The classic of fan studies I want to introduce today is a theoretical overview of the discipline from 2002. Indeed, in Fan Culture, Matt Hills explores the different theories of fan culture and the methodologies that had been used by scholars before him.
I particularly like the first chapter in which Hills challenges the idea that there is a dichotomy between passive consumers and resistant fans:
“Conventional logic, seeking to construct a sustainable opposition between the ‘fan’ and the ‘consumer’, falsifies the fan’s experience by positioning fan and consumer as separable cultural identities.”
In this chapter, he demonstrates that fans are also consumers and that depicting them as a separate group ignores the complexities and multiplicities of fandom.
While I found this book compelling, I would only recommend it to people who have read some fan studies works already as it might be a bit complex as a first introduction to the subject. However, if you are interested in fan studies theory and methodology, this is the book for you!