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[QUOTE] From Ba Zi, 9c. Fair Use and the Translation Stranglehold

This problem is especially pernicious in–though as the J.K. Rowling/Harry Potter lexicon case demonstrates, not limited to–visual media, where the legal cases involving images and questions of fair use have placed far more limited restrictions on what can be done with images as opposed to, say, text. A scholar of a modern or contemporary poet would likely not even think of requesting permission to reprint an entire poem in a scholarly work (because, of, you know, fair use), whereas in, say, comics studies, it has become standard practice for publishers of comics scholarship to demand that authors get express written permission for each and every image to be reproduced, even though a work of scholarship is an obvious example of fair use.

Ba Zi, 9c. Fair Use and the Translation Stranglehold

[QUOTE] From Toward a goodwill ethics of online research methods | Brittany Kelley | Transformative Works and Cultures

A goodwill approach to fan scholarship should take the time to consider and negotiate fans’ privacy concerns and make research findings fully available to fans. Furthermore, goodwill requires what bell hooks would call a “loving critique”: taking the time to analyze, engage with, and question fan texts just as fans do with popular culture texts.

Toward a goodwill ethics of online research methods | Brittany Kelley | Transformative Works and Cultures

[LINK] New Professor Seeks Awesome Students for Research Adventures


Hi! I’m a professor of Information Science (at University of Colorado in Boulder). I’m also a fangirl. These things intersect more often than you might think. And if you or someone you know understands how these things intersect and think that’s awesome, then you or they might want to consider coming to school here – and in particular applying for our PhD program. (Though if you’re trying to decide on an undergrad or masters program, I’ll pitch the heck out of us for that, too!) Click the link above for the more dry explanation of my search for PhD students, but I thought I’d also pitch our department (and my research) with gifs. DID YOU KNOW THAT INFORMATION SCIENCE IS REALLY AWESOME? Here are gif-illustrated bullet points about who I am, what I do, and what information science is.

1. If you’re hanging out on Tumblr you probably think that online communities are awesome. So do I, and in fact I devoted an entire career to it! My research area in the broadest sense is social computing, which basically means the interactions that people have online and the technology that supports that. For me sometimes this has to do with law (copyright anyone?!), or ethics (did you know that a bunch of researchers are currently arguing about what we’re allowed to do with your tweets?), or fandom. I’ve done studies about Facebook, Twitter, and Archive of Our Own. Right now one of my students is designing a study about how people interpret gifs. Yes this is real life.

2. I’ve been studying (in part) fandom for over a decade, through three degrees. For an MS in Human-Computer Interaction I wrote a thesis about roleplaying games (you know, back when they were on Livejournal). In law school, I published a paper about copyright and fan fiction that won A Major Award. And for my PhD in Human-Centered Computing I wrote an entire dissertation about how laws and norms around copyright impact online creativity (largely fan creation). And last year I published a paper about the design of AO3 that was really well received (most importantly by you guys). I was always worried that this wouldn’t be accepted as a legit area of study in my field, but I was wrong. Yay!

3. If you’re wondering what information science is all about in our department, it’s anything that has to do with the relationship between people, places, and technology, and data that results from those interactions. It’s super interdisciplinary, which means that sometimes what we do looks a lot like social science (that’s me!) or sometimes like computer science or data science. Our faculty does cool things like information visualization, crisis informatics, social media analysis, creative learning, and like… a lot more. I fit in because of the work I do around information policy and ethics, and online communities.

(No, not this Data. But we do also like cats.)

4. Collaboration is awesome! If your model of a PhD is like in the humanities where you mostly do your own thing and your advisor might help you along the way, our model is really different. We have a “lab” culture where there is constant collaboration with both faculty and students, and PhD students here work as (funded) research assistants and occasionally teaching assistants.

Basically we solve problems by teaming up.

And I will leave you there! Please pass this on in case you might know someone who would be interested. Check out my blog post linked, and feel free to send me an email. I’m also happy to chat with interested undergrads! And if you’re already at University of Colorado and want to check out my research, even better!

[QUOTE] From Review of Millennial fandom: Television audiences in the transmedia age, by Louisa Ellen Stein | Helena Louse Dare-Edwards | Transformative Works and Cultures

Whether you like or loathe the term “millennial” and the idea of generational categories, they are unlikely to disappear any time soon, and a sustained focus on millennial fans (who are prime targets of the media industry) is not only welcome, but long overdue.

Review of Millennial fandom: Television audiences in the transmedia age, by Louisa Ellen Stein | Helena Louse Dare-Edwards | Transformative Works and Cultures

[QUOTE] From ‘The Ethical Hearse’: Privacy, Identity and Fandom Online | Bethan Jones

What is crucial in both ‘Morangate’ and ‘Theory of fic gate’ is that none of the fans were asked permission for their involvement, and none of the instigators considered the effects on the fans. In other words, the fans were acted upon rather than able to determine quoting an author without seeking their permission first. In the social sciences, though, the person is put first. It’s why we have ethics boards in universities and why we have to consider humanities, of course. My work falls squarely under the humanities banner, as done much fan studies, but we are asking permission of fans and seeking out ethical approval from institutions for our research. But privilege is still an issue which needs to be understood more fully in academia and we have to recognise the ways in which we, as well as the press, engage with fans.

‘The Ethical Hearse’: Privacy, Identity and Fandom Online | Bethan Jones

[REQUEST] [REQUEST] Fan studies-friendly undergraduate programs

Hi! I was wondering if anyone could recommend or share any information on undergraduate media studies programs that are fan studies-friendly (include fan studies courses, have fan studies scholars teaching, etc.). I’ve found a lot of graduate programs that seem to fit the bill, but I was curious as to whether any of you had great fan studies experiences at any universities/colleges at the undergraduate level. Would greatly appreciate any help you could give! Thanks! Hey there! We had a similar question a while ago that it’s been a while and the other question was more graduate-focused, so maybe people have more answers by now. Anyone? Crosspost:

[QUOTE] From Nicolle Lamerichs, Fan Studies Network Conference 2014

Fandom need(s) to be seen in a more diverse and flexible way. Participatory fandom is not the norm. For many fans, it can just be an individual experience of rewatching a show or enjoying something. Not everyone has the means or time to participate in, for instance, digital fandom. The productive fandom that some fan scholars investigate is certainly not the norm, but a demanding hobby and leisure activity. (…) Fan practices are one way to live fandom but for others fandom is more momentary and fleeting, or more related to the industry and affirmation, through collecting or organizing events.

Nicolle Lamerichs, Fan Studies Network Conference 2014

[REQUEST] Anyone have tips about a fan studies-friendly graduate program?

Hi there! I was wondering if you could direct me to any information you might have about graduate programs in which one could formally pursue fan studies (especially a PhD track). I’ve looked around at length and found a wealth of related (though broader) programs situated in cultural studies or media theory, but I wanted to make sure I haven’t overlooked any institutions with an academic culture particularly interested in this field. If you have any answers or suggestions for me, I’d be very appreciative! Thanks. ETA: Looking for programs in the US, if at all possible. -Danielle Frankel Tumblr crosspost:

[QUOTE] From Paul Booth and Lori Morimoto from the “Future of Fanworks” chat with fan studies authors, going on right now. Join in!

Well, in my opinion, with the increased visibility of fandom comes two different paths for fans — (1) fans are more open to scrutiny, participate with the scrutiny, and explore fandom more critically; (2) fans “burrow down” into deeper and more hidden areas because fandom is personal and shouldn’t be explored like that. The consequence of this, then, is that, at least as academics, we end up only studying the more visible fandoms


Paul – very true. This is equally true of transcultural fandoms – we study what’s visible, because we literally cannot see the rest, which runs the risk of skewing our understanding(s) of fandom in certain directions.

[QUOTE] From Anne Jamison and Frenchy Lunning from the “Future of Fanworks” chat with fan studies authors, going on right now. Join in!

Part of the fan-studies stigma is, I hate to say it, perpetuated by academic hierarchies. Of course it’s a chicken-and-egg phenomenon, but it’s hard to break out of. So many fan studies scholars—many of the people doing the most interesting, crucial work, are adjunct or non-TT (tenure track). I do see this changing.


Anne is right, but it is a generational thing. Adjuncts are young scholars, as they age they will bring fan art into the discourse. I have watched this happen over the years in Mechademia.

[LINK] Fan/dom: People, practices, and networks | Transformative Works and Cultures


A focus on fandom from multiple perspectives is critical, given ongoing challenges in conceptualizing what it is to be a fan. How do we attempt to process a concept that is simultaneously claimed as an activity, an identity, and a connection to others? Rather than seeing this confusion as a problem, perhaps it is more useful to see it as precisely the point. In trying to understand an aspect of media culture that we all, to some degree, engage in, the field of fan studies needs to approach fans and fandom in a variety of ways: at the level of the individual, at the level of practices, and as a framework in which the self encounters media culture. In our current moment, the media environment is undergoing dramatic changes. It is critical that fan studies continues to question the control of cultural production and consider the ways that today’s media industries are working to accommodate both fans and fan practices.

[ read more ]

Totally forgot to post this back when it was published in TWC. Oops!

[LINK] Destination: Toast!: Conversations about fandom: on non-canonical ships and judging fans.



51pegasi-b and I had an interesting email thread about societal judgement of different kinds of fans, and also canonical vs. non-canonical ships. I wanted to post excerpts and expand a little.


I think [fandom is] something only some people choose to be “out” about. I feel as…

This is a long, interesting discussion; I’m truncating just because destinationtoast had asked about acafandom resources, and I wanted to share a few of my fandom studies favorites:

Confessions of an Aca-Fan – this is Henry Jenkins’s blog, and Jenkins is basically the father of fan studies. Check out also his seminal book (a newly revised version), Textual Poachers, to see where it all began. More recently, he’s co-edited Spreadable Media, which I am clearly going to have to read myself.

Founded by Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson, the bi-annual journal Transformative Works and Cultures is the academic arm of the Organization for Transformative Works, which also houses our own AO3. There is a LOT of really excellent writing on fandom here, covering a range of topics, and it’s dedicated to its Open Access policy. They put out a special topics issue (most recently, comic book fandom) and a general issue every year.

Another excellent journal is Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, headed by Sue Turnbull and Martin Barker. While this journal is more broadly focused on audience studies (which can include fandom studies, but also encompasses other aspects of filmgoing/TV viewing). Also Open Access!

A really exciting, newer blog is Suzanne Scott’s Revenge of the Fans – I’m still getting up to speed on her work, but the blog is accessible and really interesting.

Sadly, scholar Matt Hills doesn’t keep an academic blog, but his work continues to have a strong influence within the field. Online, he’s most active on the Doctor Who News website, where he writes reviews of newly-aired episodes (if you read anything of his, you’ll quickly figure out the extent of his Love of DW). He also has an essay that I really liked in the book Sherlock and Transmedia Fandom, edited by Kristina Busse and Louisa Ellen Stein (who blogs at transmedia | new media, tv, fandom).

A more recent book that’s been generating a lot of buzz in the fandom studies community is Lynn Zubernis and Katherine Larsen’s Fandom at the Crossroads, which looks at fandom (and, in particular, fan pleasure) through the lens of their own Supernatural fandom. They have an active blog at Fangasm!, and I think another book in the works.

Finally, the University of Iowa Press is currently putting together a series of fan studies-related books – something to keep an eye out for, as some terrific scholar-fans are said to be contributing.

These are just some resources off the top of my head – happy reading! :)

ETA: I forgot to pimp my own blog. I contribute at On/Off Screen which, while not solely focused on fandom studies, has a strong fan studies component. Regular contributors are Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore, Rebecca Williams, Bertha Chin, and me. We’re still pretty young and so it’s not an extensive blog, but the posts are – IMHO – great. We also occasionally feature guest posts. :)

ETA2: ALSO, the Fan Studies Network has a nice list of fan studies journals that’s more comprehensive than what I have up above.

[QUOTE] From Patrick Galbraith and Thomas Lamarre, Otakuology: a Dialogue, p362

Scholars working on Japanese popular culture are only distinguished by the quantity of their publications and the novelty of their topics, which conditions a preference for niche subjects, which are analyzed by applying simplified superstructures. The result is a tendency toward exoticizing and essentializing. This tendency often reflects or even reproduces sensationalist journalism about Japan. This is very clear in the context of otaku. Definitions are set up on the basis of “otaku” in Japan, but often with little or no contact with these imagined others, and there is a critical lack of engagement with experts in Japan. Thus discussions of otaku repeat assumptions about unique, even bizarre habits and practices. And such assumptions go unquestioned, because Japanese uniqueness is the last remaining rationale for continued study of Japan itself. Japan appears as the quintessential “non-Western” example.

Patrick Galbraith and Thomas Lamarre, Otakuology: a Dialogue, p362

[META] Breaking the primacy of print: open access and TWC

Second post on open access: if you’ve seen the Open Access Explained video, it may seem pretty obvious that academic work on fans should also be open access. But what are the challenges of making a journal like Transformative Works and Cultures open access? TWC editor Karen Hellekson posted this fine analysis of the issues in August 2010, with a special focus on how making such a journal online only affects things. Reposting.

I was brought on board to help launch TWC in part because of my expertise in the scientific publishing world and my background in production. I was a hard sell when asked to lend my time to the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) and to TWC. What convinced me was the open access nature of the journal, the Creative Commons copyright, and the notion of fair use that would permit the journal to embed video and stills. These are in striking contrast to the locked-down access, repressive reprint rules, and monetization of content that I see every day in the journal-publishing industry. When it came time to decide whether we wanted a print component available for TWC’s articles, like a print version or PDFs, I spoke out strongly against it. I argued for the primacy of the online version because TWC embeds media, like YouTube videos and screen caps. How could that be duplicated in print? It can’t. Better that there be only one official version, and that one online. We would strike a blow for online-only content!

Two years later, TWC is still online only, but it’s become clear that that ideal has a cost. TWC’s audience is made up of acafans, and lots of academics who might otherwise submit to TWC find that they ought not, because their university has rules that online-only publications do not count for promotion and tenure. Some publishers won’t send us review copies of books because they have a blanket policy that they will not provide books to online-only publications. It’s clear that the reputation of online-only publications is markedly lesser than print publications. Discussions have been going on for years about online publishing models and how to weight them for tenure and promotion: Robert B. Townsend’s “History and the Future of Scholarly Publishing” discusses the issue in the field of history, and the Modern Language Association lays out its suggestions in its Statement on Publication in Electronic Journals.

The academic articles in TWC are double-blind peer reviewed. This means that every article is read by two scholars in the field who are unaware of the identity of the writer, and the writer is shielded from the identity of the readers. That’s the gold standard in the journal-publishing industry. (Several sections of the journal, including the Symposium section, are editorially reviewed.) We naively thought that rigor, peer review, excellent editing, and overall high standards would trump mode of publication. But little has changed in institutional practices. It is too easy to replicate the existing model, or too difficult to permit an institutional committee to assess items on their own merits. They would rather offload their assessment to a proxy, such as publication in a prestigious journal or by a prestigious press. Why read the book if Oxford University Press published it? It’s Oxford University Press! Similarly, to assess importance, you might look at proxies that are meant to suggest importance in the field: you might check the journal’s acceptance rates; if in the sciences you might check their impact factor; or you might examine a listing maintained by, say, the MLA, and if it’s on the list, it counts.

To up our profile, we submit TWC to various indexes. These indexes are lists of vetted content that meets certain criteria, and being listed in the index is a way to show legitimacy and drive readership. Well-known indexes that most people have heard of include PubMed (for medicine) and ERIC (for education). TWC signed an agreement permitting EBSCO, a database aggregator, to list TWC. But our application to be listed in Scopus was rejected, perhaps because when we applied, only a single issue had come out. (We’ll try again later.) To be listed, not only must TWC maintain its status as blind peer reviewed, but the journal must print a careful ratio of peer-reviewed content to non-peer-reviewed content to retain the status of “academic.” The indexing services seek to ensure quality by going down a checklist of current best practices in the journal-publishing industry and only listing journals that fulfill these criteria. Yet best practices have clearly not yet been able to adequately account for online-only publications, or online-only publications would not be treated differently by academic institutions during review for tenure and promotion.

When I fill out forms, surveys, and index submission forms related to TWC and its practices, it becomes clear how strongly the print model affects every aspect of what is considered the norm for publishing. I skip entire sections: I don’t know the number of subscriptions because we don’t use a subscription model. I can’t estimate readership because many of the user accounts are obviously spam accounts, and plenty of readers never create a user ID. We don’t offer different levels of access to different people. We don’t have office expenses because we don’t have an office, instead using freeware OJS to shepherd copy through the publication process. I can’t estimate readership for an essay because our copyright permits the author, or anyone else, to repost, which bleeds off readers and thus they aren’t counted by the software. We have no income from reprint or author fees because we don’t charge those fees. All the questions meant to assess readership and subscriptions are, with an open access model, nearly impossible to estimate. Ironically, the traditional journal-publishing world seeks to maximize impact by minimizing access, even though study after study has shown that people are far more likely to read and cite publications available in full online.

Despite these very real drawbacks, all of which are remnants of the print model, I stand by our decision to reject print in favor of online-only open access. We probably don’t need to be cited in indexes like Scopus because Google searches easily find us, with no block to obtaining full text. It has also struck me that my coeditor, Kristina Busse, and I are the perfect people to edit this journal precisely because neither of us is affiliated. Our jobs aren’t going to be affected by our work; working on the journal will never “count” one way or the other. That’s tremendously freeing.

I’m proud to be working on a publication that is on the vanguard of changing the journal-publishing model by testing models and ideas that permit the free and open exchange of ideas within a context of intellectual rigor. I am saddened that some authors will never submit to us because they can’t afford to, but I am also confident that within the next 10 years, that will change. And it will be because TWC, and journals like it, stood its ground.

[META] Open Access Explained! (by phdcomics)

Open Access Explained! (by phdcomics) Transformative Works and Cultures, the open access fan studies journal that Fanhackers is affiliated with, will be publishing a new issue on boys’ love fandom very soon. Expect shiny. By way of celebration, we’ll be posting a few things on open access and why it’s such a big deal, both in general and for TWC and fan studies in particular. First of all, what is open access and why should anyone care? Basically, the traditional system of distributing academic works has become very costly and very inefficient. It shuts many people out of conversations and prevents them from putting the important information that’s produced in academia to good use. Open access is a first step towards making academic research truly accessible and useful for everyone in a variety of ways. This video is a great and fun introduction to very many sides of the issue. By Nick Shockey, Jonathan Eisen, and PhD Comics creator Jorge Cham.

[META] The Glass

lianesque said:

“have you seen this fantastic tumblr illustration of the famous Jenkins quote?

That’s awesome! I wish we could do that with all quotes. Browsing around, it seems like there’s even a vid of this particular quote – Looks like we could do a whole series of posts on “remixes of the famous Jenkins quote explaining slash with that scene between Spock and Kirk in ‘The Wrath of Khan’”. That’s probably the most successful fan studies quote ever.

I’ll post the full quote itself in a bit. Let’s see if we can get permission to post the vid and the image too.

(We poke the creators before posting anything fan-made. Reblogging may be one thing, but automatically crossposting things out of Tumblr and onto our WordPress site is another.)