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Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/09/aca-fandom_and_beyond_rhianon_1.html


Matt Yockey: Rhiannon, I very much enjoyed reading your thoughtful post, especially since you come to this topic from a very different background than I do. You say that earlier in your academic career you identified as a feminist but also say that you don't consider yourself an acafan because you resist labels. Assuming that you still identify as a feminist, this suggests that in academia we remain very much invested in labels that carry a certain cache, diminishing the potential value of other labels.Read more... )

Participants )
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[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/09/aca-fandom_and_beyond_rhianon.html

Rhiannon Bury:


It has been a bit of a challenge putting together this "provocation" in the final weeks of the Acafan and Beyond debate. I hope I have succeeded in responding to the original set of questions without covering too much of the same ground as earlier posts. Let me start by saying that I really am an accidental fan studies scholar. As late as 1995, when I was doing my PhD in Education with a focus on Cultural Studies, I was still heavily invested in the high/low culture binary. I whole heartedly agreed with William Shatner's "get a life" cri de coeur to fans. I identified strongly as a feminist so my "discovery" of the three David Duchovny Estrogen Brigades (DDEBs) while surfing the web for X-Files information and subsequent engagement with some of the members forced me to interrogate and reevaluate my elitist attitudes. Sixteen years later and an academic career made possible by the kindness and generosity of participatory fans, I do not consider myself an acafan or even a fan-scholar (overlapping but not interchangeable terms). Read more... )

Matt Yockey:


Responding to these provocations has proven much more challenging than I originally anticipated, perhaps in large part because it requires the kind of candor and reflexivity I've tried to dodge in my own work on texts of which I am a fan. The problem for me is my own struggle with identifying as a fan, as if this some sort of monolithic construct. For similar reasons I've often resisted the label of academic. The acafan label limits my identity as an academic (I do more than study texts of which I would consider myself a fan) and as a fan (I don't perform academic analyses of many objects of my fandom, such as the Red Sox, Robyn Hitchcock, or The Rockford Files). Curiously, however, the designation acafan has both emphasized my ambivalence regarding such labels and reconciled some of the problems I've had with them. Read more... )

Participants )
kbusse: comic sue as arrogant me (sue (by liviapenn))
[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/acafandom_and_beyond_jonathan.html

Jonathan Gray:
Perhaps I could start with this issue of definition that all of us touched upon. I think it's interesting that, albeit in different ways, both Matt (from wholly within the realm of acafandom) and Alisa (feeling outside of it) note that the term may have calcified around a set group of people with a set group of interests. Matt suggests that's a "misreading," and that there are many types of acafans. But I guess my question is whether we need to rescue the term, or whether the ideas can run free of it. Read more... )


Matt Hills:
I find myself agreeing with much in Jonathan and Alisa's opening arguments, although all three of us are approaching acafandom from quite different perspectives. With Jonathan, I too would like to see a greater encouragement of reflexivity in all media studies, not just in something called acafan writing. And with Alisa, I absolutely share the concern that acafandom has led to a restricted set of textual objects becoming unhappily canonised in TV Studies, because those happen to be the shows that many academics enjoy watching and writing about. I think that acafandom does have a responsibility to cover shows that go beyond rather limited taste cultures and demographics, as well as covering a wider range of fan practices and activities (as I suggested in my own opening statement). As I said, I think we should be looking to encourage a wider-ranging, more diverse, and ever more critically reflexive acafandom, in relation to both 'aca' and 'fan' experiences. Read more... )

Alisa Perren:
I find it fascinating that, although Matt, Jonathan and I all have similar issues with the current definition - and perception - of acafandom, we deliver very different responses on how to proceed. To put it somewhat crudely, Matt (fanacafan?) thinks we should salvage the term, Jonathan (anti-fanacafan?) wonders if it has outlived its usefulness. Meanwhile, I am more ambivalent. I do not feel comfortable arguing to either "dump it" or "save it," as I do not have the long-standing investment in researching and writing about it that either of you have. The most I can do is speak from the stance of a "casual observer," illustrating how the term might presently be perceived by those who are less aware of its layered history and meanings. Read more... )


Participants )
kbusse: comic sue as arrogant me (sue (by liviapenn))
[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/aca-fandom_and_beyond_jonathan.html

Jonathan Gray:
One of my concerns with the term "acafan," and hence a key source of my reluctance to self-identify as one, is that it suggests a special relationship between one's object of study and one's academic practice that obscures the degree to which everyone studying the media has some such relationship. Read more... )

Matt Hills:
My take on acafandom is that it's impossible to be 'for' or 'against' it, since either stance assumes an overly monolithic definition of what 'it' is that we're in favour of, or not. The greatest difficulty with the label of acafandom is that it misleads us into thinking there's one referent to be championed, critiqued or defended. Instead, I'd like to open up the question of acafandoms, plural, and hence the range of critical practices, identity positions, or bids for authority that the term might blur together. I'm not convinced that acafandom necessarily captures a singular (hybridised) scholarly community, and so this needs careful thought as well. Read more... )

Alisa Perren:
While I appreciate being asked to participate in this conversation about aca-fandom, I come to this conversation feeling a bit like an outsider. This is in part because my own scholarship has focused much more on media production and distribution practices, rather than on fandom. But this feeling of "being an outsider" is not simply based on my different scholarly emphases. Rather, it also stems from that fact that my interests in popular culture seem to differ from many of those who write and speak from the position of aca-fans. This is not to say that I have a problem with the term of aca-fandom per se. But it does lead me to ask what this label includes - and excludes - and what these boundaries might suggest. Read more... )

Participants )
kbusse: photograph of me (Default)
[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/aca-fandom_and_beyond_alex_juh_1.html

On August 9th, strewn across three time zones, Jay Bushman, Alex Juhasz, and Derek Kompare picked up where their previous segment ended, and pondered the implications of the concept of fandom via Skype chat. Read more... )


Participant Bios )
kbusse: photograph of me (Default)
[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/aca-fandom_and_beyond_alex_juh.html

Friday August 5, 2011
Alex Juhasz 9:50 AM (via MS Word):

For about an hour and a half on Monday August 1, Jay Bushman and I had a typed conversation over Skype while Derek Kompare drove thousands of miles and was off line. Through previous email exchanges, we had learned that we had almost nothing in common with each other, and had little interest in acafandom. It is from there that we began the "conversation" that follows. As we typed, I also read from a novel, played Internet scrabble, worked on my YouTube art show, PerpiTube: Repurposing Social Media Spaces, and monitored my children who were playing Minecraft and Sims.


Monday August 1, 2011
Alex Juhasz 4:27 PM (via Sykpe):

Jay. Hi. My thought is we try to have an asycnch conversation about the issues for Henry's blog, and then use it as our submission. Given people's vacation schedule, this may be a bit complicated, but it's worth a go, just to shake up their format a bit, if nothing else.


Read more... )

Participant Bios )
alothian: (Default)
[personal profile] alothian
Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/aca-fandom_and_beyond_roberta_1.html

Roberta Pearson:
You and I differ so radically with regard to what constitutes our acafandom that it’s difficult for me to respond to the substance of your post (not having had experience of the kind of fandom in which you’re involved). I’m going to use what you say to continue to meditate on what we might mean by acafan and whether it’s a useful label. It’s interesting that you, like many others, have the urge to self-confession. You say that the overlap of fandom and academia in your life has everything to do with personal ethics, particularly through the feminist science fiction convention where you serve as an advocate of transformative fan works. You also say that you’re not at the moment a fan of a particular text but rather as I suggested in my original post a fan of fandom. I’m glad that you’re ‘self-confessing’ this way and also glad that other people here have given into the urge, since it may be these self-confessions that help us to refine the acafan label. In terms of the matrix of acafandom that I began to develop above, you’d be a non-tenured, transformational fan of fandom, and now I would add with a strong stake in this indentity. I’d be a tenured, affirmational fan of particular texts without a particularly strong stake in this identity, except for my continuing connections with Sherlockian friends and my decade long attempt to write my book about Star Trek as television. I think the identity issue might be a key differentiator not only amongst fans but amongst acafans as well. Being an empiricist at heart (although not a raw positivist) I’m tempted to put together a little questionaire for everyone participating in this site to see if we can come up with an acafandom matrix.
Read more... )
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[personal profile] alothian
Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/aca-fandom_and_beyond_roberta.html

Roberta Pearson:

I’m looking forward to Alexis’ ‘provocation’ since our preliminary exchanges indicate that we’re ideal partners, coming at the issue of aca-fannishness from very different perspectives.  In fact, it’s the perspective and position of the various posters that I want to address first. The very title of Henry’s blog together with this debate have so far led most participants to confessions concerning the kinds of acafans they are or are not and why. As Anne Kustritz pointed out, though, there’s a danger here. “The aca-fan concept will be defined by perhaps the most simplistically "confessional" works unless we create a theoretical frame for understanding….” And as Henry said, “my bet is that each participant has reasons to feel somewhat inside and somewhat outside the "core" of the community being represented.”  So far we’ve had discussions of myriad fandoms, including skating and Radiohead, with many people positioning themselves somewhat outside the core of the fan communities with which they affiliate.  We’ve also had people positioning themselves outside a presumed core of acafans, which implicitly (and not so implicitly in some cases) means an active involvement in a fan community or at least a stake in transformational as opposed to affirmational fandom. I’d like to suggest that we can’t begin to theorise the concept of acafan unless we first return to our theorisations of fan.  
Read more... )

Alexis Lothian:

I couldn’t agree more with Roberta that we need to theorize what it is we mean when we talk about being a “fan” as well as an “acafan.” Without that, we find ourselves talking at cross purposes--though, of course, it’s the very overdetermination of both those terms that keeps them alive and interesting. That said, it is difficult to engage in this conversation without giving in to a certain urge to self-disclosure. Especially because the way I experience the overlap of academia and fandom in my own life has everything to do with personal ethics, with the contexts and standpoints that shape my participation in knowledge production.

Read more... )



kbusse: photograph of me (Default)
[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/aca-fandom_and_beyond_karen_to_2.html

Karen Tongson:

What strikes me when I view our opening remarks collectively, is that each of us has such a different orientation to the concept of "cultural studies." I think I work from a Williamsian genealogy (still very much influenced by literary studies), whereas Jayna invokes the Frankfurt School, and Gerry speaks from the vantage point of Anthropology. These positions clearly have an impact on how we each respond to the notion of "fandom" itself: whether we embrace, disavow, or express some ambivalence to being a fan, let alone an "acafan." Read more... )
kbusse: photograph of me (Default)
[personal profile] kbusse
Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/aca-fandom_and_beyond_harringt.html

Karen Tongson: Earworms, Touchstones, Inversions
I've got a reason, girl, and it's Immanuel Kant's--and I like it
-Scritti Politti, "Boom! There She Was"

I'm convinced the only reason I ever cracked open a copy of Kant's Critique of Judgment--the "Great Books" edition--is that Green Gartside, the helium-voiced frontman of the 80s British pop band, Scritti Politti, suggestively whispered this remark through my Walkman when I was 13 years old. I hadn't even realized then that several years prior, Scritti Politti also recorded a single called "Jacques Derrida," in which the andro-voiced Green declares: "I'm in love with Zhack Derr-eee-dah/Read a page and I know what I need to/Take apart my baby's heart..."Read more... )


Jayna Brown: Monster Paws Up! Loving the Stuff You Love

I've never thought of myself as a fan. In fact, I always thought of fandom as the inability to think creatively for the self, as being centrally about consumption. Despite my focus on popular culture in my work, when I thought of fans my thinking became strangely Frankfurt School. Surely, that kind of blind fervor was about the commodification of affective response, the symptom of a modernity that created dependency on the cultural industry for permission to have any emotion or passions. Making pleasure dependent on purchase was canalizing creativity. Read more... )




Geraldine (Gerry) Bloustien:

I don't feel the term acafan really resonated with me as something particularly different from what I have always done and considered as a researcher. My sense of an intersectional identity which incorporates both my European / Jewish migrant cultural background (arriving as a female adult in Australia) together with my education and training as an educator and then as an Anthropologist has made me always very aware and sensitive to occupying / embodying several worlds and cultures all at the same time. Read more... )



Participants )

lstein: Sherlock Run (Default)
[personal profile] lstein
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/aca-fandom_and_beyond_harringt_1.html

John: I can't help thinking my provocation is an odd fit in this larger discussion. Although I once belonged to a gay Sci-Fi fan group (the Gaylaxians), have attended Sci-Fi conventions, and love speculative literature, films, and television shows, I've never been comfortable with identifying myself simply as a "fan." I have always used the term in relation to a particular cultural text or practice. I also find I don't identify with many people who do declare themselves "fans" in the general sense.

Read more... )
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Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/aca-fandom_and_beyond_harringt.html

Lee Harrington: Very interesting discussion thus far......I think my own experience and perspective most closely aligns with that of Nancy Baym's. I do not find myself struggling to reconcile any competing expectations or ethical codes in, as Nancy puts it, being a fan studying fandom within academia. I appreciated Henry's backstory of where the term "acafan" came from. Even though I began writing about fans in the same time period he refers to, I came out of a very different disciplinary background (sociology) and training (sociology of emotions). Even though some of the early sociological pathologizing of media fans is exactly the body of scholarship that an acafan positioning responded to (bad grammar, sorry, it's summer), the type of tension or dissonance inherent in the term does not reflect my own experience.



read more )
lstein: Sherlock Run (Default)
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Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/aca-fandom_and_beyond_christin_1.html

Jack: Christine, I really enjoyed your piece - the compact way you account for the colonial context within which popular culture is absorbed, reviled and then transformed by those very people whom colonialism has reduced to the status of mimics. I also appreciate your effort to refuse the sharp distinction between fan and critic, poetry and prose, song and soundscape. In relation to your observations on "fandom" and "fanaticism," I would love to hear you say more about excess, about over the top performances that go beyond the reproduction of the same. I also have struggled with that Sedgwickian notion of "reparative" and I wonder how you are using it. I love her take on the paranoid form of reasoning that dominates academic style but I never really believed in the reparative as an alternative...Read more... )
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Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/aca-fandom_and_beyond_christin.html

Christine Bacareza Balance:


fan (n.): a person enthusiastic about a specified sport, pastime, or performer; devotee

fanatic (Latin, "of a temple"): unreasonably enthusiastic, overly zealous; a person whose extreme zeal, piety, etc. goes beyond what is reasonable.
 
I begin with these two brief definitions of "fan" and "fanatic"--from which the first term is typically derived--because they touch upon some of the topics I am interested in, both in my research and everyday life. As someone whose early scholarly training came by way of U.S. ethnic studies and postcolonial studies, my research today focuses on the labor (productive, consumptive, affective) of making music within Filipino America--a soundscape created by the historical relationship (imperial, postcolonial, neocolonial) between the U.S. and Philippines. It is an intimate yet oft-forgotten relationship and, thus, is charged with the racial/cultural invisibility of Filipinos within a U.S. racial imaginary. In other words, what is Filipino culture in the eyes of the U.S.?

Read more... )
lstein: Veronica (pic#853399)
[personal profile] lstein
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/acafandom_and_beyond_week_four_1.html

Drew: I enjoyed reading both your responses to the provocation questions, and it seems like we have agreement for the most part around a lot of the issues involved with acafandom.

Corvus: I think I'd like to explore Nick's definition of fan though to start our conversation. I'm not sure it applies as much today as it once did. I think fandom has evolved considerably and the "fanatic" connotations are being lost.

Nick: How so? I might be pointing to an extreme case in my initial thoughts, but I still see people defending Attack of the Clones.

Read more )
lstein: Veronica (pic#853399)
[personal profile] lstein
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/07/acafandom_and_beyond_week_four.html

Drew Davidson:

Not being deeply familiar with fan studies, my initial response to these provocations comes from my perspective on how to best do constructive criticism, which I believe resonates with the concept of acafan that Henry champions. I like to approach experiences as a fan, in that I want to like what I'm about to experience, and I'm looking forward to it. So whether it's a movie, a show, a video game, etc, I hope I'm going to have a positive experience.

read more )
kbusse: photograph of me (Default)
[personal profile] kbusse

Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/06/acafandom_and_beyond_week_thre_1.html


Kristina: I think it's interesting to look at three of us and how our different background quite strongly affects not just the way we do research but also the things we worry about. Read more... )

kbusse: photograph of me (nina)
[personal profile] kbusse

Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/06/acafandom_and_beyond_week_thre.html

Kristina Busse

Being an acafan to me means constantly negotiating two often quite competing codes of conduct and ethical expectations. In particular, I worry about the compromises—both fannishly and academically—when I do acafannish research. I have a pretty strong fannish ethos in my research, i.e., I tend to not cite and reference material without the permission of its fannish creators and I am well aware of the limitations that may put on my research material (Fan Privacy and TWC's Editorial Philosophy). Read more... )


Nancy Baym

I have to say I don’t feel like I’m trying to reconcile competing sets of expectations and codes of conduct in being a fan studying fandom within academia.

One reason for this may be the primary fandoms with which I’ve aligned myself. I was never involved in fanfic or vidding communities. I’ve always been involved in and studied fan communities where we talk about and critique what we’re into and it seems like the dynamics are different than in communities based on fans’ creative works.Read more... )


Flourish

I come from an unusual place: by the time I was really involved in fandom, the term ‘acafan’ had already come into general use. I knew the term ‘acafan’ first from the fan’s perspective and not from the academic’s. What’s more, the conflict I experience regarding fandom and professional life is much more general than concern about acafandom.Read more... )



Participant Bios )

khellekson: Close-up photo of my face (Default)
[personal profile] khellekson
Mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/06/acafandom_and_beyond_week_two.html

Erica Rand

I'm really struck by your passage: "My writing of slash fan fiction must be subsumed under the rubric of interpretation; how else to explain the overwhelming pleasure of the (writing of the derivative) text, without resorting to "it was confusing and I hated it! So I fixed it!" Read more... )

Karen Hellekson

I do think that that creating fan texts is an interpretive response: fan fiction, fan vids, and other fan artifacts are really just analysis—exegesis with a point, and a point of view. Read more... )


Henry Jenkins

Karen raises some important questions about the discipline specificity of the acafan position, which is one of the real value of having such a diverse set of contributors in this exchange. Read more... )

Karen Hellekson

I'm struck by Henry's and Erica's remarks about pathologizing and addiction—terms with negative connotations that hint at fan studies' tendency to be perceived as extreme and therefore suspect, both by outsiders and by ourselves as we get our fix. Read more... )


Erica Rand

Karen, I love the point you took from my comment about finding theorizing that matters all around us. Read more... )

Henry Jenkins

The circumstances which Erica describes above hint at some of the difficulty with binary descriptions of participant-observation or insider ethnography. Read more... )


Karen Hellekson

Erica notes that she wants to avoid promoting "presumptions that professional critics and academics have more rich and complicated interpretations of culture than the people in pronouncements about what something means: means to whom? how do you know?" Read more... )
khellekson: Close-up photo of my face (Default)
[personal profile] khellekson
Mirrored from: http://henryjenkins.org/2011/06/keeping_your_sanity_while_enga.html

The Origins of "Acafan" -- Henry Jenkins

I have been "credited" (or "blamed," depending on your perspective) with coining the term, "Acafan." Unfortunately, I don't remember when or how this occurred. Like many rich concepts, the term took shape over time, refined through conversations with students, colleagues, and fans. By the time Textual Poachers was published in 1992, I was moderating a short-lived discussion list called Acafan-L, involving mostly fans working on graduate degrees exchanging what we would today call "metafan" comments. "Acafan," however, does not appear in Textual Poachers which starts with my personal declaration as someone who is both a fan and an academic. I had been a fan for well over a decade, I was newly minted as an academic. Read more... )

Pleasure/Politics; Twirling/Defence -- Erica Rand

For the past five years, I've been trying to work my way out of the problem represented by the prompt: "Have we found a way to talk about pleasure [that] no longer requires self-reflexivity about our politics?" I know how long it's been partly by the date of a 15 December 2007 Dear Abby column that I grabbed from The Portland Press Herald, my local paper, early into my participant-observation project grounded in adult (grown-up vs. xxx) figure skating. "Abby" told the "Woman Search[ing] for Reason to End her Guiltless Affair," that "when something feels good, it is easy to become addicted . . . and then you'll be in for a world of pain." I used the comment in my first essay derived from this research, writing that pleasure had a bit of a bad rep among theorists of pleasure from Barthes (Pleasure of the Text) to Abby. In that context, I think, Abby functioned as a funny anti-model and the pairing with Barthes functioned, implicitly and a bit to the contrary, or so I hoped, as an acafan-type call to find theorizing that matters in sources around us. Read more... )

Affect and Interpretation -- Karen Hellekson

As a scholar trained in the field of English, which is all about interpretation and not so much about affect, I tend to be unconcerned about how people feel about ideas or texts. Back in the distant mists of time, when I taught, I was annoyed by student writing that dealt with emotion alone as though it were a valid response to a text. A response like, "It was confusing and I hated it!" to a complex novel is not in any way useful, despite what students clearly seem to think. Get to the formal aspects that made you feel that way! I exhorted them. What about the text made you hate it? What characters, what situations, what textual choices, what aspects of the authorial voice? If you must valorize your emotional response, use it as a doorway into interpretation! Read more... )

Bios

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September 2011

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