A director's chair with the OTW logo on it and the words OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Olympia Kiriakou

Every month the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts to provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom. These posts express each individual’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy.

Olympia Kiriakou is a Visiting Instructor in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. Her research focuses on stardom, gender, and genre in classical Hollywood, Disney, and new media fandom. Her book, Becoming Carole Lombard: Stardom, Comedy, and Legacy (Bloomsbury Academic) is a historical critique of the development and reception Carole Lombard’s star persona and career. Today, Olympia talks about her article in Transformative Works and Cultures.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

My first encounter was when I joined Tumblr as a high school senior in 2008. I first developed an interest in classical Hollywood back in high school through my job at a local video store – I must have spent all my wages on DVDs! While working there, I became fascinated by stars like Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, and Orson Welles. As I began to research them online, I eventually discovered a wonderful community of like-minded fans on Tumblr who shared their personal photo collections, fanworks, and research. I eventually started my own Tumblr account called “The Screwball Girl” dedicated to old Hollywood stars and, specifically, Carole Lombard (the blog name is a reference to her). Although I don’t update my account anymore, I have adopted the same username for all of my social media accounts as an homage to where my fandom flourished!

Thanks to Tumblr, I realized I love researching and writing, so I decided to pursue grad school. I also began to accumulate my own small collection of old Hollywood memorabilia including vintage fan magazines, movie posters, and scripts. Over time, I was inspired to write my PhD dissertation about Lombard and ultimately, this culminated in my first book, Becoming Carole Lombard: Stardom, Comedy, and Legacy.

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Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine

TWC releases Issue No. 34

Transformative Works and Cultures has released No. 34, a general (unthemed) issue.

Topics in this issue include podfic and podcasts, transactivist engagement, sexual identity, and cosplay. Fandoms include Harry Potter and One Direction, and fan engagement includes Hindi and Malaysian perspectives. The editorial, “What’s in a Name?,” addresses the fraught nature of the term “fan studies” in the context of recent sociopolitical events.

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OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Lindsay Ellis

Every month or so the OTW hosts guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests provide an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Lindsay Ellis is an author and video essayist who creates humorous educational YouTube content about media, narrative and film theory. In addition to her own YouTube channel, she co-writes and hosts the fiction-focused YouTube series “It’s Lit!” for PBS Digital Studios. Her debut novel, Axiom’s End, comes out July 21. Today, Lindsay talks about fandom and fair use.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

The year was 2001. I was a rather apathetic atheist in high school in South Tennessee, and I had several classmates who made trying to save my soul into an extracurricular activity. Between my sophomore and junior year, a local youth group paid for me to go on a trip with them to New York for a week of soul-saving fun. I did not find Jesus on that trip, but I did find the Original Broadway Recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera at the now-defunct Virgin Megastore in Times Square. As soon as I got home, I spent the rest of the summer reading Phantom fanfiction, (or, “Phanfiction” har har). The rest was history.

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