TWC releases No. 4, special issue on Supernatural

The academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures, a project of OTW, released its latest issue on March 15, 2010: an issue on Supernatural guest-edited by acafan Catherine Tosenberger. Rush over here to read and comment on the essays! This is the first issue of TWC to focus on a single text.

In addition to academic essays, the issue contains shorter Symposium articles. There are close readings of specific SPN eps and the show as a whole as well as essays that discuss fan-created artworks and fandom itself. We also interviewed SPN profic writer Keith R. A. DeCandido, members of the Super-wiki team, and Wincon organizer Ethrosdemon.

The full press release appears below the cut. Feel free to disseminate widely!


March 15, 2010


Editor, Transformative Works and Cultures
[email protected]

Transformative Works and Cultures releases Supernatural special issue

NEW YORK, NY, March 15, 2010 – “Saving People, Hunting Things,” a special issue of the peer-reviewed academic journal Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) dedicated to the WB television program Supernatural guest edited by Catherine Tosenberger, was released on March 15, 2010.

“I am incredibly excited about the show,” says Tosenberger, an assistant professor of English at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. “It has a large, vibrant fandom, and the fan fic and fan vids in particular are very, very strong. I thought it was about time that all the serious analysis going on behind the scenes was showcased.”

“A lot has gone on with the program during the year it’s taken to put the issue together,” TWC coeditor Karen Hellekson noted. “Supernatural is still counting down to the last few episodes of season 5, which promise a huge showdown, and then it was unexpectedly renewed for season 6.” Kristina Busse, TWC’s other coeditor, agreed: “I’m glad nobody wanted to wait until the show finished airing. It’s actually more interesting this way: everyone is still interested and invested. There is tremendous excitement about the program, and I think this issue captures that excitement.”

The issue contains articles written by both academics and fans. The seven research essays in the Praxis section discuss such topics as melodrama (Melissa N. Bruce, Lisa Schmidt), male pregnancy in Supernatural fan fiction (Berit Åström), religion (Line Nybro Petersen), and genres such as fairy tales (Tosenberger) and romance (Monica Flegel and Jenny Roth). The Symposium section contains several analyses of fan vids (Louisa Ellen Stein, Katharina Freund), and several essays discuss the fan experience as expressed by Supernatural in its canon (Deepa Sivarajan, Melissa Gray). Many essays touch on similar themes: Wincest, the depiction of fans, the ties of brotherhood, the emotional resonance of the fan-created artworks.

Three interviews appear in this issue of TWC: Tosenberger interviewed writer Keith R. A. DeCandido about his Supernatural tie-in novels; Deborah Kaplan interviewed the members of the Super-wiki ( admin team; and the editorial team interviewed Ethrosdemon, who has put together a series of fan conventions that focus on Supernatural.

TWC is online only and open access. “That was a big reason I pitched this issue to TWC,” Tosenberger said. “I want fans of the show—and there are a lot of them—to be able to read without any restrictions on access. Lots of fans come from the LiveJournal community, and they’re used to talking with each other and commenting. TWC’s software lets readers attach comments to the articles. That means that the writers and the readers can be in dialogue with each other.”

The fifth issue of TWC, due to be released on September 15, 2010, is a general, unthemed issue.

About TWC: Transformative Works and Cultures (, an online-only peer-reviewed journal, represents the academic arm of the nonprofit fan advocacy group Organization for Transformative Works (

Announcement, Transformative Works and Cultures
  1. mikes_grrl commented:

    FYI! :)

    The Velveteen Rabbi mentioned this issue in her latest post: