OTW Fannews: Everybody Wants You

Western 'Wanted' poster with OTW Fannews Everybody Wants You across it'

  • 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.”

Read More

OTW Fannews: Improve Your Life

banner by SoyAlex of a bicycle with the OTW logo as the wheels

  • 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.”
  • Two different sites promoted fandom involvement as a way to stay healthy. The University of Utah’s Health Feed focused on sports fandom while Inverse expanded it to include media fandom. The fandom benefits cited were a sense of belonging, greater happiness, and an increase in critical thinking.
  • Bringing your fandom into the workplace can be problematic, though, depending on your profession. Gawker was among those criticizing a BuzzFeed reporter for a lack of objectivity. “[T]he Buzzfeed Brand is built in large part on explicit and outspoken fandom. But the News side at BuzzFeed works as seriously as as traditional newsroom, and has put into place ethical guidelines to cement that… It’s hard to imagine how these guidelines jibe with teary-eyed fandom for the Pope, an elected political entity with a broad swath of deeply political views that include (a longstanding opposition to) women’s rights and LGBT equality.” They concluded by noting that “pure, uncritical adoration goes beyond the usual biases, and makes a reporter seem incapable of grappling with the complexity of her subject… This isn’t a Foo Fighters fan interviewing Dave Grohl.”
  • Death and Taxes revealed that Dave Grohl is equally likely to have his fandom on display if Jonathan Davis is any example. “Probably the biggest thing Davis and I have in common is an all-consuming love for Duran Duran. The big difference being that Davis got to actually connect with his musical idol Simon Le Bon… ‘I was shaking, because I’m the hugest fan. He was like, ‘How old are you? Name some songs.’ And I was like ‘”The Chauffeur” is my shit. I love that song.’ We just hit it off and started hanging out that night. And then a couple years later my agent brought him out. He came to the Korn show, and then we went out to this pizza place in London, and we hung out all night and it was the greatest night of my life.'”

What was the greatest fandom day of your life? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Things to Come at TWC

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

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.

Special Issue CFP: Sherlock Holmes Fandom, Sherlockiana, and the Great Game (March 2017)

“This special issue seeks to engage both academics and fans in writing about the older, long established Sherlockian fandom. We welcome papers that address all fandoms of Sherlock Holmes and its adaptations, particularly those that trace the connections and similarities/differences among and between older and newer fandoms.

We welcome submissions dealing with, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Questions of nomenclature, cultural distinction, class, race, gender, and sexuality.
  • The role of Sherlockian fandom and the Great Game in fandom history.
  • Academic histories of Sherlockian fandom, both organized and informal.
  • Connections between new adaptation-based fandoms and the older fandom.
  • Fan productions, e.g., pastiche, fan works, and Sherlockian writings on the Canon.
  • Influence of intellectual property law and norms on adaptations and fan productions.
  • Sherlockian publishing, e.g., MX, Titan, BSI Press or Wessex Press.
  • Community, e.g., Sherlockians on the Internet or Sherlockian “real world” gatherings.
  • Specific national fandoms, e.g., Japanese or Chinese Sherlock Holmes reception.

Read more at their announcement on the TWC site.

They are also looking for contributions for a special issue on Queer Female Fandom:

This special issue is the first dedicated to femslash, and it aims to collect and put in dialogue emerging research and criticism on the subject, from histories of lesbian fandom to current fan activities around queer female characters and pairings. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • case studies of femslash subcultures and fanworks
  • femslash dynamics and demographics
  • platforms, archives, and communities
  • diachronic or comparative analyses
  • feminist investments in centering women
  • debates about queerbaiting and the politics of visibility
  • queer female authorship in gift/commercial economies
  • transnational circulation of queer female texts
  • yuri (girls’ love) and other non-western femslash iterations

Read more at their announcement on the TWC site.

And don’t forget to check out the recently released issue 19, “Transnationalism, Localization, and Translation in European Fandom.”