Academia, Activism, Fanart, Fandoms, Gender and Sexuality, Movies, News of Note
USC News put a spotlight on a seminar connecting scifi fandom to the gay rights movement. "Gender Studies 410 will ask students to conduct original research using materials from ONE Archives at USC Libraries, the largest LGBT archive in the world." Joseph Hawkins, who teaches the class and directs the archive, discussed how writers and publishers used experiences in one area to develop activism in others. "The stories and commentary in these journals served as incubators for ideas that would lead to political organizing decades later. Sci-fi allowed readers to safely engage with thoughts about alien races with mixed genders or finding love despite their differences."
Intellectual Property, Legal Committee, Announcement
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The Organization for Transformative Works supports laws that protect fair use and fair dealing—the term used by many countries—around the world. Right now, South Africa is working on reforming and updating its copyright law, and has proposed adding fair use to replace narrow, outdated exceptions in its copyright law. Recognizing the importance of copyright reform around the world, the OTW filed a comment supporting South Africa's adoption of a fair use standard and arguing against adopting rules that would prevent fan video makers from circumventing copy protections that copyright owners try to use to prevent fair use.
Books, Fanfiction, Gaming, Television, News of Note
At Destructoid, Laura Kate Dale discussed how the fandom's version of Sonic the Hedgehog prevailed over various canon changes. "[A]n element of consistency to the image of Sonic did remain among the core gaming audience, fueled largely by the actions of a very small section of the fan community. Sonic remained his consistent edgy aspiration figure online for years in very devoted parts of the Internet, oft mocked by those in the wider gaming scene who came across them. DeviantArt original Sonic characters whose names alluded to preteen angst and rebellion, very visible fan-fiction communities and heavy romanticizing of anthropomorphic characters remained a consistent aspect of the mascot's visible face, only becoming more visible with the increased prevalence of the Internet."
Fanfiction, Fannish Communities, Fannish Histories, Fannish Practices, News of Note
Media coverage of fandom has increased enormously but still has a long way to go in terms of understanding fan activities. TechTimes recently examined Twitter activity around the HBO show Looking and erected a dichotomy between parody Twitter accounts and fanfic. "It might seem far-fetched to think of Twitter parody as a form of fanfiction, but there is one link that connects the two genres in a dogmatic yet infallible way: the necessity of a reference point."
Abuse Committee, Communications Committee, Volunteers & Recruiting, Volunteering
The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting! This week we are looking for Abuse Committee Staff, Communications Chair Track Staff, Systems Staff and Volunteers & Recruiting Staff.
We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Journal Staff, Journal Volunteers & Translation Volunteers. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:
- Abuse Committee Staff - closing 28 September UTC
- Communications Chair Track Staff - closing 28 September UTC
- Volunteers & Recruiting Staff - closing 28 September UTC
We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don't see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.
All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist volunteers -(at)- transformativeworks -(dot)- org in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.
If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.
Academia, Fandoms, Fannish Practices, Transformative Works and Cultures, Event
If you missed any of our posts celebrating the release of Transformative Works and Cultures' 20th issue, check out our Symposium feature and our Q&A with contributors to the journal. Below is the transcript of the panel chat held on September 19th which concludes our week's celebration. We would like to thank all the panelists as well as our Q&A participants for helping us make this event possible. Thank you also to the production team at TWC who have made each of those 20 issues possible, and made such an excellent contribution to the OTW's overall mission.
The transcript has been edited for arrivals and departures in the room and greetings from the audience.
This week the Organization for Transformative Works is celebrating the 20th issue of its academic journal, Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC). Today we will be chatting with four contributors to TWC.
I’m your moderator, Claudia, and I’m a staffer with the OTW’s Communications committee. Our panelists today are:
DMCA, Intellectual Property, Legal Advocacy, Legal Committee, Takedowns, YouTube, Announcement
Way back in 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a 29-second video on YouTube of her 18-month-old son dancing in her kitchen. Playing in the background was Prince's song "Let's Go Crazy." Little did Lenz know that eight years later, she'd be responsible for an important development in copyright fair use law.
Universal, which owns the copyright to the Prince song, demanded that the video be removed from YouTube by issuing a "takedown notice" under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But the law is clear: in order to issue a takedown notice for an allegedly infringing use, the copyright holder must swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the use is not "authorized by law," and Lenz's transformative, non-commercial video appeared to be a clear-cut example of fair use--in other words, it was authorized by the law. With help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Lenz fought back against Universal's overreaching demand.
Academia, Journal Committee, Transformative Works and Cultures, Spotlight
This month we're celebrating Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), the OTW's international peer-reviewed academic online journal focused on media studies which has published its 20th issue . Don't forget to join us on September 19th for our live chat.
Today we're taking a deeper look at TWC's history. Paul Booth and Lucy Bennett are TWC authors, frequently peer review for the journal, and have guest edited an issue together; Paul is also a TWC editorial board member. Amanda Odom is an author who has written two Symposium articles. All three were kind enough to answer some questions about their experiences with the journal and the field of fan studies.
OTW Board, Announcement
The OTW Board of Directors regrets to announce that Nikisha Sanders has resigned from position as Treasurer of the OTW. We are immensely grateful for the dedication Sanders brought to her years of work for the OTW as Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Directors from 2011-14, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors!
Academia, Books, Call for Papers, Comics, Fan Conventions, Fanfiction, Movies, Music, Studies, Transformative Works and Cultures, Announcement
Transformative Works and Cultures has released their 20th issue. This milestone issue showcases the interdisciplinary nature of the field of fan studies and, as editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson write: "offers us a moment to reflect on where we've come and where we want to go."