News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Fans taking the reins

    By Claudia Rebaza on mercredi, 30 April 2014 - 5:32pm
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    • 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

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 29 April 2014 - 3:26pm
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    • 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: Understanding fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on lundi, 28 April 2014 - 4:12pm
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    • Dartmouth College's Special Collections Library profiled 19th century fanfic."After the success of Charles Dickens' "Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club" in 1837, George Reynolds took the characters on a new picaresque journey in "Pickwick Abroad: or, the Tour in France" published in monthly parts from 1837-38. Our first single-volume edition from 1839 acknowledges its debt to Mr. Dickens (or 'Boz'), but also cites a review from The Age boasting that '"Pickwick Abroad" is so well done by G. W. M. Reynolds, that we must warn Boz to look to his laurels.'"
    • The very confusion over published work and what "counts" was explored by Raizel Liebler, discussing Fanfic or Canon? "The removal of Aaron McGruder from the fourth season of the Boondocks on Cartoon Network is another recent example of the difficulty for fans to figure out what 'counts' and what doesn’t. As fans of Community (during last season), fans of Gargoyles, and fans of Gilmore Girls confronted before — does a show continue to be canon when the major creative force behind it leaves? Does whether some cultural production count as canon or fanon matter whether it is officially authorized?"
    • Melbourne's Herald Sun featured a number of photos from the collection of Tom Broadbent, who explored furry fandom. He "gained the trust of Furries in the UK and spent time capturing the lives of the people inside the suit. By day they are computer programmers, engineers, mortgage brokers and fursuit makers. By night they live a life role-playing their 'fursona' — the animal they have chosen to live as, generally in private. They communicate across internet forums and meet up at conventions, keeping one thing sacred — their human identity."
    • Lady Geek Girl wrote about the LiveJournal community Fandom Grammar. "The Fandom Grammar team is made up of fans from a variety of fandoms who have made it their mission to provide friendly grammatical instruction to the internet masses. They do this in a variety of ways. One way, as I discovered, was by answering tricky grammar and style questions about fandom subjects. Aside from my Harry Potter question, they have covered such varied topics as how to effectively write lolcat speech in fanfic and how to deal with transliteration in fandoms whose source language is not English."

    What fandom explorations have caught your interest? 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?

    By Claudia Rebaza on jeudi, 24 April 2014 - 6:28pm
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    • 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: Fandom Changing & Changed

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 22 April 2014 - 4:10pm
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    • Slate was among several sites which wrote about the fanfiction-writing, Avengers-loving Ms Marvel. However, Slate also pointed out the important role fandom had in launching her. "A diverse and exuberant fan community, the Carol Corps, emerged almost overnight and began tweeting, blogging and cosplaying their love for both the character and DeConnick. (It’s worth noting that in addition to offering sharp writing and great stories, the new series let Carol trade her revealing leotard and domino mask for an actual body-covering uniform.)"
    • As The Daily Dot points out, fans will also appropriate existing heroes to address current concerns. "Most of the time, fandom’s remix culture is about taking a particular detail from a book or movie, and expanding upon it until it tells the story you wanted to hear in the first place." Captain America is an interesting example of this treatment. "There’s even an ongoing debate on Tumblr over just what aspects of Cap’s backstory would support the widespread headcanon that Steve Rogers is a feminist, socialist, socially liberal guy."
    • At Reflexive Horizons, Laz Carter writes about Pokémon and a Fandom of Nostalgia. "[T]the very ‘franchise’ model propagated by Pokémon – wherein one can consume the Pokémon universe through not only film but also animated television series, videogames, comics, trading card games, theme parks, merchandise and a plethora of other Poké-paraphernalia – means that any attempt to usefully separate one medium from the rest remains a futile endeavour that does not benefit any serious study." Carter argues that "When examining examples of ‘franchise fandom’, one must account for the fact that a consumer’s experiences of any given aspect of the product will affect their appreciation of the remainder...I argue that 2014 has seen a revival of ‘Poké-mania’, albeit a different brand of the fervour which had been evident during the peak of Pokémon’s success."
    • kpopstarz also looks at changing fandom, specifically Idol Fandom. "The beginning of 1st generation idols, H.O.T, was labeled the 'teen's idol.' However, idols are no longer the exclusive property of teen fans. As the idol market grew, idol fandoms have been overtaken by fans in their 20s and 30s...These adult fans are nothing to be trifled with, and are showing great influence. Now idol groups must not only target teens, but also focus on catering to the 2030 fans." However, these new fans show a very old pattern of behavior. "Upon conducting a survey, it was found that many fans in their 20s keep their activity on fan sites a secret. In many cases their identity as a fan was kept a secret to everyone except maybe some family members or close friends."

    What fandom developments have you been seeing? 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 an OTW Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Copyright threats and benefits

    By Claudia Rebaza on samedi, 19 April 2014 - 6:58pm
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    • The Asahi Shimbum detailed fan concerns about the TPP. "Usami and other creators of fan fiction, however, could face the possibility of legal prosecution as copyright violators in the future, depending on the outcome of TPP negotiations. Some countries are apparently demanding that Japan clamp down on knock-off and pirated works in the intellectual property arena, even if the copyright holder does not object to it. Under current Japanese copyright law, authorities take action only after the copyright holder, such as the artist of the original work or publisher, lodges a formal complaint."
    • India's Business Standard wrote about book piracy and its turn to crossover fiction. "By the 2000s, piracy had changed across all kinds of language publishing in India. In 2003, Harry Potter's publishers successfully sued Uttam Ghosh, preventing him from introducing a character called Jhontu in a sub-series where Harry Potter goes to Calcutta, a work of fan fiction if there ever was one...Book pirates in China had stayed ahead of the curve, by passing off a weird little book called Harry Potter and Bao Zoulong as a new Potter sequel. In this version, Harry Potter became a leading character in a translation of The Hobbit, with an explanatory paragraph to tell the reader how Harry Potter was turned into a hobbit one day while taking a bath."
    • The Wire explored the origin of The Office Time Machine. Creator Joe Sabia "wasn't really a fan of the show" but created it to "advocate for copyright reform and highlight the importance of fair use in protecting creators and their art."
    • Yet fair uses of content can be beneficial to creators. The Toronto Star discussed how music companies made more money from fan videos than official videos. “A lot of that is due to consumers putting more and more repertoire and new versions up there, but also it’s YouTube getting better at advertising" as now more than 50 countries are part of video ad monetization. "'It’s a massive growth area. We’re very excited about the creativity of consumers using our repertoire and creating their own versions of our videos,' said Francis Keeling, the global head of digital business for Universal Music Group."

    What copyright developments have you seen relating to fandom? 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: Acafans of today and tomorrow

    By Claudia Rebaza on jeudi, 17 April 2014 - 5:39pm
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    • For those fans who enjoyed the OTW's academic panel chat you may also want to look at Participations: Dialogues on the Participatory Promise of Contemporary Culture and Politics. This conversation among seven academics included Sarah Banet-Weiser, Nancy Baym, Francesca Coppa, David Gauntlett, Jonathan Gray, Henry Jenkins and Adrienne Shaw. Coppa discusses Welcome to Night Vale: "[I]t looks to me like something that could have been invented by an artist trying to imagine Henry’s definition of transmedia’s best self: radio, so giving fans an opportunity to imagine the visuals individually and collectively, which they have done with gusto; central characters who are queer and of color; an open invitation to make other things for and in the world (I wouldn’t even say 'an invitation to fans,' because, in a way, we’re not fans; we’re explicitly framed as citizens of Night Vale)."
    • Anna Von Veh presented Beyond the Text at the “Books in Browsers IV” conference in San Francisco in October 2013 and it is now available online as part of the Conference Proceedings which were published in The Journal of Electronic Publishing. "The technology of the Internet is perfectly in tune with Jacques Derrida’s notion of 'difference'...where meaning is always deferred; and where, in a postcolonial understanding...meaning and agency are to be found in the gaps between locations of power and certainty. The Internet allows a metaphorical and literal leaking of content from the container and from those who 'own' it. So just as the conventional two-dimensional format of the book (or I believe its digital facsimile, the ebook) is no longer the appropriate technology for content in a networked world, the understanding of the ‘contained’, owned, settled story is no longer the appropriate concept of text in such a world."
    • The Examiner.com paired fandom and education in its report on the Chesterfield Library's Comic-Con 2014. "[T]he concept of a Library System sponsoring a Comicon is unique enough to elicit more than passing interest, especially when that system holds more than 11,000 graphic novel volumes in circulation." In addition to comics vendors, a cosplay contest, and the participation of local artist Chris Otto, of "A Dog's Life" web comic, local teachers and school clubs contributed content.
    • Master's degree student Tara Popp shared her capstone project on fandom where she "created and narrated a PowerPoint presentation on the 6 Cs of fanworks and its impact on youth development from a technological viewpoint." These 6 Cs were Cognitivity, Communication, Community, Contribution, Character, and Cheer. "[F]anwork is a 'spark' for young people. Sparks are special interests and abilities that inspire youth to pursue their passion on their own, and Benson (2008) advocates that parents and other youth professionals encourage them to do something they enjoy. For some youth, their spark may not advance further than their adolescent years, but for others, it is a life-long endeavor."

    What fandom research or academic discussion has grabbed you? 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.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom self-discoveries

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 15 April 2014 - 9:28pm
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    • Two articles popped up recently that showed how introducing people to fanfiction through, well, fiction could spark discoveries. At Book Riot, Cassandra Neace used Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl as a way to jumpstart her imagination. "This is what I’ve learned: writers of fan fiction are incredibly capable and inventive...I even, at one point, dabbled in writing my own because it occurred to me that it was a great way to get used to writing on a regular basis. When the stress of world-building is taken away, it’s much easier to let the words flow. Eventually, the act of writing becomes so comfortable that the idea of building my own world from the ground up isn’t as intimidating as it once was."
    • Blogger Jules instead used Fangirl to learn more about the lives of her students and her inner slashgirl. "When I finished Fangirl, I was sad to leave behind Simon/Baz. Then, a few days later I–swear, no joke–went online to see if anyone else liked the idea of a Harry/Draco pairing. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, turns out one or two other Harry Potter fans like the idea of Harry/Draco."
    • Metro UK wrote about one music group's enjoyment of fanfiction: "Little Mix are well aware of the erotic fan fiction written about them – and they love it." Discussing their lesbian fandom, singer Jade Thirlwall said "It is very saucy and quite hardcore. I’ve read a lot of lesbian ones about us all being lesbians with each other...But they can write what they want – as long as it stays fiction."
    • Saginaw Valley State University's Valley Vanguard wrote about the importance of fandom on campus. "Fandoms are important, though, especially in college. Falling in love with the university, and also in love with the family-like relationships that come from these fandoms, is sometimes very essential to a successful college career. Without the reference group that is a fandom, individuals would feel like they don’t belong or feel lonely because they can’t share something that is very important to them. So, I encourage any of you that feel as though you are a part of a fandom to find others that share that specific craziness and be crazy together, geeking out about your fandom until you can’t anymore."

    What fandom self-discoveries have you made? 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

    By Claudia Rebaza on dimanche, 13 April 2014 - 5:32pm
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    • 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: Doing the research

    By Claudia Rebaza on dimanche, 30 March 2014 - 7:55pm
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    • Geek Anthropologist posted a video of Charlotte Fillmore-Handlon, a PhD Student at Concordia University, Montreal, presenting her paper on Fan Fiction, Fan Autoethnography, and Everyday Life. "I define fan fiction more broadly to include stories written both in and outside of fandom communities. In order to illustrate my argument, I will employ an autoethnographic approach, recalling my own experiences writing fan fiction as a young pre-teen. In light of the recent trend of positioning oneselves as an aca/fan (Academic/Fan) in fandom studies, I differentiate between fan fiction and fan autoethnography."
    • Video game scholar Victoria Hungerford wrote about The SwanQueen Fanfiction Community’s Non-Philosophy. "This paper hopes to explore what SwanQueen fans are doing and how fanfiction acts as a philosophy in itself, as a way to understand and interpret media production, representation, creative economies, culture, communication and existence. The SwanQueen community is a generative community that subverts dominant ideology while at the same time clinging on to some traditional notions of relationships as 'end game'...Fanfiction embodies fandom as a fundamental aspect of every day life and is political. The SwanQueen community is a non-philosophy community that tries to understand their relationship to one another, as well as their relationship to the greater OUT fandom, and the larger Geek, Nerd, Dork (GND) communities of the Internet."
    • Columnist Stephen Downes of Ireland's TheJournal.ie could have used some academic research when discussing why fanfic is making people nervous. From claiming that "FanFic is split evenly between the genders, with just as many girls as boys engaging in writing...although popular topics are largely split between sci-fi-fantasy (boys) and erotic-paranormal-fantasy (girls)" to saying that "it will be an interesting journey to see where we end up when the author of a story featuring Captain Kirk has never seen Star Trek", it is perhaps unsurprising that his conclusion is "FanFic’s impact on young people, in particular, is slowly rotating from the positive to the negative, as young readers stop reading, watching and learning from mainstream mediums and begin to solely enjoy and mimic FanFic."
    • Women Write About Comics wrote about some statistics on female comic fans. "Graphic Policy has been updating data, accessible via Facebook, for the past several months using data visualization with graphs and charts as part of their Facebook Fandom Spotlight series...This month’s post showed that women comics readers hit approximately 47% of all self-identified Facebook comics fans, which puts a very different spin female comics fans on the well-known 2012 survey completed after DC’s new 52 reboot saying that of the respondents saying that 93 percent of the respondents were male."

    What fandom research has grabbed you? 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.

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