First, the state of fan studies in Brazil: research focused on digital settings but still working on integrating digital methods with other methods. Transcultural fan studies scholarship does focus on music fandom.
8 themes identified in lit review of Brazilian fan studies research - 1) The fan condition and identities; 2) Fandom consumption practices; 3) Digital Media fan practices and dynamics; 4) Fandom as community;
5) Fan activism; 6) Politics and Fandom; 7) Nostalgia and fans; 8) Fan production and works
Currently building Brazilian fan studies digital archive at https://www.estudosdefas.com.br/ and next step is interviewing authors.
Dr. Lies Lanckman is looking at Yiddish-language Hollywood fan magazines, esp. from the 30s & analyzing fan letters in the magazines.
“Affordances & Paradigms in Platformed Fandom”
Fandom has moved from self-contained/self-managed spaces to platforms controlled by others/corporations.
Examples of commercial + cultural tension in fandom use of platforms: Tumblr’s porn ban • YA NFT scandal • TikTok Omegaverse LARP • Hannibal Twitter Wars • Censorship of AO3 in China
Considerations: Algorithmic fandom, boundary-enforcing norms, encounters with the fourth wall, platform-native emergent fan practices, AO3 as anti-platform
Important to keep in mind that while platform affordances shape fan behavior, “fans find a way”
Future RQs: Where can resistance & creativity be found in platformed fan practices? How does digital literacy/understanding of the nature of a given platform affect norms and values of the fan communities that use it?
How does the “first fandom experiences” of teenagers materially differ when it occurs via algorithm, and how does it continue to affect their journey through fandom?
“From tool to lens - A case study of applying digital methods in fan studies”
Research project - “Marveling at Darcy Lewis”
Scraped information & texts from AO3 and ended up with about 2,419 fics
Using a tool called tag refinery alongside the process of topic model analysis for text selection
Are we using digital methods as tools or as lenses for engaging with theoretical frameworks: queer studies, feminist studies, intersectional feminism?
“Mushroom for improvement: Theorizing a new model for the circulation of fan objects”
Mycelium model focuses on movement of fan objects, agency of fans, flexible & agile model that is based off the radiating organism of fungi with genre as scaffolding
Multimodal methodology: autoethnography, desk research using thursdaysfallenangel’s survey on fanfiction consumption & sharing habits, case studies
Mad at Your Dad/Craiglist Thanksgiving trope. Based off Craigslist ad where poster offered self as deliberately bad Thanksgiving date
Used manual data collection to look at post with 562K+ notes at time of writing, and then GEPHI as network visualization tool
Alex is sharing super cool visualization with posts indicated by dots, reblogs by lines, and fandom by color of dot & line
Multifandom blogs provided most notes, then small clusters of particular fandom blogs
asks @alexanthoudakis about using a mushroom model which reflects a broader trend in cultural studies of using biological metaphors. What are the implications for theoretical considerations?
Considered metaphors for things that happened organically, references other scholars who use virality as a metaphor. Important not to forget the PEOPLE in the process.
Originally started with the idea of tentacles, but they only radiate out from one point, don’t capture horizontal circulation of fan objects. Same text that suggested tentacles also discussed mushrooms, so began researching mushrooms
Found philosophy paper that used mycelium as metaphor, cemented the idea that Alex was looking for.