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…

Making Sense of Cinema Anthology

Edited by Christopher Olson (Seems Obvious to Me) and myself, Bloomsbury Academic will release Making Sense of Cinema: Empirical Studies into Film Spectators and Spectatorship on February 25, 2016. Making Sense of Cinema is an anthology collecting empirical studies that display different methods for studying real film spectators engaging with real films. Film studies has…

Fandom as Repeatedly Returning to What Matters Most

Being a fan can mean many different things to many different people. It may mean a person likes to collect memorabilia for a favorite sports team. It may mean a group like to wear costumes and reenact an important event. It may mean individuals compete with one another to test their knowledge in trivia contests….

In Defense of Fans via Fractured Fandom

In defense of fans and fandom, I want to make clear that I would not argue that fractured fandom happens all the time or involves a majority of the population of any particular fandom. What I would say about fractured fandom is that it reflects a larger social and cultural issue, in the United States…

An Encoding-Decoding-Recoding Model of Media Studies

This blog posts continues the dissection of my dissertation that I began by introducing the topic of gendered media engagings earlier this year. This post focuses on a model I used in my dissertation to understand the array of media studies conducted to investigate the ways in which gender is involved in how people engage…

The Study of Gendered Media Engagings (Part 3): Why It Matters

This is the third part of my dissertation’s first chapter.  The first part was on defining gendered media engagings.  The second part was on defining gender. Why studying gendered media engagings matters Thanks to the work of scholars such as Dallas Smythe, we are aware of the central role of advertisement in most media industries (Smythe,…

The Whats versus Hows of Film Spectatorship

[What follows is a 2007 paper I wrote for a graduate level course on film studies.  It was this paper that started me thinking about what I’ve come to term minutia reception studies.  I’ve edited the paper for length, and I’ve included a picture of the reception worksheets my brother filled out as part of…

The Story of The Dark Knight and Its Brethren

Back in the spring of 2007, like other Batman fans who loved Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, I was eagerly awaiting his follow-up, The Dark Knight. When the “I Believe in Harvey Dent” website went live in May, I was there with others. However, not long after the original website went live, some digitally scrawled graffiti…