In the Beginning Was the Word: Citizenship in the Fandom Nation

Bidragets oversatte titel: I begyndelsen var ordet: Borgerskab i Fandom Nationen

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


It may seem obvious to fandom scholars that participatory fandom is a large international subculture. However, fandom has grown so big that the sheer number of people attached to fandom probably exceeds those of a small country. Perhaps this is how we need to regard fandom in the future, as a nation? Widening the scope to regard fandom this way - the Fandom Nation - might provide researchers with a tool to better understand the citizens of the Fandom Nation and their actions, findings that might help researchers and non-fans to avoid the pitfalls of visiting a foreign nation and a culture one might not understand entirely, even thoroughly prepared.

Research shows that participatory fans do have a strong sense of nationality. They defend themselves, online or offline, when feeling attacked, a reciprocation that might be avoided with a new approach to what fandom is.

This presentation will provide an examination of how participatory fandom in many ways acts like a nation-state discussing to which degree this virtual culture shares properties with physical nations. Looking into how national identity, power, politics and art are expressed in online participatory fandom culture, I will discuss how fandom fits into the framework of Benedict Anderson's theories on imagined nations. Analysing various fan-used platforms and recent qualitative interviews with fans from a number of countries, I explore how the shared sense of fraternity, power, and temporality in fandom create this, the most imagined of imagined nations. The talk will provide examples on how the Fandom Nation goes to war, fighting non-fans both online and offline. Also, I will look into how the more peaceful, creative activities bind Fandom Nation's citizens together in a shared space with its own culture that is not only the labour of love, but the cultural output of a nation.
Antal sider4
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedTheorising the Popular - Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, Storbritannien
Varighed: 28 jun. 201629 jun. 2016
Konferencens nummer: 6


KonferenceTheorising the Popular
LokationLiverpool Hope University



  • fandom
  • fandom nation
  • fan studies
  • fan studies ethics
  • nationsdannelse
  • subculture
  • fans
  • nationality
  • nationality, citizenship and belonging
  • citizenship


Westberg, L. H. P. N. (2017). In the Beginning Was the Word: Citizenship in the Fandom Nation. Abstract fra Theorising the Popular, Liverpool, Storbritannien.