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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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

TWC releases No. 33, “Fan Studies Methodologies”

Transformative Works and Cultures has released No. 33, “Fan Studies Methodologies,” guest edited by Julia E. Largent, Milena Popova, and Elise Vist.

This issue’s contents emphasize what the editors call the multi-inter-para-disciplinary nature of the field of fan studies, with contributions addressing topics related to methodology, such as subject position, feminism, affect/feelings, (self-)presentation, race, and power.

So what we set out to do in this special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures is start conversations on how we do fan studies. We want this conversation to recognize the strengths, diversity, and potential of our field. At the same time, we want it to start grappling with some of the challenges we face: the citational elisions, the affect and embodiedness of our work, our at times conflicting/conflicted dual positionality as fans and scholars, the sometimes failed dialogue with fans who can and do talk back.

We hope that this special issue will give you ideas for new approaches (and new collaborators!), will help you pinpoint and begin to address some of your own methodological anxieties, and will challenge you to think outside your theoretical and methodological comfort zone. We also very much hope that this is only the start of this conversation. We are not interested in canonizing one particular or even several methodologies. Rather, much like the fans we study, we would like to encourage you to build your own fanons of fan studies.

Read More