I’m wondering if there are any good pieces that focus specifically on pre-20th Century “fandoms”, like the devotion to 19th century theater actors, or Byzantine chariot racing gangs. I feel like there is a whole rich pre-history of fan-like practices that could give us a lot of insight into the way in which contemporary fandoms are or are not organized, as well as the things that lead to them coming about. I mean, some of these were really *intense*—people killed over that shit. Clearly the phenomenon of peoples strong investment in popular culture is not new. However, it seems mostly untapped by contemporary Fan Studies, so someone should get on that.
Of course, I could easily be looking under the wrong rocks here. Maybe there *is* a big literature and I’m just bungling everything.