A Communication Toolbox for Communication Literacy

The following is an excerpt from my book Fractured Fandoms: Contentious Communication in Fan Communities. To read all of the information, you will need to get the book, either from a seller or your local library. [Do not cite this blog post as it is an abridged version of what appears in the book. All…

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…

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…

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…

The Fractured Fandom Book

My project all started with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. In 2010 a new animated series was released based on the old toy line (I had these toys as a kid). What amazed everyone is that a toy line and series meant for girls started to develop a following of adult men, who took…

Echo Chambers and Fandom

Okay, first, let’s talk about echo chambers. You may have heard this term, especially since the 2016 presidential election. In media studies, an echo chamber is a community, usually one that is online, where the members of that community all have the same interests, values, and beliefs. This group of like-minded individuals talk with one…

Fractured Fandom in Online Spaces

Fractured Fandom in Online Spaces: Problematic Communication in Communication-Inscribed Places This blog post represents a presentation I gave at the 2017 Central States Communication Association Conference, and is based on research I am doing on my Fractured Fandom project. This project is an online self-interview study conducted in 2015. The larger project is being written…

A Subject by Choice: The Agency of Fans

I wrote this reflection paper back in 2007 to consider how theories about subjectivation occurs in fandom. Which is to say, how fans of something willingly become identified with that thing they are a fan of. Subjectivation would argue that people passively become something through external ideological forces — that they have no say in…