Fandom Studies – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Film Theory Glossary Terms

I. What is Fandom Studies?

Fandom Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the study of fans and their engagement with popular culture. It examines the various ways in which fans interact with and interpret media texts, such as films, TV shows, books, and video games. Fandom Studies seeks to understand the motivations, behaviors, and practices of fans, as well as the cultural significance of fan communities.

II. What are the key concepts in Fandom Studies?

Some key concepts in Fandom Studies include fan identity, fan communities, fan practices, fan fiction, fan art, and fan activism. Fan identity refers to the ways in which fans construct their identities through their engagement with media texts. Fan communities are groups of fans who come together to share their love for a particular media franchise. Fan practices encompass the various activities that fans engage in, such as attending conventions, creating fan works, and participating in online discussions. Fan fiction and fan art are creative works produced by fans that are inspired by existing media texts. Fan activism involves fans using their collective power to advocate for social or political causes.

III. How does Fandom Studies relate to film theory?

Fandom Studies and film theory are closely related fields that both seek to understand the ways in which audiences engage with and interpret films. While film theory focuses on the formal aspects of cinema, such as narrative structure, cinematography, and editing, Fandom Studies examines the social and cultural aspects of film consumption. Fandom Studies considers how fans interpret and reinterpret films, how they form communities around specific films or genres, and how they engage in creative practices inspired by films.

IV. What are the different approaches to studying fandom?

There are several different approaches to studying fandom, including cultural studies, media studies, fan studies, and audience studies. Cultural studies examines the ways in which culture is produced, consumed, and interpreted by individuals and groups. Media studies focuses on the production, distribution, and reception of media texts. Fan studies specifically looks at the practices and behaviors of fans, while audience studies considers how audiences engage with media texts and how they are influenced by them.

V. How has Fandom Studies evolved over time?

Fandom Studies has evolved significantly since its inception in the late 20th century. Initially, Fandom Studies focused primarily on fan communities surrounding science fiction and fantasy franchises, such as Star Trek and Star Wars. However, the field has since expanded to encompass a wide range of media texts, including TV shows, films, books, video games, and music. Fandom Studies has also become more interdisciplinary, drawing on theories and methodologies from cultural studies, media studies, sociology, psychology, and anthropology.

VI. What are some key works in Fandom Studies?

Some key works in Fandom Studies include Henry Jenkins’ “Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture,” Matt Hills’ “Fan Cultures,” and Suzanne Scott’s “Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry.” These books explore various aspects of fan culture, including fan practices, fan communities, fan activism, and the relationship between fans and media industries. Other important works in Fandom Studies include Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson’s “Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet” and Cornel Sandvoss’ “Fans: The Mirror of Consumption.” These works have helped to shape the field of Fandom Studies and have contributed to our understanding of the cultural significance of fan communities.