Strategic Planning, Spotlight
Greetings from the Strategic Planning committee!
The Strategic Planning committee is beginning to move into a new and exciting phase of our process. As we gear up to attend the Board retreat in early October, we are concentrating on finishing off our information-gathering process so that we can bring as much data to the Board as possible. To that end, we have been busily finishing up our interviews and surveys of the remaining OTW committees and workgroups. We’re also taking the month of September to touch base with committees we surveyed more than six months ago. Being prepared for the Board retreat is our main priority at the moment, but we are also continuing to work on reports and hope to have fresh reports for OTW supporters to read soon after the retreat!
Books, Fannish Endings, Gender and Sexuality, Television, News of Note
NPR profiled the legacy of Elvis fan, Paul MacLeod. His tribute to Elvis's home, dubbed Graceland 2, has become his town's biggest visitor draw. "In 1990, he opened his house to visitors to show off his enormous hoard of Elvis memorabilia. But it soon became clear that the real attraction was MacLeod. YouTube videos give an idea why: MacLeod guided visitors through his house like a deranged carnival barker. He never stopped talking...MacLeod's devotion to 'the king' drove away his second wife and alienated his son. But it also transformed him from mere fan into what Elvis scholar Vernon Chadwick calls an outsider artist."
Comics, Commercialization of Fans, Fanfiction, Intellectual Property, OTW Sightings, News of Note
Jennifer Parsons wrote at Tech Dirt about fanfic written by one of the U.S. founding fathers. "Why fanfic? What made Madison decide to use existing characters to make his point rather than inventing his own characters like John Arbuthnot did for his own political allegory?...The easiest way to tackle these questions is to tell you an allegorical story. There once was a comic artist, 'Jim M.,' who wanted to comment upon the important issue of CIA torture. To make his point, he drew a three panel comic strip. In the first panel, Captain America is taking down a fanatical Nazi commander who tortured prisoners of war for the good of the Fatherland...In the second panel, Jim M. draws Captain America standing next to President Obama, who is casually observing that although the CIA did 'torture some folks,' the lapse can be excused because the torturers were patriots who loved their country. In the third panel we see Captain America's shadowed face as he walks away from a burning American flag."
Journal Committee, Transformative Works and Cultures, Announcement
TWC has released No. 17, a general (unthemed) issue comprising seven full-length critical essays, six Symposium essays, two interviews, and three book reviews. The works loosely gather into themes of form and content—the title of Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson's editorial. The issue showcases a variety of investigations into a myriad of platforms. The issue features several essays that switch the focus from content to form and illustrate the importance of a range of different fan engagements. Fan fiction, fan films, fannish infrastructure, fan subs, and fan archives are all addressed in this issue.
Several peer-reviewed essays look at the way fan fiction engages with its source texts as well as its surrounding fannish cultures.
Gender and Sexuality, Movies, Public and Private Identities, Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality, Sports, News of Note
Lydia Laurenson wrote for The Atlantic about online anonymity, spurred by the change in Google+'s policy on real names. "I was finding myself on the Internet, but I was also learning skills that would be useful both as a professional and a human offline. My ability to be an effective creator was hugely shaped by writing popular fan fiction and running side-project businesses in virtual worlds. Researchers have also found pseudonymous games to be great environments for training leadership skills...Nowadays, we’re often told that The Future lies in entrepreneurship. I believe that elastic selfhood is crucial for people’s personal development, but it’s important for broader innovation, too. We need space to experiment and risk-tolerant environments where people can learn."
Cosplay, Fan Conventions, Gender and Sexuality, News of Note
A feature on LonCon in The Guardian discussed various fanworks including filk and cosplay. "While most attendees save dressing up until Saturday night's masquerade, Jonathan Hall, 21, who studies physics at Oxford, spent Friday of the convention fully clad in a homemade Thor costume. For him, while comics breaking out in the mainstream was 'only a good thing,' he said the big comic book and fantasy films made by Hollywood had a lot of catching up to do in terms of representing minority groups in the way the fiction and fan fiction did. 'I'm quite into queer fandom,' Hall added. 'I watched Doctor Who and Torchwood when it came back on television and being 14 at the time and starting to realise I was bisexual, having Captain Jack as a figure on television who become a role model in many ways was a huge help to me. So I think representation is really important and in many ways these big budget movies don't do it as well as books have been doing for a while.'"
We’re very excited to announce the beginning of elections season and would like to issue you a warm welcome! The members of the OTW are entrusted with electing 3 new Board members yearly. In order to become a member, you can simply donate $10 or more to the OTW. This post will provide you with a basic overview of what the elections process will look like this year.
Fanfiction, Fannish Practices, Television, News of Note
At Crushable Jill O’Rourke discussed how much entertainment is fanfic. "Fanfiction is also present on TV. I’ll give you one flawless example: the entire Once Upon a Time series. It’s practically a show about fanfiction, as it deals with literal alternate universes, multiple versions of characters within the same story, original characters, and crossovers between countless fairy tales, shipping included (and I mean that in the 'They should kiss' way, not in the 'buying something on Amazon' way). People have then gone a step further and written fanfiction around Once Upon a Time. Fanfic-ception!"
Activism, Legal Advocacy, Event
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The OTW supports a number of issues surrounding users' digital rights as part of our commitment to the right of fans to create and share fanworks. While our efforts focus primarily on copyright law, the ability to access works can be affected by a variety of different laws and regulations by governments around the world.
Given the history of the Internet’s development, decisions in the United States tend to have a broad impact on access even for non-U.S. residents. Any law affecting internet access may also have an impact on works hosted by AO3, information available on Fanlore, and our day-to-day work of preserving fan works and supporting fan culture. That is why the OTW feels that the current battle to preserve net neutrality is an important one for both our organization and individual fans to be involved in.
Tomorrow, September 10th, a number of organizations and online sites will be showing their support for net neutrality by displaying a banner with a symbolic "loading" image in order to promote a call to action. Participating organizations are asking their users in the U.S. to send comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House, saying that they don't support the effort by cable and telecom companies to treat internet content differently depending on where it's coming from or going to.
AO3 Documentation, Volunteers & Recruiting, Volunteering
We would like to thank everyone who responded to our previous call for Translation Volunteers and Elections Voting Process Architect. Today, we're excited to announce the opening of applications for:
- AO3 Documentation Volunteer - closing 15 September 2014 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.