• OTW Fannews: Fandom Misunderstandings

    Von Kiri Van Santen am Sonntag, 20 Juli 2014 - 5:28pm

    Banner by Lisa of a street sign that has been knocked down and is pointing arbitrarily.

    • Attack of the Fanboy put a spotlight on gender segregation in gaming tournaments. "Keeping a few tournaments specifically aimed at females is not an ideal situation, but it does allow a woefully underrepresented part of the population a chance to compete on a professional level. To use the IeSF’s own justification for the initial segregation, many major sports use this method as well. Technically women are allowed in the NBA, but due to various reasons none have been placed on a team. That is why the WNBA exists, to allow a group who would be left out, a chance to compete professionally."
    • While some companies recognize their sport is 'for girls', at The Globe and Mail, Amberly McAteer discussed how many just don't get it. "It’s not just professional baseball that thinks women need extra motivation to support the home team. An official women’s T-shirt from the Pittsburgh Penguins went viral on Twitter because it declared that the wearer 'wants the stick' and loves to 'puck.' Because, of course, women are sex objects. Thanks for your sexist contribution, hockey. The Jays Shop, too, carries mildly insulting women’s gear: sequined tanks, 'meet you in the dugout' deep-vees. The only jerseys available in women’s sizes are indeed the players widely believed to be 'cute,' while the men’s section offers exponentially more."
    • A theater company in Charleston, South Carolina created a play about "the dark side of Twilight fandom". "'Kate & Sam Are Not Breaking Up' is a darkly humorous send-up of Twihard culture and celebrity obsession, with a side of gunplay and a dash of Stephen King's Misery thrown in...The lights come up on Kate and Sam waking from unconsciousness, bound and helpless in the apartment of a crazed superfan named Bill (Andre Hinds). It quickly becomes clear that Bill wants tween America's favorite couple to get back together, and he won't let them go until they do. But the situation really goes to hell when 15-year-old Becky...moderator of the fansite, shows up and starts laying down the law."
    • A CNN report on manga brought about a heated reaction from fans as well as The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. "As Japan prepares to implement a new law which bans the possession of child pornography but exempts manga and anime, CNN released an over-the-top sensationalist video report this week that demonstrates a profound lack of knowledge about the formats. Much of the report by Tokyo correspondent Will Ripley is devoted to undercover footage of an Akihabara manga shop, which Ripley calls 'a place that caters to young people.' (In fact manga is read by people of all ages.) Over mostly-blurred footage, Ripley describes “magazines and videos so graphic, so sexually explicit, we turned our undercover cameras off.' least one of those blurred-out covers that was too much for CNN’s delicate cameras actually wasn’t pornographic at all.”

    What troubling fandom issues have you come across? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: The importance of fangirls

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Dienstag, 20 Mai 2014 - 4:00pm

    Banner by Lisa of a black & white photo of fangirls in the 1940s waving photos

    • Game designer Jane Jensen took issue with the idea of female role models in a Gamasutra post, suggesting that writing hot men is a worthy pursuit. "Reason #1: Female gamers will love you for it. There are, in fact, a large portion of women who play games. According to the ESA, 45% of all gamers are female. This varies greatly by genre, I’m sure. But if women do tend to play the type of game you design for, then why not give them a male character they can salivate over? Because…Reason #2: Male gamers are okay with it...Reason #3: Pop culture says it works."
    • Writer Brian Fies wrote about the problems women have in the comics field beginning, "Comics has a female problem. Girls and women don’t always feel welcome. They bring uninvited baggage, like feelings and opinions. They create and buy the types of stories they want to read. Even worse, sometimes they create and buy ours." He cited how "Cartoonist Noelle Stevenson drew a comic about visiting a local comic book shop to support her friends’ work and being mocked by staff who asked if she wanted to buy a 'My Little Pony' book while she was at it. Stevenson is one of the hottest talents in comics right now, and her webcomic 'Nimona' is a regular stop of mine. She creates the content that keeps those jerks’ shop in business, yet they humiliated her and chased her out the door."
    • Blogger mylifeinverse wrote about the importance of fangirls. "The fandom world isn’t just online, and it isn’t something that pales in comparison to 'real life.'...fandom is something extra, something wonderful, something worth exploring. It is an unbreakable bond with people all over the globe, it is passion that can turn to positive action, and it is an identity that is as real and significant to fans as their last name or hometown." So "Don’t make fun of fangirls; they’re incredibly brave to throw themselves into something with no promise of tangible returns. Don’t dismiss fanfiction; it is proof of passion, of dedication, of skill. Don’t demean fandom; this subculture has a purpose that is in no way sub par."
    • Also important is when fangirls spread their fandom to the next generation. In an article for USA Today, Matthew Forbes wrote about his mother. "Kiss played for about an hour and a half, and my mom held me up on that seatback the entire time. I don't think she caught a single glimpse of Kiss the whole night. Looking back, I don't know how her arms didn't get tired. Today my memories of the show itself are pretty spotty, but I've never forgotten the experience, and never forgotten what my mom did to make sure I got the night of my 11-year-old life."

    Where have you seen the importance of fangirls? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • TWC's Top 10

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 8 Mai 2014 - 5:00pm

    Partial view of the TWC word cloud

    One of the OTW's projects is Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), an open-access academic journal dedicated to fandom and fandom studies.

    But don't think that just because it's a peer-reviewed, scholarly quarterly with a bibliographic listing in the MLA bibliography of journals that the contents of TWC aren't for fans like you to enjoy!  Check out this sampling, ranked by number of DOI resolutions:

    1) "Why we should talk about commodifying fan work", by Nele Noppe. How would legalizing fanwork influence the question: should fan work be free?

    2) "Book Review: Boys' love manga: Essays on the sexual ambiguity and cross-cultural fandom of the genre"by Nele Noppe. "The focus of the book remains squarely on the fans of boys' love manga, which makes it relevant to anyone interested in fan studies."

    3) "Women, "Star Trek," and the early development of fannish vidding", by Francesca Coppa. This paper discusses how early female Star Trek fans structured the practices and aesthetics of vidding, in order to heal the wounds created by the displacement and fragmentation of women on television.

    4) "'The epic love story of Sam and Dean': 'Supernatural,' queer readings, and the romance of incestuous fan fiction," by Catherine Tosenberger. Tosenberger examines the literary, cultural, and folkloric discourses of incest and queerness as invoked by the show in order to argue that "Wincest" fan fiction is best understood not as a perverse, oppositional reading of a manly dudebro show, but as an expression of readings that are suggested and supported by the text itself.

    5) "Endless loop: A brief history of chiptunes", by Kevin Driscoll and Joshua Diaz. Driscoll and Diaz explore the confusion surrounding what chiptunes is, and how the production and performance of music connected to 80's electronic video game soundtracks "tells an alternate narrative about the hardware, software, and social practices of personal computing in the 1980s and 1990s."

    6) "Stranger than fiction: Fan identity in cosplay", by Nicolle Lamerichs. Lamerichs argues that "costuming is a form of fan appropriation that transforms, performs, and actualizes an existing story in close connection to the fan's own identity," and that "cosplay motivates fans to closely interpret existing texts, perform them, and extend them with their own narratives and ideas."

    7) "Repackaging fan culture", by Suzanne Scott. Scott argues that "the strategic definition of fandom as a gift economy serves as a defensive front to impede encroaching industrial factions" like FanLib and Kindle Worlds, and examines "the Seinfeldian roots" of the social taboo of "regifting," relative to fan culture.

    8) "Thirty political video mashups made between World War II and 2005", by Jonathan McIntosh. The creator of the famed Buffy vs. Edward remix vid explores subversive pre-YouTube remixes.

    9) "Book review: Spreadable media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture, by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green", by Melissa A. Click. "Readers with stakes in the tug-of-war between fans and industry will likely enjoy, and be invigorated by, the authors' arguments about spreadability."

    10) "The Web planet: How the changing Internet divided "Doctor Who" fan fiction writers", by Leora Hadas. Hadas explores how evolving participatory culture clashed with traditional fandom modes and came to a head over one Whovian fanfic archive, using the conflict there to argue that "the cultural logics of fandom and of participatory culture might be more separate than they initially appear."

    And if you want to move beyond the Top 10 articles on TWC, here's a word cloud of the most frequently used words taken from the titles of every article that TWC has published in its 6-year history.

    Would you like to help us generate even more words? Head over to Fanhackers to see how you can celebrate acafandom, meta, and more with us—or check out the TWC Submissions Guidelines for submitting your research or essay to the journal!

  • Events Calendar for May 2014

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 1 Mai 2014 - 6:22pm

    Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of May! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

    • Free Comic Book Day takes place on "the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores."

      More about Free Comic Book Day on Fanlore

    • M/M Rares

      M/M Rares is an annual fanfiction exchange for rare slash pairings. Participants write a fic at least 1000 words long focusing on a slash pairing another participant has requested. As this is an exchange, they receive a 1000+ word fic featuring a slash pairing they requested in return.

      Nominations Open: 13 April
      Nominations Close: 3 May @ 8:00pm PDT
      Signups Open: 5 May @ 8:00pm PDT
      Signups Close: 23 May @ 8:00 PDT
      Assignments Sent: No later than 30 May @ 8:00pm PDT
      Fics Due: 25 July @ 8:00pm PDT
      Fics Revealed: 1 August @ 8:00pm PDT
      Authors Revealed: 8 August @ 8:00pm PDT

      More about M/M Rares on Fanlore

    • LexiCon

      LexiCon is an open-to-all gaming convention. Visitors can learn to play new games like Gravwell, Sentinels - Vengeance, Jupiter Rising, Relic Runners, City of Iron, and BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia. LexiCon also will have family gaming events like "Learn 5 Family Games in 90 minutes" and Adult Party nights Friday and Saturday. There will also be a Magic the Gathering Tournament with $1,000 1st prize, plus lots of extras.

    • BLush Convention

      BLush Convention is a biennial not-for-profit event organized for Philippine and Asian fans of Boys' Love and Yaoi. The first event was held last 8th December 2012 at Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. This year it will take place on May 3 in Manila. It will feature panels and talks, merchandise booths, the much-anticipated butler cafe, La Vie En Rose, and more.

    • Open Doors chat with fans

      OTW's Open Doors committee will be holding two public chats on Campfire (the online chat platform the OTW uses) in order to discuss the import of the Yuletide archives to the AO3. The second will be held on May 4, 1am UTC (see when the chat is held in your timezone)

    • VidUKon 2014

      Vidukon is a fan run convention in the UK where fannish vidders and vid watchers get together to OD on vids and vid talk and have the fun times. Aside from video shows, panels and workshops will run for those interested in the whys and wherefores. A Vid Bazaar is also included in the con-suite where DVDs are up for sale or swap. You can get a spot on the table for a flat fee, payable at registration. Registration is £40 for an attending membership, which includes two and a half days.

      VidUKon is also accepting Premieres and submissions to their Vidder's Choice show - a chance for any member (attending or supporting) to show a vid of their choice during the opening evening. Deadlines for these are 11th May 2014.

      Starting in 2014, a virtual convention will be running alongside the physical convention. If you buy a supporting membership, you will be able to watch the vidshow, including Premieres, streaming, in real time, with comments enabled to discuss the shows with your fellow virtual attendees! After the convention, this will be available to everyone. They are also considering streaming some panels, depending on interest.

      More about VidUKon on Fanlore

    • WisCon

      Running since 1977, WisCon is the first and foremost feminist science fiction convention in the world. WisCon encourages discussion, debate and extrapolation of ideas relating to feminism, gender, race and class. WisCon honors writers, editors and artists whose work explores these themes and whose voices have opened new dimensions and territory in these issues.

      Special events include the Tiptree bake sale and auction, a writer's workshop and a Dessert Party, as well as a vid party. The deadline for submitting a vid is Friday, May 9, 2014, two weeks before the con.

      More about WisCon on Fanlore

    Calls for Papers this month come from:

    • Stardom and Celebrity in Contemporary India

      The forthcoming issue of Indian Journal of Comparative Literature & Translation Studies is opening submissions on "Stardom and Celebrity in Contemporary India". The informing assumption is that there is no single culture of celebrity and the issue will endeavor to highlight the co-existence of multiple domains of celebrity culture in India. IJCLTS invites original, unpublished and innovative work from across the disciplines and across the world. The extent of the essays should be between 3000-5000 words or shorter but rigorously analytic pieces (500-1500 words) whose scope is less extensive than that of an essay but which raises a pertinent point regarding celebrity culture. The pertinent master categories of India studies.

      Besides the articles, IJCLTS is looking for translations, interviews, and book reviews. Submit by 31st May 2014.

    • CFP: My Little Pony: A Transcultural Phenomenon

      "This one day conference seeks to place the 30 year long ‘My Little Pony’ series within critical, cultural and creative contexts, exploring the brand from a multi-disciplinary range of perspectives. 300 word abstracts are invited." The conference will be held at University of Brighton – Grand Parade on Saturday 28 June 2014. Please send abstracts and enquiries to Ewan Kirkland at e.kirkland [at]

      Deadline for abstracts: 28 May 2014

    • CFP: Queer Fan Cultures in Greater China

      Queer fandom nowadays has become a global phenomenon. The blooming of Chinese queer fandoms in the past two decades has also offered rich sites of queer representations of gender and sexuality. Yet, research explicating Chinese queer fandoms is still far from adequate. The editors seek chapter contributions that elaborate the cultural specificities, significances, transformativity, hybridity, historicity, and futurity epitomized by Chinese queer fan cultures. We are especially keen to receive manuscripts that consider the queer dimensions of gender, sexuality, desire, and fantasy from a wide range of Chinese temporal and geographical settings. We also very welcome submissions that employ interdisciplinary and/or comparative approaches.

      To submit chapter proposal submissions for consideration, please send a 1000- to 1500-word abstract with working bibliography and a CV by May 30th, 2014 to queerfandom2014 [at]

    • CFP: The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Solutions and Resolutions

      Charles Dickens’s last novel, unfinished as it is, has become a call to arms to a legion of fans, academics and authors to solve the mystery and complete the uncompleted. The Victorian Popular Fiction Association will publish The Drood Inquiry, which will investigate and celebrate the many weird and wonderful responses to Dickens’s story, exploring the ways in which these solutions reflect upon the authors’ attitudes to Dickens and his legacy, and how Dickens’s story and characters exist both within the boundaries of the original text and without in the numerous spin-offs that have arisen.

      Proposals are welcome for 20 minute papers to be presented at a one day conference on the themes of the book or the insights its subsequent treatment can provide on Dickens’s reputation, as well as any discussion of theories on how the story ends. Proposals (up to 500 words) and a brief biographical note should be sent by 31 May 2014.

    • CFP: Golden Age or Gilded Age? Fan Cultures, Past, Present, and Future

      Fan culture has been intimately linked with mass media since the beginning of the movies in the late 1800s and early 1900s. As various technologies have pushed media evolution along – sound, color, television, and internet – fan culture has kept pace and fueled not only consumption but also developed communities. First in fan magazines, then at conventions, fan culture has spread and inspired fans to celebrate the media they loved. This love frequently leads to the development of derivative works such as fan fiction and fan editing—the expansion of existing media elements into whole new worlds.

      Is this the Golden Age of Fan Culture, as brought about by the internet’s ability to transmit media and foster communities, or is this a Gilded Age, where fan culture has gone postmodern, sometimes eclipsing the objects and subjects of fan desire? This area welcomes proposals on a diverse range of topics pertaining to fan culture, both present and historic, with a particular emphasis on visual media such as film and television.

      2014 Film & History Conference is looking for submissions of 200-word proposals by 1 June 2014.

    The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!

  • OTW Fannews: Fans taking the reins

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Mittwoch, 30 April 2014 - 5:32pm

    Banner by James of a silhouetted horse and rider walking down an incline

    • Den of Geek wrote about fans stepping in to create more content. "As Star Wars fandom continued, fans became content creators too...Pablo Hidalgo wrote and illustrated Star Wars tabletops games before he was hired. Martha Wells...wrote fan fiction before she signed on to pen a novel about Princess Leia." And now two groups are creating video games. "Project Black Light is an effort by fans to write Knights of the Old Republic 3, the highly-anticipated KOTOR sequel that never was" and "Another Star Wars fan game in development is BattleCry, which development team leader Cameron Spencer calls 'a spiritual successor' to Battlefront 2."
    • Provo, Utah's Daily Herald profiled Star Trek fan film creators. "It would be an understatement to say 'Star Trek Continues' wouldn't be possible without Mignogna. He produces, directs, writes, scores, edits and stars in the show. (In the closing credits he's even listed as a carpenter.) Mignogna was "fanatical" about the original series as a young boy, making 'Star Trek' videos even back then. In that way, Mignogna said, 'Star Trek Continues' was "an idea 40 years in the making."
    • Of course sometimes it's the pros who go fannish. My ModernMet showed a variety of business cards for well known fandoms by "Italian creatives Benedetto Papi and Edoardo Santamato of Invasione Creativa".
    • Billboard focused on how happy some creators can be with fan responses. "On the OWN show 'Oprah Prime',' the host played Williams a montage of fan-created YouTube videos adapted to his No. 1 Hot 100 hit 'Happy.' Following a series of videos from London, the Philippines, Iceland and more, the singer found himself in tears." He discussed the song's journey recounting "how radio stations were passing on the song until his 'Happy' clip debuted and fan-made videos began to create attention. 'It was no longer my song,' he says."

    What great fanworks have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanwork wonders

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Dienstag, 29 April 2014 - 3:26pm

    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of an open book with fairy dust rising up.

    • Malaysia's New Straits Times profiled a local fan artist's work on superheroes. "[H]er drawings of Marvel Comics heroines such as She-Hulk, Rogue and the female Captain Marvel [are] in elegant gowns, drawn in art nouveau style. The illustrations are a stark contrast to the characters’ original style in the comic books which have a tendency to sexualise female characters through costumes and body language."
    • Over at io9's Observation Deck The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask's opera was recommended. It now has seven installments, the latest posted earlier this year.
    • The Daily Mail also focused on music, profiling Taylor Davis and her covers of video game music. "[H]er efforts also caught the attention of Journey's composer Austin Wintory, who asked her to be the solo violinist on the game's soundtrack, which Miss Davis described as 'an amazing experience' and 'a dream come true. Since I'm such a huge gamer myself and know the kind of impact the music can have on a gamer, it's so exciting that my performance on the soundtrack is actually a part of the gaming experience and that it might really touch someone in a positive way,' she said."
    • Bustle wrote about how season 3 of Twin Peaks "is a beautiful showcase of fandom at work, and of the capabilities of mediums like Twitter to harbor experimental fiction. This particular foray into Twitter storytelling is centered at the handle @EnterTheLodge, though it stretches out to 50+ Twin Peaks character accounts, telling the story of an imagined Season 3 for the series. They’ve just started the journey, but if you’d like to catch up on what’s gone on so far you can do so through their Storify archive. "

    What amazing fanworks have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Wherefore fandom?

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 24 April 2014 - 6:28pm

    Banner by Lisa of grafitti with the words

    • Kristin Bezio wrote at The Learned Fangirl about responses to a post on Anita Sarkeesian, and defended critical fandom. "This commenter clearly has no concept of how popular culture reflects and shapes society, and I’m fairly certain I’m not going to be able to convince him (presumably) that it does, since he appears to be one of those people who doesn’t realize that his opinions about the universe have been constructed by his life-long exposure to media (including games) and society. Clearly his opinions were plopped into his brain by Truth Itself."
    • Rockford College Radio's The Sports Ethicist looked at fandom paradoxes. "In her paper, 'Being a Sports Fan: Paradox and Intrinsic Value,' Prof. Gwen Bradford (Rice University) defends a view of the value of being a sports fan based on the idea that it is a good thing for fans to value the good of their team winning. This, however, seems to lead to a paradox because fans do not value the same good when their team’s opponents win. Prof. Bradford and Shawn Klein discuss the value of being a fan, this paradox, and other issues arising in fandom." (No transcript available).
    • At The Effingham Daily News, Ryan Czachorski also looked at sports fandom and changing allegiances. "[L]et’s all don all our colors and logos and apparel, and keep it at that. Most people around here can root for the Cardinals, some will root for the White Sox, and I’ll root for the Cubs until they break my spirit (ETA: May 12). And when St. Louis finishes better, don’t ask me to convert. It’s just not going to happen. I mean, come on, I have a Cubs bathing suit. We’re past the point of no return here."
    • The New York Observer wrote about the demise of a site which always cast a critical eye on culture: Television Without Pity. "See, this is what you get when you take a buyout from Bravo/NBC (as TVWoP did in 2008)—the off-chance that you’ll be unplugged, and that your death will be noted in a roundup of other sites, like DailyCandy, which are also being taken offline by your parent company. We cannot overstate the importance of the site that spawned Tara Ariano and all of Previously.TV—it was the site all of my friends and I would read in college to find out about Battlestar and Buffy."

    What critical fandom posts have you seen? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: How fandom works

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Sonntag, 13 April 2014 - 5:32pm

    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of the post title layered over a series of gears.

    • The question of how fandom works has been popping up in the media. Entertainment Weekly used the finale of True Detective to raise the question: 'Does modern TV fandom actually make it harder to understand TV shows?' "I wonder if the conversation around True Detective made the show seem more ambitious than it actually was. I wonder what it would be like if we could have those conversations about shows that do have a deeper point beyond 'Good vs. Evil.'" (Spoiler warning for the series).
    • At The Mary Sue, Rachael Berkey used the return of Veronica Mars to look at changing fandom. "I was seventeen when I joined my first fandom. It was 1999, and Rent was kind of a big deal...Fandom feels like a completely different beast in 2014. There’s a lingo to it you have to translate until you really go native." She believes that "Fandom has hit its stride in the second decade of the new millennium. Thanks to successful fan-funded projects like the Veronica Mars movie, the great things about being a part of a fandom are being pulled right out into the open."
    • Bronies for Good posted a podcast of Feminism and the Fandom. "One of the core aspects of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is how it strives to provide empowerment for young girls through a medium that is typically unfavorable to women. As part of the content blitz for International Women’s Day discussed in more detail in our previous post, and in collaboration with The Round Stable, we have invited fellow fans to discuss femininity, feminism, and women’s issues in the context of MLP:FiM and its fandom." (No transcript available).
    • NPR's Code Switch transcribed their discussion of race in World of Warcraft. Although the interview began by saying "Don't worry, this isn't about racial disparities between black, Latino and Asian players", in fact the discussion does end up there. "DEMBY: So there were no, like, guilds full of young Latino kids? SCHELLDORF: I never met a single person with a 'Hispanic-sounding' accent on the game. But I can say that those who sounded Asian or black were less welcomed...HERNANDEZ: I wish I had found a Latino guild! It would have made things way easier. A friend actually joined an Australian guild one time on accident, so there are definitely some guilds with national or racial identity out there. For us it was about finding a good raiding guild, and eventually a good raiding guild that didn't hate on our accent."

    What factors about how fandom works have you noticed? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Discussing fandom

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Freitag, 21 März 2014 - 1:29am

    Banner by Erin of a message form with the OTW logo on a megaphone and a form saying 'You:Discussing Fan: Fandom' with a send button next to 'OTWFannews'

    • Not Another Teen Wolf podcast posted about their interview with OTW legal staffer Heidi Tandy. Among other things "We learn about the Organisation for Transformative Works and the basic legality behind being a fan creator. We also reminisce about the early days of the internet, when there was a lot of scaremongering surrounding fanfiction in terms of copyright. Why was AO3 started – what was the initial gameplan? Why did a resource like AO3 become necessary?”
    • Although the NATW podcast chat spent only a bit of time on copyright, posted the video ‘Copyright & Creativity’ to make "copyright compelling to creators and average Internet users, trying to demonstrate that it is not just a set of rules but an interesting world worth exploring. To this end, we approached leading copyright experts and sent them a short questionnaire about the relationship between copyright, creativity and technology, with the idea of writing an accessible script based on their answers." The site is "an independent online resource aimed at making UK Copyright Law accessible to creators and members of the public. The goal is to provide answers to the most pressing concerns creators have about copyright, helping them understand their rights."
    • Heidi Tandy and recent OTW academic chat panelist, Anne Jamison, were at South by Southwest discussing fanworks. The importance of internet platforms in allowing non-celebrities to develop their own fandom took a different tack on creativity. When asked, "What is the secret sauce to creating good content?" BuzzFeed’s EVP of Video, Ze Frank replied that content "must represent a part of your individual identity better than you can talk about it. Second, your content needs to be an emotional gift, and should make your audience feel a certain way. And third, your content should provide a social role of information. Frank continued by explaining that your content should prove an argument that people have been having all along or play a part in real world conversation."
    • Joystick ran an article exploring the fandom of Twitch Plays Pokemon. "Taylor started doing Internet research in the 1990s, and turned to video games in 1999. Her studies resulted in books such as Play Between Worlds and Raising the Stakes, which explore virtual worlds, MMOs and e-sports. Those examinations bear relevance to Twitch Plays Pokemon, as the same elements of extended narratives and player curation could be found in the earlier days of EverQuest."

    What stories have you come across about storytelling platforms? Write about them on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • Transformative Works and Cultures releases No. 15

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Samstag, 15 März 2014 - 7:30pm

    Banner by Diane with the outlines of a man and woman speaking with word bubbles, one of which has the OTW logo and the other which says 'OTW Announcement'

    Planning to see the new Veronica Mars movie? You may also want to check out the new issue of Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC)!

    TWC has released No. 15, Fandom and/as Labor, guest edited by Mel Stanfill and Megan Condis, both of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The issue's seven articles, two Symposium pieces, roundtable, and three book reviews all relate to topics such as fan labor, gift culture, community, and work. A variety of fandoms get a turn in the spotlight.

    In a roundtable, scholars and an industry insider, Bertha Chin, Bethan Jones, Myles McNutt, and Luke Pebler, discuss the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign and its relationship to fans. TWC’s Symposium section features shorter, often personal essays that address particularly fannish connections. In the two essays that comprise this section, Tisha Turk argues that fandom’s gift economy should be understood as involving a wide variety of gifts, a complex system of reciprocation, and the use of gifts as a sign of their reception; and Joly MacFie remembers his time creating badges and zines during the punk era in the UK.

    Several peer-reviewed essays discuss specific media properties in relationship to fans and labor.

    • Bethan Jones discusses Fifty Shades of Grey, noting that pulling a piece of fan fiction off the Internet to publish it professionally means that the fan labor performed as the text was created and disseminated remains unacknowledged.
    • Christina Savage analyzes the TV show Chuck’s “save our show” campaign, placing it in the context of other such campaigns to show how fan labor is used strategically, in this case by ensuring the visibility of their campaign by engaging with sponsors and using hash tags.
    • Rose Helens-Hart, in an analysis of Tosh.0, analyzes how the show’s Web site encourages fans to use personal networks to spread the brand.
    • Matthias Stork analyzes the Glee fan-insider divide as fans were recruited to do work and promised access, only to later have this denied by the producers.
    • Bertha Chin’s analysis also deals with Web sites, fan-created ones; she analyzes Sherlockology and in terms of gifting versus exploitation.
    • Giacomo Poderi and David James Hakken analyze modding a video game, using online posts made by users to illustrate how fan labor works.
    • Robert Moses Peaslee, Jessica El-Khoury, and Ashley Liles move out of the realm of the virtual and into the physical, as they analyze the motivations and work of fan volunteers at media festivals.

    Three reviews appear in this issue. Stephanie Anne Brown reviews Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory, edited by Trebor Scholz (Routledge, 2013); Simone D. Becque reviews Cognitive Capitalism, Education, and Digital Labor, edited by Michael A. Peters and Ergin Bulut (Peter Lang, 2011); and Anne Kustritz reviews Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal, by J. Jack Halberstam (Beacon, 2012).

    The next issue of TWC, No. 16, will appear in June 2014. Bob Rehak will present a guest-edited issue on the topic of Materiality and Object-Oriented Fandom. TWC No. 17 (September 2014) will be an open, unthemed issue. Although it is too late to submit to that particular issue, we always welcome general submissions; in addition, two other special issues (European Fans and European Fan Objects and The Classical Canon and/as Transformational Work) are in the works and are still open for submissions. We particularly encourage fans to submit Symposium essays. Read the submission guidelines for details!


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