TWC Releases Issue No. 35

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Transformative Works and Cultures has released issue No. 35, a special issue on Fan Studies Pedagogies, edited by Paul Booth and Regina Yung Lee.

The essays in this issue explore the expansion of fan studies as an academic field and how the growing visibility of fandom and fan activities in popular culture have led to more instructors using students’ fandoms in the classroom, as well as teaching fan studies as a topic in and of itself. The issue includes articles representing theory, fannish meta, and book reviews, such as the following:

We particularly invite fans to submit Symposium articles for future issues, including the general issue being released on September 15, 2021. Symposium works are also still being accepted for the issue on Fandom Histories which will appear on March 15, 2022.

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OTW Guest Post: Jennifer Duggan

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.

Jennifer Duggan is Associate Professor of English at the University of South-Eastern Norway, a Harry Potter fan, and author or co-author of numerous articles and book chapters on children’s and youth literature and media, fandom, multilinguality, multiliteracies, and social difference. Today, Jennifer talks about researching fan demographics in the Harry Potter fandom.

How did you first find out about fandom and fanworks?

I suppose that depends on how you define both terms!

When I was a kid, I has a string of obsessions. At my youngest, I identified heavily with a string of male characters (Peter Pan, Cody from The Rescuers Down Under, Luke from Star Wars), often dressing as them and/or refusing to answer to my own name. I reread and rewatched favourite books and films so many times that I had to purchase new copies, because the old ones would fall apart or stop working. Whenever I was given money to buy practical things, like clothing, I would spend the least possible on what I was supposed to purchase (usually at second-hand stores) and use the rest on books.

I also used to collect objects, trading cards, and images related to favourite series, like Sailor Moon. Later, with some books/films/shows, including Harriet the Spy, The X-Files, and Anastasia (the animated film), my sister, one of our best friends, and I would do extensive background research. We’d write each other newsletters, write sequels/prequels/episodes, and draw or print out fan art and images, all of which we kept in binders that we took with us whenever we visited each other. (We still pull them out sometimes and read our works to each other, which inevitably ends in hysterics.) I suppose in some way, we knew of organized fandom even then, because we used fan sites as sources for images, but I don’t think we realized that we could actually participate. But we didn’t need to, because we had our own tiny fandom, and it was perfect.

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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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