Identities and Communities in a Mediated World

412 pages

4 illustrations

June, 2007

ISBN: 9780814731819



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Jonathan Gray is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Television Entertainment, Television Studies (with Amanda D. Lotz), Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, and Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality.

All books by Jonathan Gray

Cornel Sandvoss is Professor of Media and Journalism and co-founding Director of Centre of Participatory Culture at the University of Huddersfield.

All books by Cornel Sandvoss

C. Lee Harrington is Professor of Sociology at Miami University. She is the author (with Denise D. Bielby) of Soap Fans (1995) and Global TV (2008).

All books by C. Lee Harrington

We are all fans. Whether we log on to Web sites to scrutinize the latest plot turns in Lost, “stalk” our favorite celebrities on Gawker, attend gaming conventions, or simply wait with bated breath for the newest Harry Potter novel—each of us is a fan. Fandom extends beyond television and film to literature, opera, sports, and pop music, and encompasses both high and low culture.

Fandom brings together leading scholars to examine fans, their practices, and their favorite texts. This unparalleled selection of original essays examines instances across the spectrum of modern cultural consumption from Karl Marx to Paris Hilton, Buffy the Vampire Slayer to backyard wrestling, Bach fugues to Bollywood cinema¸ and nineteenth-century concert halls to computer gaming. Contributors examine fans of high cultural texts and genres, the spaces of fandom, fandom around the globe, the impact of new technologies on fandom, and the legal and historical contexts of fan activity. Fandom is key to understanding modern life in our increasingly mediated and globalized world.


  • “Highly recommended.”


  • “One of the best aspects of the text is the way that the contributors do not merely typecast fans as those interested in modern and popular culture, but also examine fans of mediums typically considered ‘high culture.’ This makes the book much friendlier to pop-culture fans, whose practices are typically considered lowbrow and fanatical when compared to someone who holds season tickets to the opera or visits an art gallery every weekend. As a fan, it’s nice to see that the behavior is not reduced to unnecessary fanaticism and is examined on a more subjective level.”

    M/C Reviews

  • Fandom pushes the boundaries of fan studies in bold directions, incorporating high culture fandoms, global fan cultures, fan technologies, and antagonistic anti-fandom, while rethinking the core tenets of fan studies concerning aesthetics, place, intellectual property, and interpretive communities—all presented with a lively, accessible, and engaging writing style.”

    —Jason Mittell, Middlebury College

  • “Thought-provoking. . . . Well-selected and challenging collection.”


  • Fandom explores the multidimensional aspects of the fascination, enthrallment, obsession that fans have with their various interests.”

    Journal of Mass Communication Quarterly