Call for Proposals: Mental Health and Fandom

Before the concretization of fan studies as an academic discipline, fans would routinely be labeled and treated as “fanatics” or people with excessive love for something or someone that could lead them to engage in maladaptive, even dangerous, behavior. In a sense, public discourses positioned fandom as a mental health issue. Along with being problematic…

Trauma and Fractured Fandom

This blog post contains my presentation at MPCA/ACA 2019 from our panel on mental health and fandom. This presentation is the first step in a deeper analysis of my fractured fandom work to understand the traumatic experiences fans expressed in their self-interviews. “fear fearfearfearfear feeling hella unsafe”: The Trauma of Fractured Fandoms As a brief…

Happy 25th Anniversary, Friends!

Welcome back to a new season! For the fifty-first episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I are joined by our colleague and pop culture scholar Jennifer Dunn to discuss the 25th anniversary of one of the most successful sitcoms of all time: Friends (1994-2004). In this episode, the trio consider the impact of…

Discussing Weird Al’s Staying Power

In a first, the forty-ninth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Noelle Lynn Blood joining Christopher Olson and I to discuss the importance of Weird Al Yankovic to pop culture and nerds. In this episode, the trio examine how Weird Al has adapted himself to different eras in pop…

San Diego Comic Con

In a first, the forty-eighth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Joan Miller (@a_wild_acafan) joining Christopher Olson and myself to discuss the importance of the grand-daddy fan convention, San Diego Comic Con. In this episode, the trio discuss how SDCC came to be the pop cultural juggernaut that it…

Work In Progress: Applying SMM to Fan Studies

This draft comes from a presentation given at the 2018 MPCA/ACA conference in Indianapolis. Introduction Communication scholar Brenda Dervin created the Sense-Making Methodology as a methodological approach for conducting interviews that draws on metatheoretical concepts such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, and the humanistic approach to psychology. Since its formulation, Sense-Making Methodology (SMM) has been utilized across…

Mystery Science Theater 3000

In a first, the forty-sixth episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast finds friend of the podcast Ryan Schriml (@EalingCA) joining Christopher Olson and myself to discuss the original comedy series, Mystery Science Theater 3000. In this episode, the trio of Misties reflect on the legacy of the television show in spawning movie-riffing as a modern…

A Christmas Story Christmas Gift

In this special episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast for the 2018 holiday season, Christopher Olson and I discuss the nostalgic appeal of A Christmas Story (1983) by Bob Clark and Jean Shepherd. In this episode, the co-hosts address the question of how the movie mixes nostalgia with anti-sentimentalism to create a realistic portrayal of Christmas…

Defining Fandom as Repeatedly Returning

I presented this idea, based on previous work, at the MPCA/ACA conference of October 2018. I present it here for us to have a conversation about what it means to be a fan and how we define what a fan is.

Call for Chapter Proposals: Eating Fandom

Call for Chapter Proposals for Anthology Title: Eating Fandom: Intersections between Fans and Food Culture Editors: CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Dominican University), Bertha Chin (Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak, Malaysia) and Julia E. Largent (McPherson College) Rationale: An emerging field of fan studies looks at how fans interact with different aspects and elements of food cultures….