OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic

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  • 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!