Vilified and Fixed: Fandom Colonisation

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Abstract

"Teen Wolf Fans Are Nasty AF" reads part of the headline of the online teenager magazine 'Teen' on October 24 2015. The article continues with a derogatory review of several Teen Wolf fanfics including links to their authors. Published by a magazine which declares themself as "the best teen and tween website", 'Teen' managed to outrage fans. It took days and hundreds of comments, tweets, and mails to the publishers, before the article was taken down.
Vilification in scholarly works and the media may have significantly lessened in recent years.
Still, misunderstandings, applied exoticism, and imbalances of power between scholars and journalists on one side, and fans on the other are not rare occurrences.
An analysis of a number of recent news articles, scholarly works, and websites, shows how the attempt of fixing fandom still prevails. Like Said's view on how the Orient is treated, fandom is similarly exotisised, incorporated, and fixed. Scholars explain how to become better fans, attempting authority over fandom by applying rules to a culture, which already has their own.
This, the notion of the 'better fan', devalues the existing discourses, rules, and traditions within fandom. The expert validates a line of thinking which reiterates the idea of a fandom in need of fixing. When self-professed experts represent fandom and fans, they do not represent emotions and the presence of fans, but tend to make generalisations of a very diverse group.
In these problematic publications fans are seen as a homogenous mass, overlooking the individualities of fans and fandom.
In this paper, we regard fandom as a nation. As scholars, we have to acknowledge the inherent and existing discourses, traditions, and rules already present in the Fandom Nation, a focus that helps us avoid the gross generalisations of Orientalism and Colonialism.
Translated title of the contributionNedgjort og fixet: Kolonialisering af fandom
Original languageEnglish
Publication date29 Jun 2016
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016
EventTheorising the Popular - Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 201629 Jun 2016
Conference number: 6
http://www.hope.ac.uk/news/conferences/theorising/

Conference

ConferenceTheorising the Popular
Number6
LocationLiverpool Hope University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLiverpool
Period28/06/201629/06/2016
Internet address

Keywords

  • fandom nation
  • fandom colonisation
  • fixing fandom

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