mirrored from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/06/acafandom_and_beyond_week_one.htmlThis is the first installment of our summer-long discussion of "Acafandom and Beyond." Many readers ask me what "Acafan" means in the title of this blog. This conversation will be a chance to dig deeper into this concept and explore its relationship to more general concerns of the place of subjectivity and self-reflexivity in cultural critique. In the first segment of each week, we will be reading opening statements from the three invited participants.
My interest in aca-fan identity derives from two main concerns. First, I envision the aca-fan construct as the demarcation of a site of cultural and political struggle and an opportunity for solidarity; yet it often seems to be represented as a coherent or even essentialized standpoint or identity (and identity politics). Secondly, the issues I imagine as most central to theorization of aca-fan identity have also been elucidated significantly in the works of post-structuralist, post-modern, feminist, queer, post-colonial, and native ethnography/ethnology, and those conversations would significantly enrich our dialogue. ( read more )
This August I will be going to my first fan convention. It's a very specific fan con, not one that is focused on any particular series, but rather a con that brings together practitioners and appreciators of the practice of fan remix video known as vidding. The con is called Vividcon, and for three days fans and vidders gather to screen vids, discuss vids, assess vids, critique vids, and dance to vids. Vividcon represents a turning point for me, as does the writing of this piece. I have always found negotiating my fan and academic personae to be a fraught process. ( read more )
Over the past few years, the term "acafan" has been picked up for a variety of uses. For academics, it's been a way to discuss a particular type of fan studies. By that, I mean pieces more qualitative in nature, more informed by in-depth knowledge of a particular fan culture because it's been written by someone who is a member of that community, and which often use an inductive sort of logic, focusing on the rich details of a particular fan community and then looking at what that case might tell us about fan practices at large. ( read more ) ( Participant bios )