Culture

The Hannibal Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree: When Fans and Creators Converge

September 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

It’s hard to put numbers on a fandom. Different social media platforms, inevitable overlap, and the fact that plenty of fans don’t participate, make it hard to say how many Fannibals (Hannibal fans) there are. Based on educated estimates, and the fact that NBC’s Hannibal was a fairly niche show, we know we are comparatively pretty small. That’s understandable for a ‘dead’ fandom, two years after cancellation. However, the obsession with the Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter //

A Parting of the Ways: Hogwarts Didn’t Always Teach Muggle Studies

August 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

Hands cupping magic smoke.
If you’re steeped in the lore of the Harry Potter universe, the dichotomies are familiar: quill and keyboard, owl and postal service, scroll and tablet, witch and Muggle. As a reader and writer of historical fiction, these paradoxes immediately invited me to look backward through time to where the differences between the Muggle and magical worlds were less stark. Before the Statute of Secrecy, wizards and Muggles mingled more. Their split would have been pushed along by three historical //

Finding Hope in the Impossible: How Star Trek Will Save the World

August 4, 2017 // 2 Comments

To save the world, Star Trek needs a reboot. When Star Trek: The Original Series debuted in 1966, fans were awed by the futuristic technology and equipment featured on the show. From the starship Enterprise to the tricorder, Trek established a yet unforeseen view into the future; one that was possible to attain. And now, 50 years later, we have seen exactly how much of a lasting effect Trek had on our development as a species. 3-D printing, the Internet, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, cell phones, //

All Was Well: How Popular Media Renders Mental Illness Invisible

July 27, 2017 // 9 Comments

Imagine with me for a moment. Let’s say you’re a 13 year old girl, a little awkward, a little lonely, trying to find yourself in the world, so you run to TV shows and books, taking every line, word, and letter to heart. You find yourself (and who you want to be) in these strange worlds, but not quite everything. Missing from these realities you find yourself lost in, is something that’s becoming a frightening and familiar part of teenagers’ lives. Mental illness. Anyone //

Fiction With a Telescope: The Harry Potter Universe Before the Statute of Secrecy

June 9, 2017 // 4 Comments

A beautiful witch holds a cup of wine in the dark woods
In the film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there’s some subtle yet telling character placement. Seraphina Picquery, the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), and Tina Goldstein, the disgraced but competent Auror, are women. So what? Big deal. As contemporary European or North American audiences, it’s easy to have a casual reaction to women in positions of power. It’s not so simple though when you put it into historical context. //

VCR Wars: Why Do Star Trek and Star Wars Fans Talk So Much Trash?

May 24, 2017 // 5 Comments

Picard has that voice, but Han Solo has hair. Redshirts always die, but Stormtroopers can’t hit the broadside of a bantha. Tribbles took out a Klingon ship, but Ewoks helped destroy the Death Star. James T. Kirk shook things up with TV’s first interracial kiss. And, well, Luke Skywalker kinda made out with his sister. Both Star Trek and Star Wars are spectacular and space-shattering franchises, and both have spawned a new frontier of fanfiction writing, cosplaying, //

Life Lessons from Misha Collins’ Social Media Marketing Lecture

April 5, 2017 // 2 Comments

On Friday, March 31st, a Mishapocalypse hit the interwebs after Supernatural star Misha Collins live-streamed his first ever social media marketing lecture at Western Washington University. Misha’s lecture, aptly titled, “How to Conquer the World of Social Media,” was all about how to best amplify your voice on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But his advice on how to conquer the online world can easily extend into “real life.” Here //

Jughead Jones is Asexual and We Don’t Need ‘Riverdale’ to Prove It

March 22, 2017 // 0 Comments

When Riverdale appeared on television screens last fall, fans of the original Archie Comics were curious about how the show was going to handle the most intriguing character in the Archieverse – Jughead P. Jones. Jughead has always been somewhat of an enigma. Why the button-clad crown? Why so many hamburgers? Why the half-lidded eyes? When Jughead was revealed as the de facto narrator-blogger-moral compass of the CW’s Riverdale, the role made sense to fans of the original comics. But //

Trump is Voldemort: Pop Culture Iconography in Social Movements

March 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” ~ Albus Dumbledore It’s no secret that fandom has always been a site of political resistance. Fan activism is a natural byproduct of fandom, whether it is writing “genderfuck” fanfiction, organizing letter-writing campaigns to save a show from cancellation, or creating fan activist organizations. However, at a point in history when fan communities are moving from more //

Writing Magic: Politicizing Fan Culture

February 22, 2017 // 9 Comments

reading magic
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, the most inexhaustible form of magic we have, capable both of inflicting injury and remedying it.” ~ Albus Dumbledore Fans are no doubt aware that online fanfics and the communities in which they circulate house rich critiques about gender, sexuality, race and identity. In fact, many fan writers deliberately insert feminist discourse, gender theory, and class commentary into their stories to make complex academic theories accessible for all readers. //