“Thus is revealed the total existence of writing: a text is made of multiplewritings, drawn from many cultures and entering into mutual relations ofdialogue, parody, contestation, but there is one place where this multiplicity isfocused and that place is the reader, not, as was hitherto said, the author. Thereader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing areinscribed without any of them being lost; a text’s unity lies not in its origin butin its destination. Yet this destination cannot any longer be personal: thereader is without history, biography, psychology; he is simply that someonewho holds together in a single field all the traces by which the written text isconstituted.” Roland Barthes, The Birth of the Reader (1977)
MEDIA CONVERGENCEWe are living in an age when changes in communications,storytelling and information technologies are reshaping almostevery aspect of contemporary life -- including how we create,consume, learn, and interact with each other. A whole range ofnew technologies enable consumers to archive, annotate,appropriate, and recirculate media content and in the process,these technologies have altered the ways that consumers interactwith core institutions of government, education, and commerce. Henry Jenkins
Fans & Kingdoms of fans• A fandom can grow up centered around any area of human interest or activity.• The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined – focused on something like an individual celebrity – more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbies, genres or fashions.• groups of people fascinated with any subject• Fandom as a term can also be used in a broad sense to refer to an interconnected social network of individual fandoms, many of which overlap.
Definitions• fandom can be defined or explained as the state of being a fan or all that encompasses fan culture and fan behavior in general, or the study of fans and fan behavior.• the definition of an audience is: an assembly of listeners or spectators.• the definition of fanatic is: marked or moved by excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion.• the definition of a fan is: 1) an enthusiastic follower of a sport or entertainment or 2) an enthusiastic admirer (as of a celebrity).
Fan Activities• Members of a fandom associate with one another• fan conventions and publishing and exchanging fanzines and newsletters• communications and interaction for the purpose of archiving detailed information pertinent to their given fanbase.• Some fans write fan fiction, stories based around the universe and characters of their chosen fandom.• Some also dress in costumes ("cosplay") or recite lines of dialogue either out-of- context or as part of a group reenactment.• Others create fan vids, or analytical music videos focusing on the source fandom, and yet others create fan art.• Such activities are sometimes known as "fan labour" or "fanac," an abbreviated form of the phrase "fan activity."• The advent of the internet has significantly facilitated fan association and activities.• Fandom is sometimes caricatured as religious faith
Two images of the fan Obsessed individual & Hysterical crowd Critique of modern life Characterization of fandom as pathology Elitist and disrespectful beliefs about common life
Fandom as pathology Literature on fandom – images of deviance Fanatic Fan – social & psychological pathologies Fandom is excessive
Fan as Creative Consumer• Technology & consumption• Fan as passive receiver (Hypodermic Syringe?)• Fan as creative consumer – Recontextualization of existent cultural products – Purchases of a commodity (cultural product) is only the first step – Means of declaring your exaggerations• Elevation of consumer as creator does not deny the role of the producer (Uses and Gratifications)
Creative Fans• semiotic productivity is when fans use their object of fandom to create social meaning in their own lives (ex. a fan who gains confidence watching his or her favorite character on TV).• enunciative productivity is when fans express their fandom to the outside world through speech or appearance (ex. fans wearing their favorite teams jerseys)• textual productivity is when fans create texts based on their object of fandom
Theories of fandom romantic attachment Identification fantasy Fans as Tastemakers Collective support and/or admiration for… A collective celebration of mutual taste/preference in – A ritual gathering (physical or virtual)
Relationships between fansInstead of monetary reward, one of the major rewards of fan labour is the formation of relationships between fan creators and other fans.relationships created through fan exchanges are often as important, if not more so, than the products exchanged.The focus on relationships separates fandom economic practices from the capitalistic practices of everyday life.From an economic anthropology viewpoint, the products of fan labour are a form of cultural wealthvaluable also for their ability to interrelate the fan works, the fan-creators, and the original media property itself through conversation and fan work exchanges.Fans, in other words, are “affines” of media property and of other fans.
Legal issues• Most fan labour products are derivative works• they are creative additions or modifications to an existing copyrighted work• or they are original creations which are inspired by a specific copyrighted work• Some or all of these works may fall into the legal category of transformative works (such as a parody of the original), which is protected as fair use under U.S. copyright law. This law does not, as yet, occur in the English system.• corporations continue to ask fans to stop engaging with their products in creative ways (UMC, WB, SONY etc waging war with Youtube users)
Fandom a site of collective memory community as the center of an emotional life issues of gender, ethnicity, class, national identity, transnational identity and power through global consumer culture Interpretive communities
So let’s have (fandom) fun! What is your idea of a ‘fan’? Have you ever been a ‘fan’ of something? Have you participated in a fandom?
TasksGet online! Find out what’s out there for the fandomof your choice.Read/write/watch some fan created works.What are your impressions of the ‘fan community’for your chosen text? Feedback!