Wikipedia is perhaps the only platform available on which fans can effectively and efficiently broadcast facts about their media objects of interest and receive built-in approval, encouraging them to continue.
Wikipedia and participatory culture: Why fans edit | Paul Thomas | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2d2pbSb
Founded in 2003, Jinjiang Wenxue Cheng (the Jinjiang City of Literature, hereafter Jinjiang) (www.jjwxc.net/) proclaims itself to be the largest female cyberlit platform in the world, with 93 percent of its over 7 million registered members being women (JJWXC n.d.; Feng 2009; Xu and Yang 2013). BL fan fics, or danmei tongren (from the Japanese words tanbi, “addicted to beauty,” and dōjinshi), are listed side by side with yanqing (heterosexual romance) as two major genres on the Web site, where male-male love is treated as another form of romantic relationship. Jinjiang is one of the major platforms for online distribution of Chinese BL fiction where people pay the authors in order to read their favorite titles, often with the first few chapters free, while the Web site charges a commission for each subscription. (…) Jinjiang also helps build connections between novelists and publishers to facilitate commercial publication of popular yanqing titles. BL fiction with homosexual content, however, often cannot pass the censors to be legally published in China, even as niche publications.
Iron Man in Chinese boys’ love fandom: A story untold | John Wei | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2clFc3l
In Sweden, older siblings are generally the ones who introduce younger siblings to various fandoms, such as digital games and fan fiction sites, thus further conflating online and real-life relationships (Swedish Media Council 2013a, 2013b; Olin-Scheller 2011).
Technological advancement, English proficiency, and fandom activities are all closely interrelated. However, being connected to the Internet and being heavily involved in digital fan activities do not necessarily imply that one’s main focus is international. Instead, digital activities are associated with closeness, both in terms of relationships (friends sitting on the same couch when going online) and geographical locations (attending local cosplay or gaming conventions). This way of being and acting as a fan is likely not limited to Sweden or Swedish fan communities; it is probably also the case in other areas with ubiquitous Internet access and English-language proficiency.
A connected country: Sweden—Fertile ground for digital fandoms | Christina Olin-Scheller and Pia Sundqvist | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2cBHqK4
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 ift.tt/2bTw82o
I’ve been trying to think through this kind of canon versus fanon kind of thing, and for the longest time I was a “who needs canon” kind of person. We have our archetypes, we have our narratives, and we’ll run with it. And those are the stories I want, and I don’t care whether they are the same stories I’ve read a hundred times, those are the stories I want. But as those stories themselves, as those characters have changed, I’ve realized that it’s not that simple. That I can go and find versions of queerness, but those versions of queerness in fandom will mostly be white queerness. They’re not going to be brown queerness, they’re not going to be black queerness. And that’s something that I’m going to have to rely on canon to center those characters to the point that they cannot be ignored. And that is very very rare.
We’ve now kind of come to the tipping point where how much primacy can a character of color get and still be marginalized in fandom? And you know, it seems like we’ve come to the end of that rope! I don’t think you could have—this is a question I think that a lot of people have kind of been thinking about at the back of their minds. Surely some text will come along where there’s no other option. And we’ve seen that fandom will make the option and it still won’t be black or brown queerness.
Rukmini Pande, Episode 29 of @fansplaining, “Shipping and Activism.” There are so many things I want to quote from this episode, but this segment in particular was extraordinary in helping me frame my thinking about conflict between fanon, canon, queerness, and race.
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Fan fiction often demonstrates a high level of knowledge of and insight into its source texts (or canons, in fan fiction vocabulary) and, as an allusive literary form, rewards equally high levels of knowledge in its readers. This knowledge has an erotic inflection (as, famously, in early English translations of the Bible, where to know is to intimately penetrate); fans have not only understanding but intimacy with their canon, and fan fiction increases this intimacy. Theorists of fan fiction often speak of fan fiction as filling the gaps in a source text, a phrase with its own sexual undertones that also describes fan fiction’s self-assumed role as interlinear glossing of a source text. Silences and absences in the source text act as barriers to intimacy, and fan fiction writers fill these silences with their imaginative activity, enabling their own deeper understanding of the world and characters of the source text. In its current context in popular media fandom, fan fiction is, among other things, a heuristic tool: a mental technology that facilitates understanding of a text by means of an affective hermeneutics—a set of ways of gaining knowledge through feeling.
Wilson, Anna. 2016. “The Role of Affect in Fan Fiction.” In “The Classical Canon and/as Transformative Work,” edited by Ika Willis, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 21.http://ift.tt/2c6cCRl.
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Football slash fan fiction is both a result of and reaction to mediated football fandom. It exists because of the understanding of football as a narrative, but also because of what mainstream football fandom leaves out of its world. It is a way to play with the boundaries between real and fictional while also exploring the hidden potential of the football narrative and experiencing it in a welcoming environment.
It is also a result of changes in fan fiction practice. Contemporary slash fan fiction writers see nearly any media narrative as transformable, and this potential increases when the narrative is seen as slashy. Changes in the way that fan fiction is distributed and consumed meant that the older proscriptions about what was “fic-able” and what wasn’t became less powerful. Once they learn the form, slash fan fiction writers become trained to see slash and fan fiction potential in the media they encounter. Professional football’s heavily homosocial environment makes it ideal for a slash interpretation, with the visual material to stimulate the imagination and a variety of potential relationship dynamics and character types to write and read about. Additionally, its similarity to cult narratives means that fan fiction writers recognize where they can fill in the narrative spaces of football to suit their needs. This is not necessarily in contrast to being a more traditional sports fan, but rather in tandem with it, a way to work through the emotions of being a football fan and to explore parts of it in a way not seen in more mainstream football fan spaces.
The creation of football slash fan fiction | Abby Waysdorf | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2bml2Cy
The significance of manga and anime in German fan fiction remains recognizable today. 29 percent of all pieces of fan fiction uploaded to FanFiktion.de and 49.5 percent of the 148,220 fan writings on Animexx are categorized as manga/anime (the latter unsurprising considering that the Web site caters to anime and manga fans), whereas the international FanFiction.net archive lists only 25.3 percent of its 41,183,979 texts in these categories and Archive of Our Own (ift.tt/1ffprbE) not even 12 percent (Table 1).
A brief history of fan fiction in Germany | Vera Cuntz-Leng | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2bMqZdK
Upon the appearance of Web 2.0 sites like YouTube or DeviantART (and especially their explicitly Japanese counterparts NicoNico Dōga and Pixiv) one might think that Comic Market as a physical and costly event would suffer from losing its monopoly on being the center of Japanese fan art. But once again Comike was the beneficiary of a new fan praxis: attendance reached new heights in 2007 (well over 500,000 people), a year without any outstandingly popular property to attract new visitors. It seems that dōjinshi circles are not switching entirely to the Internet but rather are using it as an informational and marketing platform for themselves and their creations, spreading the knowledge of and fascination with Comic Market to new spheres. The best example of this phenomenon is the already-mentioned Tōhō Project, which became popular mostly through Web 2.0 outlets.
Fan-Yi Lam, Comic Market: How the World’s Biggest Amateur Comic Fair Shaped Japanese Dōjinshi Culture, p243 ift.tt/2b3bhsP
(My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) is feminized for adhering to (feminine) tropes, and for doing so with bright pastel colors and chipper voices talking about friendship, but it was deliberately created to be both girly and good.
Bronies’ praise, however, frequently separates FiM from its association with its feminist possibility and young, gendered target audience. They contend that the series “has a higher quality writing style than other children’s shows, with varied themes, and the plot and characters develop over the seasons” (Angel 2012). Bronies discuss how they were not expecting to like and watch such a program. One recounts, “First we can’t believe this show is so good. Then we can’t believe we’ve become fans for life” (Watercutter 2011). Another notes, “If you asked me three years ago if I would be running pony stuff and watching My Little Pony, I would be like ‘What? No, that’s girl stuff’” (Peters 2013). The aspects of the show lauded by bronies, including its animation style and clever references to geek and pop culture, are associated with masculine genre and aesthetics, and their praise thus reframes it as something more suited to an adult male viewership.
What we talk about when we talk about bronies | Anne Gilbert | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2b1VNZd
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
“In a criminal case, if you are charged with an assault, the state incurs the cost of your defense, should you be unable to provide one for yourself. In a civil case, no matter which side you are on, you always incur the legal costs yourself. Large media companies, the ones actually engaging in legal action (NOT the creators), often have to do little more than threaten a lawsuit (or send a cease and desist letter) to elicit the desired behavior, even if they think they can’t win in court, because they know the defendant lacks the financial resources to defend him/herself and will thus back off, even if legally they are not obliged to do so. Scanlators generally cannot defend themselves and often lack the necessary legal knowledge (or access to a professional) so as to ascertain which legal threats have teeth and which do not. There may be ways of doing scanlation without express permission that do not violate copyright; it’s likely we will never know what they are, since the publishers hold (nearly) all the cards.”
– Ba Zi, 9a. Copyright, Scanlation, and the Ethics of Unfettered Reading
In a criminal case, if you are charged with an assault, the state incurs the cost of your defense, should you be unable to provide one for yourself. In a civil case, no matter which side you are on, you always incur the legal costs yourself. Large media companies, the ones actually engaging in legal action (NOT the creators), often have to do little more than threaten a lawsuit (or send a cease and desist letter) to elicit the desired behavior, even if they think they can’t win in court, because they know the defendant lacks the financial resources to defend him/herself and will thus back off, even if legally they are not obliged to do so. Scanlators generally cannot defend themselves and often lack the necessary legal knowledge (or access to a professional) so as to ascertain which legal threats have teeth and which do not. There may be ways of doing scanlation without express permission that do not violate copyright; it’s likely we will never know what they are, since the publishers hold (nearly) all the cards.
Ba Zi, 9a. Copyright, Scanlation, and the Ethics of Unfettered Reading ift.tt/2aD6b7G
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
If Beatlemania quickly became synonymous with The Beatles as a star text, then so too did the powerful and self-determined performance of female desire. The Beatles fangirl did not so much experience a loss of control than she declared a rejection of control through her emotional performance as a fan.
The modern Beatles fangirl continues to recognize and pay tribute to this feminist legacy; the budding convergence culture which nourished her predecessors’ multiplicity of obsessive experience has become the norm for her.
Protected: Beatles Fangirls: A History
Posted on June 18, 2016 by popmitzvah
On 9 June 2011, news of nuclear contamination in earthquake-stricken Japan took a backseat to the AKB48 General Election in the mass media. The third election of its kind for the all-girl idol group formed in 2005, it was a massive promotion and marketing blitz. In addition to fan-club members, anyone who had purchased their 21st single, “Everyday, Kachu ̄sha,” could vote. In a week, it sold 1,334,000 copies, a new record for a single sold in Japan.1 The results of the General Election were announced during a live ceremony at the Budo ̄kan, where some of the most famous musical acts in the world have performed. The ceremony was also streamed live to 86 theaters (97 screens) in Japan, everywhere from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south, and in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea (Barks Global Media 2011a). Fans were desperate for a seat—be it at the actual venue or the theaters—but tickets sold out almost instantly. This was more than just fanaticism. It was a media event and a public spectacle. The girls of AKB48 were pronounced “national idols” (kokumin-teki aidoru)—the performers “we” “Japanese” “all” know and love. The election was given prominent coverage by both print and television media, with as many as 150 outlets reporting on the event (Morita 2011). People were constantly updated on which of the members, nearly 200 by this point, would come out on top. They were kept up to speed on developments by online sites, cell phone news feeds, commercial and news spots on trains, and, of course, friends, family, coworkers, schoolmates, and everyone else who was talking about it. On the day of the General Election, the streets of Tokyo were buzzing with the names of AKB48 members. It was hard not to be involved in some way, if not intimately so.
Galbraith and Karlin, Idols and Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture, p1 ift.tt/1U4STAQ
The New York Times generally presented fanfiction as a financial opportunity for the corporations that own the intellectual properties copied by fanfiction. Many articles asserted that franchises benefit from, and in some cases rely on, their fanfiction communities. For example, Harris (2008) ties the box office success of the X-Files film to the continued health of its fanfiction community, while Heffernan (2008) depicts a lack of homoerotic fanfiction as problematic for the success of any show with a large, attractive male cast. Thompson (2005) reports on the lucrative partnership between the Halo fan-film circle Rooster Teeth and Halo’s copyright holder Microsoft. This “co-opted/encouraged by industry” frame presents a view of fanfiction’s future as a marketing tool, rather than a fan-driven culture. The frame is frequently associated with the “self-branding” purpose frame; teenagers who desire to become part of their favored franchise show their solidarity with the product and fan subculture in ways which are extremely beneficial for intellectual property holders (Hitt 2008; Scott 2002).
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 ift.tt/1FA6vyk
Neal Pollack’s article defending Amazon has many points of interest. The only one I’ll engage with is that, contrary to the marketing, Amazon is still seeding Kindle Worlds with pro authors under contract—and apparently given advances as well as editorial assistance—to produce “fan fiction” in various authorized Worlds, while anyone else who takes Amazon up on its offer will not get an advance. Again, I don’t think Kindle Worlds is inherently bad. I do think that calling it “fan fiction” is misleading; this is not an organic, community-based set of works. I think it’s important to recognize, when Amazon says that it’s happy with the performance of Kindle Worlds, that it’s very different to write from an advance than not.
Posted on September 02, 2014 by Rebecca Tushnet, ift.tt/1numd2K ift.tt/10BGdeO
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 ift.tt/1xyBgB7
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