I didn’t go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens when it was released in theaters. I couldn’t bring myself to. And this is coming from someone who saw — willingly and enthusiastically — each of the prequels in midnight openings. I saw Phantom Menace numerous times in the theater — even while doing an internship in New York City. On my walk to Nickelodeon every … Continue reading This Jedi’s Reaction to The Force Awakens: An Autoethnography in Fractured Fandom
(I wrote this for a graduate course on critical and cultural theories. It helped fuel my thinking about agency, fandom, and reception studies. I believe the citations are in reference to work by Judith Butler about Louis Althusser, but unfortunately I cannot find it. If you know the source, then please let me know! And, of course, there is a little Michel Foucault thrown in … Continue reading A Subject By Choice?
In the latest episode of our podcast, The Pop Culture Lens, Christopher and I are joined by good friend and Associate Professor at DePaul University, Paul Booth, to discuss the longevity of Star Trek. All three of us are huge Star Trek fans, and we had a rousing good conversation about why the series has had the impact on society and culture that it has … Continue reading Star Trek: Episode 12 of The Pop Culture Lens
Defining Fractured Fandom
According to the discipline of fan studies, at this point in history, being a fan is considered a positive for any individual. Being a fan helps people discover their identities, and to determine what they like and do not like. Being a fan helps people find friends, establish communities, and develop a sense of belonging. Being a fan allows people to express themselves creatively, whether through theories, writing, art works, or costumes. Being a fan represents a means for everyday people to establish themselves as active and powerful creators and participants in a capitalistic system that otherwise sees them as nothing more than passive consumers. In other words, being a fan, especially since the advent of the Internet, is considered a positive aspect of life.
There are times, however, when being a fan presents a problem: a problem for the fan; for others the fan engages with either inside or outside of any fan community; or for entire fan communities that clash with one another, whether from the same fandom, from different fandoms, or outside the context of any fandom. Sometimes, what one fan considers good another might consider bad. These differences hold the potential to cause problems in how individuals treat one another, and can impact people’s behaviors in such a way that what once seemed brilliant and fun becomes unwelcoming or even threatening. When an individual’s sense of self depends too much on identifying as a fan, or when a fan questions the legitimacy of another group of fans, then fandom becomes problematic. Such instances can lead to what I call fractured fandom.
Day 2: Sunday, June 22nd
On the topic of mass…
I am still uncomfortable joining in on the spiritual sessions and Catholic Eucharist ceremonies that are scheduled for this colloquium. I feel like an intruder, an interloper, a negative presence. There is nothing that anyone here has said or done that has made me feel this way. In fact, I appreciate their willingness and desire to offer a blessing to those who beseech it, such as those other other religious affiliations who would like to experience the ritual. And they offer many different spiritual discussions that I am sure can be seen as less denomination than the sacramental rituals. But I would feel disingenuous in being blessed, as it would have no impact on me. I do not believe, that is the simple truth of it all. Perhaps before the end of this week, I will venture into one session, just to listen, which appears to be my main goal here, as I cannot partake in conversations about religion.
We are now full swing into the summer blockbuster season for Hollywood, and let’s take a tally of movies that are currently out or soon to arrive that originate from the pages of comic books. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Amazing Spider-Man 2. X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hercules. Guardians of the Galaxy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Kingsman: The Secret Service. Big Hero 6.
All of this, without mentioning the big hitters coming soon, such as the second Avengers movie, or the one that finally brings Wonder Woman to the screen while pitting Batman v. Superman. All of this, a range of titles for the young to the mature. And these are only Hollywood films. Consider all of the movies made from comic books around the world, and the numbers are staggering. The top ten comic book adaptation movies have grossed around $4.05 billion dollars in just over a decade, proving their dominance at the box office in the United States and around the world.
Earlier today I presented our 3D printer to the Dominican University faculty. I demonstrated how our Cubify printer (the type seen in the featured image) works, and I discussed what 3D printing is. I also focused the discussion on the possibilities of 3D printing, both how the process is currently being put to use in a variety of fields, as well as the further out … Continue reading 3-D Printing: Desktop Manufacturing Overview