OTW Fannews: Why is fandom important?

OTW Fannews: Why is fandom important?

  • Writing about fandom in the Phillipines, Business World Weekender focused on its monetary value. “Foreign pop idols’ ‘fan meets’ are a fairly recent trend in the country. While ‘fans’ days’ are regularly held by local artists, only lately did foreign stars hit our shores to conduct their own ‘fan service’.” The article concluded “In the Philippines, fanaticism may still be a luxury. But whatever the reason — awesome talent, psychological gratification, fulfillment of an inexplicable fantasy — there are avid buyers. Like an expensive watch or a designer bag, the urge to spend is often irresistible — irresistibility that will cause the fandom phenomenon to flourish.”
  • Roddenberry heir, Rod, has finalized a new documentary on Star Trek fandom. Discussing Paramount’s approach, he said “I feel that the powers-that-be have really lost that opportunity. I think they’ve gotten better in recent years, but I’d say for decades…they were sending cease-and-desist orders to fan websites that had photos of actors and Star Trek logos on them. That’s someone who is looking at the here-and-now and not thinking about the future. And those sorts of things went on for years and really upset me…I found boxes and boxes of personal correspondence from my father…[w]here he responded personally to fans who were sending in questions about the show. And that’s what strengthened the Roddenberry connection with them. In that we genuinely care. And the studio at that time, and not so long ago, really didn’t seem to.”
  • The University of Wisconsin, Madison wrote about student Ashley Hinck’s PhD research on fan activism in Harry Potter fandom. “In doing this research, I’m working against the idea that super fans are weird, crazy loners. For these fans, it is very serious and it has really important implications for who they are as political subjects, as citizens…People have always been fans of things, but organized fandom … it’s easier to hook up with other fans, too, because of the Internet. Fandom is just really motivating because it gives you a reason to connect to something, and then you can use that connection as a vehicle to get to other places…That deep connection is powerful.”
  • Author J.M. Frey spoke about fandom from the inside and why it is important. “You build communities like those Archive of Our Own and Fanfiction.net, Tumblr and Deviant Art. You do good deeds in the name of the writers, actors, and shows that you love…You parlay your love into degrees, courses, conferences, academic readers, and text books. You call out work that is problematic and encourage creators to grow, to learn, to take an interest, to get better. You find things in my work that I might not have realized I put there and you play with them. It’s incredible.”

What stories do you have about why fandom is important? 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.