• “Transnational Media Fan Studies.” The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom. Suzanne Scott and Melissa Click, eds. (forthcoming in 2017, Routledge)

    Lori Morimoto (see profile)
    Cultural Studies, Film Studies, Global & Transnational Studies
    Culture--Study and teaching, Subculture, Fans (Persons), Mass media--Study and teaching
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    fan studies, transnational fandom, transnational media, Cultural studies, Fandom, Fan studies, Media studies
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    The terms ‘fandom’, ‘fan’, and even ‘fan studies’ appear to be, at first glance, self- evident. But considered in the context of both fan cultures and scholarship outside the English language-centered West, we begin to see the assumptions that underlie them. Whether we are talking about Japanese fans of manga and anime (somewhat codified itself, both given the diversity of Japanese fan practices and objects, as well as non- Western fandoms generally), the Korean Wave, Nigerian fans of Bollywood films, and so on, scholarship of ‘transnational media fans’ is often confined to the periphery by virtue of its seeming irrelevance to the work of fan studies proper. It might be argued that such practices and cultures actually were peripheral to English language, Western fandoms of the past, part of an analog era in which transnational media distribution and circulation were firmly under the control of media corporations, and fandoms around the world seldom mixed. Yet in disregarding even these bygone fan cultures, we demonstrate a somewhat alarming lack of interest in a comparative approach to fan studies; one that, in turn, reifies the foundational concepts of fan studies – transformative works, gift economy, affirmational fandom, among others – to reflect little more than our own English language habitus. Today, in an era of intensifying cultural convergence, when fans from around the world congregate and commingle in the online spaces of Internet fandom, fan studies can no longer afford to overlook fan cultures as they play out globally. Particularly when, as I discuss below, international markets such as mainland China are something of a golden ring for Anglo-American media industries, targeted through affective appeals to those fans as much as (if not more than) those of Western fandoms, our better understanding of fans and fandoms depends on incorporating research of transnational fandoms in our own English language scholarship.
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    6 years ago
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