TWC Panel Chat: 2015

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Interviews by Fans
Title: TWC Panel Chat: 2015
Interviewer: Claudia Rebaza
Interviewee: Lucy Busker, Cathy Cupitt, Amanda Odom, and Dana Sterling
Date(s): chat (September 19, 2015), transcript (September 20, 2015)
Medium:
Fandom(s): lots
External Links: online here; WebCite
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

TWC Panel Chat: 2015 was conducted by Claudia Rebaza as a part of the celebration for the 20th issue of Transformative Works and Cultures.

The Introduction

"I’m your moderator, Claudia, and I’m a staffer with the OTW’s Communications committee. Our panelists today are:

Lucy Busker is a writing professor at Parkland College in Illinois, USA. She was the founder and site maintainer of the original Fanfic Symposium, and the owner of the Fanfiction Critic's Association mailing list. Her recent interests include gender in children's media, including a strange fascination with her daughter's Barbie movies.
Cathy Cupitt has been an active member of fandom since the late 1980s, first writing fanfiction for Lotrips. She's been a writer, reccer and vidder in Stargate: Atlantis, Torchwood, Supernatural and Teen Wolf, among others. She has a Doctorate in Creative Arts, and is currently a Research Fellow for the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education at Curtin University in Perth, Australia.
Amanda Odom has served as an instructor at several institutions, including the University of South Alabama, the United States Sports Academy, and Front Range Community College. She has also worked as an editor. She loves finding connections between the characters in comics, video games, books, and movies and the people who write and read them.
Dana Sterling has published a romance novel under a nom de plume, and teaches writing at Oklahoma State University's Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. She studied journalism, and previously spent 20 years as a reporter, editor and broadcaster. She has been a fan of comics, Star Wars, Stargate, and The Lord of the Rings among others.

Some Topics Discussed

Excerpts

Lucy: I actually came at things kind of backwards. I discovered fanfic (or rather, that other people wrote their own Trek stories!) on usenet, and almost immediately noticed that while most of the posters on the discussion groups were men, most of the fanfic was being posted by women. I was hip-deep in grad school at the time, and thought there might be a paper in it. Turned out someone had already written the book (story of my life), but by the time I'd read Textual Poachers, I had also read a LOT of fanfic, met other fans, and was hooked. But the analytical lens never went away, especially since I was writing/had written a dissertation on asynchronous online discussion. There's very little I like writing more than something that combines rhetoric and fandom.
Cathy: I'm a creative artist doing my Doctorate in Creative Arts. I wanted to be a better writer, and understand more about technique and how they impacted on audiences. I was already part of fandom in real life, and had recently discovered online fandom and the amazing stuff that was happening in that space. Fandom is such a great place to hone your skill, because the feedback is so generous, thoughtful, and voluminous. There were also creative things happening in fandom that I’d never seen anywhere else, and I thought they were really exciting. Put all those things together, and I wanted to know more about what made fandom tick. That’s when I started to spread out from looking at how to write, to looking at the writing/reading fan culture that was so good at turning people into writers. I started with Jenkins, as so many people do, but rapidly gobbled up a bunch of other stuff, although there wasn’t that much back then. TWC has been such a boon in opening up the conversation.

Dana: I spend most of my fannish time on Dreamwidth these days, under a fannish pseud, and there's a community there called metanews that rounds up fannish posts on topics of interest to specific fandoms and more general topics too, in the mainstream media. Back when I was more active fannishly on Livejournal there were several communities of that type that came and went. I am clueless about Tumblr so someone else can speak to that....

Things have changed so much since I became aware of online fandom in 2001 or 2002 when the Lord of the Rings movies came out -- a fan I know collects links to fan fiction topics in the mainstream media, and it's just exploded. I do see people saying that Tumblr changed how meta happens. Was Livejournal around 2004 a high point of fannish meta?
Amanda: Tumbler is kind of like Ulysses, only longer. But like Joyce, there are some sublime moments.