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fandom

[REQUEST] Slashfic readers from pre-2008 needed!

Hello all! I’m requesting information on the (in)visibility of slash as a way of generating angst in fanfic pre-2008. Specifically, I want to know what causes or prevents the queering of canoncially straight characters from being used as the primary source of conflict in slashfic. I’m primarily investigating the Kingdom Hearts and Naruto fandoms right now, but information on any fandom based on a global media commodity (preferable originating in Japan, just for the sake of keeping my claims tenable) would be most welcome. If you were actively reading slash fiction in the early 2000s (or know someone who was) and would like to share you perceptions with me, I’d be most grateful! -rabidbehemoth Tumblr crosspost: ift.tt/1l8Y9Um

[META] Parafanfiction and Oppositional Fandom

[P]arafanfiction…refers to a particular subset of parafictional art that claims to be fanfiction of, or some other record of, an external media object that does not actually exist. The most notable examples of this are the Homestuck Anime and Squiddles, both of which are spinoffs of the actual Homestuck hypercomic. The idea with those projects is to fabricate an entire alternate reality where Homestuck is an anime and the in-comic show Squiddles actually exists. The fans participating in these projects create objects ostensibly taken directly from the shows in question—screencaps, pictures of old VHS tapes, GameBoy Advance cartridges, gif edits, and so on and so forth—in order to sell the idea that these shows actually exist. Parafanfiction and Oppositional Fandom by

[QUOTE] From Tisha Turk, Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy

Generally speaking, media fandom operates on a labor theory of value—not necessarily in the Marxist sense of the phrase, but in the sense that value derives from work. Fandom’s gift economy assigns special worth to “gifts of time and skill” (Hellekson 2009, 115), gifts made by fans for fans. The worth of these gifts lies not simply in the content of the gift, nor in the social gesture of giving, but in the labor that went into their creation. Commercially purchased gifts, such as the virtual cupcakes and balloons that can be purchased in the LiveJournal shop, may be given and appreciated, but will generally be worth less, in the context of fandom, than gifts made by the giver (note 2). This labor theory of value is often invisible or unarticulated until something goes wrong: a site skin doesn’t work as anticipated, a vid is plagiarized, a story in progress—or an entire archive—is abandoned. These events remind us that our experience of fandom depends on the labor of others: “A gift is a thing we do not get by our own efforts. We cannot buy it; we cannot acquire it through an act of will. It is bestowed upon us” (Hyde 1979, xi).

Tisha Turk, Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy ift.tt/1g9d3Vi

[QUOTE] From Bethan Jones, Fifty Shades of fan labor: Exploitation and Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades complicates the concept of prosumption, however, as (E.L.) James “built a following within a community founded in part on the explicit rejection of monetary gain in favor of fannish love, and then used that community and the work it helped her to produce in order to make a name—and a fair amount of money—in mainstream publishing” (Wanenchak 2012). James thus straddles the line between producer and fan, stealing from commodified culture to create Master of the Universe while stealing from fandom to make a success of Fifty Shades. The question of whether James’s fans would have been so involved in supporting and reviewing her work if they were aware that their efforts would result in her profit—although ultimately unanswerable—is nevertheless a valid one, and I would suggest that these debates suggest a subtle change in the relationship between fan and producer. From being in a position of cultural marginality where they poach from texts, fans are now the ones potentially being poached from (Andrejevic 2008; Milner 2009).

Bethan Jones, Fifty Shades of fan labor: Exploitation and Fifty Shades of Grey ift.tt/1kEIfyT

[QUOTE] From Mel Stanfill and Megan Condis, Editorial: Fandom and/as labor

One major issue in the 2007–8 Writers Guild of America strike was an insistence that Web content was creative work and was thus eligible to be paid at creative rates, rather than promotional work that creators were obligated to participate in for free (Gray 2010; Leaver 2013; Russo 2010). The kinds of paratexts or pieces of ancillary content that were at stake in the WGA strike are quite like what fans produce, and turning to fans rather than paid staff for such work thus looks increasingly good for the bottom line. After all, even against the baseline of declining labor strength in Hollywood, fan work is a bargain for industry.

Mel Stanfill and Megan Condis, Editorial: Fandom and/as labor ift.tt/PrPe4z

[QUOTE] From “Geek hierarchies, boundary policing, and the gendering of the good fan” Kristina Busse, Participations 10.1 (2013)

If female fans are dismissed more easily, then so are their interests, their spaces, and their primary forms of engagement. Or, said differently, gender discrimination occurs on the level of the fan, the fan activity, and the fannish investment. There is a ready truism that enthusiasm for typically male fan objects, such as sports and even music, are generally accepted whereas female fan interests are much more readily mocked. Likewise, fangirls are mocked as is fan fiction, an activity more commonly ascribed to females. More than that, affect and forms of fannish investment get policed along gender lines, so that obsessively collecting comic books or speaking Klingon is more acceptable within and outside of fandom than creating fan vids or cosplaying. Even the same behavior gets read differently when women do it: sexualizing celebrities, for example, is accepted and expected among men but gets quickly read as inappropriate when done by women.

“Geek hierarchies, boundary policing, and the gendering of the good fan” Kristina Busse, Participations 10.1 (2013) ift.tt/1gQemxE

[QUOTE] From Tisha Turk, Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy

The phrase fan work is typically used, by both fans and academics, in the sense of work of art; it refers to fan fiction, fan vids, fan art. Within fandom, these objects are “the main focus of most discussion outside of the show itself” and are “highly prized” because they “require some level of artistry to master” (Sabotini 1999). They are the objects, and thus the labors, most likely to be publicly assigned value (in the form of comments, kudos, likes, reblogs, recommendations, etc.) by other fans and to be studied by academics.

But there are many other forms of fan work, including work that does not necessarily result in objects for recirculation. Media fandom runs on the engine of production, but much of what we produce is not art but information, discussion, architecture, access, resources, metadata. Think about all the behind-the-scenes labor, for example, that goes into commenting on stories, beta-ing vids, writing essays and recommendations, reviewing and screen-capping episodes, collecting links, tagging bookmarks, maintaining Dreamwidth and LiveJournal communities, organizing fests/challenges/exchanges, compiling newsletters, making costumes, animating .gif sets, creating user icons, recording podfic, editing zines, assembling fan mixes, administering kink memes, running awards sites, converting popular stories to e-book formats, coding archives, updating wikis, populating databases, building vid conversion software, planning conventions, volunteering at conventions, moderating convention panels—and the list could go on.

Such activities and their outcomes tend to be less discussed and commended, in both fannish and academic circles, than fandom’s “traditional gifts,” even though in many cases these activities facilitate the creation of art objects or provide the infrastructure that enables the dissemination and discussion of those objects. The sheer volume of fan work, in the inclusive sense of the phrase, necessitates further fannish labor; the navigation of online fandom is made possible by the creation of metadata, access points, links, and so on: important though sometimes underacknowledged work. These labors, too, are gifts.

Tisha Turk, Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy

[QUOTE] From Mel Stanfill and Megan Condis, Editorial: Fandom and/as labor

It is now well established that watching television can usefully be conceptualized as work (Jhally and Livant 1986; Smythe 1977), and a labor framing has been applied to user-generated content by critical media studies scholars (Andrejevic 2009; Fuchs 2012; Hesmondhalgh 2010). However, fans have not often been approached this way. This disjuncture partially comes from the fact that fan activity is both by all appearances freely chosen and understood as pleasure, neither of which is typically associated with work. Instead, fan action has been framed as being active or participatory, and while these conceptualizations have been productive, when the lens of labor is applied, unique and crucial questions come into view.

To speak of labor is to attend to the value fans generate—an antidote to surprisingly tenacious notions of fan activity as a valueless pleasure. Once we have conceptualized fan work as generating value, we can also inquire into how that value is distributed and whether work circulating between fans in gift economies or among fans and industry is potentially exploited labor. This special issue of Transformative Works and Cultures takes the premise that if fans are a vital part of the new economy, then we have to take the economy part as seriously as the vital part.

Mel Stanfill and Megan Condis, Editorial: Fandom and/as labor

[QUOTE] From Lawrence Lessig, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy

Yet, it’s easy for us to miss the active in the mere watching. It’s rude to turn around and watch people watch a movie. It’s a crime to try to film them singing in the shower. We live in a world infused with commercial culture, yet we rarely see how it touches us, and how we process it as it touches us.

[META] Storify by Bertha Chin: tweets and pictures of the Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013

Storify by Bertha Chin: tweets and pictures of the Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013:

[LINK] Storify by Bertha Chin: tweets and pictures of the Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013

storify.com/bertha_c/fan-studies-network-symposium-2013-2014?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=email&utm_medium=email

Tweets from the Fan Studies Network Symposium, hosted by the School of Political, Social and International Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, on Saturday 30th November 2013. Featuring a keynote by Professor Matt Hills, and over 30 papers from international delegates.

[LINK] Going on right now: Fan Studies Network 2013 Symposium

fanstudies.wordpress.com/fan-studies-network-symposium-2013/

The Fan Studies Network Symposium is taking place in Norwich right now and being live-tweeted at #FSN2013. Check out the program:

09:30 – 10:20: KEYNOTE
Professor Matt Hills (Aberystwyth University) (Chairs: Lucy Bennett & Tom Phillips)
10:30 – 10:45: BREAK
10:45 – 12:00: PARALLEL PANELS
Panel A: Spaces and Performance (Chair: Tom Phillips)
Panel B: Celebrity (Chair: Sarah Ralph)
12:00 – 13:00: LUNCH
13:00 – 14:30: PARALLEL PANELS
Panel C: Gender (Chair: Bertha Chin)
Panel D: Classic Fandoms, New Narratives (Chair: Ruth Deller)
14:30 – 14:45: BREAK
14:45 – 16:00: SPEED GEEKING (Chair: Richard McCulloch)
16:00 – 16:15: BREAK
16:15 – 17:45: PARALLEL PANELS
Panel E: Transculture (Chair: Nele Noppe)
Panel F: Textualities (Chair: Bethan Jones)
17:45 – 18:00: CLOSE – Lucy Bennett & Tom Phillips (Fan Studies Network)

More info and abstracts

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

journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/532/408

katiedidn-t:

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!

[QUOTE] From Lev Grossman (via theadventuresofcargline) woah someone actually gets fanfiction (via sonicsnitchoffire)

I adore the way fan fiction writers engage with and critique source texts, by manipulating them and breaking their rules. Some of it is straight-up homage, but a lot of [fan fiction] is really aggressive towards the source text. One tends to think of it as written by total fanboys and fangirls as a kind of worshipful act, but a lot of times you’ll read these stories and it’ll be like ‘What if Star Trek had an openly gay character on the bridge?’ And of course the point is that they don’t, and they wouldn’t, because they don’t have the balls, or they are beholden to their advertisers, or whatever. There’s a powerful critique, almost punk-like anger, being expressed there—which I find fascinating and interesting and cool.

[REQUEST] Academic works on uses of fanworks in education

Rebecca Tushnet is looking for academic works that talk about the uses of transformative works in education, for instance how various kinds of fanworks are used in classrooms, what skills and knowledge people learn from making/consuming fanworks, and so on. She’s especially interested in what the most well-known and authoritative sources on fanworks in education are, but any sources would be very welcome.

Suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Crosspost: fanhackers.tumblr.com/post/63041136528

[QUOTE] From Lori Hitchcock Morimoto, Trans-cult-ural fandom: Desire, technology and the transformation of fan subjectivities in the Japanese female fandom of Hong Kong stars

Cult fandom historically has constituted women as the mainstream other against which fan identities are constituted.

Lori Hitchcock Morimoto, Trans-cult-ural fandom: Desire, technology and the transformation of fan subjectivities in the Japanese female fandom of Hong Kong stars