5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Alex Xanthoudakis Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Alex Xanthoudakis, who volunteers as a Fanhackers project staffer on the Communications Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I’m a Fanhackers volunteer, so I help run all the Fanhackers accounts! Our mission is to help make fan studies scholarship more accessible to people, which feeds into the OTW’s larger mission of providing access to and preserving the history of fan culture in its myriad forms, and providing the broadest possible access to fannish activity for all fans. A lot of this stuff—-recorded histories, really cool analyses, various legitimizing works—-is found in books and articles that are very often behind a paywall or university firewall. My job as a Fanhackers volunteer requires me to read things, pull out what I think is important or interesting, and share the educational wealth, so to speak!

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Fanhackers Logo

OTW Announces Fanhackers Relaunch

The team behind Fanhackers, the OTW’s project to make fan studies research accessible to fans, is excited to announce the relaunch of their WordPress site.

Over the past years, we’ve built a wonderful following on Tumblr with quotes from academic and non-academic research on fans. We’ll stick around on Tumblr, of course. However, the new site will be a more stable platform to preserve our content. It will also make it easier for us to expand to other platforms and to support non-blog projects that Tumblr can’t accommodate easily. This week will also see our Twitter account starting a regular schedule of updates, so if you’re active there please follow us!

What’s on the new site? The blog, first and foremost, and all the content shared by fannish and scholarly contributors since 2011 (remember when it was the Symposium blog?). We’ll keep filling the blog up with interesting news, quotes from new and old fan studies research, tips and tricks for tools and methods to study fan culture, and advice on how to contribute to the OTW’s open access journal Transformative Works and Cultures.

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5 Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Five Things Nele Noppe Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today’s post is with Nele Noppe, who volunteers as a staffer in the Communications Committee and runs the OTW’s Fanhackers blog.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

I work to make fan studies more accessible for fans (and fan studies researchers) mainly by posting quotes from fan studies articles on the Fanhackers site (which has a Tumblr mirror). There’s a ton of fan studies research happening on every topic, and much of that research contains important, new, or just plain interesting ideas that should find their way back to fans. However, it’s not always easy for people to find their way to fan studies work. That’s where we try to make a small difference.

Take the many articles published every year in our academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC). TWC is an open access journal, meaning that the articles in it are open and free to read for everyone on the internet. However, it’s not because something is free to read that people will also find their way to it. They may not hear about the article at all, because it’s not linked to in the spaces where they hang out. They may not have time to read a full-size academic article, which is pretty damn long. The article may be a bit inaccessible in other ways, for example because it uses a lot of obscure terminology (although many fan studies researchers are very good at not overusing jargon, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that they’re often fans themselves).

Publishing bite-sized quotes from these articles in fannish spaces like Tumblr is a way to draw eyeballs to them, and make it more easy for fans to discover important ideas from fan studies research.

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