News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Delving Into Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 - 5:21pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Delving into Fandom

    • The University of Iowa libraries, which partner with the OTW's Open Doors project, have announced a major fanzine digitization project. "10,000 science fiction fanzines will be digitized from the James L. 'Rusty' Hevelin Collection, representing the entire history of science fiction as a popular genre and providing the content for a database that documents the development of science fiction fandom."
    • At Swarthmore College, Professor Bob Rehak talked fandom studies and his article in the OTW's academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures. "It was fascinating to see fixtures of my own media passions, such as Star Trek props and the Batmobile, filtered through the contributors’ different theoretical approaches. This sense of rediscovering the familiar is characteristic, I think, of fan studies that deepen and complexify the apparent superficialities of popular culture...Twenty years of fan scholarship have done a great deal to concretize and personalize those relationships, but object-oriented studies now promise to move us even further from the reductive idea of the media fan as gullible consumer."
    • The Prince George Citizen interviewed researcher and author Andrei Markovits about the motivation of sports fans. "[W]hile female fandom is on the rise 'it's very clear it's a gendered world,' he said. 'The emotional investment for men is so much more, but the pain [when their team loses] is also so much more,' Markovits said. 'When I was a kid, every English soccer games started Saturday at 3 p.m. Why? Because the factory gates closed at 2 p.m.... and that gave them time to get to the game. For it to become part of the hegemonic sports culture, you have to have a large group of working-class men.' However, these sports do create a mixing place for people of different social classes within society."
    • At The Daily Dot Aja Romano wrote about the Harry Potter Alliance's equality campaign. "The newest HPA project, named after one of the Harry Potter series' most beloved characters, is designed to raise a new generation of fandom activists. The Granger Leadership Academy, named after Hermione Granger, is a leadership conference taking place this weekend (October 17–19) at Auburn University. The goal is to empower people to turn their fandom into real-world activism, something that HPA founder Andrew Slack found transformative in his own life."

    Where research about fandom do you like to turn to? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom From End to End

    By Janita Burgess on Monday, 24 November 2014 - 5:44pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Fandom End to End

    • In a post for The Guardian, Erin Riley talks bout the ethics of sports fandom. "Ethical issues may be particularly acute in horse racing, but being a sport fan can regularly involve navigating an ethical minefield. For some fans, it’s the relationship between their particular code or club and gambling. For others, it’s the decisions made by the management of their team that don’t sit well with their values. It can be an appointment of a particular player, the sacking of a coach or the attempt to cover up a scandal. There are almost as many different responses to these issues as there are issues themselves. Fans are forced to figure out a way to respond that weighs the values they hold against the teams or sport they love."
    • On the flip side, at Hardwood Paroxysm, the discussion is about how fannishness changes over time. "It’s something for us to look forward too, a way to spend time with and connect to our friends and family, and generally just a way to remove ourselves from the real world for a certain number of hours a week. And part of why it’s so appealing, besides the reasons listed above, is that spectacle aspect of it. Here are these people that, through the genetic lottery (and hard work as well), are able to do things the vast majority of the human race could never dream of...Everyone wants to be tall and strong and in shape, because life is so much easier when you have those three things working for you."
    • The Baltimore Sun featured the century-plus appeal of Sherlock Holmes fandom. "Watson's Tin Box began in Ellicott City in 1989 and is considered a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars. Its named recalls the box where Watson collected his reports of Sherlock's investigations." One of its founders, "Churchill put together the original collection of artifact boxes, one for each story, that recall details of the story. Some items are antiques, period pieces that reflect Sherlock's times: period checks, blank telegram forms or hotel bills. Other things are 'genuine faux originals.' If he couldn't find a letter or a ticket, he'd create it."
    • Scholar Lori Morimoto looked at more recent developments involving fandom memes and official production. "And it’s this cover that I find all but impossible to discuss through frameworks of appropriation and clearly defined fan-producer identities and relations. A cursory glance at Mizutama’s Twitter images demonstrates the meme’s affective appeal to her, and in this sense its inclusion in the official book cover art seems as much sly in-joke as appropriation. Indeed, the decentralized context of the book’s production – produced by the longtime publisher of both Arthur Conan Doyle works in Japanese and the long-running Hayakawa Mystery magazine, written by Holmes aficionado Kitahara, and illustrated by present-day Sherlock fan Mizutama – begs the questions of where we locate ‘production’, and how we might conceptualize ‘monetization’ here."

    From fandom history to fandom passions, Fanlore is there for it all. Add your contributions!

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

  • OTW Fannews: Speaking Out for Fandom

    By Kiri Van Santen on Friday, 21 November 2014 - 5:27pm
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    Banner by Alice of a simple drawing of a human with a speech bubble containing a heart and a page of writing'

    • While quite a few articles in the media continue to portray fanwork creators as somehow abnormal, even while acknowledging their part within a larger remix culture of popular entertainment, others set fandom more positively in this cultural environment. This support has come from fans and entertainers alike.
    • The 'Not Another Teen Wolf Podcast' interviewed actress Eaddy Mays about fanfiction. "'First and foremost, the media portrayal of fanfiction infuriates me. It’s immature, among many things. It’s bullying. And it should be illegal, frankly." Mays proved herself an it-getter. “It’s when she’s talking about a book the Sterek Campaign sent her about the popular slash ship that you can see exactly how much she takes this issue to heart. She picks it up to make a point, flipping it over and noticing something written on the back for the first time...'It says, ‘Made with love.'' She has to pause, the emotion evident in her voice. 'Can you wrap it up better than that? I don’t think so. That’s it. It’s made with love. So why would you cast any dispersion on that?'”
    • Not all actors seem as in touch with slash fanworks. The Mary Sue focused on contrasting comments made by Benedict Cumberbatch and Orlando Jones in the same week, with Jones saying "'I get it—it’s another way to go but it’s no less valid than what we’re doing and it’s certainly interesting, so I really get a kick out of that. To read fan fiction and to see fan art and to watch other people’s artistry paint different colors on top of what we’re doing… how can you be mad at that? That’s just completely awesome!'"
    • At Bustle, Emma Lord wrote about getting over her embarrassment with fanfic and countering common arguments. "[W]hen did any form of writing get deemed 'lazy'? We’re actively creating something, whether or not it will be widely consumed or appreciated. We’re testing ourselves as writers all the time, trying to see if we can keep the original author’s characters true to themselves, or if we can find ways to surprise and intrigue readers who are into the same fandoms we are. That is the polar opposite of lazy!"

    Who have you seen standing up for fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Women's Experiences In Fandom

    By Janita Burgess on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 - 5:27pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Women's Experiences in Fandom

    • Comic Book Resources reported on a NYCC panel about female fandom in which Kelly Sue DeConnick said, "'I think that there's an important thing to remember too, that what you're seeing now, the influx of female readership and female creators is not a revolution, it's a restoration...Back in the '30s and '40s there was a girls' magazine that had a distribution of 300,000 copies per month and it was comics... [In the decades since] women were discouraged, dissuaded, made unwelcome, and now for a plethora of reasons, women are returning...There are enough comics for everyone...Say it with me now: equality is not a loss.'"
    • In another panel at New York Comic Con, on harassment and assault, the "crowd was greeted with some sobering statistics...25% of women at cons have reported being sexually harassed, 13% report receiving unwanted, inappropriate comments, and 8% of all attendees have been groped or outright assaulted or raped." This sheds light on the post in The Awl discussing rape charges in web celebrity fandoms, which speculated on the thinking of perpetrators. "Internet celebrity is just another opportunity, like management or teaching or parenthood, to assert power over victims in new and profound ways."
    • Blogger ladyloveandjustice, wrote about why the Mary Sue is a sexist concept. "[O]ne of the CONTROVERSIES listed on the TV Tropes page is if a male sue is even possible. That’s right, it’s impossible to have an idealizied male character. Men are already the ideal. In our culture, male tends to be the default. Women take on the distaff parts. 'Him' and 'mankind' are what humanity are, 'her' and 'womankind' are secondary. Yet this isn’t true for Mary Sue as a term. That name was created first."
    • An article in The Guardian cited fanfic on AO3 and Tumblr as places where teenage girls are the creators of sexual fiction. "'There is a lot of PWP (short for ‘porn without plot’ or ‘plot, what plot?’) out there,' 23-year-old Julia Schnorrer said. 'However, every sex scene in fanfic always has a narrative, since it is integrated in a realm of existing characters. Characters are well-rounded human beings who also have a sex life – not off stage but right in the middle of it. Most fanfic writers are women, and I think it derives from the male gaze that dominates visual pornography.' In fan fiction communities, and on sites such as Tumblr, all types of sexuality are represented – as well as the absence of a sex drive entirely."

    Do women have distinct experiences in fandom? If you think so, write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: What's a Fanwork?

    By Janita Burgess on Monday, 17 November 2014 - 5:46pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner What's a Fanwork

    • NPR's "Pop Culture Happy Hour" featured a look at fanfiction with "resident fan-fiction expert, Petra Mayer" who was asked for some recs. Mayer herself reviewed After, and a discussion ensued among listeners as to whether or not RPF qualified as a fanwork. (Partial transcript available).
    • The Daily Dot featured a video it qualified as a fanwork, a genderswap Ghostbusters. "A bunch of middle schoolers put together a shot-for-shot remake of the original Ghostbusters trailer and managed to make it even better. This time around, boys are playing the roles of Dana and Janine, while the girls have the Ghostbusters and Louis Tully covered, complete with self-aware visual effects and gags."
    • Meanwhile the play Badfic Love focused on fanfic writing groups and their personal dramas. "Director Nick Thornton says this production shows just how much talent WMU theatre graduates have. Thorton says it also encourages artists to keep creating. 'We have so much power and we can go out into the world and create our own reality...In a world full of things that are saying, you know: stay at home, don’t do anything, tear down other people’s work. We’re kind of saying, you know, what is your world? What are you going to do with it?'”
    • Jezebel's interview about mpreg with the male mod of an mpreg site focused more on the interest in the topic than its history in fanworks. "Some of our writers focus solely on the birth while others only gloss over it. Some people love it, some people hate it—much like mpreg itself. The positive and negative aspects of pregnancy are usually always included, and many of our artists are sure to include them in their pieces. Pregnancy is made up of so many emotions, symptoms, and milestones. These are part of the visceral experience pregnancy offers, and our members love talking/drawing/writing about it."

    What examples of fanworks are your favorites? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Social Media for Fans

    By Kiri Van Santen on Saturday, 15 November 2014 - 5:36pm
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    • The Wall Street Journal wrote about different fandom activities on different social media platforms. "[T]he CW is trying just about everything in social media. Interestingly, once its fans tell the network which platform they want to use to interact with their favorite shows, the network leans in hard. 'We attack all the social media,' said Rick Haskins, the CW’s executive vice president of marketing and digital programs. 'Very, very quickly, the consumer says ‘this is the social platform we like [this particular show] on.’ When we see upticks, that’s when we move in quickly.'"
    • At The Daily Dot, S.E. Smith pointed out that not all fandoms embrace social media. "It seems to run counterintuitive to the idea that tech determines the pulse of popular culture. The NCIS website is crude and clunky, the show's Twitter is an anemic promotions vehicle, and the Internet doesn’t exactly come alive with fans livetweeting NCIS on Tuesday nights. The Internet isn’t interested in it for all the reasons that it appeals to vast numbers of viewers, illustrating that what the Internet wants from television is not necessarily what the Nielsen viewer wants."
    • The Asahi Shimbun discussed the importance of the decision to go royalty-free with vocaloid Hatsune Miku. "Developer Crypton Future Media Inc. released guidelines that acknowledge the creation of fan fictions for noncommercial purposes. To encourage collaborations between users, the company also set up Piapro, a social networking website where fans can post their songs and illustrations. 'It's meant to make creative efforts widespread without making users feel intimidated,' said Hiroyuki Ito, Crypton Future Media president."
    • Wattpad continues to pursue amateur authors and to focus on readers. In a discussion with The International Business Times, the inline commenting feature is mentioned. "This adds another dimension to the social interactions on Wattpad. With Inline Commenting, readers can comment on specific words, sentences and paragraphs of a story...Not only does Inline Commenting provide valuable and in-context feedback to writers, but it creates a new social experience for readers. It’s almost like they're reading alongside their friends and they can exclaim, commiserate, and react as the story unfolds."

    How have you seen companies developing content and features for fans? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Fitting in Fanworks

    By Janita Burgess on Thursday, 13 November 2014 - 5:32pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Fitting in Fanworks

    • Blogger Marie Larsen wrote about her daughter's classroom success in writing fanfiction. "The story is a Transformers fan fiction piece, long enough and worthy enough of being an animated episode." But she was "concerned of its fan fiction style. Recently, I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, where the main character received a failing grade from a teacher that didn't find any value in fan fiction. I wasn't sure how my girl's teacher would receive this piece." However, her story had a happy ending. "To praise her in front of her peers, to give her the only A+ out of all those very bright, accelerated students was a self-esteem booster I could never give her."
    • Dorkly featured 15 People Who Turned Wheelchairs Into Amazing Cosplay, including the Black Knight, Superman, Wall-E and General Loveless.
    • Engadget was one among many that featured a remake of The Empire Strikes Back utilizing fan clips. More than 480 fan-made segments were picked from over 1,500 submissions to make The Empire Strikes Back Uncut. The result included a mash-up of styles including live action, animation, and stop-motion.
    • The Blacktown Sun wrote about the fanfiction generated in a creative writing program. "Year 8 student Ashleigh's 27-chapter novel, Collision Course, was an extension of a fan fiction she wrote based on YouTube gamers Mitch and Jerome, known for their Minecraft reviews. 'I took the real people and twisted them to make characters that would fit the universe of the story,' she said." Meanwhile "Year 10 student Kate's 11,000-word novel The Fantastic Not-so-Real World of Samantha Colt balanced macabre, dark elements inspired by the Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island with bookish fantasy inspired by the film Inkheart."

    What fanworks have you fit into your life? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom is Sharing

    By Janita Burgess on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 - 5:13pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Fandom is Sharing

    • At Business of Fashion, Madelin Newman wrote about the rise of fashion fandom. "Jennifer Post, a Black Milk fan from California, has attended every SharkieCon since its inception and said it was unlike anything she had ever seen. 'With what other fashion brand do you have fans of the brand getting together to share in the joy of it all?' she said. 'Sharing styling tips, taking selfies, meeting people in person that you have chatted with online for hours at a time.' The depth of brand advocacy for Black Milk can be felt in the way community members create their own art, songs and photography for the label. One Sharkie even creates her own designs that she sells in a Facebook group called ‘For the love of nylon’ using old Black Milk pieces."
    • At TwinCities.com, the focus was on the shared experience of book fandom. "It's difficult to say whether more teens are reading more fiction than they used to -- but they are talking about books in unprecedented ways. From teen book clubs to social media, attending book signings and filling theaters to see the latest movie based on a young-adult novel, reading has morphed from a nerdy, solitary pursuit into a cool, communal pastime...Authors have become celebrities and there is buzz around books -- much in the same way there was buzz a generation ago around popular TV shows or bands."
    • The Journal Star featured one couple whose shared fandom experience continued into marriage. "'My goal is to become a little old lady in a nursing home with her,' Susanne said. Jennifer, the woman on the couch next to her, has the same wish. They met online, a pair of fan fiction aficionados. 'We’re both super nerds,' says Jennifer, tall and dark-haired, a cat lover and a writer."
    • Apparently shared fandom is so much fun even unrelated corporations want to get in on the act, as noted by The Mary Sue in regards to The Olive Garden twitter account. "Kirsten McHugh and Amy Ratcliffe made this brilliant discovery, and alerted the world to the awesome fan running the Olive Garden’s Twitter account. Olive Garden is definitely into Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, and Doctor Who (and we can’t blame them). Here’ some of their best tweets."

    What things do you most want to share about your fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: IP From New to Old

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 9 November 2014 - 5:01pm
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    • A post at JD Supra focused on the way fair use is being seen in U.S. courts following a decision in Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. "More broadly, decisions like TVEyes suggest that courts are moving away from viewing fair use as a narrowly-drawn exception to copyright holders’ exclusive rights in their works, to the view that fair use promotes the creation of transformative works and thus serves one of the goals of copyright law itself. The TVEyes opinion, which essentially presumed transformativeness of the work at the outset of the fair use analysis, suggests that the trend toward this broader view of the role of fair use continues to gain traction in the federal courts."
    • OTW legal staffer Heidi Tandy reported on a lawsuit against LiveJournal (LJ) that was thrown out of court. The company Marvix claimed copyright infringement when its photos were posted on the LJ community OhNoTheyDidnt. But Marvix failed to first file a DMCA takedown request, moving immediately to a lawsuit. "LiveJournal has done other sites, platforms, communities, fandomers, news sites and forums a great service by seeing this lawsuit through. Mavrix has a pattern of using a threat that sites owe it hundreds of thousands in damages if one of their users - or even they - post a single photograph owned by one of Mavrix's paparazzi."
    • In a column on intellectual property in India, Zoya Nafis wrote about trademark and fanfiction. "Intellectual Property Rights are granted with an objective that they shall promote innovation and encourage creators to create more. They act as an incentive to create the work. They should never be used to impede innovation. Fan Fictions are creations by amateur creators who if given opportunity might create something great in future; therefore a lenient and balanced approach must be taken towards them."
    • The copyright education project CopyMe released a third episode, focusing on the history of how copyright came to be. "On the one hand, history shows us that copyright was designed for control more than anything else and that the state got away with this for over two centuries. On the other hand, businesses always feared new technology and lobbied for state protection, with arguments about authors’ safety. These two sides have always lurked in copyright’s underbelly and, over the course of three more centuries, managed to erode all the public good that copyright was primarily designed to promote." (Subtitles available).

    What cases involving copyright and fandom have you seen? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Looking Back

    By Kiri Van Santen on Monday, 27 October 2014 - 4:26pm
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    Actress Alyson Hannigan posing with her doubles from the Buffy episode Doppleganger

    • Romance writer Keira Andrews discussed how attitudes toward fandom and fan fiction have changed over the years. "Fandom was Fight Club, and we didn’t discuss it with showrunners or actors... Sometimes I really miss the days of having our own secret world, but that horse is out of the barn and galloping out of sight... I honestly think that you have to be a fan to understand fandom. Many people know about fandom now, but they’re still Muggles, if you will. Or maybe Squibs."
    • Celebuzz ranked pop music fan base names. "In the world of pop fandom, it is de rigueur to name the fan base to which you belong (or to have your chosen idol name it for you.) Over the last several years, we have seen groups with nicknames like Little Monsters, Beliebers, and Arianators grow into power and change the way we talk about musicians and their fans."
    • On PasteTV, Amy Glynn talked about how binge-watching Buffy got her through her divorce. "All I wanted was a timeout from my own reality; a break. I wasn’t expecting a breakthrough. But a Joss-curated trip back to growing up showed me some interesting stuff about adulthood. It was also the first step back to my 'real' life, or whatever was going to be real from here on out. The first time around, Buffy made me laugh. This time, it made me see."
    • Keidra Chaney of The Learned Fangirl reviewed rock critic Gina Arnold's book about the 1993 album, Exile in Guyville. "[I]t’s about the culture and mindset of the early 90′s indie rock scene in Chicago and beyond, the hyper-masculine, hyper-obsessive club dubbed 'Guyville' by Phair and others at the time. It’s also about the changes in technology and culture that have changed what it means to be a part of the indie rock scene as a performer or a fan in the past 20 years."

    What changes have you seen in your fandom? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

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