Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality

  • OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?

    By Ellorgast on Martedì, 23 June 2015 - 4:29pm
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    Several people are silhouetted against a sky fading after sunset, posing as though dancing.  Text in front of them reads 'OTW Fannews: Who's Fandoming Now?'

    • South Africa's Daily Maverick provided an overview of fandom with some definitions. "You cannot be a part of fandom if you love something but do not interact with fellow fans. Fandom is less a kingdom of fanatics and more a kinship of one...Imagine this happening; a group of fans sit down, someone says I really thought x should have been y and almost everyone agrees on the fact. Not that big a deal, right? Now imagine that they do that same thing on the internet. Suddenly the scope of people who are meaningfully discussing and often reach consensus numbers in the thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes much more than that. That alone is a powerful thing; hard for the original creator of a book or TV show to ignore, but it is not the only powerful thing about fandom."
    • As each year passes, it seems most people take part in fandom in some way, however unlikely. It's also increasingly seen as a professional outlet. ABS CBN News featured live erotica readings in the Philippines that included fanfic creations, though these at least were created by the performers. " The writers dream up their concoctions in various formats: monologues, radio plays, fan fiction, interactive games. They draw inspiration from everywhere: history, art, science, comic books, movies. Once a draft is ready, it’s submitted to a core group of writers who conduct an informal workshop, offering comments and and revision, until there’s a general consensus that the work is ready."
    • The Daily Beast focused on print erotica, interviewing a writer selling U.S. president fanfic on Amazon. "'I wanted to write something that had never been done, but then I thought, ‘Oh, this is a really interesting idea,’' he said, before adding that in fact, presidential erotica has sort of been done. 'There was some [erotica] that involved sex with four presidents, but they were all consecutive. No one had sex with William Howard Taft (1909-1913) but also Richard Nixon." No mention was made of Historical RPF fanworks.
    • As a conversation between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro at The New Statesman pointed out, commercializing fanwork is hardly new. "I love the fact that, you know, in the early versions of King Lear, the story had a happy ending. Shakespeare turned it into a tragedy, and through the 18th and 19th centuries they kept trying to give it a happy ending again. But people kept going back to the one that Shakespeare created. You could definitely view Shakespeare as fan fiction, in his own way. I’ve only ever written, as far as I know, one book that did the thing that happens when people online get hold of it and start writing their own fiction, which was Good Omens, which I did with Terry Pratchett. It’s a 100,000-word book; there’s probably a million words of fiction out there by now, written by people who were inspired by characters in the book." (Gaiman is mistaken about the limits of his success, though).

    Make sure your own favorite fanworks don't get forgotten: write about them in 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.

  • Transformative Works and Cultures Releases Issue 19

    By Claudia Rebaza on Mercoledì, 17 June 2015 - 4:09pm
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    Banner by Alice of a book/eReader with an OTW bookmark and a USB plug going into the spine

    Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 19, “Transnationalism, Localization, and Translation in European Fandom,” guest edited by Anne Kustritz (University of Amsterdam), has been released. This special issue focuses on global media and transnational studies, as well as European fan practices, broadly conceived. The issue comprises scholarly research articles, a section on pedagogy, essays related to specific countries’ fandoms, and a book review.

    As Kustritz writes in her editorial, “The articles in this issue center a global perspective, which questions assumptions about what it means to be a media fan and how the industry perceives international audiences. Therefore, the articles also address factors that persistently complicate and limit the global flow of media and fan communities.

    Paul J. Booth leads the Pedagogy section with “Fandom: The Classroom of the Future,” in which he claims that “once formal schooling is complete, one's fandom may be one of the only places where one is encouraged to think critically, to write, to discuss deeply, and to make thoughtful and critical judgments about hegemonic culture”. The three interlinked essays that follow, led by Amanda Gilroy and including work by her master’s level students, present the results of a class based around Ien Ang’s groundbreaking Watching Dallas (1982, 1985) and include audience analysis of European watchers of the Dallas (2012–14) reboot.

    The Symposium section includes essays addressing fandom in Germany, Sweden, Poland, France, Spain, and Putin’s Russia.

    Several essays discuss European fandoms surrounding American texts: two essays consider Bruce Springsteen fandom (Bill Wolff, Maryn Claire Wilkinson), one addresses Polish fan responses to the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale (Agata Włodarczyk, Marta Tyminska), and another discusses Italian fandoms of American TV shows (Eleonora Benecchi). Two essays address texts based on European fandoms, including MTV’s Welsh reality show, The Valleys (Bethan Jones), and football fandom (Abby Waysdorf).

  • OTW Fannews: Participation & Representation

    By Katie on Domenica, 31 May 2015 - 5:00pm
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    Banner by Rachel of a generic newspaper with the OTW logo and the words 'OTW Fannews'

    • Several sites wrote about the effort to #DiversifyAgentCarter which was launched by the tweet 'Someone should create a #DiversifyAgentCarter tag & fill it with facts about the 40’s in New York so the writers have no excuse.'" As the post at Women Write About Comics discussed, "[P]eople began adding stories and photos of women and minorities who played integral roles during World War II and the post-war period, painting a much less white New York City than the one Agent Carter depicts, from Drag Balls to integrated government agencies to plenty of women spies. The hashtag is worth checking out if you’re interested in learning about some forgotten heroes of history."
    • A post at NPR's 'Code Switch' blog added: "Honestly, I blame Black History Month for this. So often, we focus on history that fits within a narrow range: The civil rights movement, the Civil War, American slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. While those are all important pieces of history to focus on, they are not the whole story — and they lead people who've only ever paid attention to black history during February to presume that we did not exist outside of those particular moments in time."
    • UCLA's Asia Institute hosted a presentation on Writing on Star Actresses: Politics, Morality and Literati Fandom in Early Republican Beijing. PhD candidate Jiacheng Liu had focused her dissertation on "how women, previously banned by the Qing dynasty, entered into the male-dominated theater profession and helped to reshape the repertoire and performance, redefine femininity, and facilitate a range of new social and cultural arrangements in the early Republican Beijing."
    • IBN Live recently brought back a more current example of Chinese fandom, this one focusing on 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S'. In an NPR feature, the owner of 2 cafes modeled on 'Central Perk' discussed its popularity. "Reruns of the show serve as a language-learning tool for Chinese university students. The show is particularly popular for its use of colloquial language and as an introduction to American culture. It's also popular because of the laid-back, friendship-filled lifestyle it portrays, far from the stressful, competitive world that Chinese young people inhabit. 'That's why we like Friends...[w]e're looking for this kind of life.'"

    Fanlore could use more content about non-English fandom activities! If you know it, share it -- 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: Doing Your Part

    By Kelly Ribeiro on Martedì, 12 May 2015 - 4:49pm
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    Doing Your Part

    • NPR was among some reporting on a new Russian policy that began banning some memes. "In effect it really bans all memes using celebrities. Insofar as the language of this announcement, which was posted on VKontakte (ph) - which is the Russian equivalent of Facebook - they said that any images that use famous people's identities, or images, they're against the law if they take that image out of context of that person's reputation." However, "this decision is totally unenforceable. The entire point is not to purge the Internet of bad things. It's to make people online afraid of getting in trouble."
    • The New York Times warned that Net Neutrality progress in the U.S. didn't mean that it wasn't under threat elsewhere. "Last month, the European Council...adopted a proposal that would allow telecommunications companies to charge Internet businesses like Netflix and Google fees to deliver their videos and other content to users faster than could smaller companies that cannot afford to pay for preferential treatment. In India, the country’s telecommunications regulator asked for comments on whether it should adopt a provision similar to what Europe is considering. The regulator also asked if telecom companies should be able to charge users extra fees for services like YouTube, WhatsApp and Skype on top of the fees people already pay for access to the Internet."
    • The OTW has petitioned for a renewal of a DMCA exemption for fan video makers. Our Legal team has been asking that fans write in about their need for high quality source from sources that are only available on Blu-Ray; or sources from places like iTunes or Amazon when that's necessary to make a timely vid to participate in an ongoing fannish conversation. OTW Staffers will be testifying before the Copyright Office at the end of May to extend their rights to break encryption to Blu-Ray, as well as maintain them for DVD and streaming sources.

    What efforts have you seen fans making to oppose restrictive laws? Write about it in 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: About and By

    By thatwasjustadream on Domenica, 10 May 2015 - 3:49pm
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    Banner with the words OTW fannews and the OTW logo along with lines suggesting an envelope and rows of text on a computer screen

    • Arab Times reported on a new comedy, Ana Maria in Novela Land which features a bodyswapping heroine. "Ana Maria [is] an under-achieving twentysomething who spends far too much time focused on the soap. Between live-tweeting the telenovela while it airs, writing fan fiction featuring its lead characters, and spending almost every waking moment mulling over new plot developments, Ana Maria has little time for anything else." They conclude that the show's "sporadic tweaking of telenovelas and the fans who love them is often quite clever."
    • Caped Crusades featured the fan art of Brazilian artist Rick Celis involving Batman and DC villains. Included were Gotham’s female villains as the Powerpuff Girls, and an Abbey Road take on the Joker.
    • The Hollywood Reporter was one of many sources linking to a Harry Potter parody video with original footage set to the song "Uptown Funk." Created by a group of university students, its quick success may stem in part from J.K. Rowling tweeting that she'd enjoyed it.
    • Dork Side of the Force featured the anime style fanfilm 'TIE Fighter'. "Seriously, the amount of detail in this video is astounding. Some of this stuff, like the detailed interiors of the Star Destroyer and TIE fighters, we’ve never even seen in the films before. And it all looks seamless, even in anime style."
    • A project called OTP The Show has dubbed itself "A new web series about friendship - and smutty Hobbit fan fiction." A trailer is currently available and the first of three episodes will be debuting in April.

    What are your favorite fanworks or works about fans? Write about them in 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: Skewing the Process

    By Claudia Rebaza on Domenica, 19 April 2015 - 5:23pm
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    Banner by Kat of a scale with 'OTW Fannews' on one side and 'Skewing the process' on the other

    • Matt Binder wrote in Salon that right-wing conservatives in the U.S. were trying to exploit the activities of misogynistic fans for personal gain and political capital. "A common tactic used by right-wingers is the call to 'stop politicizing everything' — while at the same time trying to push forth their own political agenda in the culture wars, of course. Keeping politics out of any art form is laughable, but there is a certain extra level of hilarity in attempting to do so with one that already has a long history of social justice...these are actual panels from an actual Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow comic from April 1970 addressing racial justice head-on."
    • At Medium is the Message, Rex Sorgatz discussed changing habits regarding spoilers. "Back in the aughts, we survived a similar crisis, when two cultural events coincided:The quality of television programming suddenly got much better [and] The conversations around television exploded on social media. The collision of these trends triggered a nuclear reaction — a pop culture fission, spewing immense heat. People got very, very serious about The Spoiler Alert. The burgeoning recap society, in particular, was put under immense scrutiny."
    • Japan Times talked about how marketing tricks meant fans were skewing the music sales charts. "The problem is that music purchases by idol fans aren’t really music purchases at all: They are a sort of abstract currency by which the fans make extravagant expressions of love for the group — the more you buy, the greater your love. They’re a completely different class of consumer from someone who simply buys a song in order to listen to it, and trying to force them to behave like traditional music fans misses the point."
    • The Millions featured a long piece from Elizabeth Minkel on academic courses on fanfiction. "The cynical side of me expected to hear that a fanfiction class in an Ivy League English department would’ve been met with criticism from the old guard...But [Jamison] hasn’t encountered professional backlash at Princeton or back home in Utah. 'I’m sure there are people who think that but they haven’t told me about it — not my colleagues...I get more pushback on YA and, frankly, on Victorian women’s poetry than I do on fanfic. Nothing can match the snideness with which male scholars of modernism tend to regard Victorian poetry by women.'”

    Where have you seen fans changing cultural practices? Write about them in 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: Coming Together

    By Kelly Ribeiro on Giovedì, 16 April 2015 - 5:59pm
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    Jared Padalecki

    • Bustle's Emma Lord focused on the successful protest of a fanfiction 'comedy' act at WonderCon as part of discussing misconceptions about fanfic writers that she's tired of. "WonderCon recently had to pull Chris Gore’s 'Fan Fic Theater' panel, in which he was going to read out loud actual fan fiction and make fun of it for sport. Like many fellow authors, I took to Twitter to question what the panel was for, and within thirty seconds of my incredibly civil tweet asking what was up, I’d been blocked by Chris Gore himself...It didn’t take long for the convention to cancel the whole thing, because duh, WonderCon, you can’t make fun of the very audience for your event and expect them to not get defensive about it."
    • The Age reported on fans' reactions to the murder of a cosplayer in Australia with a display of numerous pieces of fan art. "[A] global group of cosplay fans...are expressing their grief through art. Masa Vukotic was a well-regarded member of the cosplay - or costume play - community...Many members of Melbourne's cosplay community have paid tribute to the teen with sketches and paintings of Masa dressed in her signature 'lolita' style. Some admitted they had never met Masa, but felt compelled to draw images of her or post photos of themselves wearing pink in her honour, her favourite colour."
    • Comic Book Resources wrote about a discussion on The Nightly Show about fandom and diversity. Marvel’s director of content and character development, Phil Jimenez, said "It feels strange to me that we would partition race, gender and nerd as if they were distinct things...All human beings are this combination of experiences and ideologies. […] Everybody’s get some nerd in them. But the idea that, somehow, being a nerd is separate from one’s religious or moral or political beliefs is strange to me. We all bring everything to our decision-making on a daily basis.”
    • Fusion.net reported on the success of various actor-led charity campaigns. "Padalecki’s campaign is the latest example of a burgeoning form of celebrity activism—one inextricably intertwined with social media and the nerdiest brand of superfandom. The new activism is kicked off by a star—in this case, the lead of a show that has a massive following on Tumblr—but powered by his admirers. (Incidentally, all examples involve male stars and their largely female fan bases.) The star, in turn, interacts with fans about the campaign, energizing the cause. Everyone feels good knowing they’re fighting for the same thing."

    What cases have you seen of fans coming together? Write about them in 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: Global Rights

    By thatwasjustadream on Domenica, 12 April 2015 - 4:25pm
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    image of a seated person with arms on a table, one hand holding a small globe with the words OTW Fannews Global Rights over the image

    • The EFF reported on Japanese fans and organizations protesting the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). "In addition to opposing lengthy copyright terms, the anime and fan-art community are also concerned about the TPP's criminal enforcement provisions. There is a particular section that says that 'competent authorities may act upon their own initiative to initiate a legal action without the need for a formal complaint' by the copyright holder. The fear is that this would lead to a major crackdown on derivative works, including written or drawn fan fiction, recorded music covers of songs, or cosplayers, who may upload photos of themselves dressed as characters."
    • Le Devoir.com wrote about the origins of fanfiction. "To understand the phenomenon of fanfiction...begin by remixing the famous list of Daniel Pennac's "The Rights of the Reader," which will become those of "the consumer." Literature becomes just a commodity, and it's permissible to do whatever we want. From one chapter to another, the reader is free to react, to have equal exchanges with the author, to make special demands, or even to write his own fanfiction." (Article in French).
    • lesen.net focused more on legal issues than the rights of the author. "The law is also problematic when it comes to the inventions of fanfic writers. There are stories where, in addition to well-known people, original characters occur in crossover stories which combine different book universes. Behind the new characters and the stories themselves are original, but unprotected, ideas. Original characters outside of the accepted world in principle belong to the rights-holders of the (story's) world. Meanwhile, within the fanfiction community virtually all characters and plots can be easily transferred and plagiarized." (Article in German).
    • The Washington Post also discussed appropriation in art using a variety of different examples. "There are no perfect, lawyerly answers to this. But general rules apply: The artist must add something — an idea, a nuance, a criticism — to the work he or she appropriates; it mustn’t be done simply to deceive; and no one should prosper by borrowing if it comes at the expense of another artist."

    Where have you seen fans standing up for their rights? Write about it in 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 Mirror Writers

    By Claudia Rebaza on Venerdì, 10 April 2015 - 5:32pm
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    Banner by Alice of a fountain tip pen dragging away from a mirror

    • A number of media articles have recently mentioned fanfiction in relation with the pro side of writing. One was in TIME where Rhys Griffiths discusses the continuation novel. Describing various works not written by the original authors, Rhys calls them an attempt "to obscure the act of literary ventriloquism that is occurring. The continuation novel differs from fan fiction (also enjoying a purple patch, which is unlikely to be a coincidence) chiefly in its ‘official’ nature. The books are commissioned by the deceased author’s estate, written with its approval, and marketed using both author’s brand associations."
    • A more direct example of 'literary ventriloquism' appeared in Flavorwire, which posted about fiction ghostwriting. "In this respect, both the YouTube megastar and the self-effacing ghostwriter are weirdly analogous to the writer of fanfiction and the self-published author, both of whom publishing has gone to great lengths to exploit in recent years. The now competing self-publishing models of Apple and Amazon point to an automated future...of a 'consumer' driven model that relies on upvoting." The article concludes that "The fact that the reader gets to choose 'precisely what she wants to read before any work goes to press,' neutralizes the dream of fiction...to alter what we think is possible. It becomes nothing but a magic mirror that reaffirms our prejudices."
    • It is writers' prejudices that concern Jordan West, who gives advice on diversifying characters in fanfiction. "As much diversity as there is in fan communities, it shouldn’t be difficult for people to find reflections of themselves in fic. Fan works aren’t restrained by the same conventions as mainstream media, so we can’t blame editors or producers for telling us what we’re allowed to write. The go-to feeling for reading a fic should be based on whether you like it, not gratitude that it even exists."
    • Games Radar profiled tie-in novelist Karen Traviss, who discussed both the freedoms and restrictions of being paid to write for a gaming franchise. "One guy told me he'd proudly showed the first novel to his family to demonstrate that the game that had kept him working almost 24/7 for the last couple of years was something that had an existence beyond gameplay, and that a novelist, an 'independent' arbiter of its worth in a way, had seen the same magic in it that he had. I thought that was very touching, and I don't use the word touching about the industry very often."

    Where are the lines you see between fanworks and their pro counterparts? Write about them in 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: Sharing Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Giovedì, 5 March 2015 - 6:35pm
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    Banner with text that reads OTW Fannews Sharing Fandom

    • Writer Shawna Benson examined patterns of fandom growth and activity that she'd observed while moderating social media for The 100's Writers’ Room, as well as social media lessons learned. "Yes, we sell the US shows to other countries, but what do we do to accommodate those fanbases which spring up in other countries? Suddenly, the 'official' accounts feel less useful. They don’t get the CW in the UK, Australia, Brazil, France or Spain, or even Canada — the main countries which outside of the U.S. watch The 100. How do we accommodate those fans? The official accounts are restricted in this. Guess what? Writers’ rooms are not."
    • As part of International Fanworks Day, LiveJournal community Mari di Challenge interviewed OTW Translation Committee chairs Hele Braunstein and Priscilla del Cima about the committee's work (article in Italian). Both spoke about their fannish backgrounds, how AO3 fits together with the OTW and its other projects, how the organization sustains those projects financially and personnel-wise, what the OTW's vision of fandom is, and what changes might happen in the next five years.
    • Book review blogger Traci began a series of posts about the OTW. "I was recently reading an article and it was mentioned that media seems to 'see bronies as far more newsworthy that Organization for Transformative Works or the Vlogbrothers' Nerdfighter movement.' Now, I see a lot of things about Nerfighters, and the Green brothers in particular, but have not seen much on OTW outside of those in the know. So I decided to fangirl all over one of my favorite organizations for a post. Then I realized that I would need at least a couple posts to fully share my love and appreciation."
    • The Verge's Entertainment Editor Emily Yoshida discussed her discovery of fanfiction on the StarWarsChicks.com posting board. "One of the first things I was drawn to besides the message board was...The Library, it was a fanfic archive of the stories everyone in the community had written." She was asked to speculate about why fanfic writers seemed to be mostly by female writers. She suggested that the medium of writing was better suited to women. "It's non-visual, it takes a long time to read somebody's whole novel...and that's the payoff is this expectation and this waiting and this buildup...but it gets that same kind of following and addictive aspect to it." (No transcript available).

    Fanlore is a place for all fans to share their knowledge about fans and fandoms. Add details to an existing entry or start a new one!

    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.

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