CCTP-612 Fan Ethnographies
Fall for 2016-2017
This course will explore the phenomena of fans and fan cultures. We will identify and critically examine various theories of fandom from cultural, media, and feminist studies (e.g. Michel de Certeau, Henry Jenkins, John Fiske and Janice Radway). Building on this canon of fan studies, students will investigate and apply methodologies (historical, ethnographic, and aesthetic) used to explore fans and fan cultures. An important overall theme in the course will be the exploration and evaluation of the role of technologies (analog, digital, internet) in the experience and structure of fandoms and ascertain to what extent these technologies have transformed fan cultures. Students will also have the opportunity to conduct short ethnographies of a specific fandom through techniques such as digital ethnography, interviews, and participant observation.
The course will also investigate the social, cultural and interpersonal contexts in which fans use media in their everyday lives. We will also address the issue of fan cultural capital and fan hierarchies and how fan cultures can be, paradoxically, extremely democratic and rigidly hierarchical. Furthermore we will explore the manner in which fans not only intensely consume media, but also produce media by creating their own fiction, art, and films/videos. Last, the course will address and investigate the relationship between the media industries and fans. We will explore the changing relationship between fans and the culture industries, and how fans have moved from a position of marginality to one of centrality in the eyes of the media industries.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '16: Pieto, R. (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.