Music

  • OTW Fannews: Asking and Getting

    Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 30 July 2015 - 4:06pm
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    Banner by Ania of tiny stormtroopers putting out candles on a cake

    • The Daily Dot discussed Funimation's fanart stance with OTW Legal staffer Rebecca Tushnet. "'[I]t’s notable that there’s no mention of fair use...Fan art can be non-infringing fair use; elements of whether it is fair use include how transformative it is (how much new meaning and message it adds); whether it’s commercial or not; and whether it displaces a market for 'official' goods.' So it doesn't matter that they've declared they won't be going after commercially sold fanart? Not necessarily, according to Tushnet: 'It somewhat depends on what they actually do, but they are clearly claiming that fan art is in fact infringing copyright, even if they indicate they usually tolerate it. So I wouldn’t feel very reassured by this statement.'"
    • Perhaps JK Rowling's embrace of her fandom was key in a Fox Sports story about a fan whose fannishness influenced the University of Kentucky 2015 yearbook. "Towles has said that he's read each book in the series at least seven times and can 'quote the whole thing,' referring to the movies. And to take his fandom a step further, he annually celebrates Harry Potter's mythical birthday on July 31." The article concluded, "Harry Potter fan or not, you've got to appreciate the passion that led to...a yearbook titled 'Patrick Towles and the Order of Kentucky Football.'"
    • The Debrief reported on One Direction's new charity initiative, Action 1D. "Action1D is part of a brilliant wider campaign called Action/2015 which is all about the fact 2015 is the year loads of global issues begin to get resolved...What do Directioners need to do to save the world? Create pictures, videos, whatever, telling the boys what they want the future of the world to look like. Harry, Niall, Liam and Louis will then help put pressure on our leaders."
    • NPR featured a story on filmmaker Jennifer Nelson who is suing Warner/Chappell Music to make the song 'Happy Birthday' available for everyone. "If Nelson and her lawyers win, the song will be in the public domain. 'I think it's going to set a precedent for this song and other songs that may be claimed to be under copyright, which aren't," says [Nelson's lawyer]. As for Nelson, she jokes that if her lawsuit succeeds, 'People will be so sick of the 'Happy Birthday to You' song, because everybody will get to use it, finally.'"

    What fan charity efforts do you know about? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Altering Reality

    Janita Burgess on Sunday, 19 July 2015 - 5:32pm
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    OTWFannews Banner Altering Reality

    • Geek and Sundry suggested that Gaming Led Us All to Genderbending. "There’s a great deal of imagination and creativity behind genderbending in fandom, fan art, and cosplay, and it can help us identify more strongly with those characters we love. But where does it really come from? Where did we even get the idea to imagine our favorite fandoms with this random character change? While the interest in genderbending can come from a lot of different places, I think gaming had a huge part of making it more widely understood."
    • Eventbrite's latest fandom study examined con attendance and cosplay. "Con-goers are split almost half and half by gender, with males representing 48.7% of fans, and women making up 48.9%. Taking a closer look at these nearly-equal slices of the population pie, we see that single fans are divided by gender almost evenly as well: 50% of singles are male, and 47% are female. But while male singles head to cons alone (29%), the single ladies travel in groups (18%), and go for the cosplay."
    • Malaysian Digest reported that 1 of every 6 K-pop fans is male, but they're often quiet about it. "'I was showing to a friend a music video of Super Junior’s ‘Sorry Sorry’. I was expecting comments like 'wow cool dance moves' or 'it’s catchy', but NO, instead he said, 'why do you listen to this. It’s not like you understand a single thing that they say. Plus they look kinda gay. Are you gay?'...What I don’t understand is why does liking another music genre has got to do with sexual orientation?"
    • Attack of the Fanboy discussed the battling petitions related to the development of Metroid Prime: Federation Force and linked to a video highlighting the fan rage being expressed. "In just under four minutes, Mega64 skewers the mentality behind the Federation Force petition by taking it to an extreme that incorporates elements of Anonymous threat videos with a terrorist-lite militia. It looks like a hard sell on paper, but the over the top nature of every passing second works well on video."
  • OTW Fannews: About and By

    Kirsten Korona on Friday, 17 July 2015 - 4:32pm
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    Describe the image in this space for the visually impaired

    • Singer, producer, and Portlandia star, Carrie Brownstein sent out an Instagram message on how thrilling it was to meet B52's singer Cindy Wilson and the importance of fandom. "To this day I still am a fan, of many, many things. Fandom keeps me hopeful and engaged, a participant. And I was a fan last night in front of Cindy, rattling off a whole bunch of incoherent, half-strung together thoughts about her songs, her voice, her band, her brother. And it felt, well, awesome. I guess I'm sharing this because I'm on tour right now and I meet fans every night. Sweet and eager faces, sometimes desperate, sometimes nervous. Please know I'm grateful for all of it. And I understand it. I'm one of you."
    • A review of The Great Detective in The Boston Globe cited the fandom section as the most interesting part. The author met with many fans at different events. "At one of these (a dinner held by the Baker Street Babes), he meets a doctoral candidate in adaptation studies whose work focuses on the great detective. 'Sherlock Holmes is like the North Star of the culture,' she says, neatly summing up Dundas’s own implied thesis. 'Everything else swirls around and changes, but he is always there.'"
    • Author C.S. Pacat began her original novels for the Captive Prince Trilogy on LiveJournal before their commercial publication. In a leadup to the release of the final novel, she celebrated individual fan creators and their fanworks. After recognizing the works of several fan artists she added, "I (tragically) can't read Captive Prince fanfiction in case I get influenced, but I'm always so happy to know that people are writing it. I chose these three writers because they have written the three most popular works on Archive.org - so I know that they are writers that you all love."
    • A Newsarama article looked into how fans connect to characters and their developmental arcs. "Krasniewicz said the sense of ownership that comic fans feel toward their favorite characters is not unique to them. In fact, it's part of being human. 'This ownership or commitment to the universe that the fandom is built around is what humans do...We create these kinds of ties to real or fictional world's because that is how we make sense of the world. These commitments help us categorize and judge everything around us. It is amazing how much fictional universes can influence the everyday world.'"

    What fanworks do you think should be remembered? What character interpretations are your favorites? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic

    Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 9 July 2015 - 3:30pm
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    Banner by Kat of multiple typewriters with the sheet in one reading 'OTW Fannews: Similar to Fanfic'

    • An article in The Telegraph discussed how fan speculation in sports fandom is a form of fanfic. "At the heart of fan fiction’s appeal is a sort of wish fulfilment: a subtle remaking of the world in which one’s wildest fantasies can gush uncontrollably to the surface. And while a good deal of fan fiction is sexual in nature, much of it is just quite sweet: charming teenage reveries that begin with a single pleasant idea – 'wouldn’t it be nice if'...In a fortnight's time we see the opening of the transfer window, and yet despite the two being ostensibly unrelated, it strikes me that there are certain similarities between the millions of stories that teenage girls tell each other on Tumblr, and the millions of stories that football will tell itself over the next three months. For the reopening of the summer window marks the ceremonial point at which football subtly shifts in character: from a real game played on the pitch, to a fantasy enacted largely in the imagination."
    • Salon discussed the focus on women in the new season of Halt and Catch Fire. "This season...has an exuberance the first season struggled to reach, and it’s because of a storytelling device that has more popularity in fan fiction archives than Hollywood studios: the gender swap. It’s a thought experiment that pops up in fervent fandoms, ones that are also eagerly reimagining beloved characters in different settings or with new adventures...As with so many elements of fandom, it’s casually subversive—a re-creation that grapples with the social construction of gender and imagines its infinite fluidity. And as with so many elements of fandom, it is a long-standing tradition—one that Shakespeare made regular use of in his plays, which itself was a commentary on the fact that all the female roles were played by men."
    • A guest post in The Japan News explained cover dancing which "is a fun activity in which teams of dancers emulate the moves of Japanese or South Korean idols as they dance to the original music. Spectators cheer for them as if they were the real deal. While cover dancing is gaining more and more fans in Japan, I’ve often met fans in Thailand, Hong Kong and nearby areas, as well as in the United States and Latin America. I think cover dancing is similar to fan fiction for anime and manga in dojin culture, in which fans create their own works using popular manga and anime characters."
    • An article at The Guardian discussed academic analyses of fan activities on Frozen. "Fan responses have boomed on the internet and given rise to myriad readings. In fact, academia now lags behind fans when it comes to subjecting popular culture to intense analysis. The online debate about, say, Mad Men could sustain a conference for weeks. 'Fan studies talks about how carefully and critically audiences discuss texts...The internet has made fan responses so much more mainstream and accessible.' In the past, she says, you would need to do focus groups to yield similar information. 'I think the way in which it’s been really popular with traditionally marginalised communities is specific to Elsa’s characterisation...It can resonate with people who have been ostracised or stigmatised.'”

    What things have you seen compared to fanfiction? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages!

  • OTW Fannews: At All Different Angles

    Sarah Remy on Thursday, 28 May 2015 - 4:27pm
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    Fannews banner green chalkboard with pencil and white arrows plus OTW Fannews in red letters

    • A webinar presentation on Open Learning in Fan Fiction Communities was held at the Connected Learning site. Presented by several scholars from The University of Washington Information School, it discussed various aspects of fanfic communities, including a term they developed called 'distributed affect' which described "emotional experiences [that] could also be embodied outside a group and led to significant increases in collaborative creativity." (No transcript available).
    • The Education Institute is also holding a webinar, this one for librarians, titled From Marvel to Middle-Earth: Fanfiction in the Library. The session expected to cover various topics including "background on the various technologies and fan-centred services—such as LiveJournal, Fanfiction.com, Archive of Our Own (AO3), and Amazon Worlds—that have grown up around the movement and how they are used. Participants will also learn how they can be incorporated into a library setting and adapted for programs" as well as "advice on how to incorporate and lead fan-driven creative programming at the library that is exciting, collaborative, and instructional. This includes suggestions for how to structure meetings, encourage participation and creativity in young writers, and provide opportunities to grow and refine literacy skills such as writing and engaging with texts in a constructive way."
    • The University of East Anglia in Norwich held an academic conference on Frozen in May. "The one-day event, or "Symfrozium", on May 12 will be the first day of academia dedicated to Disney's film" and covered "feminism, the film's music, reworking of fairy tales and the role of love, and whether Frozen can be considered a part of the 'Nordic Noir' genre which includes Stieg Larsson’s altogether darker Millennium book trilogy."
    • Stamford, Connecticut's Daily Voice reported on a fandom storytelling event that encouraged participants to show and tell their stories of fandom. "The collaborative storytelling event's theme of fandom was inspired by Jeremy Deller's 'Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode.' Deller's feature-length video piece shows Depeche Mode fans from all over the world and is currently on view in the group exhibition 'It's gonna take a lotta love.'"

    What are your favorite fan studies works about fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Find Your Passion

    Sarah Remy on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 - 6:11pm
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    Find Your Passion banner red arrows and yellow background

    • The new issue of Cinema Journal was guest edited by the OTW's Kristina Busse and she, along with co-editor of Transformative Works and Cultures Karen Hellekson, contributed articles. The entire issue is available for free online. Topics include articles on fan labor and feminism, fandom's gift culture, Fifty Shades and the "archive of women’s culture," and articles focusing on sampling, vidding, and cosplay.
    • Portland, Oregon's Go Local PDX hosted an article by a college admissions coach about getting writing experience. "Write fan fiction. If you care about an audience and feedback, writing fan fiction can be a great way to get both. Lots of people obsessively read (and comment on) fan fiction about their favorite characters, so a well-written spin-off from a popular novel or series can quickly develop a large readership. In addition, it’s easy to find writing prompts: people on fan fiction forums often run informal contests built around silly topics like 'a Les Miserables-inspired scene with a beach party.' Fanfiction.net is the main hub for this, but a quick search can help you find more specialized sites devoted to particular topics.
    • As a post at Candy Mag pointed out, prompts and fanworks are everywhere. Focusing on content at Pinterest, the post pointed out a variety of fandom crossover fan art exploring various fanwork genres.
    • Cult Noise interviewed Cassie Whitt about her defense of music fangirls. "You should never [be] afraid to be passionate about something. In fact, you should see your ability to do so as a strength most people don’t have. Love music in a way that makes sense to you, and as long as it’s not hurting anyone or yourself, what other people think about it doesn’t matter. And if you’re ever feeling misunderstood or without an outlet for that, find fan communities. All communities have different vibes: some of them will be good, others will suck, and others have the potential to become like a second family."

    Did you use fanfic to prep for college admissions? Are you taking courses about fanworks? Write about fandom and academia in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: It's Tough Being a Fan

    Janita Burgess on Sunday, 26 April 2015 - 5:11pm
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    OTWFannews banner depicting several blank trophies and medals, with the words It's Tough Being a Fan

    • Esquire said a few words about the influence of Twin Peaks on current fandom. "Of course, binge-viewing with a second screen handy for reviewing fan-generated metatextual analysis is pretty much how people watch puzzle shows like Lost, Game of Thrones, True Detective, and Orphan Black these days. What they show you is fascinating, but the creators know that it's what they cunningly refuse to show you that turns normal viewers into lunatics who'll spend hours reading differing theories about Jon Snow's parentage. They understand that as with Twin Peaks, some of the most pleasurable parts about following the series involve what happens off the screen and in the mind of the viewer."
    • An article in Do Savannah revealed how different those minds could be, however. Asked about their Bob Dylan fandom, various fans in the Georgia city disagreed as to what they found most difficult about it. Responses ranged from other fans, people who didn't like Dylan, to the performer's own behavior. However one summed up with a poignant observation. "No one really wants their heroes to die. You hope they never will. Forever linked familiar strangers on parallel railroad tracks. It’s hard watching him get older, because he’s always been with me spiritually. But then, I guess he always will be."
    • Various articles about the latest fights over the Hugo Award nominations would agree with the 'other fans' complaint. As stated by Rob Salkowitz at ICv2: "Of course, the backlash movement can’t legitimately embrace its actual objectives: the maintenance of in-group power and privilege. Instead it justifies itself according to broader principles such as the defense of traditional standards, ethics and "objective" considerations of quality divorced from the grubby political goals of opponents. Unfortunately for the high-minded ideological ring-leaders, plenty of the rank and file followers don’t get that particular memo and see the whole uprising as an opportunity to give voice to every manner of pent-up grievance, resentment and personal hang-up that they can lay at the feet of "social justice warriors" or whoever is the enemy du jour."
    • Meanwhile Wired explored the reimagining of problematic canon content in The Radicalization of Jar Jar Binks. "Granted, it’s a little jarring to insert a contemporary political allegory into the most reviled science-fiction prequel ever committed to film. In fact, Lucas came under fire for engaging in political criticism of George W. Bush...rather than tightening up the story. But Doescher has a Ph.D in ethics, and wrote his thesis on racial justice issues. And Shakespeare’s history plays—the best genre corollary for what’s going on in Phantom Of Menace—often feel intensely prescient. From that vantage point, it’s a bold but calculated risk to choose Jar Jar as the vessel for such an ideologically charged message."

    What are the difficult parts of fandom for you? Write about those issues in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Judging Women's Fandoms

    Kelly Ribeiro on Friday, 24 April 2015 - 5:15pm
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    Womens Fandoms

    • The Global Times of China speculated about the appeal of Mary Sue stories. One reader responded "The reason I like reading and watching Mary Sue stories is because I can be swept away by the beautiful romantic relationships...The heroine doesn't stick to one man, and no one blames her." Her first experience with Mary Sues was in "a piece of fan fiction set in the world of Slam Dunk, a popular Japanese manga comic about a high school basketball team that was adapted into an animation series in 1993. 'The Mary Sue character was the same age as me, and had a similar mentality to life as me, so I was able to perfectly identify with her...[Reading it] was as if I was in the cartoon world myself, and having these romantic relationships with the handsome basketball players.'"
    • At The New Statesman Elizabeth Minkel pointed out that the very same behavior lacked commentary when it was by men but not when it was by teenage girls, or indeed women in general. "Drop into any Top Gear thread online right now and...there’s a genuine outpouring of emotion for the Top Gear that was: these fans, mostly (grown) men, are offering up their vulnerabilities, talking about how the show was always there for them - a comfort, something to look forward to every week...Drop into any 1D thread right now and you’ll notice that even though the language is different, maybe even incomprehensible to you, the sentiment is the same: these fans, mostly (underage) teenage girls, have flooded social media with that same outpouring of emotion, for Malik’s departure or for the end of the group as it’s always existed. It should be easy to have compassion for people who love something and lose it."
    • At The Conversation the focus was on female fans of Australian football. "Our research debunks a couple of persistent myths about women sport fans. These myths concern women’s motivation for attending football, which is commonly explained in terms of their duties as mothers (women support football because it is a 'family' game), or dismissed as something that women do mainly because the men in their life are into footy. These assumptions about why women follow football reinforce some particularly stubborn gender stereotypes." Instead, the study "reveals that while family features significantly in the way women become fans – overwhelmingly women are socialised into following a team through their parents – they develop a connection with and enjoyment of AFL that prevails independently of family."

    Where has the line been drawn between men and women in fan reaction and support? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Skewing the Process

    Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 19 April 2015 - 5:23pm
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    Banner by Kat of a scale with 'OTW Fannews' on one side and 'Skewing the process' on the other

    • Matt Binder wrote in Salon that right-wing conservatives in the U.S. were trying to exploit the activities of misogynistic fans for personal gain and political capital. "A common tactic used by right-wingers is the call to 'stop politicizing everything' — while at the same time trying to push forth their own political agenda in the culture wars, of course. Keeping politics out of any art form is laughable, but there is a certain extra level of hilarity in attempting to do so with one that already has a long history of social justice...these are actual panels from an actual Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow comic from April 1970 addressing racial justice head-on."
    • At Medium is the Message, Rex Sorgatz discussed changing habits regarding spoilers. "Back in the aughts, we survived a similar crisis, when two cultural events coincided:The quality of television programming suddenly got much better [and] The conversations around television exploded on social media. The collision of these trends triggered a nuclear reaction — a pop culture fission, spewing immense heat. People got very, very serious about The Spoiler Alert. The burgeoning recap society, in particular, was put under immense scrutiny."
    • Japan Times talked about how marketing tricks meant fans were skewing the music sales charts. "The problem is that music purchases by idol fans aren’t really music purchases at all: They are a sort of abstract currency by which the fans make extravagant expressions of love for the group — the more you buy, the greater your love. They’re a completely different class of consumer from someone who simply buys a song in order to listen to it, and trying to force them to behave like traditional music fans misses the point."
    • The Millions featured a long piece from Elizabeth Minkel on academic courses on fanfiction. "The cynical side of me expected to hear that a fanfiction class in an Ivy League English department would’ve been met with criticism from the old guard...But [Jamison] hasn’t encountered professional backlash at Princeton or back home in Utah. 'I’m sure there are people who think that but they haven’t told me about it — not my colleagues...I get more pushback on YA and, frankly, on Victorian women’s poetry than I do on fanfic. Nothing can match the snideness with which male scholars of modernism tend to regard Victorian poetry by women.'”

    Where have you seen fans changing cultural practices? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Texts

    Pip Janssen on Sunday, 8 March 2015 - 4:48pm
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    sunset over hills with text saying Fandom Texts

    • At The Conversation, Hannah McCann discussed studying fans of popular culture. "Researchers in the field of romance studies have argued that criticism of the genre often involves patronising female readers. Similar levels of critical concern are rarely turned on texts marketed to male audiences, or those seen as part of high culture. Studying romance fans themselves has been a way to recover the agency of female readers, in part by seeing female fans as active meaning-makers."
    • Media scholar Henry Jenkins and Patrick Galbraith held a conversation on Jenkins' blog In Defense of Moe. "These are people who actively seek alternatives to expectations of men, which is to say assigned sex/gender roles, in relationships with fictional characters. This can take the form of 'marriage' to a fictional character, belonging to a community of shared interest around a character, and so on. Manga, anime and games do not necessarily get us out of hegemonic sex/gender roles, as we have seen from Gamer Gate, but some certainly see that potential. Again, there is Honda Tōru, who argues for a 'moe masculinity' that embraces both the masculine and feminine sides of one’s self, which can be nurtured and accessed in interactions with fictional characters outside of the expectations of society."
    • Syracuse.com wrote about a class on Dr. Who. "More than 200 people (about half SU students, half non-students) enrolled in the live class on the SU campus. About 3,000 people registered for the online class, meaning they can follow the lectures at home, watch the screenings and participate in the class discussions via Twitter and Google+. Rotolo said about 900-1,000 of those online students participate actively."
    • At Edge, Mary Sheehan argued for the significance of One Direction fandom for queer culture. "When both partners are the same gender, both partners have equal power. Young people seeking portrayals of open, equal relationships in media can identify with Larry Stylinson and these kinds of LGBTQIA ships. '[Larry Shippers’] actions are laden with the complexities of our current social climate. They formed a community and collective identity to solve their fears alongside those for the world around them.'"

    What are some of your favorite articles or studies about fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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

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