In my apartment, the bathroom is right next to my bedroom. Which most of the time is quite convenient. But I have an ultra-Christian roommate who - whenever she showers - listens to Christian rock on her iPhone and sings along.
Next time someone suggests that doing sustained critical work on slash isn’t somehow serious, remind them: Sade, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Bataille, Barthes, Foucault, Guyotat, Irigaray, Wittig…wait, are you seeing a pattern? Hang on. Let me help. I’m a pro at this. Let me lay it out for you:
#Protip Be French when you are writing serious critical work about queer and/or kinky fictional sex. Instead of being marginalized as a pseudo-scholar of dubious respectability and precarious employment, you will be immortalized by the prestigious Pléiade series or at the very least you’ll found a school of theory that will dominate American critical discourse for decades. Repeat after me: “Cinquante nuances de grey.” See? More serious already. #win
My contribution: subjectivity. Embrace it. Love it. Use it.
Seriously, all of this. So much I could cry, because, Jesus, it’s hard being taken seriously sometimes. The thing about fan studies programs is that, in the main, they don’t exist. They’re generally part of English or media/cultural studies programs (particularly at the graduate level; at the undergraduate level, there are quite a few people teaching on fic, fandom, etc.). And… I learned from my advisor, who is an amazing scholar. And she’s retiring in the next few years. So. Yes.
If you’re serious about it, though, there are places to look (I’m keeping this undergrad for now, but will asterisk for people who I know teach grad students as well). This list is not exhaustive, but each person is active in the field.
Suzanne Scott (Arizona State University) - fandom, digital media
Francesca Coppa (Muhlenberg University) - English literature, popular culture [research: vidding]
Louisa Stein (Middlebury College) - Film/Media, fandom
Bob Rehak (Swarthmore College) - Film/Media, fandom [research: special effects in film, material fan culture]
Jonathan Gray* (University of Wisconsin) - Fandom, television
Jason Mittell (Middlebury College) - Film/Media, Television studies
Paul Booth (DePaul University) - Film/Media, popular culture
Henry Jenkins* (USC Annenberg) - Fan studies, convergence culture
Tisha Turk (University of Minnesota, Morris) - English literature, fan studies
Anne Helen Petersen (Whitman College) - celebrity studies, media/television
Then there’s the UK, which is currently a hotbed of fandom research (although a lot of it is currently independent/doctoral scholarship):
Matt Hills* (Aberystwyth University) - Fan studies, television [research: cult, Doctor Who, among others]
Will Brooker* (Kingston University) - Film/media [research: Batman, gender, queer identity]
Rebecca Williams* (University of South Wales) - Fandom, stardom, television
Cornel Sandvoss (University of Surrey) - Cultural studies, sport/media fandom
Andy Ruddock (Monash University) - Fandom, youth culture
Casey McCormick (McGill University) - Fan cultures, television
ALSO, if you are interested in fan studies, I encourage you to check out the Fan Studies Network, which is currently holding its first symposium in Norwich as I type. We have a Facebook presence and we’re also on Twitter (@FanStudies), tweeting the symposium under #FSN2013 for the next few days.
ALSO, if you have a nice piece of meta and feel like maybe getting your feet wet in publishing, talk to me. I solicit for the “symposium” section of the online journal Transformative Works and Cultures, and we accept and encourage fan meta (generally speaking, pseudonym publishing is possible). If you’re interested, pop me an ask and I can discuss it in more detail. And read the journal - seriously. It’s free and online and peer-reviewed, and quite simply an excellent resource.
"Close but No Cigar"