Fans of Trump, Fans of Jesus

To start. I want to return to the original conceptionalization of fanaticism defining fandom. So, let’s do a dive back into what this word means. Merriam-Webster defines “fanaticism” as having a “fanatic outlook or behavior.” Well, that’s not helpful, because it defines the term with a different version of it; so, what is fanatic? The…

Customer-Fans and the Happily Exploited

Time for another story (I appear to have a lot to tell!); this time, about the experiences I had at the biggest comic book convention in the world, San Diego Comic Con International. When I graduated college, I moved to Los Angeles and ended up working at an agency that represents writers, directors and producers….

Power as Causing Fractured Fandoms

For the 2016 Midwest PCA/ACA conference, I presented a paper on my fractured fandom project titled “‘Power is an allusion’: Referencing power as causing fractures in fandom and fan communities.” What follows is that presentation. Nina (a pseudonym), a 16-year-old high school student in Connecticut, pondered on the following situation: “Why are people so cruel? Why…

Gendering Hatsune Miku

Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and I have been working on our concept of the networked gender, building off the concept of the networked self to understand the co-constructive nature of gender identity. We will be publishing a piece on using this concept to look at BMO in Adventure Time, and this represents our…

Wrestling Studies MPCA/ACA 2017 CFP

Midwest PCA/ACA 2017 Area: Wrestling Studies Area Co-Chairs: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson The 2017 Midwest PCA/ACA conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch from Wednesday-Sunday, October 18-22.  Call: Past, Present and Future of Professional Wrestling Since this is the inaugural conference for this new area, the Wrestling…

The Pop Culture Lens on Doctor Who

In the thirty-sixth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast, Paul Booth of DePaul University, to discuss the venerable British science fiction series, Doctor Who. In this episode, the three discuss what has led to the longevity of the series, which started in 1963. This discussion…

Carpenter’s The Thing and Politics of Paranoia

In the thirty-fifth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast, and unofficial third host, Joe Belfeuil to discuss the influential horror film that is John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). In this episode, the three discuss how the narrative and craft of the film has inspired a…

Fourth Wall and Professional Wrestling

In this brief essay, I want to share an idea I have had about how the concept of audience interaction helps to define sports entertainment as existing at the intersection of sports and entertainment. Audience interaction with content (what I have written about here as content interactivity) is the idea that the audience member (either…

Academic Assholes and the Circle of Niceness

Originally posted on SAS Confidential:
Author: Inger Mewburn Original: The Thesis Whisperer Two of my favourite people in the academic world are my friends Rachael Pitt (aka @thefellowette) and Nigel Palmer. Whenever we have a catch up, which is sadly rare, we have a fine old time talking shop over beer and chips (well lemonade…

The Pop Culture Lens Takes on Joss Whedon

On this eighteenth episode of The Pop Culture Lens, we present the recording of a second roundtable discussion from the 2015 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference. This roundtable discusses the topic of director and showrunner Joss Whedon — and how much of a controversial figure and person he is for so many people, including his…