Fan Studies Network

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Name: Fan Studies Network
Date(s): March 2012 - present
Founder: Lucy Bennett & Tom Phillips
Type: Academia
Fandom: Pan-fandom
URL: https://fanstudies.org/
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The Fan Studies Network, also known as FSN, is a network of fan studies scholars and acafans from around the world. It was founded in 2012 by Lucy Bennett and Tom Phillips, and holds regular conferences for scholars around the world to come together, make connections and present their research.

In 2017, the network celebrated its fifth anniversary, with the fifth annual Fan Studies Network Conference taking place at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom.

The Fan Studies Network website describes the network as follows:

Formed in March 2012, the Fan Studies Network was created with the idea of cultivating a friendly space in which scholars of fandom could easily forge connections with other academics in the field, and discuss the latest topics within fan studies. Having attracted close to 300 members, the network is already fostering a sense of community and engendering fruitful debate.[1]

The Fan Studies Network has a mailing list to which scholars can subscribe and receive updates about upcoming conferences, news and Calls For Papers in the fan studies community. There is also a Facebook group, and a Twitter account for the network.

Fan Studies Network Conferences

The Fan Studies Network has held annual conferences in the United Kingdom since 2013, when the first Fan Studies Network Symposium was held at the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich. The UEA has been the hosting institution for the majority of Fan Studies Network conferences, with the exception of 2014 and 2017. In 2017, celebrating its 5th anniversary, the Conference was held at the University of Huddersfield, where noted fan studies scholar Matt Hills had joined the faculty as Professor of Media and Journalism and co-director of the Centre for Participatory Culture the previous July.[2]

2017 also saw the launch of the first Fan Studies Network Australasia conference, held at the University of Wollongong, Australia and hosted by the Research Centre for Culture Texts and Creative Industries (CTC).[3]

Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013

Date: 30 November 2013
Hosting institution: University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Matt Hills, Aberystwyth University, Wales, United Kingdom

The inaugural Fan Studies Network Conference (then called the Fan Studies Network Symposium) was held over one day at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom. It was preceded by a social get-together on the evening of Friday 29th November. The keynote by Professor Matt Hills was titled 'Location, location, location: Info-war and citizen-fan “set reporting” within public spheres of the imagination'. The conference included panels on 'Spaces and Performance', 'Gender', 'Classic Fandoms, New Narratives' and 'Textualities'.[4]

Fan Studies Network Conference 2014

Dates: 27-28 September 2014
Hosting institution: Regent's University, London, United Kingdom
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Paul Booth, DePaul University, Chicago, USA; Dr. Rhiannon Bury, Athabasca University, Canada's Open University; Orlando Jones, film and television actor

The second annual Fan Studies Network Conference was the first to be held over two days, in the last weekend of September, 2014. It was hosted by Regent's University, London and featured keynote speeches from Dr. Paul Booth ('Fandom: The Classroom of the Future'), Dr. Rhiannon Bury ('The End of Fandom as We Know it? Reflections on Technology and Participatory Culture at the Cusp of the Third Media Age') and actor Orlando Jones, who spoke via video link.

Conference panels covered topics such as 'Fandom and Identity', 'Online Fandom', 'Histories and Generations' and 'Transformative Works'.[5]

Fan Studies Network Conference 2015

Dates: 27-28 June 2015
Hosting institution: University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Keynote Speakers: Lincoln Geraghty, University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom and Suzanne Scott, The University of Texas, Austin, USA

The third annual Fan Studies Network Conference returned to the University of East Anglia in Norwich for another two-day programme. It was preceded by a pre-conference social on the evening of Friday 26th June.

Suzanne Scott opened the first day of the conference with a keynote speech on 'Check Your Fannish Privilege: (In)Visibility Politics and Fan Culture’s War on Women', and Lincoln Geraghty opened the conference's second day with a keynote speech entitled 'Passing Through: Identity, History and the Importance of Pilgrimage in Fan Studies'. The conference included panels on 'Fan Works', 'Social Issues and Morality', 'Fandom and Celebrity' and 'Methodologies'. The conference also featured a workshop on ethics in fan studies research, with panellists Kristina Busse, Ruth Deller, Katherine Larsen and Natasha Whiteman.[6]

Fan Studies Network Conference 2016

Dates: 25-26 June 2016
Hosting institution: University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Henry Jenkins, University of Southern California, USA

The fourth annual Fan Studies Network Conference was held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. It was preceded by a pre-conference social and pub quiz on fan studies on the evening of Friday 24th June.

Celebrated fan studies scholar Professor Henry Jenkins gave the keynote address, entitled 'How Fandom Helps Us to Negotiate the Politics of Diversity and Fosters the Civic Imagination'. The conference included panels on 'Participatory Memory in the Fandoms of Sherlock Holmes and Lord of the Rings', 'Race and Culture', 'Theorising Fanfic' and 'Politics and Activism'. The second day of the conference also featured a workshop on fan studies methodologies, with panellists Lincoln Geraghty, Anne Jamison, Lies Lanckman and Simon Turner.[7]

Fan Studies Network Conference 2017

A Fan Studies Network fan given out to delegates at the Fan Studies Network Conference 2017

Dates: 24-25 June 2017
Hosting institution: University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Louisa Stein, Middlebury College, USA
Plenary Address: Prof. Matt Hills, University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom

The Fan Studies Network celebrated its fifth anniversary, and held its fifth annual conference, at the University of Huddersfield. The conference was preceded by a roundtable discussion and launch event for the University of Huddersfield Centre for Participatory Culture, followed by a Friday Night Social, on the evening of Friday 23rd June.

Dr. Louisa Stein opened the first day of the conference with a keynote address entitled 'Fandom/Resistance', while Professor Matt Hills closed the conference with a plenary speech entitled 'Reviewing the recent 'common sense' of fan studies (2012-2017), or, should we be celebrating a "future based fundamentally on fandom"?' A fan studies pub quiz also took place at the end of the first day in honour of Fan Studies Network's fifth anniversary.

Conference panels covered topics such as 'Rethinking Fan Studies', 'Mainstreaming Fandom', 'New Perspectives on Fandom and Neoliberalism', 'Memory and Long-Term Fandom' and 'Identity Politics'.[8]

Fan Studies Network Australasia 2017

Dates: 30 November - 1 December 2017
Hosting institution: University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Matt Hills, University of Huddersfield

In 2017, the Fan Studies Network officially launched its first conference aimed at fan studies scholars in Australasia. The conference was organised by Dr. Bertha Chin (Swinburne University, Malaysia), Dr. Renee Middlemost (University of Wollongong, Australia), Prof. Sue Turnbull (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Dr. Ika Willis (University of Wollongong, Australia). The Call For Papers for the conference stated that:

As research and interest on fandom grow in Australia, New Zealand and Asia at large, the Fan Studies Network is also interested in fostering these connections and resources. We are delighted to announce that FSN Australasia, with support from FSN in the UK, will hold an inaugural conference for scholars based in the region.

Among the topics that scholars were encouraged to submit proposals for presentations on were 'Fandom in Asia, Australia and/or New Zealand', 'Non-Western fan cultures', 'Fan use of social media platforms' and 'The future of fan studies'.[3]

Use of Twitter at FSN Conferences

Delegates at Fan Studies Network Conferences have always been encouraged to tweet about the conferences' various panels and presentations using a set conference hashtag, such as #FSN2013 or #FSN2017.

In 2017, the volume of tweets about the conference was such that one Twitter user, @elmyra, suggested that delegates use separate panel hashtags as a way of helping to order the conversation.[9] The conference organisers responded by implementing the use of panel hashtags (along with the main conference hashtag for tracking purposes) the following day.[10]

After the close of the Fan Studies Network Conference 2017, the official Fan Studies Network Twitter account (@FanStudies) posted some "very rough analytical data" of the use of Twitter during the conference, which indicated that 7,071 tweets were posted using the #FSN2017 hashtag, resulting in 1,051,038 potential daily impressions.[11]

References

  1. The Fan Studies Network: About Us, Fan Studies Network. Published April 27, 2013. Accessed 30 June, 2017.
  2. Academic Staff Profile, Professor Matt Hills, University of Huddersfield. Accessed 02 July, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 CFP: Fan Studies Network Australasia 2017, Fan Studies Network. Posted 16 December, 2016. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  4. Fan Studies Network Symposium 2013, Fan Studies Network. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  5. FSN 2014 Final Full Programme (PDF), Fan Studies Network. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  6. Final FSN 2015 Programme (PDF), Fan Studies Network. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  7. FSN 2016 Draft Programme v2 (PDF), Fan Studies Network. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  8. FSN 2017 Final Draft Programme (PDF), Fan Studies Network. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  9. Tweet by @elmyra, Twitter. Posted 24 June, 2017. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  10. Tweet by @fanstudies, Twitter. Posted 25 June, 2017. Accessed 01 July, 2017.
  11. Tweet by @fanstudies, Twitter. Posted 27 June, 2017. Accessed 01 July, 2017.