Just a short blog post to keep you updated on some of my recent publications in the fields of media studies and cultural studies. I contributed to the Ashgate Companion on Fan Cultures; Well-Played and a handbook on gender studies in The Netherlands. Interested? Then let me tell you more!
This timely collection discusses different fan practices and cultures, and shows the state of the art of fan studies as a field. I contributed to the book with a chapter on fan conventions, drawing data from my ethnographic research on fan cultures the past years. I highly enjoyed working on this edited collection. The book is diverse, and the chapters are not too long and a good introduction to the field of fan studies, which makes them very suitable as literature in classrooms.
“Fans constitute a very special kind of audience. They have been marginalized, ridiculed and stigmatized, yet at the same time they seem to represent the vanguard of new relationships with and within the media. ‘Participatory culture’ has become the new normative standard. Concepts derived from early fan studies, such as transmedial storytelling and co-creation, are now the standard fare of journalism and marketing text books alike. Indeed, usage of the word fan has become ubiquitous. The Ashgate Research Companion to Fan Cultures problematizes this exaltation of fans and offers a comprehensive examination of the current state of the field. Bringing together the latest international research, it explores the conceptualization of ‘the fan’ and the significance of relationships between fans and producers, with particular attention to the intersection between online spaces and offline places.”
This special issue of Well-Played has been edited by Emily Flynn-Jones. The journal itself specifically focuses on the close-reading of video games, and how meaning is constructed by designers, and understood by audiences and critics. Through the concept of weird games, which takes a tack from weird fiction, the different authors explore unusual storytelling and mechanics in games, as well as experimental genres. I have contributed with an article on my favorite weird game, the Japanese pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend. This game is not just weird at its surface, but truly weird in its storytelling and deconstruction of dating sim tropes. I really enjoyed reading this issue! The articles are diverse and offer new and inspiring insights into game design/studies, by focussing on innovative, hilarious and dark aspects of weird games. Other articles are deeply intertextual and demonstrate how weird games continue the long legacy of weird, gothic fiction, drawing from Lovecraft and cult SF/F. You can download this issue for FREE.
‘Inspired by the ethos of the “incredibly strange” and a personal penchant for shovelware, shitty games (kusoge), the Simple Series by 505 and neo-situationist numbers like the LaLaLand games, this “Seriously Weird Edition” seeks to take weird seriously. A venture in five parts, this collection brings together a variety of strange tales of videogames demonstrating that the weird can be wonderful and, of course, well played.’
Edited by Koen Leurs and Domitilla Olivieri, this collection brings together contributions from Dutch scholars who work in the field of cultural studies, gender studies and media studies. Connected by a strong interest in gender and diversity, the chapters reflect not only on topics and questions that emerge from gender research, but also on the modes and the methods that are key to doing feminist research. I contributed with a reflection on geek feminism and expand upon some of the data from Productive Fandom that relates to Glee fan fiction. My identity as a scholar-fan is one that I discuss here amply, and how that shaped my methods.
‘Reflecting the broad scope of gender studies, the volume brings together both conceptual and empirical feminist research, grounded in film studies, feminist theory, media studies, cultural studies, digital media studies, literary studies, anthropology and sociology. […] One of the main common threads that can be identified is certainly the concern with uncovering and discerning how gender plays a crucial role in the everyday relations of power, in the everyday experiences of men and women, in the everyday interconnections between gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and other axes of difference. Alongside and together with this main aim is a methodological feminist perspective interested and engaged in the relation between theory and practice, ethnography and philosophy, visual culture and literature, between subjectivities and culture, society and identity, geopolitical contexts, representation and memory: a focus on doing, doing research and doing with research; the praxis and politics of affecting change.’