Fannish Practices

  • OTW Fannews: Corporate assembly fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 7:19pm
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    • Frontline featured a number of fandoms in its documentary Generation Like. "From the agency that’s leveraging the Twitter followers of celebrities like Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) to make lucrative product endorsement deals, to the 'grassroots' social media campaign behind the Hollywood blockbuster The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, "Generation Like" explores how companies are increasingly enlisting kids as willing foot soldiers in their marketing machines."
    • A "Social Media Week" event featured a panel on “Fueling Social Fandom”. "'You think about fandom not as a one night stand everytime your show is on…it’s a long time relationship,' Fishman said, adding the most important thing for TV executives to do mirrors a relationship: listening."
    • Sugarscape is one of many sites featuring a fanfiction contest but this one is done piecemeal. "The idea is that every day when the story is updates, you'll have the chance to add the next paragraph all over again and by Sunday 23rd February, we'll have the full fan fiction. So even if yours doesn't get picked the first day, keep entering every time the story updates and you could see your writing up on the site!"
    • Kotaku used votes instead to create a 'Fan Built Bot' for Transformers. "Windblade is a rare female Transformer...Some people are vexxed by the idea of female Transformers...we do get an episode where most of the old-timey female robots are destroyed for being female, which doesn't seem nice. In the IDW Comics continuity, Arcee is the result of a failed experiment to introduce gender to Transformers. That doesn't seem nice either."
    • While some fan activities in the news seem more about recreation or transforming the format of a work, the question for many these days may be whether they're part of a corporate marketing effort and to what end.

    What ways of creating fandoms or fanworks have you come across? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • Chinese copyright law and its relation to fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 - 7:28pm
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    Given the international scope of fandoms, it is often important to understand how copyright law and its relation to fan labor varies from country to country. Our Communications staffer, John Bayard discussed this topic with Michael Mao, an Intellectual Property attorney at Allbright Law offices in Shanghai. In this post they cover the basics of Chinese copyright law and how it differs from the US, as well as a look at fandom activity in the country.


    Copyright protection in China

    The Copyright Law (1990, revised 2001 and 2010) and The Provisions on Implementing International Copyright Treaties and The Berne convention are the basic copyright laws of the People’s Republic of China. Chinese copyright law provides for full copyright protection for works of literature, art, natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and technology, among other fields, created in any of the following forms: written works, oral works, musical works, dramatic works, choreographic works, and acrobatic works; works of the fine arts and architectural works; photographic works; cinematographic works; engineering design drawings, product design drawings, maps, sketches, and other pictorial and graphic works; computer software; and other works as provided by relevant laws and administrative regulations.

    In most cases the copyright term is the life of the author plus 50 years, but for cinematographic and photographic works and works created by a company or organization the term is 50 years after first publication. Protected rights now include the exclusive right to copy, publish, rent, perform and alter a given work. Most of these rights can be exercised by others with permission. However as with U.S. copyright law, no permission or remuneration is required for certain types of uses, including private use for study, research, or amusement; quoting or publishing the work by the media for general circulation; or translating or copying the work in limited quantities for use in teaching or government.

    Unlike the U.S., China is consistent with the International Berne Convention by recognizing what are known as "moral rights" in addition to economic rights. Moral rights are the right of authorship, preventing alteration to the original work, and upholding the integrity of the full original work. Unlike economic rights, moral rights do not expire and instead last forever.

    The addition of moral rights can limit fans in creating derivative works since the author of the original work can object to any distortion or modification of the work. For example, Article 20 of China's copyright law provides unlimited term of protection of the rights of the authorship, alteration, and integrity of the author. These rights are retroactive and apply to all copyright works made before the passing of the current law.

    In this case if a fan wants to write a fan fiction which alters character traits or story elements of the original, this would not be allowed without the author's express support since any changes or additions to a story or character is an alteration from the original. Since virtually all fan labor is an alteration from the original, this in fact prohibits any type of fan labor since it could hurt the integrity of the author. Further, the fact that the protection is forever would mean that even if the original work is in the public domain, no alterations could be made without express support from the original creator. China and other countries that have similar moral rights laws can therefore, in application of such laws, prohibit virtually all forms of fan labor since it would potentially create an alteration or hurt the integrity of the work.

    While the notion of a transformative work exists in China, the notion of a transformative work under the legal doctrine of fair use does not apply. While many countries recognize elements of fair use, only the United States and Israel fully recognize the concept of fair use. Other regimes, such as the U.K. and Canada, recognize similar, but more limited, rights of "fair dealing." In China, however, outside of educational uses, fair use concepts are fairly limited.

    Fandom activity in China

    As with other elements of Intellectual Property, copyright piracy is a major concern in China so even though the notion of fair use is limited under Chinese law, authors are often unable to stop people from copying and/or creating derivative works from their creations.

    Fanfiction known as 同人小说 (tongren xiaoshuo), is found in virtually every fandom and China is no exception. In the last decade or so, there has been a rapid increase in China of entertainment including film, music, but above all television. Greater access to foreign entertainment has in many ways spurred on the growth of both fandom and fanfiction writing in China.

    Larger fandoms and more fanfiction have resulted in several websites and forums devoted solely to Asian fandoms. While there are some found on Chinese sites such as ReadNovel, Chinese censorship laws have forced many such sites to be based in other countries. One such site found in the US is Asian Fan Fiction, which offers thousands of stories. Internet censorship laws discourage many sites that could be considered "provocative" and this often includes many fan fiction sites. This is one major reason why many Chinese oriented fan sites such as Asian Fan Fiction, are actually based in the US or in other countries. Many are written in multiple languages and cover fandoms from multiple countries including mainland China, Korea, Japan and Singapore. Numerous Chinese dramas such as New Shanghai Bund are often the inspiration for these works.

    With the popularity for these shows, and China's history of copyright violations and infringement of western media, there has been increased pressure on content owners to air shows in China, before they are shown in their home countries.

    While it is still too early to determine what sort of impact growing fandom and fanfiction will have on Chinese law and, in particular, copyright law, it is important to note that fanfiction is allowing many Chinese to express themselves. Internet Censorship is a major concern in China today and fanfiction has allowed many Chinese to express views and ideas which they might not be able to do in a more formal setting. While some types of fanfiction, namely slashfics, are generally not allowed, many writers get around such restrictions by inserting random Chinese characters into their works to confuse search filters.

    Greater copyright protection in China may prove to be a double edged sword. While foreign copyright holders would welcome increased protection for their output, such copyright protection could be used to limit the sites that support fandom and fan labor.

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

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

  • OTW Fannews: Marketing to women

    By Claudia Rebaza on Monday, 3 March 2014 - 1:22am
    Message type:

    Banner by Bremo of a smiling Frank Sinatra passing a group of excited fangirls

    • There have been discussions in the media over past months that suggest that a significant reason for the erasure of women in fandom is that companies have no interest in marketing to them. This was made explicit in an article on io9 which discussed the fear of TV network executives that their cartoons had too many female fans.
    • Even targeting stereotypical female interests seems difficult for marketers to do, leaving women's fashion options lacking for years. Perhaps that's why this feature on a history of fangirl fashion in Elle seems to be more a collection of random female fan photos than an exploration of the creative fashion statements seen at fan gatherings.
    • Part of the problem may be the general disapproval expressed when women come up with their own ways of enjoying fandom. Even when commercial entities use many of the same ideas it's somehow different when fans do these things for themselves. This attitude may be a factor in why even some fannish people resist becoming fans.
    • The Shipping News focused on what such disapproval said about wider society. "[I]t’s not the fans that make it all about sex, it’s everyone else...we just like to see people fall in love. Sure, sex is a part of that – a super fun part that we enjoy immensely – but anyone that has read over 80,000 words to get to a kiss, knows that porn is just a side effect...they have got to stop assuming that slash fandom is synonymous with sexual deviancy. Slash fandom encompasses A LOT of different things, so the fact that they are obsessed with the part that is porn says more about them than it does about us."

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

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

  • 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).

  • OTW Fannews: Fan words and papers

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 - 7:24pm
    Message type:

    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of an open book with the OTW logo and the post title in two word bubbles

    • Texas A&M's libraries wrote about the closing of a Game of Thrones exhibit while one on filk replaced it. "The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids— which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks." They are also looking for donations of "fanworks and filk-related materials."
    • The University of California Riverside posted about 10 Notable Fanzines in the Eaton Collection. "You could say the fanzine is the internet’s precursor. These amateur publications began in the 1930s as a way for science fiction fans – who were geographically spread out–to share their ideas with one another. Created with mimeograph machines during people’s private time, fanzines included letter columns, author interviews and book reviews...The Eaton Collection is home to nearly 100,000 fanzines."
    • The Macquarie Dictionary Online selected a word of the year but fanfic didn't make it to the final round. It was, however, the finalist in the Arts category.
    • The Guardian looked at words as well, specifically those found in Buzzfeed's style guide. Listing reasons to love the guide, the first choice was that "[i]t's got entries that no other style guide has. 'Fangirl', 'batshit', 'bitchface' – one word or two? You aren't going to find the answers in the Telegraph Style Book."

    What fan words do you think need a guide? Write some definitions on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • Announcing International Fanworks Day

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 - 8:20pm
    Message type:

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

    Now that our milestone weekend has ended, we're thinking of plans for 2015. Specifically, next February 15th, we'd like to hold an International Fanworks Day.

    Why do we need a special day?

    Because fanworks are awesome! That's why fans, the AO3, and many other archives around the web have ended up with hard drives full of fanworks and thousands to millions of users. Lots of people want to create them and even more want to access and save them. And like other communities that celebrate their special traditions, a specific date for celebrating fanworks speaks to their importance in our lives.

    Because fanworks are international

    Every part of the world creates fanworks, both about their own stories and those which have crossed national and language borders. Fanworks belong to everyone, and a fanworks day would be a great time to have them shared with someone new.

    Because fanworks don't all look the same

    Text, audio, multimedia, physical or digital, fanworks exist in all sorts of formats. Whatever time period they were created in, all of them should be discovered by someone who will love them.

    Because someone is looking for them

    Maybe someone's new to a fandom and wants to know where the goodies are. Maybe someone's never seen a fanwork before and wants to learn more about them. Maybe someone's been away from fandom for a while and wants to know where to go to get caught up. International Fanworks Day is a great opportunity to rec your favorite works to someone new, and to celebrate the reccers and rec communities for the work they do year-round.

    Because fanworks are valuable and ought to be preserved

    A sad moment for any fan is trying to access a fanwork they've enjoyed only to discover it's suffered a takedown, has gone offline, or has otherwise become unavailable. The OTW wants to put the issue of fanwork preservation out into public discussion, whether it's to remedy the legal problems fans may suffer when they try to share their work, or by creating safe spaces where fanworks can be housed when they're at-risk.

    So how do we celebrate it?

    Any way you want. Fans are the most creative people around and everyone enjoys fanworks for their own reasons. For example:

  • Fan 1 may make it a day of activism, reaching out to legislators or taking part in an organization's campaign for the public's right to remix
  • Fan 2 may make it a day of renewal, dusting off a WIP that was put aside when things got busy
  • Fan 3 may make it a day of reflection, writing meta about what fanworks mean to them
  • Fan 4 may make it a day of sharing, posting recs to their favorite works for others
  • Fan 5 may make it a day of traditions, organizing a Fanworks Day challenge
  • So tell us how you'll plan to celebrate!

  • OTW Fannews: Passing judgments

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 30 January 2014 - 9:13pm
    Message type:

    Banner by caitie of Princess Tiana looking in shock at a frog

    • The visibility of fandom fights is a definite downside of social media. Stylecaster wrote about attacks on singer Lorde and dubbed it "extreme Internet fandom". "'The music and fashion industries nurture teens’ obsessions with one icon after another,' said Epstein—a professor of psychology at the University of the South Pacific...'No matter how competent teens are, we trap them with their peers 24/7 and don’t let them enter the adult world in any meaningful way. Many get frustrated or depressed or angry as a result, and they exercise power in any way they can. In recent years, social media has become a major power outlet for teens, even though it actually gets them nothing except a little attention. So when Lorde or anyone else for that matter trips up, or at least appears to trip up, they pounce in large numbers. It’s a pathetic way to demonstrate power.'"
    • Writer Ben Koo discusses how the toxicity of regional tribalism in college football sets fans against one another. "The power brokers of college football think they are onto something in nurturing a rising tide of friction, envy, and hate in the college football fan eco-system. Hate has long been an underrated tool for anyone looking to make people watch, care, and pick a side in sports."
    • At Kernel, writer Jack Flanagan manages to indict Japanese culture and fans alike. "[W]hen the internet and Japanese culture collide, these people have that haven to explore worlds far away from the suppressed ones they inhabit, for whatever reason. So, yes: it’s a shame for some that Japanese culture comes down to niknaks and samurai. But the strange and somewhat superficial interest in Japanese culture online is rooted in the need for solace."
    • The Atlantic hosted a spoilery article about the plot of Frozen. "Leslie Fielder...argued that the American novel is incapable of dealing with sex, and instead focuses on violence and death in a prolonged state of boyish immaturity. Yet he could have been writing about the state of American films today where violence gets more audience-friendly ratings than sex from the MPAA in a culture dominated by superhero franchises that are primarily aimed at boys...'We champion the culture of teenage boys every day—giving them all the comic book heroes, sports stars and porn any human could conceivably consume. Can’t we give teenage girls one thing without demonizing them?'”

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