Agata Zarzycka

Dr. Agata Zarzycka

Bibliography for Fan Studies

General Developments in Fan Studies:

1) An extended introduction including definitions of basic fandom-related terms; a discussion of fan studies as a product of exchange between fandom and academia; and an overview of issues addressed and methodologies employed by fan studies:

Busse, Kristina and Karen Hellekson. “Introduction: Work in Progress.” Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet. Hellekson, Karen and Kristina Busse, eds. Jefferson and London: McFarland and Co., 2006. 5-32. [PDF]

2) One of the crucial early texts inspiring the development of fan studies, and especially the further activity of Henry Jenkins:

Fiske, John. “Cultural Economy of Fandom.” The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. Lisa A. Lewis, ed. London and New York: Routledge, 1992. 30-49. [PDF]

3) A relatively recent critique of Jenkins’ approach to participatory culture as a phenomenon triggered by fandom, but increasingly broadened by the growing importance of digital social media. Focusing on the impact of technology and economy upon the social and political potential of participatory culture, the author attempts to verify Jenkins’ affirmation of its subversive and democratic potential:

Schäfer, Mirko Tobias. Bastard Culture! How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2011. [PDF]

4) An insight into the transformative and subversive potential of fan culture, offered by the study case of an intentionally political remix video created with the use of fandom-generated techniques:

McIntosh, Jonathan. “What Would Buffy Do? Notes on Dusting Edward Cullen.” Rebellious Pixels: Digital Home of Pop Culture Hacker Jonathan McIntosh. 19 June 2009. [WEB]

Optionally: A brief introduction focused on the political, and specifically feminist impact of fan production:

Busse, Kristina. “Introduction.” Cinema Journal, 48, Number 4, Summer 2009, pp. 104-107. Published by University of Texas Press. [PDF]

Optionally: An exemplary essay referring a perspective of literary studies to the subject matter of fan studies by approaching fan fiction as a form of literature:

Derecho, Abigail. “Archontic Literature: A Definition, a History, and Several Theories of Fan Fiction.” Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet. Hellekson, Karen and Kristina Busse, eds. Jefferson and London: McFarland and Co., 2006. 61-78. [PDF]

Optionally: An overview of political remix videos created before the contemporary boom of participatory culture:

McIntosh, Jonathan. “A History of Subversive Remix Video before YouTube: Thirty Political Video Mashups Made between World War II and 2005.” Transformative Works and Cultures, vol. 9 (2012). [WEB]

Internal Tensions and Meta-Consciousness in Fandom and Fan Studies:

5) A study report devoted to the internal monitoring initiatives within fandom and also including a commentary on the fandom-academia relationship:

Dunlap, Kathryn and Clarissa Wolf. “Fans Behaving Badly: Anime Metafandom, Brutal Criticism, and the Intellectual Fan.” Mechademia, Volume 5, 2010, pp. 267-283. Published by University of Minnesota Press [PDF]

6) Ian Bogost’s blog entry criticizing Jenkins’ “aca-fan” concept and status of scholars involved in both fandom activities and pop-culture-oriented academic practice. The discussion in the comments section is most interesting, as it has attracted some prominent fan studies scholars including Jenkins, whose dialog with Bogost is especially worth tracking down:

Bogost, Ian. “Against Aca-Fandom: On Jason Mittel on Mad Men.” Ian Bogost’s homepage. 29 July 2010. [WEB]

Optionally: A public exchange between a comics author Greg Rucka and producers of a t-shirt which he, along with a significant number of other fandom participants, found offensive. The debate, colloquial and informal as it is, reflects the recent growth of interest on the part of fandom-related social media and communities in the issue of internal exclusions and power relations within participatory culture. Both entries are taken from The Mary Sue – a prominent women-oriented pop cultural website – rather than their original sources, as the shared platform explains the circumstances of the conflict and reinforces the open debate context:

Pantozzi, Jill. “Greg Rucka Has Something Important to Say About Your Gatekeeping of Women In Geek Culture.” The Mary Sue. 22 April 2014. [WEB]

Pahle, Rebecca. “Creators of WonderCon’s ‘I Hate Fangirls’ Shirt Defend It, Double Down on ‘Fake Geek’ Bullcrap.“ The Mary Sue. 23 April 2014. [WEB]