The State of Fandom Studies 2018: Introduction

I have signaled throughout the past year that I think the field of fandom studies is at a crossroads as three major anthologies appear which are mapping major new directions and introducing a new generation of scholars. These books are:

Paul Booth (ed.) A Companion to Fandom and Fan Studies

Melissa A. Click and Suzanne Scott (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom

Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss and C. Lee Harrington (eds.) Fandom: Identities and Communities in the Mediated World, Second Edition

In addition, we want to acknowledge Kristina Busse’s Framing Fan Fiction: Literary and Social Practices in Fan Fiction Communities, which assembles the essays of one of the key figures in the field in recent years.

In recognition of the transformative moment, I have assembled a series of exchanges with contributors to the three collections which will run for almost two months. I have hosted two large scale conversations here in the past -- one in 2007  focused around gender and fan studies, a second in 2011 focused on the aca-fan identity, and now, this one. Contributors to the three books were asked to contribute, with priority given to those who have not participated in the two previous exchanges.  I created pairs of writers whose work explores similar themes to both offer overviews of their visions for the field and to engage with dialogue with each other. I will be showcasing two such exchanges per week. (See the schedule below).

I hope that this will offer a chance for all of us to get to know these (mostly) young scholars and their works better and to take some soundings of the state of fandom studies as a field. I believe doing so will provide a rich resource both for students around the world seeking to better understand fandom, as well as future generations, to identify work that speaks to their own needs and interests.

Week Beginning March 5th

Group 1

Rukmini Pande

Rebecca Wanzo

Group 2

Dayna Chatman

Lori Kido Lopez

Week Beginning March 12

Group 3

Benjamin Woo

Katie Wilson

Group 4

Kristen Warner  

Jillian Baez

W/B March 19

Group 5

Hilde Van Den Bluck

Edmond Ernest Dit Alban

Group 6

Lori Morimoto

Sangita Shresthova

W/B March 26

Group 7

Aswin Punathambaker

Bertha Chin

Group 8

Mel Stanfill

Anne Jamison

W/B April 2

Group 9

Tisha Turk

Mark Duffett

Group 10

Katherine Morrissey

Katarina Freund

W/B April 9

Group 11

Rebecca Williams

Anne Gilbert

Group 12

Lincoln Geraghty

Nicole Lamerichs   

W/B April  16

Group  13

Ross Garner

Whitney Phillips

Group 14

Bethan Jones

Melanie Kohnen

W/B April 23

Group  15

Lucy Bennett

Ruth Dellar

Group 16

Alisa Perrin

Casey McCormick

W/B April 30

Group 17  

Elizabeth Ellcessor  

Tom Phillips

Group 18

Matthew Cicci

Alexandra Edwards

W/B May 7

Group 19  

Melanie Bourdaa

Jessica Seymour