Culture

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 // 12 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 // 3 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. //

The Supernatural Appeal of Wincest

January 18, 2017 // 28 Comments

Dean: “They do know we’re brothers, right?” Sam: “Doesn’t seem to matter.” Dean: “Oh, come on… That’s just sick.” In “The Monster at the End of This Book,” the eighteenth episode of the fourth season of Supernatural, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester stumble upon some slashfic featuring their namesake characters in Carver Edlund’s book series: This scene marks one of the show’s first meta references to its fan community and, more specifically, //

‘Rogue One’ Has a Women Problem

December 29, 2016 // 4 Comments

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If you haven’t seen it yet, encase yourself in frozen carbonite and come back when you’ve recovered from hibernation sickness. In a 1978 interview on The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson asked astronomer Carl Sagan about the scientific accuracy of the Star Wars films. Sagan responded with disappointment about the one-dimensionality of the series’ creatures: “They’re all white. The skin of all the humans in Star //