Productive Fandom (2014)
Productive Fandom: Intermediality and Affective Reception in Fan Cultures
Nicolle Lamerichs (PhD Dissertation, Maastricht University)
Loners, geeks, fanatics – fans have often been misunderstood and ridiculed in popular media. Productive Fandom proves this imagery to be false and offers a media ethnography of fan cultures as they are lived: social, creative and felt spaces of productive reception. Fans appropriate populare culture to suit their alternative tastes.
Written from an insider’s perspective, Productive Fandom explores these rich subcultures that provide new insights on the shared spaces of consumers, producers and media texts. Productive Fandom shows that fans are above all creative. They write their own stories, “cosplay” in their own dresses and invent their own games. Fandom is a rich and vibrant culture of rewriting – a formation of media spaces and audiences that come together online and offline.
Fandom gets more complex as media franchises are distributed across different platforms and audiences translate a television text from one medium to the other. Intermediality is a core concept in this study that shows the diversity of contemporary fandom by studying fans of Sherlock, Glee, Firefly and other popular franchises. The book addresses both scholars and fans and tackles broader questions about production hierarchies, gender, sexuality, play and affect.