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Fifty Shades of Fandom

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Kristina Busse

on 24 September 2016

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Transcript of Fifty Shades of Fandom

"Online media fandom is a gift culture in the symbolic realm in which fan gift exchange is performed in complex, even exclusionary symbolic ways that create a stable nexus of giving, receiving, and reciprocity that results in a community occupied with theorizing its own genderedness." - Karen Hellekson
"[F]an fiction may not be monetized at all, in which case no one, particularly women authors, will earn the financial rewards of fanfic’s growing popularity. Only the corporate owners of the media properties that fic authors so creatively elaborate on will see economic gain from these writers’ volunteer work"
-Abigail DeKosnik

"My subconscious is furious, medusa-like in her anger, hair flying, her hands clenched around her face like Edvard Munch’s Scream. I ignore her, but she won’t climb back into her box" -E.L. James
ART AS COMMODITY
"[Originality is] enmeshed in historical injustices, in the predominance of bourgeois commodities that must touch up the ever-same as the ever-new in order to win customers."
- Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory
CREATION OF THE AUTHOR
"As [moments of inspiration] are increasingly credited to the writer’s own genius, they transform the writer into a unique individual uniquely responsible for a unique product. That is, from a (mere) vehicle of preordained truths - truths as ordained either by universal human agreement or by some higher agency - the writer becomes an author (Lat. auctor, originator, founder, creator)." - Martha Woodmansee, The Author, Art, and the Market
ORIGINAL GENIUS
"Genius is the introduction of a new element into the intellectual universe: or, if that be not allowed, it is the application of powers to objects on which they had not before been exercised, or the employment of them in such a manner as to produce effects hitherto unknown."
- William Wordsworth, 1815 Supplement to Preface of Lyrical Ballads
FEMALE AUTHORSHIP
"In its amateur origins and rather narrowly defined utilitarian purpose the novel would seem to lack the earmarks of literary ;art.’ The product of idle hour, it is intended not for sale to a reading public but strictly for domestic use."
- Martha Woodmansee, The Author, Art, and the Market 106
The existing [aesthetic] order is complete before the new work arrives; for order to persist after the supervention of novelty, the whole existing order must be, if ever so slightly, altered; and so the relations, proportions, values of each work of art toward the whole are readjusted; and this is conformity between the old and the new.
- T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent” 1920
The principal object, then, proposed in these Poems was to choose incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible in a selection of language really used by men, and, at the same time, to throw over them a certain colouring of imagination. - William Wordsworth, “Preface” 1789
Difference and Repetition
"Romances may not deviate too significantly if regular readers are to be pleased. They expect and, indeed, rely upon certain events, characters, and progressions to provide the desired experience."
- Janice Radway, Reading the Romance 63
Linguistic repetition is an inherent aspect of comprehensible communication in general.
Thematic repetition can be part of the reader-writer contract and thus a necessary aspect of particular types of works.
Finally, repetition of characters, settings, and plot can be used in specific ways as intertextual engagement.
Repetition
GIANDUJAKISS - GROUNDHOG DAY

Xena: Warrior Princess Supernatural
Blood Ties The X-Files
Stargate SG-1 Daybreak
Lois and Clark ST: The Next Generation Charmed Medium
Early Edition Tru Calling
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Andromeda
Groundhog Day

1709 Statute of Anne
14-year exclusive ownership rights
But since a mirror...can only reflect what is presented from a single direction, Hazlitt complicates this analogy by combining the mirror with a lamp, in order to demonstrate that a poet reflects a world already bathed in an emotional light he has himself projected. - M.H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp, 1953
[F]an writers ... rework and rewrite [the primary text], repairing or dismissing unsatisfying aspects, developing interests not sufficiently explore. - Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers 165
CONVERGENCE CULTURE
"I don’t think late eighties, early nineties audience research that posits resistance as the dominant way of understanding how audiences relate to texts makes any sense at the current moment of media production and consumption. In fact those categories, the moral labels that are attached to the language of resistance, break down in a fundamental way as you get the ability of audiences not simply to appropriate texts in some marginalised space, but through a technology that allows you to post a website that  comes up alongside the commercial site, or to talk back in a day-to-day dialogue with the media producer, or indeed to be recruited regularly into the ranks of the commercial."
- Henry Jenkins, Interview 2001

MYTH OF THE AUTHOR
"[T]he genial was bound up with the concept of originality: thus the concept
Originalgenie
. As is well known, prior to the age of genius the idea of originality bore no authority."
- Theodor W Adorno, Aesthetic Theory 172
Myth of the Author: authenticity, originality, and difference
Value of genre, tropes, repetition, citability
Tracing History of Aesthetic of Originality:
Repetition in Fandom
Re-watching for Comfort
Re-visiting for Analysis
Re-forming Text Creatively
Re-reading Stories
Full transcript