I just got my comp copy of Writing and the Digital Generation: Essays on New Media Rhetoric, edited by Heather Urbanski, which contains my essay “History, the Trace, and Fandom Wank.” My paper is about textual production as social and historical practice. I use a particular sample wank, “How NOT to date a celebrity,” as an exemplar to discuss notions of documentation, evidence, the trace, and community standards within the fan community.
Cover of Writing and the Digital Generation (McFarland, 2010)
Those nearest and dearest to me are of course aware of my obsession with Fandom Wank. It’s not that I visit the site a lot; it’s just that when I do, I somehow love it. A lot. And that makes me feel guilty, because FW can be really mean. I’m fascinated by the way FW is actively constructed by its posters, and I am intrigued by the modes of evidence and its analysis used the wankers.
The book includes both essays and “profiles” for each section, so theory and practice are both represented. My essay is in the first section, “React: Maintaining a Fan Community.” The other sections are “Re-Mix: Participating in Established Narratives,” “Re-Create: Creating Narratives within Established Frames,” and “Teaching in the Digital Generation.”
Fan studies scholars will want to see in particular, in addition to my essay about fan and community behavior, Susanna Coleman’s “Making Our Voices Heard: Young Adult Females Writing Participatory Fan Fiction” and Kim Middleton’s “Alternate Universes on Video: Ficvid and the Future of Narrative.”* There are also essays about rhetoric, video games, Heroes, soap operas, fantasy football, and Sequential Tart.
* Ficvid is Middleton’s term for cut-together clips from a primary source that tell a new story; she focuses on Buffy AUs. A famous crossover example that you may have already seen, although one Middleton does not mention, is Jonathan McIntosh’s fabulous “Buffy vs Edward (Twilight Remixed).”
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