Gender and Sexuality

  • OTW Fannews: Shouting it Out Loud

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 17 November 2015 - 5:34pm
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    Banner by doughtier of a young woman in black and white shouting yelling with arms spread with the title 'Shouting it Out Loud'

    • More people are discussing the long reach of fandom into their lives. The Huffington Post spoke to the OTW and others about fanfiction and sexuality. "The opportunity to displace these risky desires, not just into pseudonymous fictions, but onto fictional characters, makes fanfic a welcoming sexual space for girls and women, where they can safely spin their more illicit fantasies off into the minds and actions of distinctly separate alter-egos. 'It made me much more comfortable in myself. More comfortable in my sexuality and going out to find other erotica and pornography without having to feel ashamed,' recalled Amy, 23, who lives in Portland and got into fan fiction early in high school. 'These are characters, but they’re also people, they do normal people things and that includes sex and other sexual activities.'”
    • The Deseret News spoke with various fans about how fandom has changed their lives. “'I started to feed back into nerd culture and all those happy feelings, basically everything that fandom gives you — not just escapism, but the immediacy of enjoying something with someone else,' Smith said. “'I realized nerdiness isn’t being happy alone, it’s about being happy with other people. Nerdiness saved me from myself.'”
    • The Salt Lake City Weekly spoke to Anne Jamison about why studying fanfic is important. "It's crucial for people who study literature to pay attention to this way in which writing is now being produced and disseminated. It's crucial for us as literature professors, because so many of our students will have read and written this way, [and have] learned to critique and engage this way—even if they sometimes won't admit it. It has had and will have an effect on published books, but it is also where we first see how digital, networked texts are changing reading and writing habits and expectations—as well as the texts themselves."
    • Certainly more people than ever are giving shoutouts to their favorite fanworks including Rainbow Rowell who when asked asked about her favorite said "I have a few. My favorite fanfiction is a Harry/Draco fanfiction and it's called The Pure and Simple Truth."

    What's been the richest part of fandom in your life? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Fixing Fails

    By Pip Janssen on mardi, 27 October 2015 - 5:00pm
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    Black and white band aid with text saying fandom fixing fails

  • Black Girl Nerds hosted a discussion about race bending fanart, and its importance in increasing representation. "To behold an Aurora, with dark skin and a wide nose like mine, is an act of revolution. Her adornment of pigmented skin and black long locs is revolutionary. Her full lips signify the coveted trait possessed by numerous Black women like me. A brown Rapunzel, wrapped in a marigold sari is revolutionary. Her defiant brown skin distinctively pairs with a gold barrette in her long mane. These crucial depictions remind women and people of color of their beauty, existence and visibility."
  • The Toronto Star brought the Cosplay is not Consent discussion to a wider audience. "Similar signs have cropped up at conventions across North America, including New York Comic Con and Fan Expo Dallas. Organizers of Toronto’s expo, which wrapped up a four-day run at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Sunday, say it’s a sign of the times, but not a political statement...Discussions about consent and victim-blaming are a movement outside the convention world, too. Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum includes lessons on consent in the primary grades."
  • The Daily Dot profiled a new film about a male slash writer and discussed the negative reaction to it in many fanfic communities. "'[Y]our pitch looks like one more male indie auteur trying to make his name off of the backs of women,' wrote slasher and filmmaker Franzeska Dickson in response to the Kickstarter campaign...The cultural pattern of erasing women from their own stories and histories they created for themselves is a long one, and fandom is no exception: An infamous episode of Supernatural—one of the most female-dominated fandoms around—once portrayed a Supernatural fan convention within the show as almost entirely male-centric...Although slash writers focus primarily on male characters and many actively advocate for queer representation in media, queer men don't actually make up a large part of the slash community."
  • Metro's list of 21 things only fans would understand was lighthearted but didn't overlook problematic issues such as fandom battles and a lack of perspective. Also noticed was the lack of perspective from outside observers. "You do get judged for getting so into something. Football fans who cry over their team losing are ‘passionate’. Coronation Street fans who cry over their favourite character dying are ‘sad losers’. How does THAT work?"

What fails have you seen fandom fixing? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Generation Pride

    By Janita Burgess on dimanche, 18 October 2015 - 4:40pm
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    Banner by Rachel of a generic newspaper with the OTW logo and the words 'OTW Fannews'

    • The new generation of high school and college fangirls have taken note of the way their interests and activities are portrayed in the media, and by others around them. On the same day two articles went up in different college newspapers, by different writers, with the same title -- "In Defense of the Fangirl." At the College of William and Mary, Bri Little wrote "When we dismiss fangirls, we are telling them that it is unreasonable to expect emotional availability, love and acceptance from men. We are telling them that women are somehow undeserving of all these things. Of course it’s all an illusion, an image created to lure young women...But it’s often easier to fantasize about someone I’ll never have because I can imagine him treating me better than I’m treated by men I know in real life. We have to pay the price for wanting better for ourselves."
    • Meanwhile at the University of California, Berkeley, Jackie Roman wrote "The implications of the word 'fangirl' also create a divide among women at a very young age. To be a girl who is a fan of sports and screams alongside the guys during a game is to be a 'cool girl,' not a hysterical fangirl. The reason behind this is connected to our unequal respect for different genders. In this scenario, cool is code for what’s perceived as traditionally masculine. The girls expressing the same level of interest in football or other testosterone-dominated hobbies are seen as inherently different (read: better) than girls interested in traditionally feminine hobbies. And this is to no fault of the women who just want to watch sports without having their interest in it become some kind of sexual fantasy for a guy who glorifies the 'cool girl.' After all, they too are held to patriarchal expectations, only cool so long as they don’t become a tomboy and teeter across gender lines (oh, the binary!)."
    • Two days later at Duke University, Nandhini Narayana wrote about the misogyny towards fanfiction. "However, if people are to criticize fanfiction, then, they should be doing it for the right reasons, not because 'fat, illiterate, silly women who can't get a life' spend their time writing it. It is also true that a lot of online fanfiction is porn. Here’s a shocker: women enjoy porn. Women enjoy sex. Some people watch videos to masturbate, and some people read two thousand words of man on man action. Get over yourselves. Consider the term 'mommy porn.' The concept of a woman writing about BDSM and other women enjoying it apparently deserved a whole new category outside of regular porn. Why? To distinguish it from all the other 5 million pornographic resources on the internet that men enjoy and is, therefore, more serious?"
    • Lastly, at The Mary Sue Saundra Mitchell wrote about feminism and boybands. "What is feminist—what is spectacular— is that in this glossily packaged world of boybands, young women are creating a safe space for themselves. They’re not asking permission. They’re not apologizing. Their Kiss Me, Jong–hyun! and She’s my Louis Tomlinson t-shirts give no quarter. This is for them, and they don’t care if you like it. No wonder it drives men crazy. There’s no room for them here. And for the first time in their lives, they have no choice but to admit it."

    What fannish manifestos have you seen written? Start an entry for them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Unearthing Slash

    By Janita Burgess on dimanche, 4 October 2015 - 3:59pm
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    OTW Fannews banner by caitie~ with the text Unearthing Slash along with stylized images of the members of One Direction with slashes between them

    • Vice speculated on why adults read One Direction fanfic, and discussed the appeal of slash. "The appeal of One Direction homoeroticism also seems related to how physically comfortable and genuinely playful the boys are with each other... It seems related to the fact that they are boys who sing songs about feelings and look like they mean it. It seems, unfortunately, related to Louis's irreverent-shading-into-dickish personality, which fans... wish to understand and explain away. Perhaps most significantly, it seems related to taboo and tragedy: how impossible to fall in love with your best friend, while the whole world watches, and also how beautiful."
    • Certainly the ease of stumbling on fanfic has created awkward moments for the subjects of that fiction. NME quoted The Libertines discussing the unnerving combination of fact and fantasy. "A lot of effort has gone into it. There’ll be a poetic stream of consciousness and then suddenly, BANG! My cock will appear in Carl’s ear." The singer added that some of the descriptions were uncannily accurate: "I think it must be written by someone close to us, because apart from the actual sex side of things, which obviously isn’t true, some of it’s quite close to life."
    • The Daily Dot provided a bit of fandom history by discussing Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s slashy past. "As fandom academic Cynthia W. Walker put it, "if Trek was the Big Bang, (Man from U.N.C.L.E.) was the primer." The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was the patient zero for the kind of passionate fan community we see for shows like Sherlock today." It was notable in many ways. "At this point it's practically tradition for TV shows to misinterpret which of their male leads is the real heartthrob. From Spock to Teen Wolf's Stiles, female-driven fandoms tend to gravitate toward the characters who aren't portrayed as suave ladykillers. And back in the day, Illya Kuryakin was a bona fide teen crush magnet."
    • One bit of progress (?) in media coverage of slash is that the pairings are no longer the main surprise to people. Cracked's video gets a lot wrong, such as confusing characters and fandoms with genres, and discussing commercial bestiality erotica series as works of fanfiction. But the idea that pairings might consist of same sex doesn't itself get dubbed as 'weird'.

    Is slash history something you know about? Share your knowledge on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Finding Connections

    By Claudia Rebaza on vendredi, 25 September 2015 - 4:04pm
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    Banner by Swimmies of graph paper with a magnifying glass over a check mark next to the word 'Finding' and a pen circling the word 'Connections'

    • USC News put a spotlight on a seminar connecting scifi fandom to the gay rights movement. "Gender Studies 410 will ask students to conduct original research using materials from ONE Archives at USC Libraries, the largest LGBT archive in the world." Joseph Hawkins, who teaches the class and directs the archive, discussed how writers and publishers used experiences in one area to develop activism in others. "The stories and commentary in these journals served as incubators for ideas that would lead to political organizing decades later. Sci-fi allowed readers to safely engage with thoughts about alien races with mixed genders or finding love despite their differences."
    • Milwaukee Public Radio featured an art exhibit in Racine which "explores science fiction and fantasy-based themes of Doctor Who, Star Wars, superheroes, and steampunk." The curator explains that the purpose of the exhibit of textile art is to open a dialogue between artist and audience. "Sub-Culture Craft' features art inspired from various fandoms, which creates a lighter atmosphere with open conversations expressing enthusiasm from both artists and fans alike."
    • The Daily Dot featured the work of various fan artists to explore Disney princess remixes. "While these redesigns have become so massively popular that they've been turned into parodies, the fan culture that created them remains seriously dedicated to the practice. Part of the appeal is that the nature of these subversions invites us to think about the inherently heteronormative worlds in which Disney characters live and ultimately thrive. The worlds they inhabit often look very different from our own. And if you want more representation for other kinds of people and relationships, where better to find it than fanart?"
    • At ComicMix Emily S. Whitten expounds on what years of GISHWHES activity has brought us. "Other than all of the nifty things accomplished due to Gishwhes, I think the biggest thing I take away from it is the warm and positive attitude of the competition and everyone involved. It’s encouraging and inspiring to see all of the people who have chosen to celebrate and express their fandom in a fun and inclusive way; especially because, in the end, it is always our own personal choice as to how we want to move through the world; and how we choose to put ourselves out there can have bigger consequences for change than we can ever imagine."

    What connections have you found in fan activities? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Defying Expectations

    By Claudia Rebaza on jeudi, 10 September 2015 - 3:01pm
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    Banner by Elena of a globe surrounding by smiling female faces with the title 'OTW Fannews: Defying Expectations'

    • Fandoms have a variety of problematic behaviors, including how women's participation is welcomed. Sports marketer Amanda Curry complained about the nature of some efforts to reach out to female fans. "Despite their attempts to empower female fans, creating a program that perpetuates the stereotype that women know nothing about sports only further de-legitimizes the vast majority of us that do. Dumbing down sports for women not only makes us feel bad, but it allows others consistently treat us like we're dumb. This makes it harder to gain respect as a fan, and in my case, as a professional in the sports world...I am a female who works in the sports industry, and I know how it feels to have my opinion rejected just because I’m a woman."
    • CNN reported on the reaction of Star Wars fans to the bullying of a girl who loved displaying her fandom. "At this new school Layla started coming home more quiet and less of herself, and started asking not to wear her shirts or R2-D2 jacket" her mother said. "The girls in school were telling her she shouldn't like 'Star Wars' because it's for boys." However, after other fans began sending her gifts and messages of support, her enthusiasm returned. "Layla now feels loved and accepted in her stormtrooper uniform, and recently got a chance to meet one of her heroes, Weird Al Yankovic, who has two 'Star Wars' parodies in his repertoire. An added that Layla enjoys surprising people who expect to see a boy behind the stormtrooper mask."
    • Henry Jenkins was recently honored by the Science Fiction Researchers Association and used the opportunity to discuss fandom's history when it comes to diversity. "Those of us who pioneered fandom studies too often bracketed race and class in order to focus on gender, sexuality, and generation. As we sought to validate forms of cultural production and experience that were meaningful to us, we neglected the fact that our own ranks were still too narrowly constituted and that there was more we should have done to validate forms of culture that were meaningful to a more diverse population. However much we might have sometimes felt like outcasts in our own lives, we were still in a privileged position to help inform what kinds of cultural production and reception mattered in an academic context."

    How have you seen fans defying expectations? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • Events Calendar for August 2015

    By Janita Burgess on samedi, 1 August 2015 - 4:37pm
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    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of August! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Guests for this year's Texas Comicon include David Prowse and Paul Blake (Star Wars); Robert Axelrod, Barbara Goodson, and Catherine Sutherland (Power Rangers); and John Wesley Shipp (The Flash). Celebrity Q&As, a Halo Tournament, and a costume contest are among the highlights of the event, August 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas, United States.
    • When Words Collide: A Festival for Readers and Writers is an event for readers, writers, artists, and publishers of commercial and literary fiction, including genre, young adult, children's books, and poetry. Guests of honor include Diana Gabaldon (the Outlander series), Faith Hunter (the Skinwalker series), and literary agent Sally Harding. The festival also includes optional pre-festival workshops on manuscript development, plot structure, and more. It's August 14-15 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
    • "Sasquan" is the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Worldcon, the annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans. Worldcons are the site of the Hugo Awards. The event is August 19-23 in Spokane, Washington, United States.
    • Auto Assembly 2015 is "Europe's largest Transformers convention" and takes place each year in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. This year's guests include Sumalee Montano and James Horan (Arcee and Wheeljack from Transformers: Prime) and writer James Roberts (More Than Meets the Eye). The event, August 21-23, includes an artists' alley and goodie bags for attendees.
    • Dragon*Con is one of the largest multimedia fan conventions and is held annually on Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. This year's Dragon*Con is September 4-7 and features guests John Barrowman (Torchwood), David Ramsey (Arrow), author Mercedes Lackey, Candice Patton (The Flash), Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow), and Edward James Olmos.

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • The Journal of Fandom Studies Special Issue on Ethics in Fan Studies. This special issue aims to examine these and related questions: What should ethics in fan studies look like? Do we need a standard ethical framework? How should fan studies scholars approach ethical issues in their work? What does the future of the field hold? Submit proposals for papers (250-400 words) by August 15.
    • Call for Chapter Proposals: Doctor Who and History. Contributions are being accepted for an edited volume that focuses on Doctor Who and History: A Cultural Perspective. While there have been many publications recently celebrating the show’s longevity, or those reflecting on the programme as a product of the BBC as British institution, this volume focuses specifically on the topic of history. Proposals/abstracts should be 300-350 words in length and submitted by September 1. Accepted proposals will be developed into 5,000- to 8,000-word essays (including notes and references).
    • Call for Participants: Shame, Gender, and Cultural Capital: The Problems of Reading and Writing Fan Fiction. This is a call for participants for a panel at PCA/ACA 2016. There are very specific histories and stigmas associated with women’s writing and reading. Whether it’s a question of popular reading or canon formation, the responses are still the same: “That’s not good for you!” “That’s trashy!" “Why can’t you read Serious Literature?” Instead, the big questions to consider could be: “Why is reading and writing fic a problem for some people?” and “Where does reading fit into participatory culture?” This roundtable would like to discuss how the fan models of women’s writing and its reception is complicated both through genre and fan history. A statement of interest is due September 1.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • OTW Fannews: Fangirls in the Wild

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 28 July 2015 - 4:00pm
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    Banner by Alice of the top of a face peering out from behind some leaves

    • San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) season means it's time for the media to once again declare that fangirls exist. The New York Times thought this was the year for fangirls. "A bunch of oddballs — nerds and fanboys, toy collectors and cosplayers, gamers and fantasists — invaded the mainstream and planted themselves at the vital center of the entertainment industry...Lately, though, something else has been happening, too — a shift in the ecosystem of fandom symbolized not only by Sadness but also by another new addition to the Comic-Con costume repertory: Imperator Furiosa, the crew-cut, one-armed avenger played by Charlize Theron in 'Mad Max: Fury Road.' Furiosa’s presence amid the Disney princesses and Manga pixies is an especially potent sign of the feminism that is a big part of this event."
    • A more thoughtful article at Refinery29 points out that SDCC is hardly a bastion of feminism yet. "What we’re calling fangirls here covers an admittedly wide and amorphous group of women. They’re cosplayers, comic book collectors, sci-fi nerds, steampunk enthusiasts, booth babes, Lolitas, and more....And they are vocal: When the proportion of female writers and artists for DC Comics plunged from 12 percent to 1 percent in 2011, female fans started a petition for DC to hire more women. DC Comics responded by promising to try. Female fans from a group called the Carol Corps. were also instrumental last year in pushing Marvel to announce plans for a movie about Captain Marvel, a super-powered woman. In other words, fangirls are engaged and numerous, making up a significant portion of the audience that shells out hard-earned dollars to support their pop culture passions. And yet, despite that, this group remains the third estate of the comics / fantasy world."
    • The Chicago Tribune focused more on numbers. "'But when you start to break it down according to how fans identify themselves, we find that no individual fandom is that even,' continues Salkowitz, who will discuss his findings Sunday afternoon at Comic-Con. 'Comics, videogaming, hobby gaming and toy collecting are majority male, usually in the 55- to 60-percent range. Manga/anime, science fiction/fantasy and media fandom are 60- to 65-percent female. Because today's big conventions appeal to fans of everything, audiences coming to shows are pretty much gender-balanced. However, it's still the case that, say, 'comics' fandom tends more toward older guys, whereas manga appeals more to younger women.'"
    • As Neon Tommy pointed out, having female creators representing female fans in the media is a needed step forward. "As for today’s devoted fangirls — who have often been excluded from the full participatory side of media — Jarett says the 'Fan Girl' film's message is one of female empowerment. 'Telulah is a filmmaker,' he says. 'And being a fan of something can also be someone’s art — it’s a form of creative expression.'"

    How many times have you been discovered within fandom? Write about your history in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Altering Reality

    By Janita Burgess on dimanche, 19 July 2015 - 5:32pm
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    OTWFannews Banner Altering Reality

    • Geek and Sundry suggested that Gaming Led Us All to Genderbending. "There’s a great deal of imagination and creativity behind genderbending in fandom, fan art, and cosplay, and it can help us identify more strongly with those characters we love. But where does it really come from? Where did we even get the idea to imagine our favorite fandoms with this random character change? While the interest in genderbending can come from a lot of different places, I think gaming had a huge part of making it more widely understood."
    • Eventbrite's latest fandom study examined con attendance and cosplay. "Con-goers are split almost half and half by gender, with males representing 48.7% of fans, and women making up 48.9%. Taking a closer look at these nearly-equal slices of the population pie, we see that single fans are divided by gender almost evenly as well: 50% of singles are male, and 47% are female. But while male singles head to cons alone (29%), the single ladies travel in groups (18%), and go for the cosplay."
    • Malaysian Digest reported that 1 of every 6 K-pop fans is male, but they're often quiet about it. "'I was showing to a friend a music video of Super Junior’s ‘Sorry Sorry’. I was expecting comments like 'wow cool dance moves' or 'it’s catchy', but NO, instead he said, 'why do you listen to this. It’s not like you understand a single thing that they say. Plus they look kinda gay. Are you gay?'...What I don’t understand is why does liking another music genre has got to do with sexual orientation?"
    • Attack of the Fanboy discussed the battling petitions related to the development of Metroid Prime: Federation Force and linked to a video highlighting the fan rage being expressed. "In just under four minutes, Mega64 skewers the mentality behind the Federation Force petition by taking it to an extreme that incorporates elements of Anonymous threat videos with a terrorist-lite militia. It looks like a hard sell on paper, but the over the top nature of every passing second works well on video."
  • OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic

    By Claudia Rebaza on jeudi, 9 July 2015 - 3:30pm
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    Banner by Kat of multiple typewriters with the sheet in one reading 'OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic'

    • An article in The Telegraph discussed how fan speculation in sports fandom is a form of fanfic. "At the heart of fan fiction’s appeal is a sort of wish fulfilment: a subtle remaking of the world in which one’s wildest fantasies can gush uncontrollably to the surface. And while a good deal of fan fiction is sexual in nature, much of it is just quite sweet: charming teenage reveries that begin with a single pleasant idea – 'wouldn’t it be nice if'...In a fortnight's time we see the opening of the transfer window, and yet despite the two being ostensibly unrelated, it strikes me that there are certain similarities between the millions of stories that teenage girls tell each other on Tumblr, and the millions of stories that football will tell itself over the next three months. For the reopening of the summer window marks the ceremonial point at which football subtly shifts in character: from a real game played on the pitch, to a fantasy enacted largely in the imagination."
    • Salon discussed the focus on women in the new season of Halt and Catch Fire. "This season...has an exuberance the first season struggled to reach, and it’s because of a storytelling device that has more popularity in fan fiction archives than Hollywood studios: the gender swap. It’s a thought experiment that pops up in fervent fandoms, ones that are also eagerly reimagining beloved characters in different settings or with new adventures...As with so many elements of fandom, it’s casually subversive—a re-creation that grapples with the social construction of gender and imagines its infinite fluidity. And as with so many elements of fandom, it is a long-standing tradition—one that Shakespeare made regular use of in his plays, which itself was a commentary on the fact that all the female roles were played by men."
    • A guest post in The Japan News explained cover dancing which "is a fun activity in which teams of dancers emulate the moves of Japanese or South Korean idols as they dance to the original music. Spectators cheer for them as if they were the real deal. While cover dancing is gaining more and more fans in Japan, I’ve often met fans in Thailand, Hong Kong and nearby areas, as well as in the United States and Latin America. I think cover dancing is similar to fan fiction for anime and manga in dojin culture, in which fans create their own works using popular manga and anime characters."
    • An article at The Guardian discussed academic analyses of fan activities on Frozen. "Fan responses have boomed on the internet and given rise to myriad readings. In fact, academia now lags behind fans when it comes to subjecting popular culture to intense analysis. The online debate about, say, Mad Men could sustain a conference for weeks. 'Fan studies talks about how carefully and critically audiences discuss texts...The internet has made fan responses so much more mainstream and accessible.' In the past, she says, you would need to do focus groups to yield similar information. 'I think the way in which it’s been really popular with traditionally marginalised communities is specific to Elsa’s characterisation...It can resonate with people who have been ostracised or stigmatised.'”

    What things have you seen compared to fanfiction? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages!