isisindarkness: (The Doctor - a multi-author pseudo myth)
I think of myself as a New Yorker. I was born and raised on the Lower East Side, and New York is still "The City" to me, with a definite article and no need to specify what city I mean. So you can imagine that it came as a bit of a shock when I realized, during my visit home this Christmas, that I have now spent more than a quarter of my life in the United Kingdom.

Being a certain sort of New York expatriate, The New York Times is an important part of how I hold on to my city. It's not just that it keeps me up to date on events back home; the experience of reading the paper, with its familiar style, perspective, and cast of regular contributors is a direct link to the days when I would read the paper on the train on the way to school (there's a trick to folding it so that it doesn't get in everyone's way), and worked on crossword puzzles between classes.

Despite my diligent attempts to keep up with both the Times and with news articles that are relevant to this dissertation, I totally managed to miss this article when it was published. "A Superhero Who Looks Like My Son" is the story of a father (Chris Huntington) who tried to share the comic books of his youth with his son (Dagim, adopted from Ethiopia), only to have Dagim reject them because he could not identify with the square-jawed, WASP-y heroes of the golden and silver age of comics. It was only when Marvel introduced Miles Morales, a 13-year-old boy of African-American and Latino descent, as the new Spider-Man in its Ultimates universe (a well-developed but parallel continuity to the core Marvel universe) that his son was able to attach to the idea of comics and superheroes.

In a lot of ways, the article illustrates everything that fandom is about... )
isisindarkness: (Default)
I became a fan scholar by accident )

The TL;DR version is this: I ended up in fan studies for two reasons. First, because my initial status as an outsider meant that I had an unusual perspective to bring to the discipline. And second, because I was interested in the ways that fan meta discourse, or self-analysis, could contribute to the academic understanding of how we do research, how we relate to our informants, and how we use their opinions and perspectives in our work.
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