Transformative Works and Cultures editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson were interviewed by fan studies scholar Henry Jenkins about the book they published earlier this year, The Fan Fiction Studies Reader (the book’s royalties go to the OTW). Said Jenkins, “And that brings us to the second thing that the focus on 1991-92 as the birth of fan studies may get wrong. The Fan Fiction Studies Reader is focused in expanding this time line in important ways, calling attention to the kinds of writing on fan fiction that existed prior to Enterprising Women or Textual Poachers, work that often came out of the second wave of feminism and was also embedded in the fan community itself. Many of these essays have been out of print or scattered across obscure journals so there is an enormous contribution in bringing them together again, reframing them for contemporary readers, and reappraising their contributions to the early development of this field.”

Fan studies has changed a lot, but you don’t have to be an academic to be thinky about fandom.

“A load of [Sherlock fan fiction] has been superb. There’s a tendency to disparage it. I don’t agree. Even the slash fiction, that’s a great way to learn to work. No one really does three-act structure, but just trying to put words that make somebody else turned on, that’s going to teach you more about writing than any writing college you can go to. It’s creative and exciting. I refuse to mock it—because I’m a man who writes Sherlock Holmes fan fiction for a living!” -Steven Moffat

Fans have been raising money to resurrect projects, but is it even better when it’s a fanfic version? http://bit.ly/1aSzamG 

Comic Book Resources reported on a NYCC panel about female fandom in which Kelly Sue DeConnick said, “‘I think that there’s an important thing to remember too, that what you’re seeing now, the influx of female readership and female creators is not a revolution, it’s a restoration…Back in the '30s and '40s there was a girls’ magazine that had a distribution of 300,000 copies per month and it was comics… [In the decades since] women were discouraged, dissuaded, made unwelcome, and now for a plethora of reasons, women are returning…There are enough comics for everyone…Say it with me now: equality is not a loss.’”

PWP is a lie, part of a larger plot along with Mary Sues to make sure that women have a voice in fandom.

A post at JD Supra focused on the way fair use is being seen in U.S. courts following a decision in Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. “More broadly, decisions like TVEyes suggest that courts are moving away from viewing fair use as a narrowly-drawn exception to copyright holders’ exclusive rights in their works, to the view that fair use promotes the creation of transformative works and thus serves one of the goals of copyright law itself. The TVEyes opinion, which essentially presumed transformativeness of the work at the outset of the fair use analysis, suggests that the trend toward this broader view of the role of fair use continues to gain traction in the federal courts.”

OTW’s position is that fanworks have fair use on their side & the history of copyright shows it wasn’t designed for creators.

A number of outlets wrote about the implications of the all-female and all-male Ghostbusters remakes. Salondecided that the fault doesn’t just lie with a sexist culture but that the blame also lies with fanworks. “[S]tudios are actually listening to their customers, and remakes are what you want. It’s what you’re making, after all — and by ‘you’ I mean the vast majority of people out in the indie fan world that supposedly serves as our alternative, our escape from the moribund studio system. What has the Internet been spending all this time making? Fan fiction, fan art, fan films. It’s hard to tell at times if the people making 'gritty reboot’ trailers are parodying Hollywood or unironically creating something they want.”

The media’s shifting from 'discovering’ fanworks to deciding they’re 'over’ or at fault for remakes.

The it-getters at PBS’ Idea Channel released an episode focusing on fanfiction & LGBT representation. “Official writers are…gesturing at alternate universes, at relationships that could exist between characters – were the world of the show…not what it actually is. I see this as the sacred charge of so much fanfiction, to express the love left unexpressed in so much popular culture.” (No transcript available.)

People are noticing how fans interact with canon & how it compares to what commercial productions do.

Blogger Jenny Cee posted advice about software and apps that would make fannish life easier. “Are you freaking tired of seeing that one ship come up over and over again as you trying to find a good fic read? Is there that one trope you can not stand, and if you see it one more time you will just lose it? Then yeah, then go ahead and install the greasemonkey (firefox) or tampermonkey (chrome), and scoot your butt over to the Greasy Fork and install the A03 savior. It’s has a bit of learning curve, but they are some helpful tutorials on how to set it up.”

Do you need advice about your fannishness? People are asking, offering & getting it.

Autostraddle was one of many sites turning to fanfic recs for content. “[T]he future is now and fandom is mainstream and queer women who love pop culture are changing the shape of the world! Part of it is writing/reading fan fiction, which smashes the patriarchy in so many exciting and accessible ways… Faking It is…fun for a lot of reasons, including how the collective power of femslash fandom is what caused Glee and South of Nowhere to buck the fauxmosexual sweeps weeks tropes of yore (thanks, The O.C.!) and really delve into lady-loving relationships on-screen.”

Fanfic’s always been for entertainment but now it’s also for profiling fandom & a source of media content: http://bit.ly/14ssUQ7

The Conversation featured a discussion of Leonard Nimoy’s impact on fandom&. “[I]t’s no surprise that for many fans, the loss of Leonard Nimoy felt like the loss of a family member. Nimoy was happy to be known as the ‘geek grandpa,’ and embraced his key role in history and development of fandom. Those early fans – who, so many years ago, fell in love with Kirk and Spock – proved that their passion could make a difference, that fan communities could be a force for good. They took a page out of Star Trek and refused to apologize for being different. Just like Mr. Spock.

Many centerpieces of fandom are going but will not be forgotten, by either fans or our cultures.

At The Conversation, Hannah McCann discussed studying fans of popular culture. “Researchers in the field of romance studies have argued that criticism of the genre often involves patronising female readers. Similar levels of critical concern are rarely turned on texts marketed to male audiences, or those seen as part of high culture. Studying romance fans themselves has been a way to recover the agency of female readers, in part by seeing female fans as active meaning-makers.”

Academics discuss studying fans & fans argue for why their fandoms are important in society

A more thoughtful article at Refinery29 points out that SDCC is hardly a bastion of feminism yet.

“What we’re calling fangirls here covers an admittedly wide and amorphous group of women. They’re cosplayers, comic book collectors, sci-fi nerds, steampunk enthusiasts, booth babes, Lolitas, and more….And they are vocal: When the proportion of female writers and artists for DC Comics plunged from 12 percent to 1 percent in 2011, female fans started a petition for DC to hire more women. DC Comics responded by promising to try.

Female fans from a group called the Carol Corps. were also instrumental last year in pushing Marvel to announce plans for a movie about Captain Marvel, a super-powered woman. In other words, fangirls are engaged and numerous, making up a significant portion of the audience that shells out hard-earned dollars to support their pop culture passions. And yet, despite that, this group remains the third estate of the comics / fantasy world." 

Fangirls by the numbers, by the year, by the film portrayal & by their issues: http://bit.ly/1LTQaJS

“After all of this, my new definition of fan fiction is as follows: Fan fiction is a thing that some people do; it usually involves being inspired by another’s work. Some fan fiction is good. Some is bad. That’s about as in depth as I can go right now with my definition… Is Tolkien just fan fiction of Anglo-Saxon and Norse mythology?" 

Fan fiction can be hard to define, but some are still eager to commodify it.

At Bustle Emma Lord explained why Everyone Should Date Someone Who is Into Fanfiction. “I learned something about fanfiction: It isn’t a hindrance to me being in a relationship at all. In fact, it has become a whole new facet of myself that I finally got the opportunity to share with someone, and I was surprised once I found someone who was curious about it that I had a lot to say. I would argue that in general, being a rampant fanfiction junkie makes you even more desirable in a relationship, because we have so much to bring to the table.”

Fans can find fandom tough to do without acceptance – from within or from one another.