29.12.10

TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS AND FAN ACTIVISM

Special issue: Transformative Works and Fan Activism (March 2012). Edited by Henry Jenkins and Sangita Shresthova, University of Southern California.

"How might research on fandom and participatory culture inform our understanding of citizenship and activism? Cultural theorists have long speculated about how our fantasy lives and cultural engagements might inspire broader forms of public participation. In his book Understanding Popular Culture, for example, John Fiske describes one potential route which might lead a young woman from fannish interest in Madonna towards the resources, skills, and identities she needs to contribute to social change. Fan studies have long located localized resistances within the cultural productions and practices associated with fandom, looking at how fan fiction, say, might lead to new understandings of gender, sexuality, and race. Yet there has been less work that examines how these imaginative practices, at times facilitated by digital media, might lead to an enhanced sense of agency or a new vision of social change, or how the skills developed through fandom might be mobilized for getting people out to vote, protesting public policies, or encouraging contributions and volunteerism around emergency situations. [...] Contributions for blind peer review (Theory and Praxis essays) are due by April 1, 2011. Contributions that undergo editorial review (Symposium, Interview, Review) are due by May 1, 2011". Read more.

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