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…

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…

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….

Fractured Fandom and Power Flows

In the past decades, academic scholarship has celebrated fans and their fandoms, and even public discourse has seen a turnaround from ostracizing fans to embracing them. While there are benefits to being fans, problems do exist within fandoms and threaten to emotionally and even physically hurt fans, and these problems should be addressed so that…

Twitter Dialogues

I just learned that Storify is going away in May 2018, and I had been using the platform to store tweets for my Fractured Fandom project, such as this list that helped me curate stories for my research: Stories of and Thoughts on Fractured Fandom As part of this process, I also engaged in various…

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….

Community at AAW

It takes a community to build a wrestling promotion. We have been going to AAW shows now for over a year. We have been to see them in the various venues they use in Chicago — Logan Square Auditorium, 115 Bourbon Street, the Berwyn Eagles Club, and Joe’s Live at Rosemont. We have watched some…

Pop Culture Lens on Transformers

  In the thirty-seventh episode of The Pop Culture Lens podcast, Christopher Olson and I welcome friend of the podcast Jef Burnham of CadaverCast to discuss the classic toy line, Transformers. In this episode, the three recall with fondness how these toys impacted their lives, but in doing so, they also focus on the relationship between…