Event

  • The Future of Fanworks Legal Q&A - Post 2

    By Claudia Rebaza on Saturday, 22 March 2014 - 9:20pm
    Message type:

    Banner by James of 2 red jets heading up in a grey sky towards an OTW logo

    Welcome to the third of our Milestone Month events! Today we continue with the second of four posts with copyright specialists on "The Future of Fanworks." Today's responses are from Susan Hall.


    1) What do you remember as your first encounter with fanworks or issues surrounding fanworks?

    This is something I need to split between recognising fanworks (and the issues surrounding them) as a distinct category and creating fanworks myself. The first came very much earlier than the second. I don’t believe I encountered my first ’zine until the late 80s or early 90s (it was Blakes 7, Blake/Avon slash and a friend handed it to me - in an honest-to-goodness brown envelope - for me to read on a train to Scotland, without bothering to mention any of the salient points, such as its being both quite explicit and quite meta - it being about Blake & Avon both encountering slash fiction and deciding on the spot to re-enact it.)

    From a very early age, though, I’d been creating fanworks in the sense of add-ons to things I’d read, stories I told myself before going to sleep at night, poems and so forth. The works I built on included Hiawatha, Swallows and Amazons, Sherlock Holmes, The Crystal Gryphon and the Seventh Swan (Nicholas Stuart Gray), the latter being something I’d got out of the library which had made a tremendous impression on me.

    Once I reached adolescence, it became something which I increasingly set down on paper - my parents bought me my first typewriter for my eleventh birthday - and shared (and swapped) with friends. I went to an all girls’ selective school and so far as I could tell we were all fannish; that was the era of Starsky and Hutch but there were a lot of other fan enthusiasms, including for Star Trek and Doctor Who as well as football, rugby and cricket.

    Teachers, too, frequently taught English literature by asking us to write missing scenes or scenes from another character’s perspective; although these were not expressed as being fanworks, they were forms of fan creativity.

    However, I was not aware of organised fandom or of fanworks under that name even at university, and though I did a law degree and subsequently a masters with a specific emphasis on intellectual property, issues of legality of fanworks did not arise then, either. I began being involved in online fandom first by participating in the Lord Peter Wimsey yahoogroup and then with Harry Potter for GrownUps, also on Yahoo.

    2) Since that first encounter, have there been any notable changes you’ve seen regarding fandom and fanworks? Are there any things that have endured, or that you think may never change?

    Massive changes have included the move to online means of sharing fanworks, the creation of AO3, the much greater acceptance by TPTB that fanworks exist (not always a positive thing, as the excruciating attempt by Caitlin Moran to force the stars of Sherlock to read explicit slash aloud shows), a much more coherent position being taken on legalities of fanworks.

    Things that seem never likely to change are fan feuds, splitting, bickering and online meltdowns, including flame-wars and the more disturbing extremes such as the Ms Scribe and Victoria Bitter affairs.

    3) What are some things you’d like to see happen — or not happen — with fanworks in the future?

    I’d like a much wider acceptance that there is a sound basis for their legality as fanworks both under US and EU law. However, one development I hope can be fended off are the various efforts to monetise and regularise fanworks.

    4) Given the increasing visibility of fanworks to both content/source creators and the public, what do you think are some important points to emphasize — or sources to use — when explaining fanworks to people who are unfamiliar with them?

    I think it’s important to stress that the simplistic "all fanworks are theft" line peddled by the likes of Anne Rice and Lee Goldberg is, and always has been, completely unsupported in law, even in the more restrictive legal systems of the EU. Furthermore, there are a lot of myths about alleged cases with have been brought and alleged rulings against fanworks, most of which do not stand up to scrutiny.

    A report recently commissioned by the EU into the use made to date by European countries of the exceptions in favour of "parody, caricature or pastiche" introduced by the Copyright Directive of 2001 or equivalent local exceptions was unable to find any EU cases where successful legal action had been brought against fanworks by rightsholders.

    This is not to deny possible chilling effects on fanworks by take down notices (eg YouTube) as occurred with Newport State of Mind (based upon Empire State of Mind, a hit song by the American rapper Jay-Z). The music video parody, written by M J Delaney and performed by Alex Warren and Terema Wainwright, achieved great success when posted on YouTube last year, but resulted in take down action by the right owners to have it removed from the internet.

    Sources to recommend on this are studies commissioned by the UK Intellectual Property office which found no evidence of harm to the economic interests of authors with respect to music video parodies and also the Hargreaves Report making Copyright recommendations to the UK Government.

    Hargreaves Report

    “The Government should firmly resist over-regulation of activities which do not prejudice the central objective of copyright, namely the provision of incentives to creators. Government should deliver copyright exceptions at national level to realise all the opportunities within the EU framework, including format shifting, parody, non-commercial research, and library archiving. The UK should also promote at EU level an exception to support text and data analytics. The UK should give a lead at EU level to develop a further copyright exception designed to build into the EU framework adaptability to new technologies. This would be designed to allow uses enabled by technology of works in ways which do not directly trade on the underlying creative and expressive purpose of the work. The Government should also legislate to ensure that these and other copyright exceptions are protected from override by contract” (p. 51 Review of Intellectual Property and Growth).

    Generally speaking, the creators of fanworks tend to have a very significant overlap with completist collectors of the original source material, the sort of people who attend midnight showings of the Hobbit on the day it opens and then subsequent repeat viewings and then buy the Blu-Ray. Also, I have several times myself bought or watched original material in order better to appreciate fanworks of it, and am aware of numerous other people doing so.

    5) Do you think the scrutiny from academics, legal practitioners, entertainment industries and the media, have affected the creative freedom of source creators or fan creators? Are there ways in which different online spaces can have rules of engagement that vary based on a person’s particular connection to the community?

    There’s a kind of awareness which was very much not the norm in the early days when I became involved in fandom (back to the slash zines in brown envelopes).

    One area of serious concern which has not received the attention which perhaps it should is the privatisation or enclosure of folk works, historical or mythological figures or works which are out of copyright (for example, Mulan, Robin Hood, the Jungle Books, Pooh Bear) by the growing use of trade marks. Although trade marks should only restrict commercial uses of intellectual property, the danger by way of using trade mark law as a way of deterring ISPs from hosting fanworks in future is a danger which should not be overlooked.

    A perennial area of annoyance is also the misuse of fan material by "semi-pro" fans, for example the storm relating to the publisher of a "behind the scenes" guide to Torchwood who made use of a significant body of on-line reviews, totalling almost 20% of the book as published. While fans create in a gift economy, the use of such materials in a business or quasi business setting tends to rankle, especially given a perceived gendered division between those who create the works and those who reuse and repackage them.

    6) The OTW proposed designating February 15th an International Fanworks Day to celebrate all things fanworks. Anyone can participate by advocating for, creating, or appreciating the wide variety of fanworks available. How would you choose to celebrate the event?

    I am terrible at remembering international days so it’s probably unlikely I will celebrate, though if I were to do so it would be by having an extended reccs post.

  • The Future of Fanworks Legal Q&A - Post 1

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 21 March 2014 - 10:17pm
    Message type:

    Banner by James of 2 red jets heading up in a grey sky towards an OTW logo

    Welcome to the third of our Milestone Month events! Today begins the first of four posts with copyright specialists on "The Future of Fanworks." First up are responses from Dr. Chip Stewart.


    1) What do you remember as your first encounter with fanworks or issues surrounding fanworks?

    Harry Potter, between the release of the fourth and fifth books, so probably 2003. I remember following news and rumors on Mugglenet and HP-Lexicon and being referred to some of the wilder fan fiction stories.

    2) Since that first encounter, have there been any notable changes you’ve seen regarding fandom and fanworks? Are there any things that have endured, or that you think may never change?

    I've been more of an observer than a reader, so beyond noticing the mainstream appeal of some works — Fifty Shades of Grey, of course — I can't say I notice much difference. I have been surprised by the pervasiveness of the sexuality, but I don't think that's just fan fiction, I think that's the Internet in general providing a home for things to be published that would've been kept quieter before.

    The biggest shocker to me, and this is a bit off-topic, is the baseball slash fic, which I found out about in an article by Emma Span when she was at Baseball Prospectus.

    Also, watching the relationship between JK Rowling and fans online was quite interesting and perhaps illustrative of the dynamic going forward. Rowling seemed to be a huge fan of the online communities following her, as long as they stayed online and not for actual sale. When the Lexicon was about to become a book, her turn was in a sense confusing (considering her past support for the site) but also not surprising because of the commercial nature.

    That was a huge moment. If Rowling tolerates the fan community and allows publishing of the Lexicon without pushing her copyright claims, that would've been a huge step to making fan works more culturally (and perhaps legally) acceptable.

    3) What are some things you’d like to see happen — or not happen — with fanworks in the future?

    I'd love to see a good circuit court decision on a copyright case dealing specifically with fan fiction to provide some guidance, ideally one open to a finding of transformativeness and recognizing the lack of harm in noncommercial works by fans. The cases out there now — such as "The Wind Done Gone" case (Suntrust v. Houghton Mifflin, 11th Cir., 2001) are more about unauthorized sequels or parodies rather than fan works.

    The read-write culture is only going to continue to grow, and the expectation of each generation to come is going to be, "I can use that to make new things from my favorite characters and stories." The Web gives a home for these works to find a public audience. But we don't have clear guidance that this is OK — so it will all be done under the specter of infringement suits, DMCA takedowns, and/or prosecutions. That's not good for creativity or culture.

    4) Given the increasing visibility of fanworks to both content/source creators and the public, what do you think are some important points to emphasize — or sources to use — when explaining fanworks to people who are unfamiliar with them?

    To make the case that these are transformative works and that read-write culture is valuable, even if you don't quite get it, the books I'd suggest are "Remix" by Lawrence Lessig and "Cognitive Surplus" by Clay Shirky. The example I'd cite is Stephenie Meyer's support (or at least non-opposition) to the work that ultimately became "Fifty Shades of Grey" initially based on her characters.

    5) Do you think the scrutiny from academics, legal practitioners, entertainment industries and the media, have affected the creative freedom of source creators or fan creators? Are there ways in which different online spaces can have rules of engagement that vary based on a person’s particular connection to the community?

    I would like to think that academics and the legal community, particularly that portion that spends a good bit of time online, would be vigorously supporting and defending creators of fan works as both core expressive conduct under the First Amendment and as transformational fair use under copyright law. Regrettably, I think the chatter from the entertainment industry and the legislators they prop up seems to drown out advocacy efforts. I don't see a legislative avenue that will be helpful to fans anytime soon, and it may get worse before it gets better.

    So the options for fans are either (a) the courts, which I discussed above, hoping to find that great-facts case that a fair-use-friendly judge will use to stand as a defense for other fan works, and/or (b) having the communities police themselves through the culture they create in their online spaces. As for rules of engagement, I think making those clear on the sites (particularly in the terms and conditions) would be helpful. But overall, the key is promoting noncommercial uses that don't threaten or harm the character or world the original author has created — or, if a work is going to do this, having a point beyond titillation or snark to help the criticism/commentary argument for fair use. I think we'd want to build a defense stronger than parody to protect fan works in the future because an homage or a new work isn't really a parody of the original, and courts would recognize that.

    6) The OTW proposed designating February 15th an International Fanworks Day to celebrate all things fanworks. Anyone can participate by advocating for, creating, or appreciating the wide variety of fanworks available. How would you choose to celebrate the event?

    Give to those who are going to fight the fight. EFF would be my organization of choice.

  • Come chat with AO3 Support

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 - 5:53pm
    Message type:

    Banner by caitie with 'otw chat' at its center and emoticons and other symbols in word bubbles surrounding it.

    Edited to add: The Support chat has ended, but if you still have questions click on the Support link at the bottom of all AO3 pages.

    If you've been enjoying The Future of Fanworks chat series, we hope you'll be reading the Q&A posts coming this weekend with our legal panel. However, if you're all set for a live chat, we'll be having one of those too!

    AO3 Support staffers are the people who receive your tickets through the Support and Feedback form and try to respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do their best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn't seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren't always ideal.

    They'll be available on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 1600-2200 UTC (what time is that in my timezone?. If you can't make it to this one, keep an eye out for the next as Support will be doing other chats later this year.

    If you're having a problem using the Archive, want help trying something new, or would like an explanation of one of our features, please drop in and talk to us in person!

    Some guidelines from Support, just to keep things running smoothly

    We don't have a fancy presentation or material prepared--there are plenty of FAQs, tutorials, and admin posts for that. The point of live chat is to talk with you, not at you. We're happy for you to drop in and say "hi", but it's even better if you drop in and say, "Hi, what's up with my work that won't show as complete even though it is?!"

    As Support, our function is to help users with bugs and issues, and pass reports on to our Coders and Systems team, who actually keep the place running. This means that policy questions are way over our pay grade. (Just kidding--none of us get paid!) So, if you have questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies, good or bad, Support Chat isn't the right place for them. If you do want to talk to someone about policy issues (meta on the Archive, philosophical issues with the tagging system, category change, etc.) we can direct you to the appropriate admin post or contact address so you can leave feedback directly for the people dealing with the area of your concern.

    Additionally, if a question looks like it might violate a user's privacy to answer (if it needs an email address or other personal information, for example) we may not be willing to work with it in chat. In those cases, we'll redirect a user to the Support Form so we can communicate via email.

    So, now that that's out of the way, what kind of things are we going to talk about?

    Live chat is best for questions of a "How do I...?" or "Why does it...?" nature.

    For example, you might have been wondering:

    • I'd like to run a challenge, but I'm not sure how to do what I want.
    • For that matter, where did my work submitted to an anonymous challenge go?!
    • I want to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won't give me. How do I do it using a work skin?
    • I want to add a lot of my older works to the AO3 -- what would be the easiest way to do that?

    We'd be happy to help you with any of these questions, and anything else you're having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive.

    Edited to Correct: The post originally listed a date from last year. Our apologies for any confusion!

  • Chat transcript for "The Future of Fanworks" fan panel

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 16 March 2014 - 3:20am
    Message type:

    Banner by Alice of a question mark shaped out of communication objects such as an envelope and TV

    On March 15th the OTW held a chat with fans. If you missed it, here's the chat transcript! This has been edited for arrivals and departures in the room and greetings from the audience.

    Visit our post about "The Future of Fanworks" discussions if you'd be interested in future events.


    *Jintian
    Hello and welcome! As advertised, the Organization for Transformative Works is running a series of chats during the month of March about the future of fanworks, in celebration of our Milestone Month in February.

    Each discussion features a panel focusing on a different perspective: academic, fannish, industry and legal. Transcripts will be made public by Monday. (You can see the transcript for last weekend's academic discussion)

    You are currently in the fannish discussion. I’m your moderator, Jintian, and I’m a staffer with the OTW’s Communications committee.

    We have some prepared questions for the panel, but we’re happy for the discussion to evolve organically.

    If time permits, we’ll open up to questions from the audience — I’ll just ask you to type “raise hand” and will call on people in order.

    Thanks so much to our panelists Lucy, yhlee and yifu for your time and your participation! (For our audience, their chat usernames and mine are all prefaced with a * symbol.)

    yifu = Eve

    Ladies, would you like to briefly introduce yourselves? Perhaps give a quick summary of your years in fandom, primary fandoms you follow, and anything else you'd like to add.

    *Eve
    Hi, I'm Eve, from Indonesia. I've been a fan since the early 80s and my primary fandoms are anime, manga, and wuxia (Chinese martial arts lit.). The anime/manga series I follow are mostly shounen. Nice to meet you all!

    *Lucy B.
    I'm Lucy, aka cereta. I've been in fandom not quite twenty years. I probably spent the longest in DC Comics, but these days, I'm mostly into quirky stuff like Murder, She Wrote and whatever show my six-year-old is into. I ran the Fanfic Symposium way back when, and I do something on my journals called Grading Hell Theater. Hello!

    *yhlee
    Hi, I'm Yoon Ha Lee and I'm a sf/f writer. I first encountered fandom in college with an anime club and seeing anime music videos, which would have been 1998. Then several years later I encountered Western fandoms like Buffy. I tried to learn to write fanfic so I could learn to write sex scenes and instead became real good at fading to black, woe. These days I mostly follow anime, The Vampire Diaries, and whatever fic/vid recs come by on Dreamwidth. Howdy!

    *Jintian
    Thanks, panelists! :) We’ll begin by posing a question and then asking for each of you to answer, after which if you’d like to engage with earlier replies, please do. So, first question...

    What do you remember as your first encounter with fanworks or issues surrounding fanworks?

    *Eve
    My first encounter with fanworks was through the internet in the late 1990's, when I discovered fanfic and fanart for my major fandom. If issues here refer to problems, I remember some authors forbidding fanworks of their books. This was later, in the early 2000's. I remember being surprised at that time but acknowledging their right for forbidding it.

    *Lucy B.
    You know, that's a hard question. Was it when I made up stories about Spider-man after watching him on The Electric Company? Was it the continuation of V:The Series (the 80's one, not the new one) that my friend and I co-wrote for two years? Was it the online RPG set on Deep Space Nine that I played on my first BBS? No, I think I'd have to say it was Star Trek fanfic on Usenet. I think the thing I remember most was the way I gradually, tentatively edged into slash, and the way my own realization that hey, I really like this stuff seemed to parallel it becoming more visible. Of course, I started looking into it because I wanted to write a paper about the gender disparity between discussion and fiction on the newsgroups, but woe, Henry Jenkins had already written the book. Story of my life.

    *Eve
    Now I'm not so sure? I mean, I personally would be flattered if people create fanworks for my stories. But maybe legal ramifications is one of the major problems here.

    *yhlee
    My first encounter with fanworks issues was in Legend of the Five Rings (L5R), a USAn collectible card game/tabletop RPG that's been releasing canon/story for 15 years. Fanfic in L5R normally runs backwards in that the norm is to NOT write about canon characters, but about OCs (like your RPG character). One fanfic writer wrote a series of parody fics that involved things like dubcon gay sex. L5R's game company asked her to stop and she did. The writer took down all her fic without argument, so there was no dispute, but there were a lot of people really unhappy because she was very popular in the fandom and a very good writer as well. I find it hilarious that the dubcon gay sex was more of a big deal than the sometimes graphic violence and outright torture in canon, but okay.

    *Lucy B.
    Okay, that's funny. I helped beta test that game. I knew the developers.

    *yhlee
    I think AEG (L5R's company's) issue was partly that the author was using L5R canon characters, not just doing dubcon/etc. things with her own RPG characters; again L5R's norm is backwards.

    Hee.

    *Jintian
    *nod* I think that creator-->fandom relationship will come up throughout this discussion as an "issue" which has changed and will likely keep changing. In fact, my next question is...

    Since that first encounter, have there been any notable changes you’ve seen regarding fandom and fanworks? And are there any things that have endured, or that you think may never change?

    *Eve
    Back then trigger warnings barely existed, so fanfic readers were more likely to stumble into triggery things in the fics they read. Now that trigger warning are more common, readers can sort out the fanworks they might not be comfortable with.

    *Lucy B.
    I think the biggest change is that fandom has gone from being centered on sources (a show, comic, franchise, book, etc) to being focused on fans themselves. Livejournal, Dreamwidth, and even tumblr tend to be focused around a person rather than a show or movie or book series. I think that's brought about all SORTS of changes.

    *yhlee
    I had to be introduced to trigger warnings/content notes, but tags! I love tags. They make it so much easier for me to find what I want or avoid what I don't want.

    *Eve
    The number of sites where fans can post fanworks has also grown, so not only it's easier for fan creators to make their stories visible, they can also connect more easily with their audience. I personally believe the availability of these sites plays a great part in preserving, even increasing, fandom enthusiasm in creating fanworks.

    *Lucy B.
    Including the increasing breakdown between creator and fan that you mentioned above. With writers and actors on social media, there's more interaction.

    *yhlee
    I have this memory of Geocities shrines to individual shows (?), and now when I go looking for fanfic or fanworks, Lucy B.'s right, I am more likely to go to FF.net or AO3 or look for recs from friends on DW.

    *Jintian
    Hah, Eve -- I started in X-Files fandom. There was a pretty good warning culture even then, but it was still a wild and woolly place when it came to actual content. Stuff that was deemed romantic then would now raise a lot of eyebrows, I think.

    *yhlee
    Also, specific to fanfic, just being able to easily dump everything to an ereader format has made it *much* easier for me to carry around and consume fanfic, instead of having this ungodly mess of bookmarks.

    (Or printouts, eep.)

    *Lucy B.
    We've found ways to aggregate - newsletters and stuff - but for a while I think there was a real "Where's the fic??" going on.

    HAH. I still have binders full of SGA stories.

    *yhlee
    Laura Shapiro sent me--Due South deadtree fan anthologies once? I remember being astonished that people had made these physical objects, because I wasn't really in fandom circles where that happened early enough.

    *Lucy B.
    Oh, wow, there's a big change.

    *Eve
    Ahaha! I did print out fics from favorite authors, still have some of them now. Being able to read fanfic on the screen is definitely an improvement.

    *Lucy B.
    Zines are still around, but there's no question that they're MUCH less common.

    And the zine fandom v. net fandom issue is basically gone.

    *yhlee
    I do collect doujinshi (Japanese fancomics of shows, etc.) but I am not fluent in Japanese and I don't know what the fan culture is like over there.

    *Lucy B.
    One thing that has stayed the same, I think, is fannish generosity in sharing source material.

    The WAY we share has changed, but the impulse of, "Yes! Absolutely I can get you that show/movie/comic! You'll love it!" is still there.

    *yhlee
    Yes, I've definitely experienced that on both ends.

    *Lucy B.
    I think astolat and cesperanza's vid to Meatloaf was a fun example of how the more things change, the more they stay the same in that regard.

    *Eve
    Lucy: Though if the manga is licensed in Indonesia, I also usually encourage fellow fans to buy it. (a bit off-topic)

    *Lucy B.
    Oh, sure

    *yhlee
    What I usually saw was "Here, try this, and if you like it, please support the creator."

    *Jintian
    What are some things you’d like to see happen — or not happen — with fanworks in the future?

    *Eve
    Acknowledgment from source creators? In Indonesia, at least one author has been known to hold contests where participants write fanfic for her books.

    *Lucy B.
    I hope the move to/back to archives continues.

    *yhlee
    I'd love to see more fanworks in more media. I used to vid (badly) and put together a couple tiny vids for which I scored the music as well as putting together clips; I'm a hobbyist composer and I'm out of the vidding scene, but when I tried to talk to people about composing for vids as well as adapting existing songs, I just couldn't find a whole lot.

    Astrid Vohwinkel and I once collaborated on an Angel fancomic, and I'd love to see more of things like that too, even if I can't draw. Or games/interactive fiction; I don't know what the legal ramifications are, but the one time I asked Emily Short, she said that (as long as labeled as a derivative work?) it's fine to use Inform 7 (an IF programming language) to create a fanfic-game. Branching narrative/IF has a lot of interesting possibilities! (Maybe I am too much of a gamer at heart.

    *Lucy B.
    I'm also deeply excited to see where technology takes us. I'd speculate, but I think science fiction has taught us that we're really pretty bad at predicting future tech.

    *Jintian
    Eve, that is awesome! There's a self-published author who made it big named Hugh Howey, who's allowed fanfic of his work to be self-published as well. And I've seen some of those works on bestseller lists for Amazon Kindle. Great generosity.

    *yhlee
    Yes: I remember being really excited that vidding tech had become something I could afford.

    *Eve
    Jintian: Yep, that's audience appreciation right there. Lucy: LOL. But I'd love to see something interactive in fanworks creation. Something like a round robin, only with more people and a wider access to all sorts of media?

    *Lucy B.
    I'll admit, interaction with creators makes me nervous. I always think of Fanlib's line about coloring inside the lines. I remember how JMS's participation on the B5 newsgroup kept discussion so...tight. I love creators who say, "Sure, have at it!", but having them oversee the works would make me...I dunno, uptight.

    This may be my fannish history coming out, though.

    *Jintian
    Re: tech and fandom, I am one of those who feels rather behind the curve when it comes to where a lot of fandoms are "located" now, like Tumblr and Twitter. Although I'm curious about whatever the hot new platform after those might be.

    *Eve
    Yes, if we as the creator see someone beginning to write a problematic element into a fanfic (victim-blaming, racism) and we point it out, it might be seen as policing.

    *yhlee
    I feel ambivalent about fan/creator interaction: I remember going to an sf/f con where an sf author talked about loving that she had fans who wrote fic for her books, but then complained that some of the characterizations didn't seem to resemble her characters at all.

    *Eve
    yhlee: It's a risk of putting your works out there, I guess? And it's different than when fans complain about OOC-ness. When the author does it, she's more likely to be accused as being entitled.

    *yhlee
    Well, my feeling is if you don't want people to play with it in their heads, don't publish it. It's impossible to thought-police interpretations. But I am probably in a minority.

    *Lucy B.
    It's definitely a tightrope, and there's a part of me that wants fanfic to stay OURS. Of course, the line between Us and Them is pretty fuzzy (present company case in point).

    And Jintian, you are not alone re: tumblr ;).

    *yhlee
    I also think creators chilling fannish comment can be a problem when the source itself is problematic on whatever dimension--fan creations can function as critique and I'd hate to see that stifled.

    *Lucy B.
    *nods*

    *yhlee
    Okay, so who *are* these people who understand Tumblr? I've never met anyone even who uses Tumblr who claims to understand it. I use it and...I can't deal with the interface. But maybe I am too old.

    *Eve
    I agree. Confession: I'm a traditionally published author and I'm curious to see how readers interpret my stories in stories of their own. No one has ever done that so far though :) As someone who also creates fanworks, I'd like to see how it feels like to be on the other end. If that should ever happen, I'd better get ready for... anything.

    *Jintian
    I understand that Tumblr is full of pretty pictures which often move too fast for me to keep up with them. :)

    *Eve
    yhlee: Tumblr is great for sharing fanworks but not for commenting on them, in my experience. Tags and comments can get unwieldy. But maybe that's because I'm old too.

    *Lucy B.
    The closest I've come is having someone write fanfic off my fanfic. It was interesting ;).

    *yhlee
    Yes: similar, and I'm dying to see what would happen. I suspect I would be envious because there are plenty of ficwriters who can write rings around me. But, I mean, that's not a reason for them not to do it.

    *Jintian
    Re: fuzzy lines between Us and Them, I was going to note examples of fans who've produced original work and become source creators themselves. With, of course, a few examples of fanfic being repurposed into that original work and meeting with large success.

    *yhlee
    I've participated in a couple remixes, that's true.

    *Lucy B.
    I think that's why tumblr loses me. I want the discussion, and I just cannot track a tumblr conversation.

    *yhlee
    Lois McMaster Bujold and Vorkosigan Saga? Or am I misremembering?

    *Eve
    For discussions, LJ and DW are still the most convenient for me.

    *yhlee
    Ditto here.

    *yhlee
    Oh Us vs Them, I have to admit that I fic'd a Harlan Ellison work for Yuletide and kept waiting to be served with a notice because I remember back when I first joined the SFWA he would send these letters about illegal downloads or sharing of his works online, something like that, and I didn't think he would take any more kindly to fic...

    *Jintian
    I'm not that familiar with Bujold, if she's an example of a fan turned creator? I was thinking of, more recently, E.L. James and other Twilight authors who've re-written their fic into original work. (Back to that Amazon Kindle bestseller list: I've seen a handful of Twilight stories with serial numbers filed off ranking pretty high.) I'm sure there's fanfic of those works existing now, bringing it all full circle....

    *yhlee
    I *think* Bujold's Vorkosigan first book started out with some sort of Star Trek related inspiration, with serial numbers filed off. A lot.

    *Lucy B.
    Who was the slash author who repurposed her Pros fic? Mel Keegan?

    *Eve
    I do seem to remember a list of works stated as Twilight fanfic turned into original novels. Same for 50 Shades.

    *Jintian
    I think Lucy and Eve touched on a couple of interesting points earlier about fans being the focus of fandom, and fan creators being so in touch with their audiences. Particular fanfic writers with large followings can, and have, leveraged that into connection into readership for their traditionally published stuff.

    Kristina B.
    Yup Lucy, Mel Keegan.

    *Jintian
    *leveraged that connection

    *Lucy B.
    Funny story: her author blurbs used male pronouns.

    *Lucy B.
    That's true, Jintian.

    *Lucy B.
    OTOH, I don't mind that so much, because it means stuff that I'll probably like gets published ;)

    See: Mel Keegan.

    *Jintian
    I meant to say something at the half hour mark, but got caught up in the discussion. As we're now coming up on one hour: for newcomers to the chat room, I'd just like to say welcome to the OTW's fan panel discussion on the future of fanworks. Our panelists are Lucy, yhlee and yifu and I'm your moderator Jintian.

    *Eve
    Though I mostly keep my fannish identity separate from the trad-pub author identity. Readers of my novels don't really need to know about my passionate multichapter Saint Seiya fics... do they?

    *Jintian
    Unfortunately our chat room isn't able to show a user the discussion prior to their entrance, but the full transcript of this chat will be available by Monday, so you can see anything you missed.

    *yhlee
    I made the mistake of writing fanfic under my real name and really regret it, mainly because you can always unpseud but you can't repseud. So to speak.

    *Eve
    yhlee: Do you mean they change their fannish identities after they're traditionally published, that's why they're hard to find?

    *yhlee
    I find it slightly maddening that there are a couple fanfic writers whose works I've adored, whom I know have published traditionally, but since that connection will not/cannot be made public and I don't know the right people, I will probably never figure out where to find their stuff.

    *Lucy B.
    Oh, that must be frustrating.

    *Lucy B.
    It's really interesting to me the waves pseuds and real names go in.

    *yhlee
    No--I mean, I want to read the trad. published stuff along with the continued production of fanfic, because the one makes me think I'd like the other, and I have no way of finding (or knowing about) the trad. stuff.

    But anyway, I suppose that's getting OT.

    I joined the internet through BBSes/fidonet in the late '90s where everything was (presumed) real names, so it just never occurred to me that I could pseud when I joined LJ. Oh well.

    *Lucy B.
    I did, too. I started using a pseud because I thought academia would care that I wrote gay porn on the internet. Now I give talks on it at my school...

    *Jintian
    Yes, fandom is becoming so much more visible, so maybe those days of fiercely protecting the pseud will one day see an end? Not that I'M ready for it! Which leads to my next question....

    *yhlee
    Ha!

    *Jintian
    Given the increasing visibility of fanworks to both content/source creators and the public, what do you think are some important points to emphasize — or sources to use — when explaining fanworks to people who are unfamiliar with them?

    *Eve
    Readers' freedom in interpreting sources. This might include explaining fanworks that are, say, rated NC-17, for series often assumed to be targeted toward the younger audience, like Naruto.

    *Jintian
    (This reminds me of the Passover dinner party I attended last year where the host proceeded to explain to everyone how 50 Shades used to be "slash" fanfic, because "slash" is any fanfic which has explicit sex.)

    *Lucy B.
    I really believe that the gender issues in fandom, the large number of girls and women who write and vid and draw, is important. It seems like an odd thing to emphasize, but I think it goes a long way toward breaking down stereotypes, plus I'll be damned if we get written out of the history of THESE artforms.

    *Eve
    There might have been at least one case when an Indonesian non-fannish person posted on the internet that Naruto has porn on it!! not safe for our children!

    Phil
    I think one important point is that it's not all just sex. That's probably the worst part. There have been fanworks that have made me cry and feel such indescribable emotion. It's more than just sex. There's so much more.

    *Lucy B.
    Also, *headdesk* on the definitions of "slash."

    JessieB
    Slash has taken on a new meaning in the 21st century

    Psyga S.
    Wait, I thought they labeled sex fics as "Lemon".

    Phil
    Lemon, smut, so much. Lemon is one of the terms used on websites where those things are banned.

    JessieB
    Never heard that one before

    *yhlee
    I've seen "lemon" most in anime fandoms. Maybe other places.

    *Lucy B.
    It has, but in terms of it being a useful term, I still firmly believe that keeping the same-sex element is important.

    "Slash," I mean.

    *Eve
    Hears about lemon, not about the being banned part.

    *Lucy B.
    This is one of the few hills I plant my aged flag on, to mix a metaphor ;)

    JessieB
    When I was first in fandom slash refered to non-canon m/m pairings

    *Eve
    Lucy: Which stereotypes are these?

    *Lucy B.
    The stereotype of the fan as, well, Comic Book Guy.

    Phil
    There was one website I was on where you weren't supposed to post any sexual content, so it was tagged lemon.

    Honestly, if it's not allowed there, you shouldn't post it. There's other places where you can do that.

    *Eve
    I asked because the stereotype I often hear is "those fangirls who write fanfic just as an excuse to get two men into bed."

    *Lucy B.
    Also, the stereotype of girls in fandom as sexy cosplayers who are only cosplaying sexily to show off for men. I should be clear that I fully approve of sexily cosplaying women.

    I see that one sometime, but not in the wider culture.

    JessieB
    who quotes the stereotype?

    *Lucy B.
    Well, MY wider culture.

    JessieB
    where does it originate?

    *Lucy B.
    Sorry, that was imprecise.

    Originate? I honestly don't know. I just know that when I see someone talking about Batman or Star Trek on TV, it's usually a man.

    JessieB
    nnods

    *Jintian
    Unfortunately I've seen that a lot, too, Eve -- or the variation of "fangirl who only cares about hot actors." Which is frustrating, because I came into fandom as a young girl who was clueless about a lot of stuff, and I valued being in a community that was majority female because it contained so much more than that fangirl stereotype. Er...but I could write a whole memoir about my feelings on this.

    *Eve
    The stereotype about girls writing men in bed came up a few years back, during the Diana Gabaldon brouhaha, but I couldn't remember the exact source, sorry.

    *yhlee
    I must have missed the Gabaldon thing.

    JessieB
    I think I missed this. What Diana GAbaldon brouhaha?

    Psyga S.
    Most stereotypes I find are just girls writing about bad boys and trying to justify how they're really good or who refuse to let things change.

    Phil
    Yes, please. Forgive my ignorance. What's the Diana issue?

    *Lucy B.
    http://fanlore.org/wiki/Diana_Gabaldon

    *yhlee
    Thank you.

    *Lucy B.
    NP

    The entry understates the massive upset on her part.

    JessieB
    interesting. I used to enjoy her work too

    *Lucy B.
    She entered the Anne Rice stratosphere.

    Phil
    That's sad, because I see fanfiction as an appreciation, not a legal issue.

    *yhlee
    Oh dear.

    Zalia C.
    Damn, I remember that blowing up and I don't even know her stuff

    Psyga S.
    Everyone has their different tastes on fandoms.

    *Eve
    Yeah, I read her books too. I stopped after they get far less plotty and after that scathing post on fanfic.

    *yhlee
    OTOH, on the sf/f pro writing end I used to hear that even if you didn't mind fanfic, you were better off being silent or not officially okay with it because of legal reasons because of some trouble Marion Zimmer Bradley had had.

    Now, I'm just a short story writer and I don't make a living off my writing so it's not like I have a horse in this race wearing that hat, but I'm pretty sure at least some writers were scared off by that whole lien of thought.
    * line

    *Lucy B.
    I think, for good or ill, as fanworks become more visible, we'll see more creators coming down on one side or the other.

    *Jintian
    That actually gets into another question we wanted to ask: Do you think the scrutiny of fandom from academics, legal practitioners, entertainment industries and the media, have affected the creative freedom of source creators or fan creators? Not just authors putting the kibosh on fanworks, but for instance, cases where creators have engaged with fans in their own spaces regarding criticism of work they were connected to. There have also been cases of the media forcing those in the entertainment industry to engage with particular fanworks in an interview setting.

    Phil
    Yes, like the Sherlock incident. It's supposed to be amusing.

    JessieB
    that was abysmal on her part

    I know who the writer was

    Phil
    That was horrid. I remember the backlash. It wasn't an okay thing to do. Poor thing. I also know who the writer is too - she was not happy about it.

    JessieB
    she's a damn good fanfic writer imho

    *Lucy B.
    I don't really think academics have TOO much to do with it, since the stuff we/they write usually tends to be read by a couple hundred people (she said ruefully).

    But the popular attention is a different story.

    Phil
    Although many writers say that writing fanfiction is a bad platform to develop your own writing skills. That factors a bit into academics, I guess.

    Zalia C.
    Academia usually (not always) also doesn't have a stake in making fandom look bad for the camera

    *Lucy B.
    Honestly, and this may be my cybertheorist lens here, I think social media is one of the biggest factors.

    JessieB
    Why do they say fanfiction is a bad platform to develop your own writing, out of interest?

    anyone got any insight into that?

    *Lucy B.
    The filtering mechanisms that used to separate creators and fans is just not there any more.

    *yhlee
    On scrutiny: I remember Cat Valente once saying she would *not* engage with fanworks not because she disapproves of them--she does approve--but because she didn't want to stifle fan creativity.

    Phil
    Because people say that you should be able to come up with your own characters and plotlines, not "steal" anyone's else's.

    *Eve
    Because the universe is already there and you don't have to develop one of your own? There's AU fic, but the characters are still created by another person, not by you.

    *Lucy B.
    What they said ;)

    *yhlee
    That's BS. You can still learn description, pacing, tension, plot (if you're writing plotty fic), etc. etc.

    *Lucy B.
    Oh, sure.

    JessieB
    I can see why they would say that but I disagree with it

    Zalia C.
    By that token, professional comic book writers also don't count

    Phil
    I agree. As long as the writing's original, there shouldn't be a problem.

    *Jintian
    Yes, social media -- yhlee mentioned The Vampire Diaries earlier, which is a fandom I share, and the writers/producers/actors are all over Twitter and fan polls, to the extent of fans even influencing storylines and relationships on the show.

    *yhlee
    Fanfic may tend to emphasize a different tool set. But God knows there are published sf/f writers (hard sf usually gets the knock for this, but it's hardly alone) who can't characterize their way out of a paper bag.

    *Eve
    And you learn to live inside the heads of a variety of different characters.

    Zalia C.
    also any writers for TV shows who aren't the creators. Video game writers.

    Psyga S.
    Yeah. There was that article done on Movellas where it encourages not just writing, but reading through Fanfics as well.

    *yhlee
    Oh, is *that* why Vampire Diaries' plot is all over the map? Hahaha. :)

    Psyga S.
    So there are some sites that view fanfics as a positive influence.

    *Lucy B.
    Heeee

    JessieB
    I wouldn't have been published without having first written fanfiction, although mine hasn't been as successful as 50 shades, more's the pity

    *Jintian
    (Tumblr TVD fandom is...let's just say there's a narrative there about fans having a huge influence on the show.)

    *Lucy B.
    Very few have. That one struck a nerve.

    *yhlee
    Well, it's a different narrative model. I'll have to start following that.

    Phil
    I think someone said that 50 shades isn't fanfic because the characters and plot are completely different. Haven't read and never cared about Twilight, though, so I have nothing to say about that.

    *yhlee
    L5R is interesting in that it's always had player involvement in the storyline--tourney wins influence what clan gets written into what storyline prizes, etc. I was on the Story Team for a year working for AEG, and I have to say that it really changes the dynamic.

    *Jintian
    On the other hand, I've seen The Powers That Be from Teen Wolf and Sherlock saying recently that fans who are there for slash interpretations are just flat-out reading the shows wrong. Which touches on Eve's point earlier about the validity of a variety of reader interpretations.

    Psyga S.
    Well, from what I heard, it used to be "Master of the Universe", a Twilight fanfic, but then the serial numbers got filed off for obvious reasons... Which has me wonder how the published fanfics will work...

    *yhlee
    I'm used to writing whatever the hell I want, freelance. But when you're writing for customers of game product, and there's a backlog going back 5+ years of story prizes for X Clan getting Cool Storyline, vs. whatever Marketing is doing that week, it gets interesting. So any sort of extended player/audience
    control--isn't worse, but it's def. different.

    *Lucy B.
    Some people file more successfully than others.

    *yhlee
    Teresa Nielsen Hayden at Tor Books likes to explain reading as the process of compiling source code (the text) into the story (whatever ends up in the individual reader's head). The author can control the source, but not what comes out the other end. Some creators have better luck accepting this than others.

    DLChase
    (Sherlock showrunners just flat out lie. Don't trust what they say until the series is over.)

    *yhlee
    Of course, some readers/consumers also compile better than others, so there's that too.

    *Lucy B.
    This is true

    *Jintian
    Heh, yhlee, there's a joke somewhere in there about End User License Agreements...

    Phil
    About the Sherlock thing - I do agree that some people are reading the shows wrong. But I don't understand how a lot of the things that the writers thought of - esp in TEH - came up with those ideas "Sheriaty", etc.) However, a lot of people spend hours analyzing a show and believing in things that will probably never happen (hint: Johnlock). I'm just saying.

    *Eve
    Jintian: Tumblr talks about queerbaiting, which is problematic but sells. Might be an example of fan reaction influencing source material.

    Phil
    Queerbaiting is most definitely a thing.

    JessieB
    And yet Moffat has kind of been supportive of fan works

    elaborate please, in what way queerbaiting?

    *yhlee
    As a creator, sure, I'd tend to play to audience, all other things being equal. :] From a purely money-grubbing standpoint.

    *Lucy B.
    Then there's how Supernatural dealt with awareness of fandom.

    *yhlee
    Were those the parody-of-fandom eps?

    Phil
    It's hard to imagine Moffat being supportive of anything wow.

    *Lucy B.
    Yeah.

    Phil
    Anyway, I have a particularly good link about queerbaiting I'll try to find.

    *Jintian
    *nod* It's an interesting time to be in fandom. We're visible, we have voices and (some) influence -- see also San Diego Comic-Con and how that kind of fan interaction is now seen as a great way to market -- and yet personally, I don't always *want* the creators to give in to fan desires.

    *Lucy B.
    * nods *

    Phil
    Here's a link about the queerbaiting in Sherlock: http://mekbuda--old1.tumblr.com/post/43189667428/ I think it's interesting, but I don't have too many thoughts on it. I don't think too much about these issues.

    *yhlee
    This is a good point. L5R experience again--if nothing else sometimes you lose narrative cohesion, and also, not all fans want the same thing so we can't all get what we want at the same time in canon all at once.

    Which is why I like fan creations--I get more *choice.*

    *Lucy B.
    There's also the phenomenon when they THINK they're catering to the fans but just really, really don't understand what the fans want.

    *Eve
    Some fans would rather see actual queer characters on shows, rather than "hints."

    *yhlee
    Yes, absolutely.

    *Lucy B.
    Which is another reason I think pushing "Girls watch scifi/read comics/etc too!" is important, among other things.

    I have a six-year-old daughter who loves superheroes, and sometimes I want to despair.

    *Jintian
    Ohhhhh for a Black Widow movie!

    *Lucy B.
    YES!

    *Jintian
    or Wonder Woman!

    Phil
    There's definitely a clear under representation of queer characters in the media.

    Zalia C.
    You get so used to 'hints't and queerbaiting, that when an actual queer couple turns up in your fandom's source material, you don't trust what you're hearing/watching

    *yhlee
    I have a ten-year-old daughter. It's the same story. I remember the time I took her into our local comic store and she made a beeline for the Wonder Woman 12" figurine I couldn't afford at the time.

    *Eve
    YES! (at the Black Widow or Wonder Woman movies, I mean)

    *yhlee
    (That was a few years ago and we moved, alas. Right now she's on a dragon kick, so, Anne McCaffrey.)

    Psyga S.
    It's sad when the odds of a Black Widow movie are significantly higher than a Wonder Woman movie.

    Zalia C.
    And feel gobsmacked when the creators actually confirm that the couples are queer

    *Lucy B.
    I mean, you tell me what you say when a little girl you love asks why Mcdonalds didn't make ANY girl figures for Young Justice.

    *Jintian
    *nod* @Zalia -- and then I also hope the queer characters' storylines will be treated well and they'll be portrayed as whole individuals

    Phil
    I definitely agree. I just like (pardon the pun) straight-forwardness. It's sad that we have to doubt the best thing we can get - queer couples in the media.

    *yhlee
    I spend a lot of time complaining about how the children's adventures books my daughter loves to read (because dragons dragons dragons) are almost always some guy with a girl sidekick.

    *Lucy B.
    I think it's flat-out criminal that to get a live-action Wonder Woman, you have to go to when *I* was a little girl.

    ARG

    Zalia C.
    *Jintian: oh, so far both queer couples are being treated very very well ^^

    *Eve
    Lynda Carter!

    *yhlee
    Add to that that my daughter is biracial. How many biracial kids get represented? Or Asian heroine girls?

    *Lucy B.
    :(

    JessieB
    coming back to the queerbaiting thing, I'm not sure how it can be there in Sherlock, not when one of it's writers is gay (although I might agree with the sidelining of Bisexual) and has been friends with the other writer for 20 years...

    *Eve
    And not have the queerness (or disability, etc) fully define them.

    Zalia C.
    But I'm very lucky in my choice of fandom

    *Lucy B.
    yhlee, have you found Princeless?

    *yhlee
    I haven't. Will look!

    JessieB
    how so, Zalia?

    Phil
    I honestly think John's bisexual, but I think it's not going to happen. Frankly, I know it's not going to happen. The fact that others' on Tumblr don't think the same is both isolating and somewhat annoying.

    *yhlee
    I sort of hope there will be more queer characters, including non-cisnormative stuff, but in my daughter's age category, I'm not...optimistic.

    *Lucy B.
    Which part don't they agree with, Phil?

    *Eve
    One of the writers might be gay but Greater Powers might not want actual queer characters on the show. This is pure conjecture though.

    Zalia C.
    Two canon queer couples in it,neither of which are defined by their sexuality, none of them die, and they aren't played purely for angst (none of their angst has been sexuality related actually)

    JessieB
    I very much doubt it should happen, even if John is bi, but I rather think the point was missed

    *Jintian
    As we're now at the last half hour of the chat, I just wanted to note again for any latecomers that a full transcript will be available by Monday so you can see anything you missed.

    And now seems a good time to open up to audience questions for the panel. If we could go the old school route of typing "raise hand" if you have a question, I'll call on people in order. :)

    Psyga S.
    raise hand

    *Jintian
    Psyga, go ahead :)

    Psyga S.
    So, discussing about the "Future of Fanworks", has anti-piracy laws like SOPA, TPP, and ACTA ever posed a considerable threat to said future?

    Phil
    I honestly think that ASIB was just plain wrong to Irene and indicative of how Johnlock will never be treated as canon, but no one really agrees with me.

    *Lucy B.
    You know, I honestly don't know.

    *yhlee
    Ditto. :/

    JessieB
    I agree with you, phil

    DLChase
    raise hand

    *Eve
    Neither do I, sorry.

    *Lucy B.
    I think that if there's a really serious threat it's either to vidding - we may have some victories on the visuals, but the RIAA still has its head up its ass,

    Katie
    raise hand

    *Jintian
    We've got a legal Q&A with, I believe, similar questions to these coming up, and I'm sure they'll touch on the anti-piracy laws.

    *Lucy B.
    or to sharing source material.

    *Jintian
    DLChase, go ahead?

    *Lucy B.
    (Disclaimer: really not a lawyer.)

    DLChase
    In fandom we have learned to read the ratings and ignore/accept what suits us. How do we protect preteens from not reading the ratings?

    *Jintian
    (here's the info, Psyga -- March 21 to 24)

    DLChase
    ...and getting age-inappropriate material?

    *yhlee
    Honestly, that's not policeable by individuals. I question whether it's even a good idea, but in my household my daughter can read whatever she's comfortable reading.

    Phil
    Thanks, Jessie. But if people actually don't think those segments were just stamped with "you can turn a lesbian straight with the right guy" *in this case Sherlock* then what else is it about? Not to mention Moffat's thoughts on asexual people - "boring". He doesn't seem open enough to "alternative" sexualities to incorporate something as earth-shattering as Johnlock.

    *yhlee
    And I was raised by parents who let me read whatever the heck I cared to, and I still believe that was the right decision for our household. Other households may vary, of course; not all kids are the same.

    *Lucy B.
    Yeah, I read a lot of stuff I just flat-out didn't understand when I was younger.

    *Eve
    Talks in real life are very encouraged here in Indonesia, but that's a case by case approach, I think. Depends on the adults, upbringing, etc.

    *yhlee
    My kid seems just to ignore sex bits, unfazed by violent bits, and really freaked out by hypnosis episodes in Justice League.

    *Lucy B.
    That said, I think that the move to/back to archives HELPS in that matter.

    Because they tend to have more consistent ratings.

    *yhlee
    Yes, that's a good point.

    DLChase
    Thanks, my family and me read anything and ignore what doesn't suit us.

    *Eve
    Highly rated materials affect different young people differently, and the adults can adapt to that. Otherwise, let the kids read what they want.

    *Lucy B.
    When my oldest niece found fanfic and my sister freaked about it, I suggested I show her AO3 so that she could better choose what she was comfortable with.

    Phil
    I agree. Kids should get free reign over the books they read.

    *Jintian
    I feel like fan authors maybe used to be more concerned about legal ramifications of underage readers finding their stuff. But I haven't seen this as much lately -- maybe it's just in my circles.

    *yhlee
    Pragmatic. I like it, Lucy!

    JessieB
    Phil, I think they were trying to make the point that Sherlock is the one who draws people to him like moths to his flame, despite their basic sexuality.

    DLChase
    (There are far more non-explicit than explicit fix on AO3, for example)

    JessieB
    My two kids read and watch what they like

    *yhlee
    What, because there isn't enough non-fanfic highly-rated material for them anyway?

    *Eve
    Good point :) sometimes kids get curious though.

    JessieB
    and I use what my kids watch to talk about things like exploitation and the difference between fantasy and reality

    *Jintian
    True enough! /said as an avid Stephen King reader from age 11, heh

    *yhlee
    They're going to find something somewhere if they're really determined to. I figure better to discuss openly so I have half a chance of monitoring in case the kidlet gets out of her league.

    Phil
    That's also a good explanation. But some of it just didn't seem right to me.

    *Eve
    And "enter only if you're 18 or older" only makes them want to know what's on the other side. Speaking as someone who used to be a kid.

    *Lucy B.
    Heh

    *Eve
    Again, disclaimer: Other kids might not get curious.

    JessieB
    kids are individuals

    *Jintian
    Also true! That still makes me want to see what's on the other side, in fact.

    Corey
    Or go "heh heh, suuuure I'm 18."

    JessieB
    they come to stuff in their own time

    *yhlee
    I know! And, I mean, sure there's skeevy highly-rated stuff. On the other hand, my daughter could be reading the Xanth novels I was reading as a child. Some of the sexism &c. I would be more concerned about then, say, fic that's "just" sex.

    *Jintian
    Katie, you have a question?

    *Lucy B.
    My general feeling is that nothing I write couldn't be sold in Barnes and Noble, so..

    JessieB
    do you know everything Barnes and Noble stock?

    *Lucy B.
    No, but I know what I've bought there.

    Katie
    Yes, I was wondering, I rate as high as I feel I need to for fics, but I get people who say I triggered them..

    kids mostly...and I feel like it's they're own fault...

    DLChase
    (and once they have read one explicit fic they might decide they like fic with other ratings better)

    *yhlee
    I was one of the people who founded Festivids, which is a rare fandom vidding exchange, and content notes/trigger were one of the things we had to do with. The tough thing is that there are some very common triggers, but there are also less common triggers, and it's a hard balance.

    Katie
    I'm more of making a statement, I guess...

    *yhlee
    * deal with

    Melaric
    As someone who has been producing 18+ material since 13-14, and then tagging it with "enter only if above 18", I feel like the rating system can be really arbitrary, at best.

    *yhlee
    Katie, what kinds of triggers are you talking about? If you can say? Strictly sex/violence, or...?

    Katie
    sex, and crime...

    *yhlee
    For instance, Festivids decided not to require content notes for "just" violence (which we would have, I guess, if we'd been a community of war veterans with PTSD problems) but we did require it for *sexual* violence, which would much more likely to be triggery for the audience of vid-viewers.

    Katie
    medical can set a lot of people off I've found out, and the medical is gen.

    JessieB
    this is true

    *yhlee
    It really is kind of arbitrary, because people vary so much, and there's no universal standard.

    *Lucy B.
    You know, I've actually had this argument in a professional context.

    JessieB
    surely you tag your fiction over and above the rating though?

    *yhlee
    I hear you on medical--my dad is a surgeon so I am impossible to medically squick, but my husband cannot deal with the sight of a needle. Worse in the context of a vid where you see it, not just read about it.

    Katie
    Yeah, it's at M...

    *yhlee
    Do all archives have tags, though?

    Katie
    If you mean mine, I think so.

    JessieB
    this is an interesting question

    Kristina B.
    Lucy, have you seen last week's trigger warnings on college campuses posts? I just taught that in my gender class this week.

    Psyga S.
    I doubt Fanfiction.net has any.

    except for Genres and Characters.

    Katie
    No, they don't.

    I'm on there...

    *Lucy B.
    I've taught some books and stories with disturbing material, and you'd be surprised how strongly my colleagues argue against allowing students to do an alternative readings.

    JessieB
    me too

    *yhlee
    Yes, FF.net is a good example--unless the author adds extra notes I don't recall seeing an archive-enforced tag system.

    *Lucy B.
    I haven't, Kristina.

    *Lucy B.
    I should.

    *Eve
    That's why I'm more comfortable on AO3, the tags are informative.

    *yhlee
    What are some arguments against alt. readings, Lucy?

    JessieB
    again, I agree

    Corey
    On fanfiction.net, it's considered good form to announce potential triggers in the summary and/or an author's note

    Katie
    What happened to don't like, don't read?

    JessieB
    people do post that in summary on ff.net

    Katie
    I mean some stuff I don't like and I don't read it.

    JessieB
    I've seen it a few times

    Psyga S.
    There are some who read even if they don't like. Mainly for the fun of it (I.e. sporking/riffing)

    Corey
    (Not that everyone does though)

    JessieB
    true

    *Lucy B.
    Basically that while we might get, say, a woman wanting to forgo "River of Names" for sexual assault, the far, far more likely complaint we'll get here in Central IL is "it's against my religion to read about gay people."

    Kristina B.
    Oh, it's been fascinating. Lemme find you the links: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/trigger-warnings-can-be-counterproductive, http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2014/03/05/against-trigger-warnings/(they have further links)

    *yhlee
    Oh, I see what you're saying, Lucy. (I'm in Louisiana and I am...not straight.)

    *Jintian
    It's a hard topic, Katie -- if something isn't warned for adequately or specifically enough, a reader may not know there's potentially going to be a problem. Just speaking generally.

    *Lucy B.
    Me, I'm pretty comfortable drawing a line between the two.

    But still.

    Katie
    I warn a lot, so I guess I should get used to it...

    I'm new at this...

    Psyga S.
    I'm new as well.

    Katie
    We're talking about two years.

    *Eve
    I check the tags and notes. If something bothers me in the midst of reading, I stop. (I'm a simple person like that)

    *something unexpected bothers me

    *yhlee
    I try to err on the side of lots of tags, but I sometimes guess wrong. IME it never hurts to apologize and add the tags. I like AO3's "refuse to warn" as a catchall where you feel it would harm the story.

    Katie
    What's that?

    *yhlee
    I'm like that too, Eve, but I have such a short memory reading material and vids don't really traumatize me. If other people are built differently, then it doesn't harm me to accommodate them.

    Katie
    "refuse to warn"?

    Psyga S.
    It's good that AO3 has tags for the triggers, but I'm not sure what triggers what outside of the obvious ones.

    Katie
    Well there is medical, maybe?

    *yhlee
    "Refuse to warn"--oh sorry, it's one of their categories? LEt me look it up.

    JessieB
    the trouble is, when do we stop? How can we actually know ALL the potential triggers? It could get ridiculous. I'm not saying don't tag but how far do we go?

    Psyga S.
    Yeah. AO3 has that whole "does not use Archive Warnings" thing... I think that's what Yhlee is talking about.

    *Lucy B.
    We can't.

    Dai-kun
    IMO, what triggers what is really subjective, and so I only tag the obvious ones

    *Jintian
    Katie, AO3's posting format for fanworks has a checkbox where you can indicate that you choose not to provide any warnings for the fanwork. So it's a reader-beware catch-all category.

    *yhlee
    Yes, that's the one. But that only works if you use an archive where you know what the standardized warnings are.

    *Lucy B.
    OTOH, I think there are some that are reasonably obvious.

    Psyga S.
    The only thing we CAN do is find the triggers ourselves, or what we think are triggers.

    *yhlee
    JessieB, that's the thing--again, it's a balancing act. Decide what you're comfortable with, and stick with it (or reassess if you feel that's necessary). It's up to you, ultimately.

    *Lucy B.
    I mean, as a teacher, I warn for graphic sexual assault, and that's it.

    JessieB
    agreed, and hope nobody comes up with a trigger we've not met before?

    Katie
    Yeah, I agree. Sorry if I started something here.

    *yhlee
    No, it's a good question, Katie.

    I mean, as a writer of non-fanfic fiction, those stories don't GET warnings at all.

    And I regularly write about genocide, so...

    JessieB
    that's true

    *yhlee
    (I guess "by Yoon Ha Lee" *is* the warning.)

    Melaric
    There is really no way to foresee what might be triggering for your entire audience though.

    *Lucy B.
    Heh

    Kristina B.
    Lucy, I warn for extreme violence, death, and torture in my Holocaust course

    *Lucy B.
    Well, and there are blurbs

    *Eve
    I hear you, yhlee. I hope that nothing in my books has triggered the readers, but...

    *yhlee
    True. Short fiction doesn't always get that intro thing from the editor, and rarely gets blurbs beforehand. I have a book (short story collection), but the blurbs would be useless in telling about triggering stuff.

    *Eve
    Blurbs are fine, but the details in the story might still have something triggery in them. My experience as a reader.

    *yhlee
    But it's interesting to me that the convention (having warnings/content notes) is so different in fanfic vs. non-fanfic.

    *Jintian
    We've got a few minutes left of the "formal" chat discussion time, but people should feel free to stick around afterward if you like. Many thanks again to the panelists and to the audience for participating! :) And we just wanted to ask one last question, which we'll open to everyone:

    The OTW proposed designating February 15th an International Fanworks Day to celebrate all things fanworks. Anyone can participate by advocating for, creating, or appreciating the wide variety of fanworks available. How would you choose to celebrate the event?

    *Eve
    Create fanworks-related memes, e.g. a list of questions (share your experiences, etc.) or a list of mini-challenges.

    Psyga S.
    Hm... Not sure, but I think I might write up a meta fanfiction. Like, a fanfiction about fanfiction.

    *Eve
    Anyone who see the memes can play.

    JessieB
    Collaborative effort, groups of fanfic authors getting together to produce something together

    Psyga S.
    Fanfiception

    *Lucy B.
    It might be fun to challenge people to revisit a past fandom in some way.

    *yhlee
    Honestly, make a recs post (yes, I do leave feedback/kudos, I just read slowly). Goodness knows I have enough stuff accumulated and I should share!

    Dai-kun
    I think I will be making fanworks and encourage the fandom groups I manage to create some too, maybe making a challenge that ends on 15th Feb?

    Zalia C.
    See if I could get together another Iron Fanwork event for the fandom

    JessieB
    I like that idea LucyB

    sukeb
    I think Psyga's fanfiception is a good idea.

    *yhlee
    I love the meta fanfic idea.

    Psyga S.
    Heck, it could even be a crossover between two fanfictions... That'd be epic.

    *yhlee
    Hahaha.

    *Lucy B.
    :D

    *yhlee
    Mini-challenges leading up to the day also sound fun!

    Psyga S.
    Ebony in Methods of Rationality :P

    *Jintian
    I've perpetually got a backlog of recs and could fold that into revisiting past fandoms. Celebrating other fan creators!

    *Lucy B.
    I like that idea

    JessieB
    we managed a massive summer Mystrade gift exchange last year, it worked well. Writing for someone else is always a challenge. It might work for feb 15th too.

    fulfill someone else's requests

    *yhlee
    Oh, an exchange!

    *Lucy B.
    I've had a really great time, folks, but the pain meds are wearing off. Thanks for inviting me!

    JessieB
    I loved doing it, and it works well.

    *yhlee
    Yeah, I should turn in too; I'm still flu-ish. Take care all, and thanks for having me!

    *Eve
    I've reached a phase where I'd rather write for someone else than have my request fulfilled. :)

    *Jintian
    Thank you so much again for participating, and have a good rest of the weekend!

    *Lucy B.
    You, too!

    JessieB
    can I ask before you go, where is everyone based in the world?

    Katie
    Iowa, USA.

    *Eve
    Thank you for participating, Lucy and yhlee. Take care!

    JessieB
    I just wonder about different outlooks on fanfic coming from different countries

    DLChase
    Thanks for holding the chat and chatiing. Over and out from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

    *Eve
    Indonesia.

    JessieB
    take care all and thank you

    *Jintian
    Great question, JessieB -- I'm in Washington, DC

    Psyga S.
    Canada

    JessieB
    I'm in the UK

    *Eve
    Fanworks are very a niche-y activity here, but I did participate in one fanworks event at least, back in 2006.

    Melaric
    Currently US, but also Canada, UK, and China

    Zalia C.
    UK

    *Jintian
    !! Thank you so much for logging on, JessieB -- we know this timezone was difficult for people in Europe

    *Eve
    Event in real life, that is.

    *Jintian
    time, rather, due to timezones

    JessieB
    I've enjoyed it

    saw it last minute on tumblr

    *Jintian
    and Zalia

    Dai-kun
    *raises hand*

    JessieB
    where abouts are you, Zalia?

    Zalia C.
    Yorkshire

    *Jintian
    Did you have a question, Dai-kun? Or reporting in from Europe also? :)

    JessieB
    never... where?

    oops, hit the wrong key

    Zalia C.
    Haha, I wondered

    Um, near Huddersfield, if you know it

    JessieB
    where in Yorkshire?

    if I know it

    I'm in York

    what are the odds?

    Zalia C.
    :D Awesome. I get over there pretty regularly

    JessieB
    two of us from one county

    Zalia C.
    and not in London! \o/

    JessieB
    county. never mind country

    Katie
    *raises hand*

    *Jintian
    I think no need for raising hands for questions at this point, as panelists are taking off, but as I said, feel free to continue chatting informally. :)

  • Join fans for a Future of Fanworks chat!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 14 March 2014 - 7:04pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Alice of a question mark shaped out of communication objects such as an envelope and TV

    Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the second of its four March events discussing "The Future of Fanworks" from 0100 - 0300 UTC on March 15th/16th (What time is that in my timezone?)

    • Moderator: Jintian, OTW Communications staffer
    • Guest: cereta
    • Guest: yhlee
    • Guest: yifu

    Edited to add: The chat has concluded but if you missed it, here's the transcript!

  • Chat transcript for "The Future of Fanworks" academic panel

    By Claudia Rebaza on Saturday, 8 March 2014 - 8:03pm
    Message type:

    Banner by caitie with 'otw chat' at its center and emoticons and other symbols in word bubbles surrounding it.

    On March 8th the OTW held a chat with several fan studies scholars. If you missed it, here's the chat transcript! This has been edited for arrivals and departures in the room and introductions among the audience.

    Visit our post about "The Future of Fanworks" discussions if you'd be interested in future events.


    Nistasha P.
    Hello and welcome! As advertised, the Organization for Transformative Works is running a series of chats during the month of March about the future of fanworks, in celebration of our Milestone Month in February.

    Each discussion features a panel focusing on a different perspective: academic, fannish, industry and legal. Transcripts for chats will be made public by Tuesday.

    You are currently in the academic discussion. I’m your moderator, Nistasha, and I’m a staffer with the OTW’s Communications committee. I also run the OTW Tumblr and welcome any of our followers from there!

    We have some prepared questions for the panel, but we’re happy for the discussion to evolve organically. If time permits, we’ll open up to questions from the audience — I’ll just ask you to type “raise hand” and will call on people in order. An old school solution for new world communication.

    Now to introduce our panelists!

    We have four incredibly talented and well versed academics with us today, Dr. Paul Booth, Dr. Anne Jamison, Dr. Frenchy Lunning, and Dr. Lori Morimoto.

    Would you each like to introduce yourselves and offer a brief overview of what your academic interests include?

    Anne J.
    Hi. I'm Anne. My specialty is Kantian squee. I could say more but...y'all go first.

    Lori M.
    I'm Lori, an under-employed researcher of transcultural fandom. :)

    Paul B.
    Hi Nistasha! It's great to talk with you again. Frenchy, Anne, Lori - it's a pleasure to chat with you! And hello to all of you out in the vast wilderness of the Internet! :) My name is Paul Booth and I'm a professor at DePaul - I have written about fans and digital technology, and I'm also starting some research on fans and fan conventions.

    Frenchy L.
    I am a professor of design history and cultural studies at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Editor-in-Chief of Mechademia - a book series that focuses on Japanese popular culture.

    Lori M.
    It's very nice to be in such good company today, thanks for inviting me to participate.

    Nistasha P.
    Thank you all for participating. You can also find out more about our participants on our page

    Paul B.
    Thank you for having us! It's an absolute pleasure

    Nistasha P.
    To get our discussion started, we'll begin by posing a question and then asking for each of our panelists to answer, after which if you’d like to engage with earlier replies, please do.

    Anne J.
    I'm a professor at the University of Utah and I wrote Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World (with a lot of help from about 30 other fan and professional writers). I teach and write on literature, mostly (some cultural studies, critical theory, and pop culture). I write on things like historical prosody. And slash--sometimes kind of at the same time. If you squint.

    Nistasha P.
    For our first question, we go back to the beginning. Panelists, what do you remember as your first encounter with fanworks or issues surrounding fanworks?

    Frenchy L.
    Yes, I had decided to write my dissertation on masculinity in the "new" comics of the mid 1980s, and started going to comic cons for research. There I discovered Artist's Alley. Mostly dudes, with the usual few women huddled together at a single table!

    Paul B.
    I have three very distinct memories of encountering fanworks and issues surrounding them, but as I've grown more aware of fandom I've seen how connected these memories actually are. The first memory is sitting, as a small child, with my father watching Doctor Who reruns on public television and realizing that I wanted to see more more more-- rushing home after school to watch the episodes I'd taped. I didn't have a word for what I was, but now realize it was "fan." The second memory is sitting with my friends in the early days of AOL - 1996? 1997? -- and looking up Smurf slash fiction. I can't remember why, but I remember at the time finding it both bizarre and fascinating. The final memory is reading Henry Jenkins' Textual Poachers in grad school and suddenly feeling like all my questions finally had an answer!

    Lori M.
    I was a creator of fanworks long before I knew what they were, drawing pictures of Lois Lane and Clark Kent in our living room in Hong Kong in the late 1970s during my Superman phase, writing what would be considered fledgling meta about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in my diary a few years later; but my introduction to fanworks as a 'thing' came in Barbara Klinger's Media Audiences course in 2000, when we read Henry Jenkins's Textual Poachers and I discovered this thing called 'fan fiction'. As I was deep in the throes of XF fandom at the time, I began writing and... still writing, now researching as well.

    Paul B.
    My first book Digital Fandom combined all three -- how do fans know they are fans? What do they do as fans? And how does the digital environment change fandom -- so I guess I've always tried to research things that I've been curious about in myself

    Nistasha P.
    Very interesting to see Jenkins's Textual Poachers mentioned twice.

    Lori M.
    I'm the same as Paul; my own experiences (fan of a Hollywood movie in Hong Kong that I pursued through, among other things, buying Japanese movie magazines with wonderful movie stills) are at the heart of what I'm working on today.

    Anne J.
    well, the first answer to that question is Dead tour, but I actually never connected that with my academic interest in fandom until much, much later. My grownup relationship to fandom began with desperately lurking on Buffy fanboards and chatrooms when as a TA I had to teach seven sections on the musical episode and really, really needed ideas. I got fascinated by how smart and engaged everyone was, and started looking in on what people were saying about other shows I watched. Years later, I got interested in fic, but I'm afraid it all started very academically.

    Frenchy L.
    It has become one of the key texts mentioned in fan studies - probably the most comprehensive...

    Lori M.
    Textual Poachers was... incredibly validating.

    Paul B.
    Yes, Validating is absolutely the right word - like I saw on the pages something I didn't know how to phrase in myself

    Lori M.
    Exactly - and validating both as a researcher - talking about things *I* wanted to be talking about - but also as a fan, knowing that I wasn't the only person who experienced media in this way.

    Paul B.
    Yet I was never a big fan fic writer -- I enjoyed reading it and I dabbled, but my creative outlet for fandom can through play -- I roleplayed Indiana Jones on the playground, dressed up as characters, was very interested in "becoming" rather than "being"

    Frenchy L.
    Well, cosplay was also an entry point for me.

    Val M.
    (sorry, Paul, I'm not sure I follow the distinction of "becoming"/"being" that you're trying to draw?)

    Paul B.
    Sorry - I meant, I was more interested in becoming characters than being a fan -- until I read Textual Poachers and realized I had been one all along! (trying to keep up with the convo and type new things = poor explanations :( )

    Val M.
    (no, that was good, thank you! :D )

    Nistasha P.
    Excellent, well it seems like everyone's been participating in fandom or academia for some time. For our next question to the panelists:

    Since that first encounter, have there been any notable changes you’ve seen regarding fandom and fanworks? Are there any things that have endured, or that you think may never change?

    Anne J.
    I only started writing fic after I'd been studying it for a while, and then thought, why the hell am I not doing this? I write, and these people are having so much fun. And so I did. But I think that my trajectory is a little different from a lot of people who identify as acafans in that my academic interest came first.

    Lori M.
    I left off writing fic in 2001 and had a 10 year hiatus while I was trying to finish my degree; when I came back to play in HP fandom, one of the things that initially struck me was how many user names – particularly younger artists and writers – were actually Japanese; it took me a bit to realize that the fans themselves weren't, but were – rather – reflecting their anime/manga interests.

    More recently, in the Sherlock fandom, I've been interested to see how many fans from across the globe – China, Taiwan, France, the US, Thailand, etc. – are clearly conversant with anime/manga and have folded it into their own aesthetic when producing Sherlock fan art; that is, despite the 'British' origins of the TV/ACD text, many fans produce fanworks in an ostensibly 'Japanese' style (or through the use of Japanese anime tropes) that's fully their own, which seems to give the Japanese govt. promotion of anime AS Japanese – through their "Cool Japan" – a run for its money.

    For me, with my interesting in the ways that fandom plays out across borders, this is one of the most interesting things I've noticed.

    ("interest in")

    Paul B.
    I think the biggest change I've seen to fandom is its incredible visibility in recent years. As digital technology increases the availability of fandom (and the texts that fans are fans of), it has become more common to be seen as a fan -- perhaps not completely de-stigmatized, but more recognized by the industry and by everyday people. I'm not sure if the geeks shall inherent the earth yet -- but it's getting close

    Frenchy L.
    There are certainly many more women involved -- particularly as Fan fic began to proliferate, many fan artists have become illustrators, doing truly wonderful work (though dreck still in evidence), and gaming has really brought many more fan works into play.

    Laura J.
    (If anyone is old enough to remember Before the Internet--I don't think the difference can be overstated)

    Anne J.
    In the last couple of years, I see many more people willing to be open about their activities and let them connect their fannish identities with RL identities. I also see Lori's point about transcultural fandom, although I see that blending is much more apparent in visual work than in fanfiction (though these are increasingly linked--another change).

    Paul B.
    (Frenchy - gaming is so true! I'm seeing so many more cult-ish games and gamers)

    Frenchy L.
    And Paul is right, the visibility has made some fan artists and writers truly famous.

    Particularly, the woman who won a literary prize in Japan for her cell phone novel. It made headlines all over the world

    Mimi
    Sorry, I'm a bit behind (real life beckons, you know) - panelists, would you recommend Textual Poachers for the non-academic?

    Paul B.
    Lori, I was just talking to someone the other day about transcultural fandom and how other cultures are becoming more visible across borders -- do you see this as a way of increasing global fandom?

    Lori M.
    As Frenchy says, many women and much more visible, and yet this something that hasn't translated quite as well to female fandom as to male; that is, male fans are being actively catered to by the industry, while female fans - especially creators of fanworks - continue to be scapegoated by creators and the mass media alike, which seems only to be exacerbated by the increased availability of fanworks online.

    Anne J.
    I notice distinctive cultures defined less by fandom than by platform. Tumblr fans, for example, are quite distinct from Wattpad fans. And then there are fandoms that still are active mostly on their own sites and hubs, have less cross-fandom interactions.

    Frenchy L.
    Yes. Particularly if you are interested in taking a critical stance toward works -- something I would like to see more fan works do.

    Paul B.
    Hi Mimi - definitely TP is accessible -- it's a bit dated now, but they just released a new 20th anniversary edition

    Val M.
    (Mimi: if you want to see the first few pages, here's hte publisher's site)

    Lori M.
    I think it's more a convergence in the Jenkins sense; the fandoms have always been there, but there's increased communication across borders - particularly on such visual forums as Tumblr, Pixiv, deviantArt, where a picture speaks a thousand words. Or seems to, anyway. There are fissures.

    Mimi
    Cheers for that.

    Nistasha P.
    Tumblr seems to be particularly global/cross fandom, with the ease of reblogging and the community of sharing that's been built

    Lori M.
    Anne - one place you see it in fic is in the extensive translation of fanworks; this is, to my knowledge, primarily an English --> other language phenomenon, but certain seminal fics have been translated into upwards of 10 or 15 languages.

    Paul B.
    Lori, that's so true (from a couple posts ago!). The "proper" fandom (according to the industry) is very masculine -- collect toys! Buy DVDs! Say 'Bazinga' all the time! -- very corporate

    Frenchy L.
    Lori is right about the continuing plight of female fan creators. The industries are still slanted toward the consumer as male.

    Val M.
    (Not to throw a stone into the discussion, but I'd be curious to hear an academic response to the 50 Shades phenomenon, since it is a very visible act of female-fan success and mainstreaming.)

    Lori M.
    Bethan Jones has written on 50 Shades, I believe?

    Laura J.
    (Val might want to read Ann's book)

    Val M.
    (ty)

    Anne J.
    Yes, you certainly see it in translation, but less at the level of representation, the way you do with fan art.

    Lori M.
    Absolutely, Anne. Agreed.

    Paul B.
    Great question, Val - 50 Shades is such a great example because it's so popular but was really belittled by a vast majority of popular press (and, let's face it, academic) writing.

    Anne J.
    I taught 50 Shades when it was fic.

    Sas
    (I think Hannibal TPTB's openness to female fans is pretty interesting, as an aside.)

    Anne J.
    But talk about fissures in fandom.

    No one belittled 50 Shades like the fandom it came out of.

    Frenchy L.
    However, I think fan fic is predominately female, right? These works can profound effect that is not really measurable since they are not published in book forms. 50 Shades -- sex is good -- always sells. But it is nice to see it written from the female perspective.

    Lori M.
    Sas - yes, yes, and absolutely. I continue to be amazed by Hannibal.

    Kinga o.
    (To throw in my two cents: 50 shades does have a wild commercial popularity, but it is vilified by all who are deemed 'professional'.)

    Bertha C.
    Hannibal's openness to fandom in general is definitely something to be amazed by!

    Bethan J.
    I have, yes (thanks Lori!). A special issue of Sexualities and I'll have another piece on Fifty Shades and fan labour in TWC this month.

    Nistasha P.
    Very interesting. As we hit the 30 minute mark, i just want to welcome any newcomers into the Future of Fanworks discussion with our academic panel. I'm Nistasha, you're moderator.

    Anne J.
    50 Shades was frustrating for a lot of fans because they didn't want to be represented by *that*--but it was also hugely divisive because so many fans oppose the commercialization of fanworks.

    Bethan J.
    It's clear that it caused a lot of contention in fandom though, and like Anne says more so in Twilight fandom.

    luxartisan
    Commercial success and quality art of any form are not always compatible.

    Frenchy L.
    Fans have to realize that if you want the door open for your area of desire, you have to accept that a lot of stuff coming in that door might be something you disagree with -- its the price for "freedom..."

    Nistasha P.
    Speaking of commercialization of fanworks, for our panelists: What are some things you’d like to see happen — or not happen — with fanworks in the future?

    Paul B.
    Agreed - 50 Shades was contentious, both in fandom and in the mainstream -- but I think one major thing it did was illustrate to non-fans what fandom was; perhaps not in a way everyone appreciated though

    Anne J.
    There are a bunch more commercially-published works to come out of the Twilight fandom, now, too. I think it's interesting how different they become even when they've essentially just changed the names, as 50 Shades did.

    Bethan J.
    I think that's true Paul! I guess your point, Frenchy, also raises the issue of how much do fans want the door open? There's a lot of fandom which doesn't want producers to know what they're doing.

    Laura J.
    (after 50 Shades I started to see 'fanfic' MUCH more often in non-fan media)

    Lori M.
    I'd like to see an even greater degree of awareness of how transcultural fanworks are understood in their own contexts; that is, for example, particularly in the case of fan art, there are very different expectations and assumptions depending on whether you're posting to Pixiv (Japan – but kind of an East/Southeast Asia hub), deviantArt, or Tumblr; there are printed doujinshi from Japan and China that make it onto Tumblr quite often, and while most of this goes unremarked, it's occasionally the case where a creator – or creator representative – will ask for it to be removed. Creators of 'derivative' doujinshi seem to be particularly wary of their work attracting the attention of industry creators, and this is something that I'm not sure we fully appreciate in the Anglo-American context – and I'm sure there are other fissures that remain opaque to me that others might be aware of.

    Frenchy L.
    Although I like the wonderful spontaneity of the fan works, I would like to see a bit more of a critical stance here. We live in a radically transforming world, and sex and its relation to fan works is an important part of it, but there are other things going on too.

    Lori M.
    I think what I'm trying to say - and this is true of fan-producer relationships as well - we're in a period in which social media seemingly dissolves cross-cultural differences - if we're on the same platform, we must be thinking of it/using it in the same ways. But experience tells me this isn't the case...

    Anne J.
    Well, my favorite development as far as fanworks go is the OTW. I like it that there is a clearly-demarcated non-profit space, because so much of the really divisive, hurtful stuff that came up around 50 Shades came out of people's different understanding of what fanworks were and how they operated. OTW spells things out clearly.

    221BeeMien
    Speaking of commercialization, does the taboo against making money out of fanwork also apply in the Asian fandoms? Or is it a Western thing?

    Anne J.
    I'd like to see women be less ashamed of their fanworks. I would like to see women shame each other less for their work. I would like to sprout wings and fly to the moon.

    luxartisan
    Art for art sake vs. art to make a living?

    Anne J.
    As far as academic work, I want to see more on transcultural fandom (broadly conceived).

    Paul B.
    This is a great question Nistasha - and I completely agree with Frenchy -- going back to Textual Poachers, I think that fandom has this ability to really question the mainstream and create new things. As fans are becoming more professional (both in the 50 Shades way, and in the Steven Moffat fan-producer way), I think more critical fandom is essential

    Lori M.
    There's no broad "Asian"/"Western" here, I think. In Japan - and Nele Noppe is the go-to person on this - there is an actual fanworks economy based on doujinshi (fanzines). But I don't know the case in China, etc.

    Sas
    (I don't think that's a universal taboo in Western fandom.)

    Nele N.
    hear hear to more on transcultural fandom.

    221BeeMien
    No, it's not universal, but I see a lot of strongly-worded missives against it.

    Anne J.
    Curious--has anyone here done (or posted) any work on Wattpad?

    Paul B.
    Ha, agreed Anne - I definitely want to see more pride in fandom.

    Bertha C.
    Well, language is a huge problem when encountering transcultural fandom

    Val M.
    and tagging on to 221BeeMien's question: I've heard stories about manga publishers 'scouting' talen in Japan from popular doujin circles - that seems to be an interesting contrast to the enthusiastic protection that they ask for for their works, to me.

    Frenchy L.
    I know that doujinshi are available for sale in various comic stores in Japan -- Mandarake for example...

    Nistasha P.
    I'd also be curious if anyone's posted on Wattpad

    Bertha C.
    And I've found it's sometimes very difficult to get people to talk about their fandom as well, because in a way, it's still seen as somewhat of a taboo (speaking strictly from my own experience in trying to talk to Arrow fans in China)

    Lori M.
    Doujinshi are bought/sold; however, my impression - and Nele probably knows better - is that buying the doujinshi does not necessarily afford the buyer rights to dissemination, use, etc.

    Frenchy L.
    According to my Chinese grad students, China is profoundly censured in what its citizens can produce without running into trouble.

    Lori M.
    Which is to say, it's something of it's own economy, with its own rules and specific understandings.

    Nele N.
    (nope, all rights stay with the doujinshi authors and the copyright holders)

    Anne J.
    I am not sure that a lot of us understand that Wattpad stories *routinely* clock multiple millions, sometimes tens of millions of reads.

    luxartisan
    Wattpad, however, seems to favor the "original story" over fanfiction.

    Anne J.
    No, it doesn't. The works with multiple millions of hits are largely One Direction RPF.

    Mimi
    Anne, are you serious? Millions?

    Lori M.
    Frenchy - I got into a discussion with a Chinese fan on Tumblr awhile back over this; her stance - and she was one person, so FWIW - was that the Chinese censure of fanworks was overstated. I don't know if it's true; TWC had a nice piece in the boy's love issue about that kind of govt. crackdown, but I think - based on the fetishization of Chinese government censorship in Western distribution of Chinese films in the 1990s - there's a certain danger in not interrogating that censure fully... if that makes any sense?

    Anne J.
    Often written on phones. Illustrated on Instagram.

    Paul B.
    (Yes, Bertha - when I've interviewed fans, the most common thing I've heard is "well, I wouldn't call myself a fan." And I want to say, "But you are literally here at a fan convention, wearing a teeshirt, and about to hear a cast member speak!)

    Anne J.
    Tens of millions.

    Mimi
    Mad.

    Suzette C.
    Lori M., in this remark, are you referring to corporate creators of things like television shows and movies, or creators of original manga: "there are printed doujinshi from Japan and China that make it onto Tumblr quite often, and while most of this goes unremarked, it's occasionally the case where a creator – or creator representative – will ask for it to be removed."

    Lori M.
    Suzette - No, fan creators.

    Frenchy L.
    Lori, yes. But my students speak to a more subversive, cultural censurship

    Suzette C.
    Thanks, Lori.

    Lori M.
    Specifically, I had reblogged a Guixon doujinshi picture on Tumblr, only to be contacted by someone saying they had the 'rights' to that in the US (??) and telling me to take it down. They were quite insistent, although the nature of their rights remains unclear.

    Anne J.
    Writers I knew in the Twilight fandom were getting 2, 3 million hits on fanfiction.net. That's when I knew that something would explode. Two fandom publishing houses were launched. But what I thought was going to happen was something like Kindle worlds, because I didn't think fic would sell so well as novels. That was my lit professor bias. "This has no novelistic structure, so clearly people wanting to read about multiple orgasms won't read it." That was not brilliant on my account.

    Bertha C.
    Paul - exactly! I think it's probably a matter of breaking through the barriers as well. And in my case, probably not speaking Chinese (or not doing it face-to-face) doesn't help my case. Which probably means we need to find other ways of reaching out.

    Lori M.
    Frenchy - I'm really interested - can you elaborate (I'm not quite sure I follow the distinction you're making).

    Frenchy L.
    sorry, lost control there! My student speak of a more subversive cultural "self-castrating" censorship. that it creates a very submissive citizenry, and that works are more aesthetic than critical.

    Lori M.
    So, basically, self-censorship?

    That's really fascinating - I can absolutely see that happening.

    Frenchy L.
    Yes. And the other Chinese students are a bit fearful of creating any critical works -- mostly sentimental and comic works.

    Suzette C.
    Do folks here find that fans don't always make a distinction between legal rights and moral rights, or that people (an increasing number?) view those rights as having equal weight in how fans should interact with a work?

    Anne J.
    Are there Chinese fan studies scholars? I've had people writing to me from Korea, but while we do get applications from China (and Taiwan), I haven't seen any fan studies scholars.

    Sas
    (frenchy, you mean they make mostly sentimental works?)

    Paul B.
    I find this same pushback from some of my American students, though -- "if I make a video and put it on YouTube will I be arrested"? there is not just a sense of self-shame, but also a fear of retribution

    luxartisan
    Dr. B is correct. And it's not just students who are fearful but adults with real life jobs who are fans and fear backlash from many angles.

    Bethan J.
    Suzette, do you mean legal/moral rights for the work itself, or the content of the work? In relation to the latter I'm thinking about real person fiction and the debates that take place in fandom about that.

    Paul B.
    Suzette, that's a great question! In my experience with students, they are much more concerned with legal rights than moral rights. I always have to steer conversations about to morality and art in order to keep them in conversation

    Frenchy L.
    We have little knowledge I think of the cultural confines other cultures labor under, and Asia still has profound patriarchal structures in place, making the very content of shojo manga revolutionary. And thats why we like it so much!

    Lori M.
    Anne - it seems like there's a small, slowly-growing number (based on anecdotal evidence), but, as Bertha says, there's a real stigma attached to fan studies - it's seen as diluting the 'seriousness' of humanities research in the main.

    (in East/Southeast Asia, that is)

    Anne J.
    I find there is *tremendous* confusion about legal rights and moral rights, and that people in written works have a much more restrictive sense of copyright than US law, while people have a much more liberal sense of what can be used/copied in terms of images than trademark/IP law actually specified.

    Bethan J.
    Though saying that I also know fans (and I'm one of them) who'll put a disclaimer on our fic when they post it to say the work is based on X and those characters weren't created by us.

    Bertha C.
    Anne - I've actually been trying to find this out myself. I spoke to someone who's interested in fan studies, and she's based in Singapore, and have spoken of how difficult it is to find support among academic peers as it's seen as trivial.

    Paul B.
    But I think that outside of school, the fans I've encountered are more interested in moral rights than legal rights -- which may be a factor of fans being part of a fandom as well (having this same conversations with other fans)

    JLilley
    Can you define what you mean by "moral rights"?

    Anne J.
    Paul B., how much do you think people's sense of moral rights is (likely subconsciously) influenced by their beliefs about legal rights?

    Sas
    (there was a recent study about common misconceptions about copyright in fandom and how it makes its own rules that seemed on point)

    Lori M.
    Anne - I think the South Korean interest is somewhat different, as SK popular culture itself has been a fairly successful form of soft power, and it's garnered a lot of attention by scholars, so that I think that stigma is somewhat alleviated.

    Suzette C.
    Bethan, I think...both? There seems to be confusion about the work itself, the content of the work, and the purpose. For example, some fans insist on having their screencaps recognized, but the caps are of work that they do not have legal rights to.

    Val M.
    (Sas - do you have a link to that study?)

    Sas
    (second!)

    Frenchy L.
    Paul is right -- although Chinese academia has not embraced cultural studies (and Japan is just getting into it) its young creators -- following the path of Ai Wei Wei, have begun to question things -- but I see it more in the fine arts than in fan areas.

    Anne J.
    That is, I see a lot of moral outrage about not being "original" because being inspired by, say, The Avengers, but no moral outrage about being inspired by one's mother or the weird next-door neighbor, or even by Kafka.

    Paul B.
    Anne - I think a huge amount, but as you say it's very likely subconscious. I also suspect that there's a lot of inscribed political ideology built into these thoughts; we are the product of our culture

    luxartisan
    Is the fact that pretty much *anyone* can participate in fanart is what "trivializes" it to an academic community seeking societal recognition on the whole?

    Sas
    (article abut it)

    Laura J.
    (Anne, also shame, we feel inferior)

    Nistasha P.
    There does seem to be a huge disconnect between being inspired by pop culture vs "the classics"

    Bethan J.
    I seen what you mean Suzette. You see it often with LJ icons too, where credit is asked for even if very little has been done to alter the screencap that's used. That's a really interesting thing to think about...

    Mimi
    Many thanks for the link, Sas. The obligatory disclaimer is a vivid memory of my early forays into fan fiction.

    Erin S.
    do you think the context of the work varies? for example, is there a difference between fan produced and consumed work and work like "the clock" by barclay which is also made of works that aren't "his"?

    Bertha C.
    Well, it does go back to the distinction between high and "low" culture, doesn't it?

    Lori M.
    And the feminization of the latter.

    Frenchy L.
    Lux -- fanart's richness does include some dreck, but it is again the price of the freedom involved with inviting everyone to the table -- it is its value as it is also a problem at times.

    Anne J.
    Part of the fan-studies stigma is, I hate to say it, perpetuated by academic hierarchies. Of course it's a chicken-and-egg phenomenon, but it's hard to break out of. So many fan studies scholars--many of the people doing the most interesting, crucial work, are adjunct or non-TT. I do see this changing.

    Lori M.
    (Anne - not fast enough! ;) )

    Nistasha P.
    A question for our panelists: Given the increasing visibility of fanworks to both content/source creators and the public, what do you think are some important points to emphasize — or sources to use — when explaining fanworks to people who are unfamiliar with them?

    Paul B.
    Anne, as a TT at my university , I completely agree with this -- I almost always have to couch my research in non-fan terms to make it palatable for the tenure committee eg (thankfully, my college is more open!)

    Anne J.
    But it's slow. And so non-TT folks are often self-funding, not only is their work not recognized and compensated, but they have to *pay to do it*--pay to share it at conferences, etc.

    Nistasha P.
    College boards or other professors for example

    Frenchy L.
    Anne is right, but it is a generational thing. Adjuncts are young scholars, as they age they will bring fan art into the discourse. I have watched this happen over the years in Mechademia.

    Suzette C.
    JLilley: Roughly speaking moral rights are the common law right of the creator(s). Legal rights are about who owns the property. It's more clear in physical visual arts. I could do a painting and sell it. I could retain moral rights about how it's used, but I wouldn't have any rights to royalties (unless I was an ace negotiator and had that baked into the condition of sale).

    Lori M.
    I think everyone should be handed a copy of Anne's book, and invited to discuss it in more detail once they've read it. Honestly. Every time there's a fanworks-centered blowup on Twitter, I just want to start handing out books and scheduling seminars.

    Anne J.
    I've been invited to teach a course on fanfiction at Princeton in 2015. snobvalue.gif

    Bethan J.
    I was at a research seminar the other day on fandom and the researcher opened by saying 'a few years ago I would have prefaced this with an explanation of why we need to look at fans. I don't think I need to do that now'. The Q&A session was dominated by a sociologist asking about fan psychosis (and arguing that sports fans and media fans are inherently different). I think in some circles fan studies is moving forwrad but in others we're still the poor cousin. Which is unfuriating!

    JLilley
    Thank you, Suzette.

    luxartisan
    Do you feel it's gender-bias?

    Paul B.
    Nistasha, this is very appropriate as I literally two weeks ago went up before my University board to talk about my research in fandom, and was dismissed off-hand by one professor. I try to couch my answers with things like the Harry Potter Alliance for applying fandom to social justice issues, or to the way Chuck fans used the corporate system (via Subway) to keep the show on -- demonstrating so-called real-world applicability. But there seems to be an inherent dismissiveness (as Bethan points out) to media fandom which we have to continually strive to work against to people outside this field

    Anne J.
    And thank you. New Fan Studies Reader looks fantastic and there's more to come. Fan Fiction and Fan Cultures in the Age of the internet. Good basic book recs on anime/manga for people *outside* those communities?

    Lori M.
    Lux - if you're talking about the academic environment, I'd say - speaking personally - that a lot of it is inadvertently gender biased. The current job market involves far more 1-2 year visiting asst. professorships and lectureships than TT jobs. As a woman (not young like the other adjuncts, I'm afraid) with young children, I simply cannot uproot my family every one or two years for a salary that will not allow me to put any away for the future.

    Anne J.
    OF COURSE it is gender biased.

    Frenchy L.
    Yeah, I don't think you will find deep analysis of fan work in sociology - thats not their beat. Most of the fan-academics come from the hard sciences and humanities -- academics who seek to understand what is happening in popular culture. And yes, Lori, it is gender-biased.

    Sas
    (Question: to me as someone who doesn't have a good overview it seems most academic texts on fanworks come from the literary science corner or sociology, do approaches from film studies/art history also exist?)

    Lori M.
    That many fan studies scholars are female means that, as long as we remain on the periphery, so does fan studies. In my somewhat pessimistic opinion.

    Nele N.
    There's a book called fandom unbound on japanese and anime/manga fandom, which is imperfect in places but in general very useful

    Lori M.
    Sas - my own is very much grounded in media studies.

    Sas
    (I see, thanks!)

    Paul B.
    I second the Fan Fiction/Fan Cultures in the Age of the Internet. Great recommendation. In a somewhat self-serving capacity, I also like the Fan Phenomena series from Intellect (I edited one of them), as they are about particular fandoms and while variable in terms of quality, they are very redable

    Lori M.
    Transcultural fandom studies has some bridges with Anthropology and ethnography as well.

    JLilley
    Is part of the problem with fan studies in academia the fact that it doesn't fit neatly into any particular area? I'm long out of my academic days, but I can see, on some level, a reluctance to see fan studies as pa

    Anne J.
    Actually, I see a lot of fan *studies* stuff (as opposed to fans themselves) coming out of social sciences, and relatively few from humanities w/exception of Comm (which often blends more social sciences methodology) and media studies (which sometimes isn't even in humanities depts!)

    Frenchy L.
    Most academic work on fandom -- regardless of their discipline, approach fan work from a cultural studies position, since the tools to pick the scab on these works are part of that discipline.

    Elanya
    wants to see more anthropological approaches to studying fandom >.>

    Nistasha P.
    Love all the book recommendations. I second the Fan Phenomena (wrote a chapter for the Doctor Who one). As we hit the one hour mark, I just want to welcome any new participants

    Anne J.
    There is ethnographic work on fandom. I found one of the weird things about my book in a fan studies context is that I was more interested in the behavior of texts than of fans/fan habits, etc.

    Lori M.
    Yes - cultural studies is huge, especially in UK fan studies, to the best of my knowledge.

    Sas
    Are you all US-based?

    Lori M.
    Yes.

    Nele N.
    I'm seeing a lot of work on fan activities from other fields like law and economics too, there's a lot of "studies on fans" going on outside of fan studies

    Paul B.
    I am also based in media studies -- I've attempted to do fan studies work at some academic conferences in other areas (internet technology, games studies) and it's rarely appreciated like it is in media studies. Frenchy's point is excellent -- the basis of a lot of fan studies is in cultural studies so that's what's most common to see, but like Elanya, I'd love to see more anthropological work. Lewis Hyde's The Gift isn't about fandom, but has some interesting ties

    Chiara
    (Question- Lately, there have been quite a few actors/writers/producers embracing fandom and/or proudly declaring they are fans. Do you think this helps or hurts fandom in being academically recognized? Or is it unrelated?)

    Nistasha P.
    I'm Nistasha, you're moderator for the OTW's Future of Fan Works with our academics.

    Paul B.
    US based yes, but I've done a lot of work on UK stuff too

    Anne J.
    I know there are some UK folks in the room...

    Frenchy L.
    The scope of fan studies -- and even more so transnational fan studies is vast, making it a rich area for academic work.

    Mélanie B.
    I am from France, and I come from a communication background

    Anne J.
    What will help fan studies is when Harvard does a search for it.

    Bertha C.
    Working from the UK, and definitely media/cultural studies background.

    Frenchy L.
    Many academics are fans as well -- Mechademia the word comes from that consideration -- mecha+academia

    Anne J.
    I'm in Utah.

    Lori M.
    Brian Larkin has done some amazing anthropological work on, among other things, Nigerian fans of Bollywood films - as one example of anthropological fan studies.

    Sas
    Thanks for replies.

    Casey B.
    Anne - did you say you came from a literature background?

    Bethan J.
    I'm also in the UK and working out of the Department for Theatre, Film and Television Studies in Aberystwyth.

    Elanya
    (Oooh, neat Lori, I will have to look for that, thanks!)

    Paul B.
    Chiara, this is a fascinating topic -- personally, I think it both hurts and helps. Orlando Jones is a great example - he can really illustrate how fandom is popular and important but can also be dismissed as "just an actorl" If someone wants to dismiss fandom, they will figure out a good way to do it! :) But then again, look at Steven Moffat, Russel T Davies, Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, etc (all white men, btw) -- as what Suzanne Scott calls "Fanboy auteurs" they have had a major effect on the visibilty of fandom, for better or for worse

    Lori M.
    (Elanya: http://www.amazon.com/Signal-Noise-Infrastructure-Culture-Franklin/dp/0822341085.)

    Anna M.
    It's amazing to me, as a college student, that fandom gets any academic attention at all. I mean, really amazing, especially hearing that there will be a course taught on fandom at Princeton (How exciting!. I've only ever seen fandom being dismissed out of hand as pornography in most non-internet circles.

    Nele N.
    (this seems like a good occasion to mention the fan studies bibliography we're making for twc/fanhackers/the otw - it's a work in progress but possibly a good place to get an idea of the variety of academic works on fans going on)

    Suzette C.
    Great discussion so far! I need to leave now, but I'm looking forward to the transcript. Thanks to OTW and all the participants!

    Chiara
    Thanks, Paul. And yes, most of them male, most of them white. I can only think of a few that aren't.

    Frenchy L.
    I can suggest Mechademia 5: Fanthropologies, and Mechademia 6: User Enhanced -- both about fan studies. We had so many submissions we had to break it into two books!

    RachelA
    (Just, FYI, Women's, Gender and Critical Sexuality studies have also begun to start paying attention to fandom. That is my academic "homebase")

    Anne J.
    It's not just entertainment, though, the white male legitimizing voice and how fans (and women) crave it. Lev Grossman's a good friend of mine and has said some great stuff in favor of respecting fanworks. But his quote from my book was reblogged 12K times. Orders of magnitude more than any female author, fan or non-fan. It was a good quote. But still.

    Paul B.
    (Frenchy, side note - I love love love both those books - thanks! They've been really helpful in my work)

    Nistasha P.
    Dr. Booth, your comments are especially interesting as we'll be having Orlando Jones on a "Future of Fanworks" panel on March 29th

    Frenchy L.
    Thanks, Paul! We end with Mechademia 10, but starting a new series Mechademia: Second Arc.

    Anna M.
    What is the quote, or how do we find it, if you don't mind me inquiring? 12K - wow!

    Paul B.
    I'm actually using Jones' recent blog post and mea culpa about fandom in my fan class next quarter - am looking forward to the discussion!

    Lori M.
    Bryan Fuller is one example of a very female fan-friendly showrunner-auteur.

    Anne J.
    A lot of the gender bias is internalized. I couldn't get a "literary" woman novelist to write for my book--whereas Jonathan Lethem was very generous. He could afford to be generous. I had a distinct feeling that women literary novelists did not want to be "tarred" with the fanfic or romance brush.

    Nistasha P.
    Speaking of fan and creator engagement: Panelists, do you think the scrutiny from academics, legal practitioners, entertainment industries and the media, have affected the creative freedom of source creators or fan creators?

    Anne J.
    I think Orlando Jones is one of the really interesting, significant, and subversive things to have happened in fandom and entertainment. I want people to know he should be taken seriously as a political voice AS WELL AS (and often simultaneously) a lot of fun.

    Frenchy L.
    Anne is right, I have heard this from women writers. They feel like they are type-cast if they write romance -- unless it is "pornographic" -- hence 50 Shades.

    Sas
    Aren't pseuds for that still industry standard anyway?

    Anne J.
    Anna M., Smart Pop blogged a lot of these on Tumblr, I think his was the first. Also tagged under him.

    Bertha C.
    Orlando Jones is definitely an interesting case! Lucy Bennett and I have an interview with him for TWC, and that contact was made via contact on Tumblr.

    Lori M.
    In actual terms, no. In terms of how fan/producer (for example) relationships are characterized in the mass media (charges of 'too much fan service', for example), I think it has a somewhat corrosive effect.

    Anna M.
    Thank you! I'm looking it up now!

    Paul B.
    Well, in my opinion, with the increased visibility of fandom comes two different paths for fans -- (1) fans are more open to scrutiny, participate with the scrutiny, and explore fandom more critically; (2) fans "burrow down" into deeper and more hidden areas because fandom is personal and shouldn't be explored like that. The consequence of this, then, is that, at least as academics, we end up only studying the more visible fandoms

    luxartisan
    Dead on, Dr. B.

    Lori M.
    Paul - very true. This is equally true of transcultural fandoms - we study what's visible, because we literally cannot see the rest, which runs the risk of skewing our understanding(s) of fandom in certain directions.

    Karolingva
    (Sidenote on anthropology (because I write to slow): I have a friend who currently writes her master's thesis on the coping strategies fans use when the canon support for their fanworks changes. (I.e. Johnlock shippers who found supportive facts in canon for this relationship in S01-02 - how do they cope with the arrival of Mary Morstan in S03? There are apparently several strategies for this.))

    Anne J.
    Yes, Paul. And I have actually intentionally tended to focus on more popular, visible fandoms in part for that reason--if they were already visible, I wouldn't be dragging anyone into the "limelight" (of academic study--not all that bright) against their wishes.

    Frenchy L.
    I found this the toughest question to answer. But I would side with Paul on this. The Internet is still ever-evolving in its capacity to both help and hinder fan arts. Its so dense and complicated, it seems hard to analyze.

    Lori M.
    Just to add to what Frenchy says, we're in an interesting moment in terms of online fandoms; so seemingly transparent and porous, but with fissures and disjunctures beneath the surface that belie easy assumptions about fan communities, etc.

    Nistasha P.
    Do you find that different networks, Tumblr vs LJ vs Wattpad have different norms when it comes to visibility or creator interaction?

    Paul B.
    We tend to think of the Internet as making EVERYTHING AVAILABLE but really as it grows it just gets harder and harder to find things. Not to get too into this, but even as Google and other search engines start to "read" our profiles, IP addresses, etc. they start to filter their results of searches -- even things we're searching for are harder and harder to find

    luxartisan
    Do you feel that the split path reflects differing personal needs fulfilled by fanart or is it more commercial vs. non-comm? And isn't the non-comm always somewhat "secluded" by its nature?

    Sas
    (Lori, do you have more examples for the fissures?)

    Frenchy L.
    Yes, Lori and Paul, this is precisely what makes it a wicked problem and therefore a rich area of research for academics. I do look forward to seeing what we can uncover, but the pockets of strange fandom sites and forums seem too vast to typify!

    Lori M.
    *Within* fandoms - speaking with my fan-hat on right now - you see quite a bit of... not hostility, per se, but tension between LJ users (often, if not always, 'old school' online fans) and Tumblr fans, who seem to sometimes think they invented online fandom (perhaps because Tumblr skews younger, in general). Conversations being had on Tumblr are often held up as been-there-done-that by certain comms on LJ, so that the one never really speaks to the other in meaningful ways.

    Paul B.
    Lori, ha, absolutely agree with this -- Doctor Who fandom is full of this perception -- old school vs. new school fans

    Anna M.
    So is Star Trek - especially with the new movies!

    Anne J.
    I think a lot of emphasis among fan writers and artists has been for *more* visibility, once that became possible--more validation, reviews, feedback, hits, reblogs, etc. As software made the counts more accessible, they began to function like a kind of currency. So for a long time, many were about becoming *more* visible but they sometimes assumed it was only visible, somehow, to other fans. I've seen so many people react in horror that non-fans could see their work. So I some people who don't want nonfans to see their work are burrowing down--and I think that's fine.

    Val M.
    Lori, Paul - I do notice that Who fandom is multiple-canon (several series and Doctors) and long-running. Do you see this same thing in single-canon or short canons?

    Bertha C.
    I'm seeing that with Arrow too - the comic fans vs the TV series fans.

    Frenchy L.
    Yes there seems to be some sort of fan-machismo around being New school fans and "in-the-know" of emerging sites and practices.

    Paul B.
    So true! That goes back to this idea of the fanboy auteur -- does reinventing something mean reinventing fandom as well?

    Elanya
    (Karolingva - that sounds like a very interesting diss!)

    Frenchy L.
    I think so...

    luxartisan
    Seem likely, although how they integrate is even more interesting.,

    Lori M.
    Sas - in terms of transcultural fandoms, there was one case in which a fic being translated into another language - a seemingly transparent thing - was also being effectively censored; the translator didn't like one aspect of the story, so she was cutting it out without telling the original author, who found out through another fan from the target language fandom. Small things like that. More recently - and this is celebrity fandom - a 16 year old British kid was posting pics of himself to Instagram because he said he looked like a young Benedict Cumberbatch (he really does), and he started getting lots of messages from Chinese fans of BC, many criticizing him for daring to liken himself to the star, etc. We're in the same fandoms, ostensibly, but often working from different assumptions...

    Anne J.
    Same generational split between SF "literary" and "media" fans in the late 60s and early 70s. That is the constant I see never going away. The glee w/which one fan tells another: "you're doing it wrong, you bad fan"

    Lori M.
    "Fan machismo" - this, yes, absolutely.

    Paul B.
    Val - yes, I think there is a bit of this in single canon or short shows as well -- especially as something grows (re: new seasons, changes in cast, etc.) there's always a sense of fan hierarchy coming into play

    Sas
    Yes, okay!

    Lori M.
    Which, as Bertha said earlier, brings us back to high/low culture and subcultural capital.

    In Sherlock, right now, if you haven't read ACD, or - God forbid - you're a fan of the stars, then you're standing on a lower rung. It happens everywhere, with increasing appeals to more 'authentic' (and less 'feminized') engagement.

    Paul B.
    Anne, totally -- re: you know you're with Doctor Who fans when no one can agree about what they hate about new Doctor Who :-P

    luxartisan
    Yet, and using Star Trek as the example, there is something to be said for longevity and expertise among fans, as well. Some fandoms embrace it; some don't.

    Lori M.
    But I'm not sure why expertise should be valued by other fans; if fandom is ultimately for the enjoyment of the thing, then... I'm just not personally sure where expertise comes in?

    JLilley
    I often find it incredible how negative fans can be with one another and about the thing they are "fans" of.

    Anne J.
    I do hear from some younger readers of my book how much they love reading about fandom hiatory and zines, especially. But more frequently I get heartfelt notes from older friends who are so, so grateful to have their history acknowledged. I would love to see zines come back! Maybe hipster fans will embrace them like vinyl.

    Lori M.
    There was a gatekeeping post on Tumblr the other day about the 'right' way to do Godzilla fandom, in light of the upcoming new film, with a lot of rules about how you should approach/revere the original Japanese films, etc. It was essentially a rule-book, and yet, as one commenter noted, without an influx of new fans, there is no revival of anything...

    Paul B.
    Yes, Lori, I wonder if "expertise" is just a way for fans to find some differences to hang on to --

    Nistasha P.
    Love all the talk about the evolution of fandoms. As we begin the last half hour of this panel, I would love to open it to questions from the audience. If we could go old school and *raise hand* we'll try to get to as many questions as possible. Panelists, feel free to ask questions yourselves.

    Lori M.
    Playing off of Anne - I think there's absolutely a place for the acknowledgement of fans who came before - because Tumblr didn't, in fact, invent fandom.

    Nistasha P.
    Although if you are on Tumblr, come join the OTW at http://transformativeworks.tumblr.com/ (shameless moderator plug)

    Paul B.
    OK i have a question for our panelists -

    DLChase
    *raise hand*

    Anna M.
    *raise hand*

    Chiara
    *raise hand*

    Erin S.
    *raises hand*

    Paul B.
    nevermind, I'll let the audience take it :)

    Anne J.
    will Nistasha call on people?

    Nistasha P.
    Haha thanks Paul, I'll try to come back to you. DLChase, what is your question for the panel?

    DLChase
    Do all fandoms hit the range of explicit materials? I am in the Sherlock fandom.

    Mimi
    *raise hand*

    DLChase
    "Moms who write porn" = Fans who write erotic fanfiction

    Frenchy L.
    You mean sexually explicit, DL?

    DLChase
    yes

    Anne J.
    Could not possibly speak about all fandoms! But I have seen Thomas The Tank Engine erotica. I do think it's fair to say that some fandoms, historically, have been more geared to it than others. Put it this way, I've never seen one *entirely* without it, but erotic content is still not the majority--and it wasn't even in the Twilight fandom, which became so famous for it.

    Paul B.
    DLChase - I have yet to see one that hasn't; but I think there's no expectation that a fandom has to. I suspect that explicitness is a way for fans to develop things underexplored in the original text, so we might see less explict-ness with more explicit media?

    Lori M.
    You can almost always find something. But sometimes it's partly just the challenge of the thing, rather than coming from a place of exploration, etc.

    Anne J.
    Paul, O

    Frenchy L.
    I think so. because we repress sexuality and desire so much in western culture, it comes up in a gothic upwelling through fan works.

    Anne J.
    I mean, I think that Game of Thrones might challenge that theory..

    Paul B.
    Yes, as I hit enter I did think of game of thrones as a good counter example.

    :)

    Nistasha P.
    For our next question, I'm going to pull one from our comments on our webpage: Do you consider it useful to have students studying or creating fanworks as part of the curriculum? What privacy or content concerns might you have with its use?

    DLChase
    (Thanks panelists for answers- fandom is a means of self-expression, whatever that expression is, romantic, adventurous, sexual, whatever.)

    Nistasha P.
    As a proud former student of Dr. Booth, I found it very helpful to create my own fanworks in his Active Audience and Fandom course.

    Anne J.
    I have had *tremendous* success with students creating fanworks in the classroom. I've done a lot of wrestling with how to teach fanworks, from letting students "free range" without guiding them to assigning specific fics with consent from authors, to simply informing authors, to just teaching what I think is important.

    Lori M.
    I teach courses in film history and film/tv aesthetics, and I've brought fanworks - primarily vids - into the classroom to discuss the place of accessible media technologies in reworking - transforming - the texts we're given; I tie fanvids into independent digital cinema, talking about them all as a way of giving people a voice - a means of talking back - that they might not have otherwise had.

    Anne J.
    I am now just teaching what I think is important if it is posted to a public archive. I have become much more hardline about the public nature of publicly posted fiction.

    Frenchy L.
    Fanwork is still art -- and should be treated with the same respect and critical approach. There is always a privacy concern, but people in general seem less concerned with it as a danger.

    Paul B.
    This is a great question. I find it incredibly valuable for students to both create and study fanworks as part of their curriculum. I find that helps to illuminate what we read in our academic background as well. But there are some privacy concerns, certainly, when studying someone else's creative material, but I try to make sure everyone treats the material with respect. I'm personally always impressed with what my students produce as fan fiction too -- explicit or not (and thanks Nistasha!)

    Anne J.
    I am very eager to see more done w/fanworks in a literacy and a Rhet Comp perspective.

    Nistasha P.
    Fanvids seem to be a very accessible way of introducing fandom to a class

    Lori M.
    In terms of the classroom, I'm with Anne; if it's available publicly, I consider it available for use in the classroom.

    Frenchy L.
    I agree with Lori.

    Val M.
    (Interjection: How do you define "public"? Posted on AO3 or other non-password protected site?)

    Paul B.
    Yes, I use fan vids in a lot of classes because of the way they are illustrative of so many things - not just fandom, but active audiences, digital production, video literacy, etc.

    I would define public as if I could access them online without passwords, yes

    Nistasha P.
    I think we'd all love to take a class with any one of you! For our next question, Anna M, what would you like to ask the panelists?

    Lori M.
    Interestingly, a number of students have used the discussion to talk about their own fanworks; for my classes (and I teach at a community college, with a pretty wide diversity of students), if I keep the classroom environment fan-friendly, I find that there are often people who are engaged in it and want to talk about what their own engagement means.

    Anne J.
    I would have to say I have gotten *a lot* of flak for my insistence on the public nature of fanworks. But I simply do not think you can introduce yourself into public discourse and then require consent for people to discuss the effect you may have had.

    That said, I won't teach or quote anything that is behind any kind of wall w/o express permission.

    Nistasha P.
    Very interesting on public vs private. Anna M, what was your question for the panelists?

    Anna M.
    Thanks! I was wondering, How do you think LGBT issues and culture play out in fandom? Or how are the stigmas of fandom related to discomfort with LGBT relationships? I've found that its often infinitely easier to reveal an affinity for fanfication (to people not in fandom) than it is to explain a love of slash fanfiction.

    Sas
    (That's something that even affects my movement within fandom, tbh)

    Lori M.
    In my experience - speaking as a fan - it's been less the LGBT aspect of it, per se, than its play with explicit sexuality that's been stigmatized. By which I mean... the conversation - whether in XF and Mulder/Scully or Sherlock and J/S - always seems to center more around "why do you have to sexualize it" than "why LGBT" - but that's my own experience, coming at it from a cis/het/white perspective.

    Anne J.
    There are so many kinds of discomfort w/slash! I think a lot of them really get at our confusion around sex, and fantasy, and representation. Should you only ever match what you represent? What matches you? Is it "demographic" only? Why is it okay for women to objectify gay men but not for men to objectify gay women? Why is femslash so underrepresented? The assumptions that these questions come up against constitutes a massive education about sexual and gender identity.

    Frenchy L.
    In Japanese popular culture, these subjectivities are rampant! And make some of the best works! But they rarely address the repressive and even dangerous consequences involved with being "out" in some cultures . Rather, they position these stories within a fantasy - Ranma 1/2 - water makes him turn into a female and comedy follows. Not the experience of real transgendered people.

    Paul B.
    Anna, this is really important about fandom -- I know a lot of fans who have found that their fandom is one of the first places where they felt comfortable coming out or discussing these issues. But when teaching fandom in a class, trying to have students see slash as anything other than strange or weird is very difficult because we have such an ingrained hetero-normative (re: patriarchal) allegiance to our media. I have to admit that I have yet to find a satisfactory way to introduce slash but once the class gets discussing it (usually with the help of some great literature, like Gwenllian Jones' "The Sex Life of TV Characters" article) I find that the discussion moves into larger issues of cultural ideals of gender, patriarchy, sexuality, etc.

    I find slash is a really useful way to get at "big issue" topics, as Anne points out

    Anne J.
    I think a lot of slash fans are unaware that there's often anger towards slash from (I'd say) especially older LGBT folks, and that there's a lot of *lack* of understanding among those older LGBT folks that lots of the younger generation of queers grew up slashing! took permission from it.

    So, generational.

    Nistasha P.
    It's a really important aspect of fandom studies to consider. Thanks for asking Anna M.

    Chiara, you're next, what's your question for the panel?

    Frenchy L.
    I agree, I think discussing LGBT issues through slash tends to render these real-life issues into something salacious, not honorable.

    Anna M.
    Thank you for all the amazing answers!

    Chiara
    Thanks. Here's my question: What about differences between fandoms (and fans)? Do you think fandom can (and should) be researched/written about as a whole, or are there too many differences? Not everyone lives fandom in the same way.

    Lori M.
    That's a really good question, Chiara. This is a conversation on fanworks, and so we're rightly centering it on them, but in the main I think we run a risk of equating fandom with the (necessary) production of transformative works, to the extent that it elides other forms of engagement.

    Anne J.
    A lot of people like slash better if they imagine queers slashing, or imagine it to be political, in favor of representation, talking back, etc. That's a story people like. And it's a TRUE story. But when we think of heterosexual women who get off on thinking about explicit sex between (or among) men? Also a true story--that's a story that I think more people are unhappy with.

    Lori M.
    In part because - to reference Paul's comment from before - fanworks are visible - tangible - artifacts of fandom, and thus much easier to study than more ephemeral manifestations of fandom.

    Frenchy L.
    Chiara brings up a good point -- we tend to generalize in academia, when in fact these are highly differentiated groups. However, I think there is some similarities found in HOW they deliver their fan works and it there that much of the studies are done.

    Paul B.
    Excellent question, Chiara -- I've seen a turn in fan studies literature recently to look at more individualized fan communities rather than fandom as a whole, but I think that this does run the risk of getting too specific too -- this is a big question with any sort of cultural studies analysis -- do we generalize too much or get too specific? Lori, you're absolutely right -- there has been a tendency to privilege transformative works at the expense of fans who just really like to watch something. But at the same time, fandom is about emotional engagement at some level, so if we can find those bridges of commonality, perhaps we can look at some general themes?

    Anne J.
    Chiara--I'd be in the both/and camp. Or the Sesame Street School of Criticism (How are these things alike? And how are they different?)

    Nistasha P.
    Very interesting. We have two more questions from the audience and one from Dr. Booth, let's see how many we can fit in.

    Lori M.
    Paul - I agree, absolutely. I'm thinking less of a transformative works vs. fans who just like to watch division than transformative works contra fan tourism, convention-going, etc.

    Nistasha P.
    Erin S, what's you're question?

    Chiara
    Thank you for the great aswers.

    Paul B.
    (Lori - so many different ways to differentiate!)

    Lori M.
    (it hurts the head... ;) )

    Erin S.
    Hey, this might be a bit convoluted, but- i come at fandom from a fine arts perspective, and i was wondering- In terms of the moral / legal consequences you spoke about earlier, and in terms of how to approach fanworks as objects to study-
    Do you think there's a difference between fan made (and consumed) work and work that *looks* like it, or is similar to it in terms of production and material, but made in a different context?
    (For example, fan vids and work like marclays "the clock" or other remix video work)

    Lori M.
    Qualitatively? No.

    Anne J.
    Erin, I get a version of that a lot in terms of professionally published literary texts (Michael Chabon, for example) that use appropriation/inspiration/pastiche, etc, and fanworks. I think the context in which the work was produced and the motivations behind it *can* be important, certainly. But that they aren't the only questions. Those questions do, however, have a great deal to do w/the cultural capital or legitimacy commanded by a work.

    The forum and format in which people encounter a work also shapes the encounter.

    Paul B.
    Hi Erin, I'm not sure I am completely answering this question, so apologies if this isn't what you're looking for! For me personally, I think that what's interesting about work that LOOKS fan made is the way that the aesthetics of fandom here is appropriated by professionals. I know that Louisa Stein has talked about how the aesthetics of mashup and remix videos have found their way into teen dramas like Gossip Girl, as a way of harnessing fan aesthetics. This really just shows how important fandom has becoming as a type of audience, I think.

    Lori M.
    (nodding)

    Anne J.
    Paul, good point, but in art history and literature, appropriation/source reworking is as old as the hills. "Quoting" in painting is a cornerstone of Art History's whole approach.

    Nele N.
    (must go, thank you all! This has been great.)

    Anne J.
    Because people were always doing it!

    Paul B.
    Good point, Anne!

    Nistasha P.
    Thank you Erin S! Mimi, what is your question for the panel?

    Erin S.
    thanks guys =)

    Mimi
    Just a comment, really, on the transcultural nature of fandom. I am an English speaking US-ian living and working in the Middle East. My students are Arabic-speaking English language learners whose most obvious forays into fandom are K-pop and Japanese anime. For them, engaging in fandom means engaging in a third (and fourth) language. How do you think that affects their fandom engagement (barring the other obvious hurdles of cultural and social mores)?

    Frenchy L.
    Of course that are both representations of something other than an original concept, but I think appropriating a work to a different context might be a bit suspect in terms of "copying" that work -- I think it depends on the situation. Its a sticky decision -- cosplay works through a specific set of rules and expectations that bound it into an art form. But taking that costume and using it in a way that lacks that sanction is questionable.

    Mimi
    To add, they then will write short stories for my class (English, of course) based on their fandoms.

    Anne J.
    I have recently seen a lot of anecdotal evidence pointing to people learning a language to participate more fully in fandom. And I see it online, of course, all the time, non-native speakers writing in English, asking for guidance.

    Paul B.
    Mimi, from a teaching perspective I think this offers the students a chance to apply language skills in a context that they might really care about. But it also might give them the chance to explore different styles of fan engagement as particular cultural norms.

    This runs the risk of, what we were saying before, about generalizing too much though

    Lori M.
    I think it makes them very much part of what we see in transcultural fandom broadly: affective engagement - love of a thing - playing out at the crossroads of language and cultural difference. English is a facilitator for much fannish engagement - almost the lingua franca of many online fandoms - but those other languages fit in in interesting ways.

    Frenchy L.
    Yes, I think it is always good to expand your understanding of the larger world. And fandom is an excellent way of learning a language -- many of my students began learning Japanese watching anime and reading manga.

    Chiara
    (Just wanted to point out that some of us learned English thanks to fandom /Italian here)

    Nistasha P.
    Thank you for sharing Mimi. As we come up on our end mark, perhaps Dr. Booth would like to ask the final question.

    Anne J.
    I would like to see studies that look at visual rhetorics, and to what degree they are culturally-specific or more truly transtational. I think the rise of gifs, vidding,manips, etc the ease w/which images are shared, has done wonders for transcultural fandom.

    Paul B.
    There are great stories of immigrants learning English from watching TV and radio in the early 20th century too -

    Mimi
    Many thanks.

    Paul B.
    OH man, no pressure, Nistasha! :) First of all, thank you everyone for the stimulating discussion. This has been so much fun! My question to everyone is, how do you see the academic study of fandom changing (or not?) fandom itself?

    Mimi
    For my experience, academic study of fandom has lent it legitimacy that commercial success (a la 50 Shades) has not.

    Julia A.
    Increased legitimacy.

    And as a result, I think, increased exposure.

    Anne J.
    Honestly, I see more academics actively engaging in fandom--or being more out about it. It's hard to sort out what is changing what--there have been so many forces having an impact on fandom lately. I see some pushback from fans--we don't need *you* to be legitimate, I am not your lab rat, I never meant my work to receive critical attention, etc.

    Laura J.
    (legitamcy for fans, as well, if we feel we need it)(I do)

    Lori M.
    My currently very Tumblr-centric experience has been that fandom itself has absorbed the fan studies lessons of about a decade ago; we have a generation of college graduates who have read Jenkins, et.al., and have brought that background to their own fannish practices - a lot of emphasis on the 'transformative' nature of fandom, fandom as community, etc. Which have spurred questions from within fandom that have been echoed in the past decade of fan research - whose community? Is fandom always resistant? Etc.

    Frenchy L.
    I think what we as educators bring to the student in the way of learning to question things, to improve their perceptual skills, to apply a sense of craft to their work, and to broaden their visual and textual vocabularies, DOES change the level of fan work.

    Lisa R.
    Thank you everyone. Have a great day. :)

    Anne J.
    I had the weird experience of half my summer syllabus getting book contracts...but I don't think it was causal!

    Laura J.
    Thank you!

    Anne J.
    Thanks guys!!

    Lori M.
    (when I say "fandom itself," I'm talking specifically about female-centric fic/art producing/consuming communities)

    Paul B.
    Thank you!

    Nistasha P.
    Thank you everyone for attending. Special thanks to our participants Dr. Paul Booth, Dr. Anne Jamison Dr. Frenchy Lunning and Dr. Lori Morimoto!

    Bertha C.
    Thank you all! Love the discussions.

    Chiara
    Thank you very much! It's been incredibly interesting.

    Elanya
    thank you!

    Bethan J.
    Thanks all!

    Lori M.
    Thanks very much for the discussion and great questions!

    Val M.
    I've really enjoyed this - thank you very much!

    Frenchy L.
    Thanks -- what fun! Great to hear form everyone!

    Paul B.
    This has been fantastic - thank you all for the great questions and discussions!

    Lori M.
    See you all online. ;)

    Anna M.
    Thanks so much for this amazing conversation - it has been a joy to follow along!

    Nistasha P.
    We'll be continuing on our discussion on the future of fanworks on March 15th.

    Laura J.
    Also not a bad note for International Women's Day

  • Join us for our chat with fan studies authors!

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 7 March 2014 - 6:18pm
    Message type:

    Tomorrow the OTW will be holding the first of its four March events discussing "The Future of Fanworks." This will be a live chat with fan studies scholars from 1600-1800 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

    Edited to add: The chat has concluded but if you missed it, here's the transcript!

  • Events Calendar for March 2014

    By Angela Nichols on Saturday, 1 March 2014 - 10:58pm
    Message type:


    Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of March! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website

    • To celebrate the OTW's Milestone Month we are hosting four events featuring a discussion on "The Future of Fanworks" with a variety of special guests.
    • March 8: Live chat with fan studies scholars on "The future of fanworks" from 1600-1800 UTC
    • March 15: Live chat with fans on "The future of fanworks" from 0200 - 0400 UTC
    • March 21-24: Q&A posts with copyright practitioners and scholars on "The future of fan works."
    • March 29: Live chat with entertainment industry representatives on "The future of fan works". Start time TBD
    • Check out more details here!

    We have four calls for papers coming up in the next month!

    • At Joss Whedon: A Celebration DePaul University's Media and Cinema Studies program will honor of the work of Joss Whedon featuring a roundtable discussions from scholars and fans of Whedon, speaking about his cultural impact, as well as analyzing aspects of his television shows and films. If you’re interested in speaking on a round table on Saturday, May 03, in Chicago please send a 200 word abstract by Mar 15.

      Read more about Joss Whedon on Fanlore

    • Subverting Fashion: Style Cultures, Fan Culture & the Fashion Industry aims to explore appropriations of fashion and style as creativity, self-expression, collective identity and rebelliousness in media and culture, as well as questioning these approaches both within and outside the fashion industry. 250-word proposals for 20-minute papers are needed on topics related to alternative fashion, style and performative identity in popular culture and the media. Papers from all disciplines and areas of research are invited. Abstract deadline: 20th March, 2014.
    • A Fantastic Legacy: Diana Wynne Jones Memorial Conference will celebrate the life, and contributions to children’s literature, fantasy and science fiction of a ground-breaking writer of British children’s fantasy. They are currently seeking papers on any aspect of Diana’s life and work. Participants are invited to submit 100-250 word abstracts for 20 minute papers by 28 March 2014

      Read more about Diana Wynne Jones on Fanlore

    • New Perspectives on Cinematic Spectatorship, Digital Culture & Space The journal Networking Knowledge is publishing a special issue on the ‘cinematic dispositif’ in light of the transformative effects of digital culture. Articles by postgraduate and early career researchers, which are 5,000 to 6,000 words long are welcome. Please send abstracts of up to 300 words along with a 50-word biography by April 1st 2014

    • The Events Calendar is here to inform and connect fans about upcoming fan events both face to face and online! We are always open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. Events come in many categories such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, Announcements of fanwork fests and challenges, or Technology Events taking place around the world and online. New ideas and categories are encouraged! If you know about any upcoming fan events please let us know!

  • Discussing the Future of Fanworks in March

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 6:27pm
    Message type:

    Banner by caitie celebrating Fanlore's 500,000th edit

    As we mentioned during our milestone weekend, today we're announcing four events that will continue our focus on fanworks while celebrating the OTW's project milestones. Starting on March 8, each Saturday next month we will be featuring a discussion on "The Future of Fanworks" with a variety of special guests.

    March 8: Live chat with fan studies scholars on "The future of fanworks" from 1600-1800 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

    READ THE TRANSCRIPT

    March 16: Live chat with fans on "The future of fanworks" from 0100 - 0300 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

    • Moderator: Jintian, OTW Communications staffer
    • Guest: cereta
    • Guest: yhlee
    • Guest: yifu

    READ THE TRANSCRIPT

    March 21-24: Q&A posts with copyright practitioners and scholars on "The future of fanworks."

    March 29: Live chat with entertainment industry representatives on "The future of fanworks" from 1500 to 1700 UTC (What time is that in my timezone?)

    READ THE TRANSCRIPT.

    Each chat will be held in our Public Discussion chatroom. Links to the chats will be posted shortly before the events. Although we have done our best to vary the chat times to accommodate fans in all timezones, the scheduling is ultimately dependent on guest availability. For anyone who can't join a chat live we expect to post transcripts of the events within 48 hours.

    We would also like your input! We will be giving all panelists a set of 6 common questions as we believe it will be interesting to bring out different (or common) perspectives on the topics among the various groups. You can submit as many questions as you'd like but as we have limited time we can't guarantee any particular question will be included. We'll be looking for questions that are broadly applicable to all groups and are a good representation of "The future of fanworks" topic.

    We will be collecting questions until 23:59 UTC on March 1. You can either post your questions here or submit them through our Communications form (just mention they're for the chats).

  • Update on the Milestone weekend

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 16 February 2014 - 11:28pm
    Message type:

    AO3 logo wearing a party hat amidst confetti with text of '1 Million Celebration'

    Yesterday the AO3 reached its one million milestone and here are some things that have been taking place since.

    ao3million posts

    Since our milestone 354 new works have been posted to AO3 using the AO3 1 Million tag. \o/ for new fanworks!

    There have also been a lot of fic recs flying around on Twitter and Tumblr under the #ao3million tag. So if you're looking for something new, check those out and remember to add your own!

    It's been very moving to the staff and volunteers to read the many personal messages of how much AO3 has meant to people. Thank you for sharing those with us and also to the new donors who have stepped forward to help us keep things running!

    Parties!

    The organizers of Nine World's fanfic programming last year are hosting a party in London to celebrate AO3's milestone. It will be held on March 8 from 5-11 pm at The Blue Lion. Let them know you'll be there.

    If you are planning parties or events yourself, let us know here in comments and we'll keep updating this post with information.

    Another milestone!

    The AO3's sister project, Fanlore, has also zoomed past a milestone. Last year it was passing 25,000 articles. Now it's passed its 500,000th edit on the same day that AO3 hit 1 million! Please join us in congratulating all the editors, gardeners, and staffers who have worked on those many entries <3

    Yet to come

    We plan to keep celebrating through March, so stay tuned for our announcement next weekend with details of upcoming events. We'll be counting on your input! And in another few days we'll be letting you know about something we're planning for coming years. So keep an eye on OTW News.

    In the meantime, let us know what you've been seeing, planning, and doing!

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