fan studies accessible and closer to fandom — donate today!

  1. Tony :) commented:

    I totally dig this! Your site has actually inspired me to pursue academic fan studies more in depth, specifically from an evangelical christian perspective since I don’t know of anyone else who’s doing it yet :)

    • Nele Noppe commented:

      Great to hear that! Good luck. And yeah, I haven’t heard of anyone using that perspective in fan studies yet, so you may be a pioneer there.