Hi, I’m Francesca Coppa. I was one of the founders of the OTW, and I’ve been a volunteer with the org in some capacity or other ever since. I’m also a professor–currently Chair of the Department of English Literatures & Writing at Muhlenberg College, cross-appointed in Film Studies. My areas of expertise include dramatic literature, transmedia storytelling, performance studies, and–yes, fan studies. I’m the author of The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales in the Digital Age (U. Michigan 2017) and Vidding: A History (U. Michigan 2022)–the latter of these is free to read on the open source Fulcrum Platform. Which reminds me: I am also an open culture and fair use advocate, and I work closely with OTW Legal to write briefs and otherwise advocate for laws that preserve fandom’s fair use and transformative rights.
I’ve always said that fandom doesn’t need academia to explain it to itself: fandom has a robust tradition of meta posting and brilliant thinky thoughts. Fandom has also invented a whole critical vocabulary to describe fandom works, cultures, and practices (think of all the words and expressions we use: affirmative vs. transformative fandom, BNF, squee, fanon, dead dove do not eat, squick, drabble, Brit-pick, omegaverse: the whole glossary in Fanlore!) But many fans are scholars of one kind or another, and many scholars are also fans. I like occupying the between space–I was a fan first, and remain a fan first!–and so I recently joined Fanhackers to have an in-between space to talk and think about fandom with others who are interested in meta and fan studies scholarship.
Come talk–and if you have ideas for blog posts you’d like to see, please let me know.