Five Things with Tanya D. Zuk

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Tanya D. Zuk, who volunteers for Transformative Works & Cultures.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As an Assistant Editor for Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC), I help to review incoming scholarship on fans and transformative works by connecting articles with peer reviewers, synthesizing feedback, and maintaining journal standards. But mostly I help to keep track of where articles are in the process of being published. The cool thing about this position is that I can read new scholarship and help elevate marginalized voices in both fandom and academia.

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

Lots and lots of emails. But in all seriousness, it is a lot of reviewing emails and updating the back end of the journal as each article transitions from stage to stage. There really isn’t a typical week as articles are in a variety of stages as reviewers come in and feedback goes out throughout the year. I will say that I’m always learning new things about the position and what it entails.

What made you decide to volunteer?

I’m a huge believer in open-source /open-access in academia and in education more generally. The opportunity to support an organization like OTW that makes things like TWC possible was something I couldn’t pass up. I’m a fan and an academic and TWC is the first journal that focused on fan studies that isn’t behind a paywall. So much of academia and what I do with research is behind paywalls, which can severely limit research, especially for precarious or independent scholars.

What has been your biggest challenge doing work for the OTW?

Networking. A lot of what we do is matching articles to the best peer reviewers for that piece, which requires a lot of networking and recruiting. Networking is still a skill that I’m developing. I think a lot of people struggle with creating networks and I look forward to building up my network of people invested in TWC & OTW.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I’m a hallway cosplayer, I tend to do mash-ups and cosplay of fanart. I’ve done a Steampunk TARDIS (life sized), Leia/Bowie “Rebel, Rebel” mash-up, Hooded Figure walking a corgi from Welcome to Night Vale (fan art), and a gender-swapped Professor X (with a femme Magneto partner). In addition to cosplay at various cons over the years, I am an avid collector of fan art and display my collection throughout home and office.

Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in the comments. Or if you’d like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

Five Things, Transformative Works and Cultures

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