OTW Fannews: Museums of Faith

A statue of a person holds up a Fannews sign while two others hold up a banner reading Museums of Faith

  • A write-up at Patheos reported on several papers presented on fandom and religion. “We see there, and in Star Trek fandom’s rejection of a sexist interpretation of ‘Turnabout Intruder,’ examples of liberal or liberationist prooftexting. Historicism is used selectively in the service of constructing an imaginal world. Raphael mentioned wanting to teach a course that imagines that a religion has been constructed around Star Trek, without some of the evidence that we have, in order to illustrate what happens in interpretation and imaginal world construction.”
  • A writer at The Christian Century looked to find similar connections at a fan con and came to a different conclusion. “Sociologist and media theorist Stig Hjar­vard argues that citizens of postindustrial societies find the most significant experiences of enchantment in pop culture. In his studies of Danish culture, fantasy texts like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Chronicles of Nar­nia were eight times more likely to be named significant in shaping moral and spiritual ideas than the Bible or other traditional religious texts. This is why I went to Comic Con: to learn about the religious nones or those who find their religion in hobbit costumes and manga fan clubs. Then I found the panels, the sub­terranean heart of Comic Con, in the basement of the convention center. The panels revealed Comic Con as less alternative religious gathering and more professional convention.”
  • The Cincinnati Art Museum is among those who understand the importance of fandom commerce, and it’s begun a series to capitalize on it. “Fandom, a new monthly gallery conversation, aims to bring together fans of art and popular culture in a playful and humorous exploration of the Art Museum’s galleries. Each month, a different pop culture topic will inspire an interactive tour in the permanent collection. Join us this month as we explore the connections between the CAM collection and a galaxy far, far away with our resident Star Wars expert Anne Buening.”
  • The Guardian hosted an opinion piece about the overlap of high art and pop culture. “Critics…have suggested that Griffiths’s exhibition isn’t about Murray per se, but is a way for the artist to explore a number of concepts – including scale and the relative status of people and objects…It’s all wonderful theorising – but when it comes down to brass tacks, don’t Griffiths et al just simply love Murray? Crafting an entire exhibition around his image could be thought of as an extension of doodling his name on your notebook or cutting pictures of him out of a magazine and putting them in a scrapbook.”

How does fandom and fanwork cross over into other cultural spaces? Tell us 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.