Courses > 2017 Spring

Graduate Courses


ENGL 205
401 | SEM | Peter Decherney | R 9-12pm | FBH 20

Fans may be devoted followers of media franchises or celebrities, who binge watch seasons on Netflix or never miss a game. Fans may connect with other fans at conventions or in online forums. And they may engage in roleplaying or media production, dressing up like their favorite anime character or sharing mashup videos on YouTube. Practices of consuming and interacting with media that were once marks of a subculture are increasingly mainstream. And media companies engage fans as both previous consumers and as co-participants in the media-making ecosystem. We will examine and discuss a wide range of fandoms, and we will approach fandom from several different avenues. We will consider the theoretical and artistic roots of fandom, including theorists like Susan Sontag and Stuart Hall and the media practices of 20th century avant-garde and early amateur filmmakers. We will discuss the changing legal responses to fandom (fair use, character protection, and other relevant aspects of intellectual property law). And we will look at media companies attempts to work with fans, like Amazon’s Kindle Worlds fan fiction store. You don’t have to know cosplay from Otaku culture to take the class, and you do not have to have attended a Star Trek convention or watched an anime music video. But, on the other hand, if you are fascinated by a particular fan community or consider yourself a fan, you are encouraged to bring your fandom to the class discussions and conduct research on it. The course will require one research paper and a second project which may be an analytical paper or a multimedia project.