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[QUOTE] From Queering the media mix: The female gaze in Japanese fan comics | Kathryn Hemmann | Transformative Works and Cultures

As this media mix has had several more decades to evolve in Japan than in the United States and Europe, the Japanese understanding of convergence culture is significantly more progressive concerning the user-generated portion of the mix (note 6). Specifically, Japanese publishers, producers, and entertainment corporations create media properties in such a way as to encourage audience participation through transformative works, the production of which is taken for granted and directly incorporated into their business strategies and marketing models (Steinberg 2012).

Instead of discouraging fan works such as fan fiction, fan art, and fan comics, Japanese media producers depend on them to ensure a healthy and stable economic ecosystem for their franchise properties. After all, many highly successful content creators were once fans themselves (note 7). Therefore, in Japan, fans do not exist outside of transmediality and corporate convergence cultures but instead are integral to the success of the media mix.

Since the Japanese media mix model may serve as an indicator of the future evolution of overseas media cultures, which are increasingly pursuing mutually beneficial relationships with fan cultures (note 8), a better understanding of Japanese fan works and their relationship to mainstream media is useful for understanding the transnational fandom response to titles such as Sherlock (note 9).

Queering the media mix: The female gaze in Japanese fan comics | Kathryn Hemmann | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2aXwCH7

[QUOTE] From (Re)examining the attitudes of comic book store patrons | Stevens | Transformative Works and Cultures

Digital consumers overall read more comic texts and spend more money on comic books than those who exclusively collect and read physical formats. When the two outliers who purchase no physical material are excluded, it appears the publisher gets more revenue from the digital format consumers than the physical format consumers. Much like the iTunes model, consumers who are offered accessible, legal means of consuming digitally are often willing to pay for their wares; piracy is a matter of convenience, not necessarily a matter of maliciousness.

(Re)examining the attitudes of comic book store patrons | Stevens | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2aI6Rvr

[QUOTE] From Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons

Changes to fan creative practice are various and telling. Posting fiction that has not been beta read and is thus riddled with errors relating to both show canon and to writing is now routine. Leora Hadas (2009, 5.2) has described this attitude in the context of Doctor Who fandom as the sense of a “basic right” to create and post fic, and it points to prioritizing individual desire to create over any sense of obligation to produce something others will find worth reading. Similarly, some of the old rules about acceptable content, such as the prohibition on real-person fiction described by Henry Jenkins ([2002] 2006), are no longer widely used, again gesturing toward individual creativity over concern for what the community might find objectionable (see also Hadas 2009). Moreover, the reciprocity of feedback as payment for creativity seems to be decaying, with frequent pleas or demands for feedback appended to chapters of large works, often as a condition of continuing the story, suggesting that there is no longer a norm that such response is freely given. Finally, the aesthetic conventions of vids are changing, such as incorporating show dialogue rather than simply having the music provide the soundtrack, or producing trailers for fan fiction stories; while this is not as clearly an individualistic move as the other examples, it does demonstrate a move away from previous modes of producing creative fan work. It is unclear whether these fans know that the older modes exist and have rejected them; or whether the influx of new fans was too great to teach them all how it had been done before; or whether they don’t know at all because searchability provides different routes to finding out that there is such a thing as fic or vidding in the absence of knowing how it has traditionally been done. However, change is clearly in progress.

Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons ift.tt/1N4tO6b

[QUOTE] From Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons

As fans create, then, they not only create for a public but also create a public; that is, in producing for such a community, they call one into existence. (…) Fan creative production like fiction and vidding is produced for an imagined audience of people who know not only the source text or texts but also—more importantly—people who understand what these forms are as a genre. This can be seen from the ways in which fan creators tend not to do the work of explaining how to interpret these things. When fans create, they do so with the understanding that the people who ultimately consume their work will understand that they are reworking popular cultural texts within a set of conventions of both authorship and ownership. Through addressing an imagined public with those specifications, that text performatively produces one. Fandom is defined as the group of people who understand what is being done in the fan text; “the circularity is essential to the phenomenon” (Warner 2005, 67). The public of fandom—or, to use Warner’s terminology (since fandom is a minoritized position), the counterpublic of fandom—is produced through an ongoing circulation of these texts binding people together.

Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons ift.tt/1DBM315

[QUOTE] From Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons

As fans create, then, they not only create for a public but also create a public; that is, in producing for such a community, they call one into existence. (…) Fan creative production like fiction and vidding is produced for an imagined audience of people who know not only the source text or texts but also—more importantly—people who understand what these forms are as a genre. This can be seen from the ways in which fan creators tend not to do the work of explaining how to interpret these things. When fans create, they do so with the understanding that the people who ultimately consume their work will understand that they are reworking popular cultural texts within a set of conventions of both authorship and ownership. Through addressing an imagined public with those specifications, that text performatively produces one. Fandom is defined as the group of people who understand what is being done in the fan text; “the circularity is essential to the phenomenon” (Warner 2005, 67). The public of fandom—or, to use Warner’s terminology (since fandom is a minoritized position), the counterpublic of fandom—is produced through an ongoing circulation of these texts binding people together.

Mel Stanfill – Fandom, public, commons ift.tt/1DBM315

[QUOTE] From At this late date, fanfiction has become wildly more biodiverse that the canonical works that it springs from. It encompasses male pregnancy, centaurification, body swapping, apocalypses, reincarnation, and every sexual fetish, kink, combination, position, and inversion you can imagine and probably a lot more that you could but would probably prefer not to. It breaks down walls between genders and genres and races and canons and bodies and species and past and future and conscious and unconscious and fiction and reality. Culturally speaking, this work used to be the job of the avant garde, but in many ways fanfiction has stepped in to take that role. If the mainstream has been slow to honor it, well, that’s usually the fate of aesthetic revolutions. Fanfiction is the madwoman in mainstream culture’s attic, but the attic won’t contain it forever. Anne Jamison. Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. 2013 (via agentotter)

Writing and reading fanfiction isn’t just something you do; it’s a way of thinking critically about the media you consume, of being aware of all the implicit assumptions that a canonical work carries with it, and of considering the possibility that those assumptions might not be the only way things have to be.

At this late date, fanfiction has become wildly more biodiverse that the canonical works that it springs from. It encompasses male pregnancy, centaurification, body swapping, apocalypses, reincarnation, and every sexual fetish, kink, combination, position, and inversion you can imagine and probably a lot more that you could but would probably prefer not to. It breaks down walls between genders and genres and races and canons and bodies and species and past and future and conscious and unconscious and fiction and reality. Culturally speaking, this work used to be the job of the avant garde, but in many ways fanfiction has stepped in to take that role. If the mainstream has been slow to honor it, well, that’s usually the fate of aesthetic revolutions. Fanfiction is the madwoman in mainstream culture’s attic, but the attic won’t contain it forever.

Anne Jamison. Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. 2013

(via agentotter) ift.tt/1uvwnEt

[REQUEST] Journal of Fandom Studies

Hi! I would like the following articles for a research project, if anyone can share them:

Booth, Paul. Augmenting fan/academic dialogue: New directions in fan research. Journal of Fandom Studies. Vol 1 No 2.

Bennett, Lucy. Tracing Textual Poachers: Reflections on the development of fan studies and digital fandom. Journal of Fandom Studies. Vol 2 No 1.

Hills, Matt. Doctor Who’s textual commemorators: Fandom, collective memory and the self-commodification of fanfac. Journal of Fandom Studies. Vol 2 No 1.

Ford, Sam. Fan studies: Grappling with an ‘Undisciplined’ discipline. Studies. Vol 2 No 1.

Coppa, Francesca. Fuck Yeah, Fandom is Beautiful. Journal of Fandom Studies. Vol 2 No 1.

Anyone have these? Please leave a comment!

Crosspost: ift.tt/1lZaW9W

[META] problem area: can organizing fan activities by fandoms be a problem?

fandomthennow:

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Over the next few weeks I’ll be crossposting pieces of the Fandom Then/Now webproject here. I’ll be moving in order through the site, starting with information about the project and ending with some of my ongoing questions. I’ll link back to the site in each post. Please consider commenting here using the #fandomthennow tag or posting on the site to share your thoughts and ideas. This week we’re onto popular fandoms and stories.

In the past few posts I’ve been talking about popular stories from the 2008 survey and the fandoms they were connected to. Today, I want to continue discussing some issues I had when I began compiling popular stories by individual fandoms.

[This post picks right up on my previous one which you can read here.]

[My previous post] gets at an issue I struggle with in Fan Studies and part of the reason why my research is interested in looking beyond individual fandoms themselves and looking instead at the romantic and thematic connections in fan fiction. When talking about fans and fan practices, we often use a show, film, game, or franchise as the label for fans. (And, of course, fans self-identify in this way as well.) However, when we do this we are prioritizing the product in how we organize and conceptualize fan activities. This has the effect of positioning consumption as the organizing principle for fan culture. A move which may limit our view of fan networks.

This model seems to become particularly strained when it comes to certain forms of fan fiction. What the 2008 survey results tell me is that while many fans use fandom titles as a keyterm they can tag content with, input into user profiles, and search databases for, fans do not cohesively and harmoniously organize themselves within these clusters. Some fans of Supernatural may read slash, gen, het, and RPS fic interchangeably, but many of them stick to the story category they are most interested in instead. Indeed, fans of one type of story may have no interest at all in other types of stories within that fandom.

More than half of the 2008 survey respondents were participating in multiple fandoms at a time. This raises the possibility that many fans are seeking out various types of stories across multiple fandoms. Each time we identify one of these “multi-fannish” fans as solely a Harry Potter fan, a Doctor Who fan, etc. we’re framing the fan experience in a way that a) risks distorting how certain individuals are participating in fan cultures and b) leaves us blind to the broader and highly complex networks connecting fans to each other and to fan works.

Since fans often rely on their social networks to help them find new stories, many fans’ social networks are built around broader cross-fandom interests, in addition to any preferences specific to a single fandom. In terms of a fan’s overall experience, the “-dom” in fandom may be far less tied to a media product/franchise and far more tied to a character archetype, a kind of relationship, a mode of content, etc. Clearly, slash is one example of this broader view of fan culture, one that fans are well aware of. Slash has long operated as both a pairing category within individual fandoms and a larger interest area organizing fans socially across fandoms. But, here’s where this might get more complicated: Slash fans have had sense of a larger group identity for some time, but slash itself has experienced a great deal of stigma over the years. It is a reading category that, until recently, was harder to find in commercial literature. These are some of the many reasons why being a “slasher” might carry a stronger sense of cross-fandom group identity in ways that other reading interests do not.

What do you think about fandom labels? Do you prefer to identify your interests by fandom? Pairing? Favorite character? Do you find yourself sticking to one fandom at a time or do you seem to seek out similar types of stories, characters, or relationship dynamics across fandoms?

Read the full write up on popular fandoms and stories here. Share what you think about this on the Fandom Then/Now website or respond here using the #fandomthennow tag.

Announcing the Fandom Then/Now Webproject

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For many people, fan fiction is as much a part of their reading as commercial literature. Fan fiction websites and archives provide readers with novels, serials, novellas, romantic and erotic stories, non-romantic stories, experimental literature, video and visual art, etc. While fan writers and readers are certainly not exclusively interested in romance, fan writing frequently explores the romantic potential between two characters and fan fiction is often built on romantic foundations. The shift to digital publishing and reading is having a dramatic impact on commercial romance literature. However, what about the kinds of romantic and erotic stories fans produce? How is fan work being affected by the rise in digital publishing? The Fandom Then/Now project is designed to facilitate fan conversations and collect ideas from fans about fan fiction’s past and future.

What do you notice in the data from 2008? What do you think about the intersections between fan fiction and romantic storytelling? Now, in 2014, what has and hasn’t changed about fans’ reading and writing practices?

Please visit the Fandom Then/Now website to look at the project and share your thoughts.

[QUOTE] From Janelle Monae: Sci Fi Queen Yet Uncrowned by Sam Keeper http://ift.tt/1qjrY8Z

I think the choice of words in that article—”uncomfortable”—reveals unwittingly the feeling present through the silent parts of geek culture that may not explode in paroxysms of racist, sexist, and homophobic rage whenever anyone dares to intrude on their supremacist fantasies… but that quietly through their silence, through their discomfort, through their resistance to the 21st Century social order, give strength to the howling, spoiled princelings of the digital age.

To someone that draws their identity from outmoded conceptions of gender and sexuality, Monae’s genderqueer persona and her unstated, ambiguous sexual desire…is probably “uncomfortable.” To people unused to thinking about Sally Ride, Monae’s use of Ride as a touchstone is probably a little “uncomfortable.” She’s working with a repertoire that’s maybe not familiar to geeks, and if there’s one things geeks hate, it’s not being smarter than everyone else in the god damn room, so, again, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to posit discomfort and the bias it represents as a possible reason for Monae’s lack of attention in geek circles.

Janelle Monae: Sci Fi Queen Yet Uncrowned by Sam Keeper

ift.tt/1qjrY8Z ift.tt/1sqMYex

[QUOTE] From Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase by Laurie Penny (via cypress-tree)

What is significant about fan fiction is that it often spins the kind of stories that showrunners wouldn’t think to tell, because fanficcers often come from a different demographic. The discomfort seems to be not that the shows are being reinterpreted by fans, but that they are being reinterpreted by the wrong sorts of fans – women, people of colour, queer kids, horny teenagers, people who are not professional writers, people who actually care about continuity (sorry). The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly.

Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase by Laurie Penny (via cypress-tree) ift.tt/1nt4wz2

[META] The censorship problems faced by anime and manga fans

For fans of manga, anime, and other Japanese media, pointing and laughing at inaccurate mass media portrayals of Japanese pop culture has been something of a sport for decades. A few weeks ago, however, things took a slightly more serious turn.

The ball got rolling when early in June, the Japanese House of Representatives approved a long-overdue law banning the possession of child pornography. Up to now, creating and distributing child pornography was as forbidden in Japan as anywhere else, but “simple possession” had not yet been criminalized. The new law applies only to “real” child pornography and leaves alone completely fictional depictions of underage characters in sexual situations in manga, anime and other media. This exception came about after vocal protests from manga publishers, creators, fans and free speech rights activists. The story was widely reported in non-Japanese media. However, most of these reports focused on handwringing about Japan’s “failure” to clamp down on sexually explicit manga. Most shared was a CNN article filled with outrage about how the new law supposedly permits Japanese bookstores to fill their shelves with shocking cartoon porn about children. (more…)

[QUOTE] From Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education, p203

Many (New York Times articles about fan fiction) described fanfiction authors as dedicated (Nussbaum 2003), but the specific language used to frame their “zealous” (Stelter 2008, 5) or “marginal obsessive” (Manly 2006, 1) behavior varied. The normalcy of fanfiction appeared largely dependent on the fan’s age. Adult fanfiction authors were portrayed as perverts playing out their media-inspired sexual fantasies (McGrath 1998; O’Connell 2005; Orr 2004), whereas children and adolescents used fanfiction as a creative form of literacy and self-expression (Aspan 2007; Kirkpatrick 2002; Salamon 2001).

Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education, p203 ift.tt/1i2fPfg

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

A lot of people like slash better if they imagine queers slashing, or imagine it to be political, in favor of representation, talking back, etc. That’s a story people like. And it’s a TRUE story. But when we think of heterosexual women who get off on thinking about explicit sex between (or among) men? Also a true story—that’s a story that I think more people are unhappy with.