Latest publications

My comp copies have arrived for my two latest publications!

Comp copies of books

The reprint anthology I coedited with Kristina Busse has been released from the University of Iowa Press:

Hellekson, Karen, and Kristina Busse. 2014. The Fan Fiction Studies Reader. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Kristina and I wrote the introduction and head notes to introduce each section. We have placed our texts in the public domain after 10 years’ time, so in 2024, they may be reproduced by anyone (but not the essays! those are separately copyrighted).

Here are the contents:

Fan Fiction as Literature

  • Henry Jenkins, “Textual Poachers”
  • Roberta Pearson, “It’s Always 1895: Sherlock Holmes in Cyberspace”
  • Cornel Sandvoss, “The Death of the Reader? Literary Theory and the Study of Texts in Popular Culture”

Fan Identity and Feminism

  • Joanna Russ, “Pornography by Women, for Women, with Love”
  • Patricia Frazer Lamb and Diana L. Veith, “Romantic Myth, Transcendence, and Star Trek Zines”
  • Sara Gwenllian Jones, “The Sex Lives of Cult Television Characters”

Fan Communities and Affect

  • Camille Bacon-Smith, “Training New Members”
  • Nicholas Abercrombie and Brian Longhurst, “Fans and Enthusiasts”
  • Constance Penley, “Future Men”

Fan Creativity and Performance

  • Kurt Lancaster, “Performing in Babylon—Performing in Everyday Life”
  • Francesca Coppa, “Writing Bodies in Space: Media Fan Fiction as Theatrical Performance”

In addition, I have the following essay in a book about TV remakes:

Hellekson, Karen. 2014. “Forbrydelsen, The Killing, Duty, and Ethics.” In Remake Television: Reboot, Re-use, Recycle, edited by Carlen Lavigne, 131–40. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books.


Fan Culture, ed. Larsen and Zubernis

Fan Culture book cover

Fan Culture book cover

Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson. 2012. Identity, ethics, and fan privacy. In Fan culture, edited by Katherine Larsen and Lynn Zubernis, 38–56. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Creating a fandom via YouTube

I just got my copy of the book my Verbotene Liebe essay appears in! Check out the pretty cover.

Book cover

My article is in part 2, “Constructing Identity in an Online, Cross-cultural World.” Here’s the full citation info.

Hellekson, Karen. 2012. Creating a fandom via YouTube: Verbotene Liebe and fansubbing. In New media literacies and participatory popular culture across borders, edited by Bronwyn T. Williams and Amy A. Zenger, 180–92. New York: Routledge.

Alert readers will remember that I wrote a blog post about this topic ages ago, in 2009: Verbotene Liebe, soap operas, fansubbing, and YouTube.

Alas, although I submitted images to go with my essay, in the end they could not be used. So hit the blog link if you want to see pictures and maybe watch a video or two.

A big thank-you to Bronwyn and Amy for being so great to work with! The book turned out beautifully and it’s an honor to be in it.

Naturally you can score this awesome book from

MiT7 on the horizon

I leave tomorrow for the Media in Transition 7 conference, the theme of which is Unstable Platforms: The Promise and Peril of Transition. My paper is called Academic Journals Online, and in a move that will surprise no one, I will talk about (among other things) Transformative Works and Cultures, the online-only Open Access Gold fan studies journal I coedit with Kristina Busse.

I’ll be talking about the “promise and peril” of transition in terms of the humanities’ rocky move to online publication in terms of scholarly journals. This topic interests me because I am employed in the publishing industry, plus I’m an editor of a journal, so I have to deal with a lot of behind-the-scenes copyright and production stuff that has implications for presentation and dissemination.

My panel, Publishing in Transition, is on the very last day of the conference, Sunday, May 15, from 10:45a to 12:15p. The other people on the panel are Kathleen Fitzpatrick (who will be talking about books, as opposed to journals), Hanno Biber and Evelyn Breitenede (online corporate texts), and Kristin Anderson-Terpstra and Casey Brienza (manga distribution in the United States).

Here’s my abstract:

The transition of scholarly discourse online is proving a bumpy one. Although some radical new modes of content vetting and delivery are emerging and “digital humanities” has become a buzzword, scholarly work online in the humanities and social sciences is not accorded the same prestige compared to journals that use a print-only or dual print-online model, despite the obvious advantages of access and use of embedded (multi)media. Yet these fears also reveal sites of possible renegotiation of the academic model in a way that will help scholars and scholarly discourse. Publishing in the humanities and the social sciences needs to follow the lead of the sciences, which were early adopters of moving and organizing content online: physics pioneered the online preprint; registers trials and provides instructions for investigators; and journals in many disciplines publish online-only supplemental materials, such as data sets and online videos. Further, Creative Commons copyright and open access models have much to offer. All these ideas may be usefully co-opted by the digital humanities.

A draft of the full paper is up on MiT7’s site. Ironically, one concern of mine was that putting up full text would render any text I might try to publish about this topic unpublishable (because it had already appeared), so I wrote informally and didn’t cite exhaustively, so that any rewrite will be substantially different and could be considered. Hmmm… sounds like an excellent topic of discussion for this conference!

American remakes of British television

It’s out! Carlen Lavigne and Heather Marcovitch edited American Remakes of British Television: Transformations and Mistranslations, and I just received my contributor copy. My essay is entitled “Memory and the 1996 American Remake of Doctor Who.” Other TV shows discussed in the volume include American Idol, Cracker, What Not to Wear, Queer as Folk, The Office, Life on Mars, and Steptoe and Son. The essays are divided into three sections: Methods and Mechanics, Personal and Political, and Text and Context. The editors’ introduction usefully contextualizes the volume and sources other books about remakes.

American Remakes cover image

The book is published by Lexington Press (a Rowman & Littlefield imprint) and is available in hardcover and in an electronic version. You can order it right from Lexington or, of course, from Amazon. The complete table of contents is up at Lexington’s site.

Comic book slash

Journalist Matt “Darcey” Buttell, writing for the Web site So So Gay, interviewed me via e-mail for a story about slashing the characters in comic books: “Slash: Fan fiction’s sexiest sub-culture.” Admittedly I know nothing about comic book slash, other than that Wolverine is hot, but I like Buttell’s thesis: that until comics’ TPTB get it together and introduce more canon gay characters, well, the unofficial stuff written by fans will have to do.

Matt mentions an important point that TPTB everywhere would do well to consider, because it’s true of more than comics:

Ultimately, fiction in any form works because writers are more than just storytellers: they open up readers’ minds to entire new worlds, previously unimagined landscapes or situations, and unforgettable characters. This applies both to fan fiction and the source material on which fan fic is based. The concern is that comics’ audiences seem two steps ahead of the industry when it comes to open-mindedness and diversity.

Practicing Science Fiction released

I’m pleased to announce that Practicing Science Fiction has been published and is available for sale from McFarland (the publisher) and This edited volume is divided into four sections: Teaching, Reading, Media (that’s my section), and Women. I also did the production for this volume; it’s cool to work as an author instead of with an author.

Book cover
Book cover, Practicing Science Fiction, ed. Hellekson, Jacobsen, Sharp, and Yazsek (McFarland, 2010). You probably can’t see it, but the robot has a teeny SFRA logo on its left shoulder.

These essays grew out of the Science Fiction Research Association’s 2008 meeting in Lawrence, Kansas, where I ran the academic track. McFarland has granted permission for me to post the full text of the abstracts. I’ve also posted the page ranges of the articles, as a courtesy to people looking for bibliographic info to construct Works Cited pages.

It was a great experience working on this book! All the royalties are being donated to SFRA. Thanks to my coeditors, Craig Jacobsen, Patrick Sharp, and Lisa Yaszek; to all the contributors; and to the four referees who provided their expertise during peer review.

This text is copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This post was originally written on June 13, 2010. It may be freely copied anywhere. If you copy this post, please also copy the image and host it yourself. If you read this document at a site other than its original, I may not see any comments you might append, and I’d love to hear from you. Please comment at the original blog post if you wish me to see your remarks.