“I”, meaning whom?

I am Lisa Schmidt, writer, thinker, debtor, and life traveller, and this is my introductory post.   I’m very pleased to be joining the Organization for Transformative Works, truly.  I am one of those academic types who was a fan first, always and forever a fan.  I was a fan — for a very long time! — before I knew there were other people like me, people who shaped themselves into groups and found ways to communally refine their gorgeous obsessions.  Some of us even thought to harness our emotional and intellectual energies and fashion them into a career — thus was born acafan.

So, I think it important to begin with a sort of fannish curriculum vitae.  As with any C.V., one picks and chooses a little, lining up the major entries for maximum effect.  In other words, this is only a partial list.  It goes:  Star Wars, Remington Steele/Pierce Brosnan, Johnny Depp, Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: Voyager, The Sentinel, LOTR, OMG LOTR!, Everything-Associated-With-Elijah, Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis, did I mention Supernatural/Dean Winchester/Jensen Ackles? In between and during all of these, I’ve had my various obsessions with films, books, shows, topics and personages ranging from T.E. Lawrence to Kate Bush to the Dragonlance novels.  I don’t just like Bette Davis; I WORSHIP her.  I think that Joss Whedon is a true genius and if I could I would throw myself at his feet and ask him to hire me.  I think that Bjork is a GODDESS.  I don’t how to NOT be a fan.

I have to say this because it such a huge part of the picture:  I love fanfiction.  I love it as an academic and as a human being and as a reader of fanfiction and — oh, yeah, as a writer.  I’ve been a writer my whole life.  I have boxes of unfinished fantasy novels, most of them written in my teens.  They shall probably never see the light of day, and that is just as well.  The point is, my blogging may skew towards fanfiction, particularly slash.  To me, fanfiction is a particular formation of a very basic sort of human creativity, an activity that pre-dates the Internet and electronic media and even the novel.  It is not something that supposedly uncreative people do because they don’t know how to do REAL writing…. but I digress.

So as I was saying, I am Lisa, and I am a fan.  I am also an academic.  As I write this, I am sitting in my apartment in Sherbrooke, Quebec, home of Bishop’s University.  I just finished teaching one course (Hitchcock) and will begin two more next week (Media and Society, Sex and Gender, whee!).  I did my Ph.D. at the University of  Texas at Austin, which means that you may hear me rant about the weather in Texas, or American politics, or grad school, or all of the above, at some point.  But I am a Canadian girl, born and bred. I went to McGill and the University of Toronto.  I like to think that being Canadian makes me cool, but I’ve never really been cool, to tell the truth.

Because I am an academic, I can’t bear the thought that anyone might have read the title to this post and said “Hmm, can’t she SPELL?”  I can spell, I promise you.  I thought I would try for a clever sort of double meaning with “HERE”, as in this blog.  In this blog, I will roar.  Why ROAR?  Because I am a fan.  I think I’m pretty darned rational most of the time, but I can get very passionate about certain subjects (Hello?  Fan here).  And on the subject of fandom, I do feel like roaring sometimes.

Of course, being Canadian, I try to remain polite even as I roar.

[META] I Am Acafan, Here Me Roar?
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5 thoughts on “[META] I Am Acafan, Here Me Roar?

  • 10/06/2011 at 17:58

    And you know we are delighted to have you! Welcome. Looking forward to your posts.

  • 10/06/2011 at 19:16

    Welcome, Lisa! Looking forward to roars and more :).

  • 12/06/2011 at 20:37

    Hello there. Your mention of Remington Steele caused your post to turn up in my Google reader feed, and I’m glad to come across your post and this site.

    I wanted to note the somewhat curious phenomenon that as I dipped back into academic life in the past six months as a graduate student, I’ve had occasion to study television series that I had been a fan of at previous times in my life. It strikes me that with TV, and long-running shows with serialized elements in particular, it is hard to have the “aca” without the “fan”. There are so many hours of story in these series that I have a hard time understanding how an academic could get more than a surface impression without the kind of immersion into a storyworld and set of characters that comes with a fan perspective. Remington Steele strikes me as a particularly good example of one aspect of this — its a show that can seem lightweight to casual viewers but complex to fans who are invested in the characters — but I imagine there are plenty of other examples as well.

    Does that ring true to anyone else?

  • 17/06/2011 at 15:49

    Love your intro post–OMG Remington Steele!–and really appreciate the “fan” part of acafan–the affect part. Looking forward to your contributions!

  • 09/07/2011 at 16:10

    Good to meet other Canadian acafans who appreciate fanfic and fan culture. There are more of us than people suspect!

    My fannish days go back to ST & SWars but also include Remington Steele. I’m pretty sure I have a couple of RS zines stowed away in a shelf in our storage room. Time to pull them back out for a re-read!

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