Posts in Public and Private Identities
Tor.com discussed the appeal of fanwork exchanges and four factors that make them so special to participate in. “That’s the amazing thing about online fandom: It’s built on the notion of giving year-round: granting each other new stories in worlds in which the writers no longer roam; lending each other an ear when no one we know has read those books or watched those TV show; giving each other stories with the utter delight of not knowing what happens next.”
The American Library’s Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries has a mission which involves identifying “emerging trends relevant to libraries and the communities they serve.” Included in their trends is an entry on fandom. In the “Why It Matters” section, they write “As cultural institutions that preserve and provide access to books, video, music, and an increasing array of media, fandoms may be obvious partners in promoting literacy, engagement with culture, and media creation. Fandom increasingly assumes active creation – writing, recording, drawing, remixing, role-playing – rather than just passive consumption of media. This could make it an important space for libraries to design programming and instruction around, especially in ways that promote Connected Learning that is highly social, interest-driven, hands-on, and production oriented.”
The OTW’s journal, Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), will be celebrating its 20th issue this September. OTW’s Communications Committee is at work planning some events to recognize the achievements of our small but extremely hard-working team that has given us several of these issues each year since its launch in 2008.
But we would also like your help! How would you like to see TWC celebrated? As we plan for a panel discussion and posts, what topics would you like to see discussed? What kind of events would you like to take part in? Let us know!
In the meantime, TWC has two calls for papers for future issues. The Symposium section in each issue exists for fan contributions, so even if you are not an academic, do consider submitting an essay for these issues! Or help TWC out by spreading the word.
From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing 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.
Today’s post is an interview with Jamie Broadnax, founder of Black Girl Nerds , an inclusive site for women who embrace geek/nerd culture. Jamie is the Digital Vice President at the She Thrives Network and has written for Afropunk and Madame Noire.
Lydia Laurenson wrote for The Atlantic about online anonymity, spurred by the change in Google+’s policy on real names. “I was finding myself on the Internet, but I was also learning skills that would be useful both as a professional and a human offline. My ability to be an effective creator was hugely shaped by writing popular fan fiction and running side-project businesses in virtual worlds. Researchers have also found pseudonymous games to be great environments for training leadership skills…Nowadays, we’re often told that The Future lies in entrepreneurship. I believe that elastic selfhood is crucial for people’s personal development, but it’s important for broader innovation, too. We need space to experiment and risk-tolerant environments where people can learn.”