Transformative Works and Cultures, Issue One!

I’m very excited to announce that Transformative Works and Cultures has just published its first issue. It’s been a lot of work, and far less for me than for the heroic editors Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson, but it all feels so worth it to see the great issue we’ve put together.

The image above links to the table of contents; you can also read the press release and the editors’ introduction. I think the journal has really achieved its aims of being both serious and rigorous enough for academic respect and accessible enough for a wider readership, and I’ve seen some postings by nonacademic fans who agree.

The peer reviewed entries include a marvellous piece by Francesca Coppa on the history of vidding, and Abigail De Kosnik extending fan theory beyond “fandom” per se by reading American electoral politics as a conflict of fandoms. There’s plenty queer sex from Catherine Tosenberger on incest, queer theory and Supernatural fic and Anne Kustritz on BDSM symbolism in Story of O and Star Wars fan fiction. Louisa Stein and Sam Ford discuss fan discursive practices around genre TV and soap opera respectively, and Madeline Ashby takes on posthuman anxieties in anime and their relationship to women writing in fandom. The “transformative” of the journal’s name is taken into unexpected ground by Michael Arnzen‘s piece on the transformative work of teaching.

The Symposium section, for which I was coeditor, is themed rather self-reflexively for this issue. From perspectives which all start in the personal and spread into wide-ranging reflections on communication structures and ways of producing knowledge, Dana Bode, Rebecca Lucy Busker and Cathy Cupitt write about how fannish, academic and other communities of practice write and interact. Symposium also contains a recording from a panel at the media conference Console-ing Passions, which was itself a reflection on the way fannish academics interact with one another and with different forms of fandom. You can hear my voice rambling on about queer gender in the first question of the discussion track.

Writing this, I realise how much I pop up in this issue, because I also interviewed the Audre Lorde of the Rings (online home base Oh!Industry). I loved what they had to say about work, love, racialized affect, queer collectivity and other clever things. We also have interviews with the illustrious Henry Jenkins and the Italian artistic collective Wu Ming.

And reviews, as if that weren’t enough! But I’m not going to describe them, or even explain why I disagree with the review of Sandvoss’s Fans. I have exhausted myself with all this summarizing––please click on some links and see what you think for yourself.

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