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Fandom At The Crossroads: Celebration, Shame and Fan/Producer Relationships [Paperback]

Lynn Zubernis , Katherine Larsen

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Book Description

1 Sep 2012
Fandom At The Crossroads: Celebration, Shame and Fan/Producer Relationships is an in-depth exploration of the reciprocal relationship between a groundbreaking cult television show and its equally groundbreaking fandom. For the past six years the authors have inhabited the close-knit fan communities of the television show Supernatural, engaging in criticism and celebration, reading and writing fanfiction, and attending fan conventions. Their close relationships within the community allow an intimate behind-the-scenes examination of fan psychology, passion, motivation, and shame. The authors also speak directly to the creative side in order to understand what fuels the passionate reciprocal relationship Supernatural has with its fans, and to interrogate the reality of fans fears and shame. As they go behind the scenes and onto the sets to talk with Supernatural s showrunners, writers, and actors, the authors struggle to negotiate a hybrid identity as aca-fans . Fangirls one moment, legitimate researchers the next, the boundaries often blur. Their repeated breaking of the fan/creative side boundary is mirrored in Supernatural s reputation for fourth wall breaking, which has attracted journalistic coverage everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to the New York Times. Written with humor and irreverence, Stalking Fandom combines an innovative theorizing of fandom and popular culture, which will be useful in a variety of courses, with a behind-the-scenes story that anyone who s ever been a fan or wondered why others are fans will find fascinating.

Frequently Bought Together

Fandom At The Crossroads: Celebration, Shame and Fan/Producer Relationships + Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture + Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World
Price For All Three: £53.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (1 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443841404
  • ISBN-13: 978-1443841405
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14.5 x 2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 688,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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Product Description


The fans are an incredibly important force in the entertainment industry: Powerful executives, directors and writers fear them, countless web sites cater to them and their support (or wrath) can make or break a project. But who are the fans? What do they want? How do they view their complex relationships with the stories and storytellers they obsess over? Fortunately, Lynn Zubernis and Katherine Larsen are here to take us on a fascinating journey into the belly of the beast an appropriate metaphor, given their profound and passionate knowledge of the complex and challenging spooky serial Supernatural. But you don t have to be a fan of the Winchester Brothers to enjoy this witty, thoughtful and intelligent guide to the nature of fandom and the endless varieties of the fan experience. As Dean Winchester would say, They get it. --Maureen Ryan, Television Critic, AOL/Huffington Post

Fandom At The Crossroads raises vital questions for contemporary fan studies. Pondering whether fan practices can be therapeutic, asking how boundaries between fans and producers are policed (from both sides), and considering fan conflicts, this is a rich and timely study of Supernatural fandom which also opens up wider issues surrounding convergence culture right now. Drawing on detailed, wide-ranging interviews with showrunners and the show s cast, Fandom At The Crossroads also boasts a degree of access that s incredibly rare in work of this kind. By combining their fan and scholarly identities, Larsen and Zubernis challenge all of us to see the subject anew. --Matt Hills, Cardiff University; Author of Fan Cultures and Triumph of a Time Lord

Larsen and Zubernis have produced what will no doubt be a valuable addition to the growing scholarship on fan studies. Their passion as Supernatural fans shines through and they should be congratulated for researching and writing an influential book that asks the reader to not only consider their own relationship to a particular fandom but demands that they take notice and take seriously the diverse interests and emotional attachments millions have with their objects of affection. --Lincoln Geraghty, University of Portsmouth; Editor of the Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood

About the Author

Lynn Zubernis is a clinical psychologist and teaches in the Counselor Education program at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Katherine Larsen teaches courses on fame, celebrity and fandom in the University Writing Program at George Washington University. She is the principal editor of the Journal of Fandom Studies. Dr Zubernis and Dr Larsen are co-editors of Fan Culture: Theory/Practice and the forthcoming Fan Phenomena: Supernatural, and co-authors of the upcoming book, Fangasm. They have also published four articles in Supernatural Magazine.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fandom at the crossroads 7 Feb 2013
By amanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very insightful look at the fan experience , These ladies know what the fandom is about and understand it from the inside as well as having the educational background to see it objectively. It is an easy read, not just for academics, but I would encourage them to read it to if they are interested in just how fandoms work. Being fairly new to fandom,myself this was a help to me, fandoms are not one big fandom that always agree, There are some very intelligent people that love this show -Supernatural on the CW and provide well thought out analysis. Fandom is not just for a select few, it is for everyone who loves the show..
5.0 out of 5 stars Fan girls dream 28 Dec 2013
By Leslie Oldfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice to know that I am not the only one with an obsession. An in depth look in to the lives of some of Supernatural's most obsessive fans.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Addition To Your Supernatural Book Collection. :) 6 July 2013
By Jesse S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Supernatural since it debuted 8 years ago and been involved in the fandom aspect of it for all of those 8 years. As far as behind-the-scenes stories, conventions, the cast/crew and the goings on within the fandom --I know quite a lot about it so I was fairly certain I would enjoy this book but not necessarily learn anything new.

However, I was happily surprised to find that wasn't the case. The fan-fiction world of the SPN fandom, which know about in a general sense, but don't really participate in, was a part of the book I was most fascinated by. The psychology of why fans write and read it was very illuminating. The book covers this in much detail--from general fan-fic to the more, shall we say, controversial kind. :)

It also covers the downside of fandom. Yes, we don't always get along, but the topic is discussed with respect, objectivity and clarity. Thumbs up.

There are also some wonderful interview snippets with Supernatural cast members about fame and the fandom. I especially enjoyed Jared Padalecki's insights.

On a literary level, kudos goes to authors Lynn Zubernis and Kathy Larsen for approaching this topic in such an entertaining, accessible way so as not to leave non-academics readers scratching their heads. Granted, your head may spin reading some of it, but don't let the references to psychology scholars scare you...this is NOT a bland text book kind of read.

If you're interested in the cultural and/or psychological aspect of the SPN fandom (or fandom in general)that is insightful, intelligent, AND fun--I highly recommend buying this book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is the Scholarly Work? 30 May 2014
By Zaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. It's lack of scholarly depth really suprised me. There were no statistcs to support their theories. Their pool of interviewees on the fan side was small. There was far to heavy a focus on slash and insufficient focus on other aspects of fandom like the save our shoe, and charity efforts. The questions asked of the show runners don't even really touch on the impact an avid fan base might have to the bottom line. I think the problem lies with the fact that the author's the backgrounds are in literature and psychology and not sociology. It becomes cringeworthy obvious how weak this book is when you compare it to books like "Heat Wave: a Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago" or "The History and Sociology of Genocide". On the plus side, if you are a fan It does make feel good. However I would save your money and read "Fangasm" by the same authors instead, it produces the same effect and is a more enjoyable read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into fan behaviour and fandom shame 17 Oct 2013
By Jody Pretty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book that mixes the academic with pop culture. Helped me to understand parts of the Supernatural fandom that I found confusing and sometimes downright odd!
Can't wait to read the new book Fangasm.
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