OTW Guest Post

Guest Post: Sara Austin

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.

Sara Austin is a PhD candidate at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on intersections of identity in children’s literature and culture. Today, Sarah talks about a recent article she wrote for Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) titled Valuing queer identity in Monster High doll fandom

What first brought your attention to the Monster High doll fandom?

My daughter did, actually. She came home from preschool a few years ago talking about these dolls and how we had to get them. Thirty dolls, five movies, and countless webisodes later, it is safe to say that we are both fans. I was surprised that the show embraced the sexuality of its characters and treated it seriously and in discreet ways, such as acknowledging crushes or incorporating nods to the Twilight series. When my daughter wanted to be a Monster High character for Halloween, we looked up cosplay and makeup tips and just stumbled onto the fan sites. From there I started reading fanfiction and message boards to understand how active and diverse the fandom is.

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Open Doors Celebration Panel Transcript

If you missed any of our posts spotlighting our Open Doors project, check out our Five Things post with Open Doors volunteer Alison Watson, and our Guest Post with archivist Versaphile.

Below is the transcript of the panel chat held on September 18th which concludes our celebration. A special thanks to all Open Doors volunteers, past and present, who have worked to preserve fanworks and have contributed so much to the OTW’s mission. They have already announced two new archive imports this month and there will be more on the way!

If you are interested in donating your physical format fanwork collections or other fan-related materials (whether right now or in the future), contact Open Doors. And if you have an account at AO3, consider creating a Fannish Next of Kin.

This transcript has been edited for clarity and to omit recurring announcements, and arrivals and departures in the room.
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Transformative Works and Cultures releases Issue 22

TWC has released No. 22, a general issue. This quite large issue contains essays on fandoms including:

  • Classic Star Trek and K/S
  • Anime music video
  • Once Upon a Time and Swan Queen fandom
  • Star Wars Card Trader
  • BBC’s Sherlock
  • Monster High doll fandom
  • Brony fandom

Other topics include Hillary Clinton, early film fans, video game series and fan art, and theme parks.

The next two issues of TWC, Nos. 23 and 24, will appear in spring 2017 as guest-edited special issues: Roberta Pearson and Betsy Rosenblatt coedit a special issue on Sherlock Holmes Fandom, Sherlockiana, and the Great Game, and Julie Levin Russo and Eve Ng’s special issue focuses on Queer Female Fandom.

TWC has a call for papers out for a 2018 issue on Social TV Fandom and the Media Industries. Papers are due by March 17, 2017. In addition, submissions are due for TWC’s unthemed 2017 issue by January 1, 2017. We particularly invite fans to submit Symposium articles.