ENGLISH 290 - Themes in Language and Literature
Section: 002 Fan Culture
Term: WN 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Are you a lurker or a BNF? Is your OTP a RarePair, or do you stick to gen?

Would you like to be able to answer these questions, or — if you already know the answers — would you like to discuss them with others? If so, then this class is for you. In this course we will cover the literary precursors of fan practices like remixes and memes, trace the history of modern pre-digital fan communities, dive into Fan Studies theory, consider the power and political dimensions of fan participation — including issues of labor and ownership, and respond critically and creatively to fanworks. The first half of the course is organized around exploring the history and theory of fan culture and fan studies. We will read works by Henry Jenkins, Karen Hellekson and Kate Busse, Francesca Coppa, Lisa Nakamura, and others. The second half of the course focuses on applying our historical and theoretical understandings to present-day fanworks and fandoms and to media representations of fans and fans’ reception of texts.

Henry Jenkins defines fandom as “the social structures and cultural practices created by the most passionately engaged consumers of mass media properties,” and while our focus will be on literature, film, and television fandoms, we will also make space to consider fans’ engagement with sports and video games as well as the expansive world of anime and manga fans that consider themselves otaku. We’ll explore how fans take up issues of gender, race, and sexuality — both in their critiques of the media properties they love and in their creative works, which often serve obliquely or explicitly as critiques.

Course Goals

  • To learn about the history of fan studies and debate the politics of participation within media convergence
  • To analyze the affordances and limitations of fans’ transformative works as a mode of media criticism or as a method for participating in online social justice efforts
  • To develop fluencies in the language of fan studies and critical media analysis, and to experiment with multimodal forms of argumentation

    Course Requirements:

    Course projects include a fan auto-ethnography, multimedia analysis of a fanwork, leading class discussion on a selected historical or theoretical aspect of fan culture, and a final researched project that can take the form of a 12-15 page paper or a creative project that is approved and appropriately grounded in the course readings.

ENGLISH 290 - Themes in Language and Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
P
27156
Open
25
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (LEC)
P
27899
Open
25
 
-
MW 5:30PM - 7:00PM
003 (LEC)
P
28582
Open
25
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
010 (LEC)
 
32549
Open
75
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:00PM
011 (DIS)
P
32550
Open
25
 
-
Th 12:00PM - 1:00PM
012 (DIS)
P
32566
Open
25
 
-
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
013 (DIS)
P
32567
Open
25
 
-
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
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