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We are all fans. Whether we log on to Web sites to scrutinize the latest plot turns in Lost, “stalk” our favorite celebrities on Gawker, attend gaming conventions, or simply wait with bated breath for the newest Harry Potter novel—each of us is a fan. Fandom extends beyond television and film to literature, opera, sports, and pop music, and encompasses both high and low culture.

Fandom brings together leading scholars to examine fans, their practices, and their favorite texts. This unparalleled selection of original essays examines instances across the spectrum of modern cultural consumption from Karl Marx to Paris Hilton, Buffy the Vampire Slayer to backyard wrestling, Bach fugues to Bollywood cinema¸ and nineteenth-century concert halls to computer gaming. Contributors examine fans of high cultural texts and genres, the spaces of fandom, fandom around the globe, the impact of new technologies on fandom, and the legal and historical contexts of fan activity. Fandom is key to understanding modern life in our increasingly mediated and globalized world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Fandom explores the multidimensional aspects of the fascination, enthrallment, obsession that fans have with their various interests.”

-Journal of Mass Communication Quarterly,

“Highly recommended.”


Fandom pushes the boundaries of fan studies in bold directions, incorporating high culture fandoms, global fan cultures, fan technologies, and antagonistic anti-fandom, while rethinking the core tenets of fan studies concerning aesthetics, place, intellectual property, and interpretive communities—all presented with a lively, accessible, and engaging writing style.”

-Jason Mittell,Middlebury College

“Thought-provoking. . . . Well-selected and challenging collection.”


“One of the best aspects of the text is the way that the contributors do not merely typecast fans as those interested in modern and popular culture, but also examine fans of mediums typically considered ‘high culture.’ This makes the book much friendlier to pop-culture fans, whose practices are typically considered lowbrow and fanatical when compared to someone who holds season tickets to the opera or visits an art gallery every weekend. As a fan, it’s nice to see that the behavior is not reduced to unnecessary fanaticism and is examined on a more subjective level.”
-M/C Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814731819
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Pages: 418
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Gray is Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of Television Entertainment and Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality and co-editor of Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era and Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World.

Cornel Sandvoss is Subject Leader in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at the University of Surrey and author of Fans: The Mirror of Consumption.

C. Lee Harrington is Professor of Sociology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In addition to her books with Denise Bielby, she is co-editor (with Jonathan Gray and Cornel Sandvoss) of Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World (NYU Press, 2007).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: Why Study Fans?   Jonathan Gray   Cornel Sandvoss   C. Lee Harrington     1
Fan Texts: From Aesthetic to Legal Judgments
The Death of the Reader? Literary Theory and the Study of Texts in Popular Culture   Cornel Sandvoss     19
Media Academics as Media Audiences: Aesthetic Judgments in Media and Cultural Studies   Matt Hills     33
Yoko in Cyberspace with Beatles Fans: Gender and the Re-Creation of Popular Mythology   Christine Scodari     48
Copyright Law, Fan Practices, and the Rights of the Author   Rebecca Tushnet     60
Beyond Pop Culture: Fandom from News to High Culture
The News: You Gotta Love It   Jonathan Gray     75
The Fans of Cultural Theory   Alan McKee     88
Bachies, Bardies, Trekkies, and Sherlockians   Roberta Pearson     98
Fans of Chekhov: Re-Approaching "High Culture"   John Tulloch     110
Spaces of Fandom: From Place to Performance
Place, Elective Belonging, and the Diffused Audience   Brian Longhurst   Gaynor Bagnall   Mike Savage     125
On the Set of The Sopranos: "Inside" a Fan's Construction of Nearness   Nick Couldry     139
A Sort of Homecoming: Fan Viewing andSymbolic Pilgrimage   Will Brooker     149
From Smart Fan to Backyard Wrestler: Performance, Context, and Aesthetic Violence   Lawrence B. McBride   S. Elizabeth Bird     165
Fan Audiences Worldwide: From the Global to the Local
Global Fandom/Global Fan Studies   C. Lee Harrington   Denise D. Bielby     179
Between Rowdies and Rasikas: Rethinking Fan Activity in Indian Film Culture   Aswin Punathambekar     198
Beyond Kung-Fu and Violence: Locating East Asian Cinema Fandom   Bertha Chin     210
Han Suk-kyu and the Gendered Cultural Economy of Stardom and Fandom   Anne Ciecko   Hunju Lee     220
Shifting Contexts, Changing Fan Cultures: From Concert Halls to Console Games
Loving Music: Listeners, Entertainments, and the Origins of Music Fandom in Nineteenth-Century America   Daniel Cavicchi     235
Girls Allowed? The Marginalization of Female Sports Fans   Victoria K. Gosling     250
Customer Relationship Management: Automating Fandom in Music Communities   Tom McCourt   Patrick Burkart     261
Playing the Game: Performance in Digital Game Audiences   Garry Crawford   Jason Rutter     271
Fans and Anti-Fans: From Love to Hate
Fan-tagonism: Factions, Institutions, and Constitutive Hegemonies of Fandom   Derek Johnson     285
Untidy: Fan Response to the Soiling of Martha Stewart's Spotless Image   Melissa A. Click     301
The Anti-Fan within the Fan: Awe and Envy in Sport Fandom   Vivi Theodoropoulou     316
A Vacancy at the Paris Hilton   Jeffrey Sconce     328
The Other Side of Fandom: Anti-Fans, Non-Fans, and the Hurts of History   Diane F. Alters     344
Afterword: The Future of Fandom   Henry Jenkins     357
Bibliography     365
About the Contributors     393
Index     399

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