This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 142

Hello and welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening! As with last week’s TWIF we are offering a slight variation on our regular format, with a lot of people still at home and much of the entertainment world still on hold. But fear not, despite the hard times everyone is experiencing, we’ve sought out some good things happening around the globe. Have you encountered any exciting fandom ideas or initiatives? Let us know in the comments and we might feature them in a future TWIF!

First, it’s clear that fans under movement restrictions, currently in place around the world, are in many cases turning to fanworks for entertainment. AO3 traffic saw a spike from 262 million views in the first week of March to 298 million in the final week, enough of a difference that we’re having to make a few changes to some users’ experience in order to maintain an optimal experience for everyone. But it’s not just fanwork consumption that’s been affected. As Aja Romano observed this week in an article for Vox, fan creators are already making the best of these exceptional circumstances by creating something new: the quarantine trope.

As you can see, the quarantine (or self-isolation) trope offers a topical adaptation of the legendary fandom favourite, And They Were Roommates (Oh My God, They Were Roommates). What better way to flatten the curve, and make the best of a stressful situation, than staying home and spending some quality time developing your own variant on the theme? Or, as we say, improvise. Adapt. Overcome. We got this. Leave it to the fans to transform and create in a time of crisis.

If you’re interested in the other ways that fan creators have responded to the COVID-19 crisis, articles on the subject have already begun to pop up online. Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at the Daily Dot has an interesting article on the ways in which current events, like this one, translate into fan communities; and Palmer Haasch at Business Insider offers a similar, shorter piece which includes a conversation with a fan creator about her motivations.

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Transformative Works and Cultures Releases No. 32

Transformative Works and Cultures announces the release of No. 32, “Fandom and Politics,” guest edited by Ashley Hinck and Amber Davisson. Topics include memes that circulated during the 2016 US presidential election, sports fan activism during the 2016 Rio Games, and MAGA as fandom. Fandoms include Doctor Who, Wolfenstein II, and Taylor Swift. And what issue on this topic would be complete without a discussion of Supernatural’s Misha Collins?

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This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 134

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things that are happening. Before we get started on everyone’s strong opinions about film and TV, we thought we’d let you know that the musical Hamilton is going to be screened in cinemas! Are you excited to finally get to see it, or did you manage to catch it live? Let us know in the comments!

This awards season, there’s been a spotlight on the Oscars for allowing us all to seamlessly repurpose last year’s hashtag #OscarsSoWhite – both because Cynthia Erivo, lead actress in Harriet, is the only person of colour to be nominated in any of the acting categories, and because everyone is waiting to see whether the overwhelmingly white Academy will leave Parasite in the Best International Feature Film category. Which was named Best Foreign Film until… this year.

Bong Joon-Ho has given several iconic interviews recently, telling Vulture that the Oscars are “not an international film festival. They’re very local”, speaking to Vanity Fair about his anxiety and how much he loves his wife, and receiving his BAFTA award with the message that “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”. The media world is alight with speculation about whether Parasite will receive the wins it deserves – and perhaps if it does win, your UK-based blogger can finally find a showing in cinemas. Read More