Having a low spoons day today, so I’m working through a bunch of fiddly, errand-type to-do list stuff rather than getting knee-deep in data collection. But I have been reflecting on just the beginnings of this research process somewhat.

I’m an old hand at turning fun into work and vice versa. I did it with my first career as a Latin teacher, and then when I was a Latin teacher and picked up reading and blogging about kidlit and YA lit as a hobby, I became a school librarian. If things had gone differently at my job after that, I was going to steer my work in the direction of the Maker Movement and STEM-to-STEAM. In my two qualitative methods courses, I wrote my final papers about improv, which was my (incredibly) dominant hobby at the time.

Some people find that when they do a thing as a job, they don’t love that thing anymore. But not me, usually. (If I stop loving the thing, it’s less to do with the thing itself being my work and more to do with the work environment.)

So when I decided to make my research about cosplay, it was not a little bit because I knew that if I made cosplay part of my work, I would prioritize it more than I had in the past, and that’s definitely happened.

As part of looking at the resources Kroski recommends in her book, Cosplay in Libraries, I have found myself getting really excited about the possibilities for my own cosplay in the future. While everyone I’ve interacted with around cosplay has been immensely kind, it can be hard to feel like you’re capable of jumping in. There are so many possibilities for techniques you might use when you transition from styled cosplayer (where I still am right now) to cosplay maker, and I’m looking forward to having these resources at my fingertips to help me dig in more.

I think Gillian Conahan, author of The Hero’s Closet, tries to learn a technique with each costume she makes, and that’s my goal, too. For Oak City ComiCon, I’m putting together a Kitty Pryde (Sprite) costume and a Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) costume. For Kitty Pryde, I’m going to learn 3D printing and painting a 3D printed item. For Spider-Woman, I’m going to learn to use craft foam to modify glasses.

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.