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September 1992


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 Sep 1992 20:22:11 EDT
Your message of Thu, 24 Sep 92 10:42:00 -0500. <[log in to unmask]>
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Sue suggests that she would like to do her Master's Thesis on fan culture
"but the field seems to be getting crowded. What's left to explore?" I
know the feeling. I am currently writing a few more essays about fandom for
a book I am co-authoring with John Tulloch (DOCTOR WHO: THE UNFOLDING TEXT)
and then would like to personally give the topic a rest. I hear all the time
now of grad students who are working on this topic and it is trully gratifying.
I think we should get together as a group or mailing list to talk about issues
of common interest, etc. I know at least one person who is trying to put
together an anthology of academic work on fandom, though my desire would be
to break down the bareer between academic and fan by getting fans to contribute
as well. Despite all of the renewed interest, however, I think there is still
plenty of room for more research. So far, much of the writing has centered on
Slash (homoerotic stories) which represent simply one subgenre of fan writing.
Both Camille Bacon-Smith and I offer very different models of the genre
traditions of fandom, but little work has been done to develop some of the
other traditions more fully. Every fandom or form of fan culture poses its
own theoretical problems and I felt I was only able to scratch the surface
in my book in talking about fan video making for example and was able to
say nothing about costuming or fan art. I think there is a whole book to
be writing about the fan art world and the whole process of reputation building
there. I want to know more about the mechanics and institutions of fan
publishing. And then, of course, there is the possability of applying different
theoretical models to talk about this process. Every convention, some one wants
to challenge my claims about the reader's relative autonomy from textual
authority. There is more to be done, as someone suggested, on computer nets
and fandom. I would like to see people test what I say in TEXTUAL POACHERS
about fans of dramatic programing against other types of fans -- fans of
sitcoms for example or of specific performers rather than fictional
narratives. I would like to see work that looks more closely at the process
by which fans discover and develop interest in a new program.....
   Sue also askes, "Do you know if zines are on the menu for any upcoming
conferences?" I'm not sure whether you mean fan cons (at which zines are always
on the menu if you know where to look) or academic conventions. This is the
curse of having a foot in both camps. I know that I will be speaking on
Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual fans of ST at the CONSOLING PASSIONS conference
next spring at USC. Last year, there were several fan related papers
presented and the conference as a whole was outstanding, one of the best
I have ever attended. I strongly recommend to everyone on the list who is
interested in feminism and television going to Consoling Passions. You can
write to Lynn Spigel at USC for info.