New territories for fan studies: The insurrection, QAnon, Donald Trump and fandom
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › peer-review
The following roundtable is a recorded and edited discussion between four fan studies researchers that took place in March 2022. Having all worked with QAnon and the insurrection in the context of fan studies, our discussion took its departure from the US insurrection on January 6, 2021, as QAnon fans, Trump fans, and other right-wing groups stormed the US Capitol building while live-streaming their endeavor to social media. The discussion draws out some main perspectives that may guide our future thinking in the context of fandom, complicity, and politics and points toward new cultural and social territories for research into fandom and fan practices. Centrally, as fandom enters into the domain of politics and conspiracy theories, it seems increasingly unfruitful to distinguish between fan practices and participatory culture. Instead, participatory culture’s primary mode seems to be deeply driven by fan practices, that is, textual poaching and enunciative and textual productivity (Jenkins, 2013; Fiske, 1992). Instead, understanding this amalgamation of fan practices into other social domains can help us make sense of current phenomena in the seeming growth of conspiracy theory communities and right-wing movements alike. Participatory culture is a source of great creativity, playfulness, and mobilization of social and political movements, but, as Jenkins pointed out as early as 2006 “has benefited third parties, revolutionaries, reactionaries, and racists alike” (Jenkins, 2006, p. 221). In some instances, it seems that these online communities are driven by fan practices, in other instances fan communities are weaponized in order to serve a political agenda. While research into fandom and politics (see Hinck, 2019; Jenkins et al., 2020, Sandvoss, 2012, etc.) and toxic cultures (Proctor et. al., 2018) is certainly not new, it seems that the current transmedial landscapes drive participation and complicity in very specific ways that fan studies would do well to focus on in the coming years.
|Journal||Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Jun 2023|
- Faculty of Humanities