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Leah Steuer is a PhD candidate in Media & Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her work engages the body as primary site of media reception, and her dissertation explores somatic-affective approaches to TV audience studies. Today, Leah talks about her article in Transformative Works and Cultures.
How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?
I became involved in online fan communities around age 12, in the early 2000s. At the time I was especially passionate about Whose Line Is It Anyway and made many friends on Fanfiction.net, Yahoo Groups, and various fan forums for the show. It was certainly a weird first foray into producing and consuming fanworks — we were a very small fandom and, at that time, writing Real Person Fiction made your work very vulnerable to deletion on the major fanworks hubs. Throughout my early teens (rather than producing fanworks of my own) I was usually more interested in getting to know the major players in my fandoms and creating social spaces on platforms like GeoCities and Angelfire for communal squee-ing, analyzing, and fantasizing.