Welcome back to How Do You Like It So Far?, listeners! Today, we’re bringing you a time capsule of an episode: We recorded today’s conversation back in April, but it’s still as relevant as ever. Just don’t mind us thinking the coronavirus pandemic will be over in a couple of weeks.
The episode features Suzanne Scott, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Austin and author of Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry. She is also the co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, an anthology that brings together an international and interdisciplinary collection of nearly 60 established scholars to reflect on the state of the field and to point to new directions in fan studies research. Also on the episode is Susan Kresnicka, a cultural and business anthropologist and president and founder of cultural research firm Kresnicka Research and Insights (see their Human Needs Model whitepaper). Susan holds an M.A. in social anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin, sits on the professional advisory board for UCLA’s Master of Social Science program, and regularly speaks publicly on fandom, gender, morality, identity, and the value of anthropology in business. In the episode, Susan and Suzanne lead us through a discussion of how we define the word “fan” and who it applies to. Then, we discuss the relationship between fandom and industry: How do industry choices shape whose voices matter in fandom? How do companies strike the balance between capitalism and fan culture? Should fans be entitled to have a voice in new iterations of their favorite texts? Other topics Susan and Suzanne cover are the differences and similarities between sports fandom and entertainment fandom, how toxic fans and trolls affect fandom, and how fandom’s relationship to the industry is shifting as a result of COVID-19.
Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:
Susan’s yearlong study on fandom: The Power of Fandom
Toxic fandom: “When Fandom is the Problem”
Archive of Our Own (fanfiction platform)
Music: “In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X.
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q