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:: "fuzzy romance and brutal terror" : apparently, I can get behind that ::
Geeks studying geeks 
25th-May-2008 11:48 pm
What subtext?!?
I know I've been delinquent about responding to emails and comments lately. I've just been...not depressed, but having no desire to participate in life, either real or online. I am not sure what the problem is. Every time I think I'm starting to pull myself out of that, something happens to knock me back down.

So, I want to post this quickly. Normally I would flock (and filter) something like this, but this appeals to the cultural studies geek in me, and there may be people on my flist who know people who aren't on my flist who might be fellow geeks and would like to see this. At WisCon this weekend, I did attend the panel "Fanfic and Slash 101", and it was rather interesting. The panelists included someone who's just a massive fic writer, someone who's a massive fic writer and is a collegiate English instructor, and a woman named Anastasia Salter, who is about to complete a master's degree (in communication studies? can't remember) and is doing her thesis on this topic. At the end of the session, they offered us a list of academic publications regarding fanfic that we might be interested in perusing. Should that kind of thing appeal to you...here it is.

FanFiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, new essays ed. by Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse, 2006, McFarland & Co., Jefferson, N.C.

Textual Poachers, Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Henry Jenkins, 1992, Routledge (US ISBN 0 415905729)

Fans, the Mirror of Consumption, Cornel Sandvoss, 2005, Polity Press, Malden, MA (UC ISBN 0 744629733)

The Democratic Genre: Fan Fiction in a Literary Context, Sheenagh Pugh, 2006, distributed in US by Independent Publishers Group (UK ISNB 1854113992)

Cyberspaces of Their own: Female Fandoms Online, by Rhiannon Bury, 2005, Morehouse Publishing Co. (US ISBN 0 820471186)

Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture, Henry Jenkins, 2006, New York University Press (US ISBN 0 81474184X)

Adolescents and Online Fan Fiction, Rebecca W. Black, 2008, Peter Lang (US ISBM 0 82049738X)

The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, ed. Lisa A. Lewis, 1992, Routledge (US ISBN 0 04515078210) (See "2: The Cultural Economy of Fandom" John Fiske)

Enterprising Women: Television Fandom & the Creation of Popular Myth, Camille Bacon-Smith, 1992, University of Pennsylvania Press (US ISBN 0 812213793)

Private Uses of Cyberspace: Women, Desire & Fan Culture, Sharon Cumberland, MIT Communications Forum, online: http://web.mit.edu/comm-forum/papers/cumberland.html

Masters theses (possibly available via interlibrary loan)

Slash, Fandoms and Pleasures, masters thesis by Fung Kwan Li, 2006, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Sexual Identity as Constructed In and Through Text: Slash Fanfiction and Writing Communities, masters thesis by Elena Maria Jimenez, 2005, Chicago Theological Seminary

Crackin' Good Stories: Fan Fiction, Narrative and the Shared Mythos of Popular Culture, masters thesis by Polly M. Robinson, 2005, California State University at Northridge

If you can find anything written by Anastasia Salter, I would also recommend reading her words. Listening to her gave me flashbacks to working on my degree, in a good way. Very near the beginning of the panel, she pointed out that there are plenty of people who would jump at the chance to see Wicked and would discuss it in detail afterwards, but would sneer at someone who said they write stories about Harry Potter. However, Wicked is fanfic. Gregory Maguire took a minor character in an established fantasy world and extrapolated a story around her, based out of canon.  It may have been made into a Broadway musical, but it's still fanfic.

(Deleted comment)
26th-May-2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the good wishes! I kind of want to hole up and do nothing for a bit. The problem is that I have so much to do, still, that I both freeze up and can't get much done, and I can't kick back and relax for a bit to rest up and get things done. So it's kind of a spiral, of running all the time but accomplishing little, which adds to the stress level, which makes it even harder to get anything done... Oh well. Hopefully I can get things in line soon!!!
26th-May-2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Maybe you just need some down-time for a bit? I doubt I could offer much help, but if there is anything, ask away. :)

Some of those essays and books look like interesting reads. I'll have to track them down after I move back home.

Wicked is totally fanfic. An extremely well-crafted and creative one, but still fanfic. So are any of the thousands of alternate takes on fairy tales or classic stories published out there, even if they're no more or less "original" than a lot of the [insert fandom here] online fanfics that are doing the same thing. Anyway, sounds like it was a nifty lecture. :)
26th-May-2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks for the nice wishes! I am just one of those people who gets overwhelmed when I have too much to do - whatever I pick to work on, my brain immediately starts thinking I should be working on something else instead. So I tend to run in circles and be far less productive than I ought to have been for the time I've put in to working, which just makes me more tense about getting things done... *shakes head at self*

The lecture was interesting, and if a more thorough write-up gets done (they said a number of the discussions would be blogged), I'll link to it. It kept going back and forth: the other people on the panel were jokey and she was academic, so they complemented each other and kept things from getting either too serious or too "OMG LET'S SHIP!!!!11!!!"

They did have a panel the next night where they were planning on discussing the subject in more detail. However the people who were there, and the panelists, appeared to primarily be into Harry Potter and used it as their examples when discussing topics. And...I can't help it, there's only one show that I'm interested in reading fic about, and if it's non-gen-fic, there's only one pairing I'm interested in. So I decided I didn't want to sit through 75 minutes of discussion about shows I wasn't into.

(Also...my mind really does work differently from everyone else's, apparently. This is really a topic for a post instead of a comment, but the majority of the people there seemed to be into slash for slash's sake. Multiple times, comments were made about how they used to be into Couple X but then there was just so much written about them that they switched to Couple Y, and they also like Couple Z because it's such a rare pairing. I just can't do that, mushing characters together. Either I see intense emotion and am interested, or I don't see emotion and therefore reading about them falls totally flat for me.)
26th-May-2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
Books on fanfiction and fandom?!

*rushes to buy them*

Also, I hope you feel better soon. I suggest meditation.
26th-May-2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
I shouldn't have been surprised that there were that many, but I was. And when I get settled down a bit, I am totally going to the library to see if I can get them from local colleges via interlibrary loan.

I have never been able to meditate. My brain simply refuses to let go - it runs constantly, and even when I have someone trying to teach me meditation techniques, that just seems to make my mind run faster. The closest I can come is gardening - the digging and moving plants and watering take up all my concentration, and two hours can go by without my even realizing it. And I'm then tired and sore, but mentally happy.

I think a lot of my problem right now is physical. I was sick most of the winter with nasty colds, so I got out of the habit of exercising at all due to lying on the couch. And with being busy lately, I tend to get home from work around 8 pm and stop at one of the local restaurants to get pasta, and then because it's dark after I eat, I don't get outside. I think it's a bit of a spiral where I feel tired because I'm not eating well or exercising much, and then I get fast food and don't exercise because I'm tired. I'm hoping the finally-warm weather will snap me out of it.
26th-Jun-2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Actually, it's a doctorate in Communications Design and an MFA in Children's Literature--the Masters, thankfully, is quite done. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the panel. [I have a bad habit of googling myself when there's work to be done...]


Anastasia Salter
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