A Fan Studies Primer

Method, Research, Ethics

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Pub Date 01 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 01 Dec 2021
University of Iowa Press, University Of Iowa Press

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Description

FAN STUDIES
The discipline of fan studies is famously undisciplined. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t structured. This is the first comprehensive primer for classroom use that shows students how to do fan studies in practical terms. With contributions from a range of established and emerging scholars, coeditors Paul Booth and Rebecca Williams pull together case studies that demonstrate the wide array of methodologies available to fan studies scholars, such as auto/ethnography, immersion, interviews, online data mining, historiography, and textual analysis. This collection also probes the ethical questions that are unique to fan studies work, such as the use of online fan content for research, interview methods, consent, and privacy.
 
FAN STUDIES
The discipline of fan studies is famously undisciplined. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t structured. This is the first comprehensive primer for classroom use that shows students how to do ...

A Note From the Publisher

CONTRIBUTORS:
Maria Alberto, Cait Coker, Renee Ann Drouin, Anne Gilbert, Danielle Hart, Matt Hills, Lies Lanckman, Julia Largent, Katherine Larsen, Lori Morimoto, EJ Nielsen, Mandy Olejnik, Rukmini Pande, Milena Popova, Kadian L. Pow, Suzanne Scott, Josh Stenger, Alex Thomas, Elise Vist, Lesley Willard, Benjamin Woo

CONTRIBUTORS:
Maria Alberto, Cait Coker, Renee Ann Drouin, Anne Gilbert, Danielle Hart, Matt Hills, Lies Lanckman, Julia Largent, Katherine Larsen, Lori Morimoto, EJ Nielsen, Mandy Olejnik, Rukmini...


Advance Praise

“This groundbreaking collection marks the further maturing of fandom studies as an academic field through its consideration of a diverse range of fan practices, methodologies, and theoretical issues, with a strong emphasis on ethical concerns. I know I will be sharing many of these contributions with my students for years to come.”—Henry Jenkins, author, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture


A Fan Studies Primer is a necessary contribution to the field. The book makes a vital case for the importance of methods and methodology in fan studies—while, importantly, recognizing the complexity and risks of doing so. It is an essential resource for scholars, researchers, and students.”—Adrienne Evans, Coventry University


“This groundbreaking collection marks the further maturing of fandom studies as an academic field through its consideration of a diverse range of fan practices, methodologies, and theoretical issues...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781609388096
PRICE $35.00 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

I loved this. As someone who is a fan, who writes and consumes fanfiction, enjoys fanart, loves transformative work, with a background in media studies, this primer made me think that if I ever went back into academia, it would be media fandom focused.

These essays were thoughtful, well-referenced, and tended towards being concise and sharp. I very much appreciated that many of them drew attention to the invisibilised 'normative' whiteness within fandom, the problems this presents, and the oppression it continues. I also appreciate the effort of the editors to include the voices of people of colour, and I particularly enjoyed the essays particularly written by Kadian Pow and Alex Thomas. But all of these essays are excellent, thoughtful and encapsulate relevant and topical (and controversial in some cases) themes in fandom, academia and acafandom.

Some of the essays in this were quite dry and opaque, using a lot of jargon (I have never encountered the word 'multisited' before), while others are extremely accessible even for laypeople. It does presume that readers will have some awareness of the initial and most famous or well-known acafandom academic pieces, which I didn't, and I don't think that's necessarily a barrier to entry (if anything, it inspires curiosity). On a personal level, I enjoyed that this primer delegitimised antis, and shone a spotlight on their harmful and abusive behaviours.

I think anyone interested in fandom and topical fandom issues, especially around race, ethnography, colonialism, transnational communities and the different ways we see ourselves in fandom, or see fandom, or interact with media fandom, will find a lot useful in this primer. I'm really grateful for this review copy, and it's going to have a special place on my shelf, I wanted to quote a ton of it on Tumblr and in other fan spaces as I was reading. This work is *relevant.*

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A big thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. "A Fan Studies Primer" is a truly wonderful and one of a kind book. Each and every essay is well-referenced, which gives you the opportunity to dive even deeper into the topic discussed in the chapter. I found the writing style in most of the essays to be a little too dry and heavy, but there are some which were written perfectly and kept you interested. While it discusses very important topic when it comes to fan studies such as ethnography, race and racism, colonialism, queerness, etc., I think it was mainly focused on the American audience/fandoms, which left me with the impression that more points of view could have been included or at least mentioned. I liked that at times the essays got controversial, I think this is what makes this primer relevant and truly informative. An awesome read for acafans, well, primarily the American ones.

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A Fan Studies Primer is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of the field. For a former academic whose experience in area studies and popular culture and film studies I found this to be a good discussion to begin to give some form to a still relatively new area of focused study.

I said nuts and bolts because this is mostly about the act of doing fan studies rather than a collection of fan studies. How, or should, an academic who is also a fan (or an anti-fan) make that known in their research? The typical research ethics questions but applied to this field, as well as some that are particular to it. How certain aspects of fandom (implied inherent whiteness) should be approached and corrected (or corrected for). In other words, a must read for those thinking of doing research in the field but more of a suggested read for those simply interested in the results of that research. But rewarding for all readers.

Since this is about the mechanics of doing the research the contributors are naturally selected from a still relatively small group of scholars and an even smaller group of universities. So a complaint about more diversity, especially in a book that addresses diversity explicitly, is a little off point. Finding scholars in the community of fan studies scholars unfortunately, at this time, is limiting by nature. That said, contributors are largely US with some from the UK, Canada, India, and a more independent scholar with ties to several countries. So without knowing how many scholars are doing fan studies I think this is a fairly diverse group. Plus they want and call for more inclusivity.

Highly recommended for those in or thinking of getting into the field. Also recommended for those who enjoy reading the results of such research but want to have some idea of how the field is evolving.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.

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