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dr elmyra @elmyra
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#FSN2018 Day 2. I'm chairing (and therefore only tweeting sporadically) #D2 Fandom, Distinction & Hierarchy
First up in #FSN2018 #D2 From ‘Gore-Object’ to ‘Art-Object’ to... No Object: Exploitation Cinema after DVD
And that's Simon Hobbs from Porthmouth University. #FSN2018 #D2
Looking at exploitation cinema: banned on VHS, re-released with paratexts (special features, premium packaging, etc.) on DVD which gives them added status and cultural capital - but what happens when we move away from DVD & to streaming? #FSN2018 #D2
Paratexts sanitise and validate the content, make it more acceptable. You don't even need to watch special features - their mere existence signals that this is a product worthy of watching. #FSN2018 #D2
The Burning as an example of a film banned during the video nasties scandal: simultaneously a nasty, a subcultural cult classic, and in its Blu-ray re-release recasts it as a text worthy of sustained attention. These statuses build on each other. #FSN2018 #D2
So what happens to these films with the decline in sales of physical media? Streaming doesn't come with paratexts that can sanitise and redeem a text. #FSN2018 #D2
Or rather, Netflix and other streaming services have different paratexts (scrolling menus, genre grouping, algorithmic genre and recommendations. Less "value add". #FSN2018 #D2
Academics have significant role to play in creating DVD/Blu-Ray special features. #FSN2018 #D2
Digital archive curating can still act as a value adding paratext, e.g. BFI digital libraries putting "high brow" horror films alongside exploitation cinema, allowing value from former to rub off on latter. #FSN2018 #D2
Up next in #FSN2018 #D2 Bella McNeill “These Violent Delights have Violent
ends": Analysing Westworld's 'theorising culture'
Theorising culture: level of engagement with TV text where available content is analysed by fans to try to understand where the show may go. "Arguably the theories about more Westworld are more interesting than the show itself." #FSN2018 #D2
Westworld is not so much a TV show as a multi-dimensional transmedial game that encouraged viewers to play along. #FSN2018 #D2
TV critics have expressed some skepticism about the value of fan theories, some arguing that the theorising detracts from the show. #FSN2018 #D2
Mittell's concept of "drillable texts" - encouraging forensic fandom and probing beneath the surface for deeper meanings in the storytelling. #FSN2018 #D2
Up next in #FSN2018 #D2 María-José Establés & Mar Guerrero-Pico “Strategic Fandom” and “Fan-personation”: Producers’ Hegemony and Pre-emptive Control Mechanisms Within Fan Spaces
Looking at the grey zone between fans and fandoms on the one hand and producers and cultural industries on the other - in this case, how do producers try to influence and control what happens in fan spaces? #FSN2018 #D2
Transmedia expansion: tactical (created in response to fan engagement) or strategic (conceptualised from the start, potentially seeking to influence and shape fan engagement). #FSN2018 #D2
Suggest that producers are attempting to create "strategic fandom". #FSN2018 #D2
Estables and Guerrero using case studies of Spanish prestige TV shows La Zona and La Peste. #FSN2018 #D2
La Peste is the most expensive Spanish TV show in history. Has a host of transmedia content to go with it: YouTube channels, and my personal favourite: La Wikipeste. #FSN2018 #D2
The shows are available on Moviestar+ which is a smaller platform than Netflix in Spain, so they have struggled to generate viral social media engagement despite the extensive transmedia content. #FSN2018 #D2
Guerrero and Estables looking at this phenomenon as a form of cultural hegemony: producers as elites who cater to fans in order to control them. #FSN2018 #D2
Fandom or brandom? Fan-personation: producers appropriating fandom, or creating fandom before fans do in order to monitor and control content. So rather than fan-run wikis, studio-run wikis, etc. #FSN2018 #D2
"Fan-personation" practices: creating social media "fan" accounts where it's not clear that they're official. "Fan" wikis where all content is created by one user. #FSN2018 #D2
Have had to make hard choices as I want to be in all three of the current panels, but I am now in #E1 Fandom, Participatory Culture and Politics at #FSN2018
First up in #FSN2018 #E1 Eleonora Benecchi and Colin Porlezza - How Trump became Voldemort: Harry Potter References in the Coverage of the US Presidential Election
Looking at mobilisation of popular culture content in political discourse by analysing 17k tweets mentioning both Trump and Voldemort from Jan 2011 (!) to Dec 2016. #FSN2018 #E1
First Trump/Voldemort comparison on Oh No They Didn't in Dec 2010, then first mention on Twitter in Jan 2011. Harry Potter fans create memes, then Rosie O'Connell comments, then tweets die down a bit except for Voldy under Trump's hair memes. #FSN2018 #E1
And then tweets pick up massively once Trump announces 2016 candidacy. #FSN2018 #E1
Key actors in Dec 2015: Harry Potter celebs (incl. JK) making the comparison, Harry Potter fans drawing on HP resources for resistance. #FSN2018 #E1
News media and HP fans (rather than HP celebs) then took up these ideas further. #FSN2018 #E1
These developments blur boundaries between journalism, popular culture and entertainment. #FSN2018 #E1
Moving on to looking at news articles also mentioning Trump and Voldemort between 2015 and 2018 from three traditional outlets as well as HuffPo and Buzzfeed. #FSN2018 #E1
Articles fall into four categories: Comparison (majority of article), Explainer (using HP elements to explain current affairs, deeper level of complexity), User/Fan-driven (characterised by lots of visual material, memes, gifs, etc.), and Other. #FSN2018 #E1
User-generated content and media coverage of it in particular demonstrate hybridity between journalism and popular culture/entertainment. #FSN2018 #E1
Leveraging popular culture for political resistance: works as a metaphor, gives people energy to keep fighting, helps particularly younger people understand and engage with what's going on, cannot capture the full complexity of political reality. #FSN2018 #E1
Next up in #FSN2018 #E1 Katherine Larsen - Whose Wingnuts Are They?: Co-opting the Rhetorics of Fandom in the Political Sphere
Looking at Bundy standoff (…) and social media engagements triggered by the Decemberists' lead singer's call for fan fiction of the Bundy militia.
#FSN2018 #E1
Fan fiction generated in response was not rooted in actual fan fiction practices but in media portrayals of fan fiction.
#FSN2018 #E1
Journalists sometimes use term "fan" for Trump supporters and point to practices such as MAGA tattoos and dressing up as Trump as similar to fannish practices.
#FSN2018 #E1
Leveraging this discourse contributes to fan stigmatisation at least as much as it does to political resistance. Political fans: shaming for emotional excess and lack of rational discernment.
#FSN2018 #E1
At the same time, "nerd" becomes a left-associated political designation - driven too much by data and rationality. "Out of touch" with "ordinary people".
#FSN2018 #E1
Back to the avalanche of Bundy fanfic on Twitter: it's basically homophobic.
#FSN2018 #E1
Slash here is used to caricature and taunt, not explore themes and characters or even arouse.
#FSN2018 #E1
(From the New York Post.) What do we make of "fan fic" not written by fans esp in this political climate? #FSN2018 #e1
Raising more questions: What do we mean by fandom in a politicised environment? What are the differences between politics and fandom? Where do the analogies between politics and fandom end? How do we work with fandoms whose values we oppose? #FSN2018 #E1
Next up in #FSN2018 #E1 Megan Genovese - Resistance Imitating Art: Popular
Culture and Protest Signs at the Women’s March on Washington
What is the value of popular culture in political expression? What does it say on our behalf? And what did it accomplish specifically at the 2017 Women's March on Washington? #FSN2018 #E1
Political campaigns are themselves increasingly treating politics as pop culture, fandom building. #FSN2018 #E1
But corporatised view of politics, popular culture and marketing is not applicable to Women's March, where there was little central messaging, signs were home-made, etc. #FSN2018 #E1
Women's March messaging not necessarily individual (steeped in wider culture, plus suggestions from organisers) but it was personal (produced and re-produced through their own labour.) #FSN2018 #E1
Next up in #FSN2018 #E1 Briony Hannell - “I’m a Muslim Girl in a White, Faithless Country. I’m the Biggest Loser of Them All.”: Skam Fandom, Muslim Girlhood, and DIY Citizenship
(Ok, I'm taking a break from live-tweeting. Follow the hashtags for coverage from other awesome people.)
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