OTW Fannews: Acafans of today and tomorrow

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  • For those fans who enjoyed the OTW’s academic panel chat you may also want to look at Participations: Dialogues on the Participatory Promise of Contemporary Culture and Politics. This conversation among seven academics included Sarah Banet-Weiser, Nancy Baym, Francesca Coppa, David Gauntlett, Jonathan Gray, Henry Jenkins and Adrienne Shaw. Coppa discusses Welcome to Night Vale: “[I]t looks to me like something that could have been invented by an artist trying to imagine Henry’s definition of transmedia’s best self: radio, so giving fans an opportunity to imagine the visuals individually and collectively, which they have done with gusto; central characters who are queer and of color; an open invitation to make other things for and in the world (I wouldn’t even say ‘an invitation to fans,’ because, in a way, we’re not fans; we’re explicitly framed as citizens of Night Vale).”
  • Anna Von Veh presented Beyond the Text at the “Books in Browsers IV” conference in San Francisco in October 2013 and it is now available online as part of the Conference Proceedings which were published in The Journal of Electronic Publishing. “The technology of the Internet is perfectly in tune with Jacques Derrida’s notion of ‘difference’…where meaning is always deferred; and where, in a postcolonial understanding…meaning and agency are to be found in the gaps between locations of power and certainty. The Internet allows a metaphorical and literal leaking of content from the container and from those who ‘own’ it. So just as the conventional two-dimensional format of the book (or I believe its digital facsimile, the ebook) is no longer the appropriate technology for content in a networked world, the understanding of the ‘contained’, owned, settled story is no longer the appropriate concept of text in such a world.”
  • The Examiner.com paired fandom and education in its report on the Chesterfield Library’s Comic-Con 2014. “[T]he concept of a Library System sponsoring a Comicon is unique enough to elicit more than passing interest, especially when that system holds more than 11,000 graphic novel volumes in circulation.” In addition to comics vendors, a cosplay contest, and the participation of local artist Chris Otto, of “A Dog’s Life” web comic, local teachers and school clubs contributed content.
  • Master’s degree student Tara Popp shared her capstone project on fandom where she “created and narrated a PowerPoint presentation on the 6 Cs of fanworks and its impact on youth development from a technological viewpoint.” These 6 Cs were Cognitivity, Communication, Community, Contribution, Character, and Cheer. “[F]anwork is a ‘spark’ for young people. Sparks are special interests and abilities that inspire youth to pursue their passion on their own, and Benson (2008) advocates that parents and other youth professionals encourage them to do something they enjoy. For some youth, their spark may not advance further than their adolescent years, but for others, it is a life-long endeavor.”

What fandom research or academic discussion has grabbed you? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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