Location

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

fandom, fan fiction, doujinshi, cosplay, Japan, consumer-producer, new media

Abstract

In our ever-global society, fandoms, with their ability to reach and reproduce across cultures, have emerged as an important new media worthy of study. As the participatory practices of fans are explored, it is necessary to also apply the intersection of gender. Although each fandom constitutes a public, female members often participate in ways that allow them to form an artistic counterpublic. While male fans tend to gather data and act as gatekeepers of the fandom, their female counterparts engage in dress up or cosplay (costume play) and produce almost all of current fan fiction. These kinds of participatory practices allow female fans to engage in Michael Warner’s “poetic world-making”, transforming the canon through articulation, subversion, and resistance. However, most of this created (and extensively shared) value is free labor for the fandom’s consumption. Yet, applying a cross-cultural approach and examining female participatory practices outside of the US shows that many Japanese women have successfully monetized the work they produce, with particular regards to fan fiction (called doujinshi). An examination of the doujin model offers possibilities for female fans to move from a ‘gift culture’ of free labor to a society of consumer-producers that alters more than just the canon.

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Apr 2nd, 9:00 AM Apr 2nd, 10:15 AM

Femme-ing the Fandom: A Cross-Cultural Approach

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

In our ever-global society, fandoms, with their ability to reach and reproduce across cultures, have emerged as an important new media worthy of study. As the participatory practices of fans are explored, it is necessary to also apply the intersection of gender. Although each fandom constitutes a public, female members often participate in ways that allow them to form an artistic counterpublic. While male fans tend to gather data and act as gatekeepers of the fandom, their female counterparts engage in dress up or cosplay (costume play) and produce almost all of current fan fiction. These kinds of participatory practices allow female fans to engage in Michael Warner’s “poetic world-making”, transforming the canon through articulation, subversion, and resistance. However, most of this created (and extensively shared) value is free labor for the fandom’s consumption. Yet, applying a cross-cultural approach and examining female participatory practices outside of the US shows that many Japanese women have successfully monetized the work they produce, with particular regards to fan fiction (called doujinshi). An examination of the doujin model offers possibilities for female fans to move from a ‘gift culture’ of free labor to a society of consumer-producers that alters more than just the canon.