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Hills, Matt. "Shared trajectories and ‘figures of the fan audience’ in comics studies and fan studies: Arrested development … or transmedial developments?." Participations 17.2 2020. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020. <https://www.participati ... me%2017/Issue%202/9.pdf>. 
Added by: joachim (12/4/20, 11:40 AM)   
Resource type: Web Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
BibTeX citation key: Hills2020
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Categories: General
Keywords: Comics research, Fandom, Intermediality
Creators: Hills
Collection: Participations
Views: 2/541
Attachments   URLs   https://www.partic ... 17/Issue%202/9.pdf
This essay argues that comics studies and fan studies can be seen to be connected via their relationship to ‘figures of the audience’ (Barker 2018), chiefly figures of fandom. But where fan studies has embraced the hybrid position of the ‘aca-fan,’ comics studies has recently defined this as an outright problem, especially via the work of Marc Singer and others (Singer 2018; Woo 2020). Comics studies has thus positioned aca-fandom as a threat to the area’s professionalisation, whilst fan studies has tended to view it as a marker of positive difference. Whilst exploring the diversity of aca-fandom, and the emergence of tripled hybridities such as aca-fan-writers and activist-aca-fans, I argue that comics studies’ opposition to aca-fandom risks othering such allegedly ‘improper’ scholarship as on the side of neoliberal consumerist excess, whilst nevertheless aligning ‘proper’ comics studies’ academia with norms of neoliberalized knowledge. The figure of the fan has not only been perceived as a threat to comics studies, however, and key work on the cultural (de)legitimation of comics has analysed how the stereotype of ‘immature’ comics fandom has been linked to comics’ wider cultural status (Pizzino 2016). I conclude by considering alternative ways in which comics studies and fan studies may be brought into more productive dialogue, not just through the mainstreaming of comic-cons that both have begun to analyse (Woo et al. 2020), but also via the ‘transmediatization’ (Fast and Jansson 2019) now confronted by media and comics fandoms alike.
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