Jun. 20th, 2011

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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... )


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