14th October Track 1
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Between K-pop fans interfering with U.S. politics, calls for Disney’s Mulan to be boycotted because of the lead’s support for the Hong Kong police, and Taylor Swift’s political revelations, this year has been an eventful one for fandoms worldwide. And although such developments are not new, fans and anti-fans alike seem more vocal about what they consider ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fan engagement.
This salon explores the various practices, forms of engagement, and processes of the ‘politics’ of fandom in a global context. We are seeking contributions which ask what is acceptable, or appropriate fan engagement? And when (and who) do we consider these affective investments as good or positive, or harmful, ‘bad’, or even toxic? Beyond simply ‘cancel culture’, an overwhelmingly white, Anglo-centric form of boycott, we aim to address these types of engagement in a global context, to explore a worldwide emergence of, and offer a firm context to, this phenomenon. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary perspectives, allowing scrutiny of these developments with fan studies at their core but also inviting perspectives from other disciplines and a global and/or transcultural context to better understand them.
Participants: Simone Driessen (Erasmus University), Bethan Jones (Cardiff University), Bertha Chin (Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak), Renee Ann Drouin (Bowling Green State University), Qian Huang (Erasmus University), Sarah Sinwell (University of Utah), Mark Stewart (Coventry University), Christina Wurst (Tuebingen University) (moderator: Louisa Stein)
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Fans demonstrate a broad interest in the past, both of their objects of fandom and of their own communities. They collect, catalog, preserve, restore, and publicly display historical artifacts and information in their own archives and museums. They study archival materials and collections, interview witnesses, and read historical scholarship, developing historical narratives and theses. Their research materializes in the form of analog and digital nonfiction media such as print and online publications, documentaries, podcasts, video tutorials, and pedagogical initiatives. Through their work, fans historicize their own fandom and tie it into broader historical questions, connecting to issues like heritage, race, sexuality, gender, and the nation. While some fans do this as community historians, focused on small and self-financed groups, others work within large and well-known cultural organizations and businesses, bringing this work into the mainstream.
The goal for this salon is to collectively discuss the question of how fans produce knowledge about the past and actively engage with history. Together, participants will explore practices, objects, and networks that have found little attention, such as: the distinct forms of historical media fans produce; community structures and hierarchies with history-making at their center: fan historians’ relationship to the media industries; the impact of fan labor on cultural heritage; intersections between fandom and historical societies; discrimination and harassment in fan-made histories.
Participants: Phillip Dominik Keidl (University of Frankfort), Abby Waysdorf (Utrecht University), Stephen Cass, Lies Lanckman (University of Hertfordshire), Kyle Meikle (University of Baltimore), Taylore Woodhouse (University of Wisconsin, Madison) (moderator: Louisa Stein)
noon to 1:30 p.m.
Please do NOT tag presenter Lauren Rouse in any social media concerning her discussion of Voltron fandom.
As critical disability studies evolve, fan and audience studies have begun to engage with conversations around fandom and disability. We have seen a recent increase in scholarship particularly around embodied experiences of dis/ability, focusing around limited or frustrated access to fan spaces and modes of engagement such as cosplay, pilgrimage, and performance. This salon calls for a deepening of those conversations: we ask participants to consider the ways fan studies has historically dealt with the identities and experiences of differently abled audiences, but also to consider how we might extend our theoretical and methodological scope to encompass the diversity of dis/ability within fandom.
Participants: Olivia Riley (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Leah Steuer (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Mark Duffett (University of Chester), Brianna Dym (University of Colorado), Lauren Rouse (University of Central Florida) (moderator: Jacinta Yanders)
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This workshop will introduce the basics of archival research for fan studies scholars. Drawing upon the wide variety of materials held at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Texas A&M and at other institutions, we will demonstrate how to locate relevant materials in library collections and how to conduct archival research virtually and in person by working through sample research queries. We will also provide a historical material overview to discuss the challenges of preserving and handling ephemera that truly were not meant to last as long as they have, and what this can mean for researchers going forward. We will also touch briefly on issues of access, copyright, and ethics in looking at these materials, as the custom pre-internet was for people to use their real names as well as pseudonyms, and the difficulties this can present when trying to publish work.
Facilitators: Cait Coker (University of Illinois) and Jeremy W. Brett (Texas A&M University)
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This salon, populated by students in a Fall 2020 graduate seminar in fandom studies, spotlights research collaborations within the course, each of which explore fannish environments and practices in the context of 2020, a year of considerable upheaval, uncertainty, and cultural change.
Individual Discussants and Topics:
Gabriel Dominguez Partida & Nihar Sreepada, Doctoral Candidates, College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University, “Joker Fans: Exploring Affect, Identity, and Politics In and Around Todd Phillips’ Joker (2019)”
Phillipe Chauveau & Koji Yoshimura, Doctoral Students, College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University, “Interactivity and Transmedia Fan Practices”
Jessie Rogers, Doctoral Student, Department of English, Texas Tech University, Hannah Isett & Ali Kneisel, Masters Students, College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University,“Streaming gender and gendered streaming”
(moderator: Paul Booth)
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
What does it mean to be a sports fan during a global pandemic? During times of urgency and unrest over social injustice? As fans, what is our responsibility to athletes? To each other? In this salon, we will weigh in on the ethics of sports fandom during a time when athletes’ health and well-being—always precarious and subject to the biopolitical control of capitalist enterprises—is further endangered by COVID-19 and the necessary bodily proximity of athletic competitions themselves. Furthermore, at a time when such capitalist enterprises have embraced “Black Lives Matter” as a corporate mantra to be plastered on jerseys, how can we best support athletes working actively for social change? In addition, we seek salon participants who consider the possibilities that this time of crisis presents for reshaping the world of sports and sports fandom. How might we transition to a mode of sports narrative consumption that better empowers athletes to improve their labor conditions, particularly at the collegiate level? How might we reformulate our conversations about looming medical crises like the concussion crisis in football in light of the epidemiological understanding of athletic precarity induced by the pandemic? Can we develop a more ethical way of participating in the sports industrial complex, or might we, in some small way, contribute to tearing it down? What does it mean to access sporting competition only in mediated spaces? What can this moment tell us about future developments for sports spectatorship and fandom?
Participants: Noah Cohan (Washington University of St. Louis), Alex Kupfer (Vassar College), Kasey Symons (Swinburne University of Technology), Elise Vist (University of Waterloo) (moderator: Lesley Willard)
8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Zhuo Zeng (London School of Economics and Political Science), "The Clash of Fandom and Passer-By: How Does Conflict Between Real-Person Fandom and Other Netizens Happen?"
Xiaofei Yang (RMIT University, Melbourne), "Women's Engagement with Gay Male Discourse in Chinese New Media"
Lan Tian (Tsinghua University), "Democratic Cyberspace of Idol-Voting Events: A Dual-Projective Mechanism"
(moderators: Lori Morimoto & Louisa Stein)