This Week in Fandom, Volume 40

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening. Before we start, did you know that International Fanworks Day is next week? There are all kinds of activities going on, including fandom-themed online games and a feedback fest. Plus, we recently posted some of your mini essays on what fanworks mean to you. Go check them out! (And please note that, due to this event, there will be no This Week in Fandom next week.)


On a similar note, Den of Geek is asking for your stories about how fandom changed your life for the better. They plan to compile them into an uplifting post on their site soon. Even if you’re not feeling up to sharing your own story, the stories already shared in the comments are heartwarming and worth a read.


Hypable published an article this week criticizing the Marvel and Harry Potter franchises for over-hyping underwhelming news announcement recently. (Is that ironic? Or are they just trying to keep the bar high?) “Lots of brands do this, big and small,” the article says. “But they do it at the risk of becoming the boy who cried wolf. We’ll stop getting excited for announcements if we know you’re going to be dropping news that ultimately isn’t hype-worthy. And then what’s the point of trying to hype us up?” So are you excited for the upcoming Avengers video games? Or do you agree that the announcement isn’t a big enough deal to warrant a teaser post on social media? Let us know in the comments!


Ciara Wardlow wrote an interesting essay-slash-opinion-piece for Film School Rejects about whether fandom is the new cinephilia. The article was inspired by portions of film historian Thomas Elsaesser’s 2005 essay “Cinephilia or the Uses of Disenchantment,” and it mentions the OTW (yay!). Here’s an excerpt:

Even when standalone films do spark their own fandoms (and here I am speaking of productive, active fandom, as opposed to just a group of passive admirers), they rarely last very long… [D]igital distribution and social media makes it possible for fans to share, modify, and generate discourse over stills and clips from various installments. While all of these things are of course possible with standalone films, the ongoing nature of franchises and film and television series makes this discourse a lot more tempting, because questions can still be possibly answered and theories proven wrong or right. And greater attention to visual details combined with an ability to communicate with other fans has resulted in occasions when I have come across “meta” posts using concepts from film theory in support of fan theories.


Speaking of essays about fandom, we have a call for papers to share. Last year, acafan Ashton Spacey solicited contributions for a book on the “darker side” of slash (warning for mention/discussion of problematic elements present in some fanworks). Unfortunately, due to one of the contributors having to pull out, another call is being issued. The updated CFP can be found here in PDF format (another warning for mention/discussion of problematic elements present in some fanworks). Submissions are due Wednesday, February 15th, 2017. The book is being published by McFarland & Co., and the editor can be contacted via e-mail at ashtonspacey [at] gmail [dot] com.


We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.