[Guest Post] My Gen-Z Journey Through Fandom

The most interesting thing for me to realize was how many fandoms I’d been a part of since I was a child, without even noticing that I was doing so, without even knowing that this is how I was expressing my fandom. I grew up an only child, in a quiet household, and my Indian parents discouraged me from creating accounts online. Truthfully, I never found a need for that kind of Internet interaction. This is a trait that carried through my adolescence to the present-day in how I engage in fandom and express my fanning.

The first fandom I can really remember myself getting into came about from growing up in the late 2000s. This, of course, was loving the Disney Channel shows and Disney Channel Original Movies (salute to DCOMS!) of the late 2000s. I remember checking the channel guides waiting for new episodes of Hannah Montana, getting all the fun associated merch, and going to see Hannah Montana: The Movie in theaters in 2009. I listened to the official Radio Disney station for years, listening to all their playlists and am proud to say I’m still in possession of Radio Disney Jams 10, featuring a video performance of the evergreen Nobody’s Perfect. My early-day fanning was pretty much just me, with the sometime-resignation of my parents.

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[Guest Post] How The Owl House Portrays Disability

Spoiler note: this piece has spoilers for The Owl House through the parts of season 2 available on Disney+



The Owl House, two seasons in, has a well-earned reputation for inclusion. The show has made it clear from early on that its themes of not punishing divergence aren’t just glib platitudes intended to make normies feel saintly for letting the weird kid sit at their table. Instead, it treats all of us to a narrative that centers characters who navigate a strange world that doesn’t always suit them in the ways that make the best sense for them. There is a lot of good to be said about the show’s cast: the Latina main character, the queer and nonbinary rep, the older woman mentor, and a truly beloved fat character whose weight is never once remarked on, among others.

It is a breath of fresh air to see that, along with all the rest, there are some solid disability and chronic illness narratives and metaphors in the series as well.

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[Guest Post] Understanding Fandom’s View of Imperialism Through Fire Emblem Three Houses

I got my friend Odawel to talk about one of the big things they learned from the Fire Emblem fandom and how it speaks to the way that white people in fandom can miss big bad issues in plots on their way to stanning certain characters!


When I say I’m a diehard Fire Emblem fan, I mean it. I’ve played almost every single one, most of them upwards of twenty full playthroughs, and I could probably recite the entirety of Path of Radiance to someone line by line if I was pushed. 

That’s why when I heard about the combat changes for Fire Emblem Three Houses, I held off. I wasn’t sure I wanted to play something that altered the core game mechanics, but then one of my white friends told me, “Hey, I played it, and it’s definitely different, but it’s still a Fire Emblem game. And let me tell you. You’re going to love Dimitri.”

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[Guest Post] Period Drama Karens

Hello Stitch’s Media Mix readers! My name is Amanda-Rae Prescott (she/her/hers) and I’m a Black and multiracial fan of  period dramas, Doctor Who and other UK TV from New York City.


Racism in period drama fandoms can take many forms, but one form that’s very easy to spot are complaints from racists after new productions announce Black actors in traditionally white fictional character roles. Due to the success of Hamilton, Bridgerton, and other diverse-casted series, more production companies in the UK are adapting racebent or color-conscious casting. (Many of these series still have white writers and/or few Black people or other POC behind the camera, however, the UK entertainment industry is much further behind the US on this conversation for structural and population reasons.).

It’s easy for Black fans to miss these discussions online because these fandoms, with a few exceptions for mainstream fame, are outside traditional geek/nerd/fandom culture. There’s also an age gap to consider.

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[Guest Post] Perspectives on Ruth Doctor

Elizabeth A. Allen and Jonah Akos got together recently to geek out about one of their favorite additions to Doctor Who: Ruth Clayton, a.k.a. the Fugitive Doctor. Played by Jo Martin, “Ruth Doctor” became the first Black Doctor in the show’s history. She appeared in two episodes of Season 12, “Fugitive of the Judoon” and “The Timeless Children,” generating polarized responses from viewers. Elizabeth and Jonah talked about Ruth Doctor’s characterization, her significance to the show and fandom, and her possible future.

Elizabeth is a white, queer, nonbinary writer and editor. Jonah is a Black, nonbinary trans man. Their identities shape their experiences with Doctor Who and with Ruth Doctor in particular.


Jonah: Let’s start with what we enjoyed about her.

Elizabeth: Yeah, let’s! I really love how Ruth Doctor was so quickly and deftly characterized.

Jonah: I think that was a great way to start — focusing on her POV for quite a bit of time. It helps you feel like she truly exists in the world. Even before knowing who she was, I liked her because she felt empathetic, but also confident in herself.

Elizabeth: Her happiness with her husband and the people she said “hi” to really grounded her. They also gave a perfect illustration of one of the Doctor’s best traits: At the best, the Doctor really CONNECTS with people. They CARE. They make friends.

Jonah: I also liked that she got to have a love interest. Allowing an older, dark-skinned Black woman to have love at all is rare. To show them as able and worthy of it.

Elizabeth: Yeah, I’m glad that she had some romance too! The snippets of domestic life and normalcy make Ruth a much more approachable Doctor than any other I’ve encountered.

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[Guest Post] Why White Supremacy Can No Longer Provide Cover for White Academics by Robin Anne Reid

Note: This is the write-up of Robin Anne Reid’s segment in the roundup on race and racism in fandom that we had at PCA 2019 April 17, 2019.


Why White Supremacy Can No Longer Provide Cover for White Academics

The main point I want to make for this discussion is that Academia, in general, is having its own versions of Racefail ’09 in various disciplinary spaces and conferences. I am working on a book about Racefail ’09, and the more I work on describing and documenting the events of a decade ago, the more I see how current academic imbroglios follow a similar pattern, one that fits Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s definition of color-blind or unconscious, racism.

When academics of colors who, in the same way that Avalon’s Willow pointed out racist tropes in fantasy and sf during Racefail ‘09, point out systemic racism in academic disciplines, specifically, Medieval Studies, Classical Studies, and Anglo-Saxon Studies, they are met with claims from white liberals whose dominant response is “I’m not racist.”

The problems include programming at the major conferences, statements made, and actions taken by tenured white scholars in positions of relative privilege, against tenure-track scholars. The academic Racefail I am most familiar with involved doxing, death threats, and attempts to drive scholars of color out of the profession and was recently covered in the New York Times.Read More »

[Pitch The Stitch] What Fandom Racism Looks Like: Antiblackness in K-Pop Fandom and Industry

Pitch the stitch - kpop fandom and industry antiblackness

In case you’ve missed it, I’m doing a project for my website on anti-Blackness in K-pop fandom spaces and why the industry’s understanding and appropriation of Blackness/Black culture for the aesthetics of it all partially fuel the problem.

It’s already a massive project, but I want to make even more work for myself by opening up for guest posts related to the series I mentioned writing over on Patreon.

While of course, anyone can send me a pitch and I’m open to anything, I want to center the voices of other Black fans and Korean fans across their diaspora who’ve talked about the genre/industry’s relationship with (anti?) Blackness across this project.

If you’re interested in doing a guest post at any point in this project – about your relationship with K-pop as a Black fan or how you engage with the reality of the fandom or industry’s anti-Blackness as a Black and/or Korean person in these spaces – here’s your chance. I’d like to open up my platform and my site to you!

I’m looking for:

  • 5 guest posts (for the time being, i’d eventually like to post as many as 10 essays/guest posts)
  • 600-1000 words each (i won’t say no to longer posts, but I feel like that works best for what I can pay)
  • posts can be celebratory OR critical when it comes to talking about your experiences as fans

While I can’t pay a ton because I’m poor and money’s tight, THESE ARE FOR PAID GUEST POSTS @ $40 a post!

This is my first attempt at doing this kind of organized guest post set-up so please, don’t let this flop!

🙂

You can find the Google form here.

“A discipline overrun with whiteness”: #FSN2019 and Making a Statement – A Guest Post

In April 2019, I was invited by Zina Hutton, Cait Coker, and Robin Reid to be part of a Roundtable on Race and Racism in Fandom and Fan Studies at the PCA/ACA 2019 conference held in Washington DC, USA. The intention was to discuss Fandom and Fan Studies 10 years after the events of RaceFail ’09 to see if things had changed and, if so, how. While I didn’t speak to the events of RaceFail ’09 itself, it did inflect my critique of institutional responses that followed in the wake of a more recent event.

What follows here is a rough estimate of the things I said at the conference, much of which was unscripted. I should note that these are my views alone and that I do not speak for Rukmini Pande, who was also involved in the series of events I plan to discuss.

At the same time, I should also be clear that many of the points that follow are points that fans of colour (hereafter FOC) and acafans of colour (as well as acafans working on critical race theory in fandom) have already noted. In a multiplicity of ways, I am echoing their work, restating it, forcibly reinscribing it as best as I can, and ascribing it as best as I can (and Rukmini is part of this, though again she is not the first).

As previously noted, these conversations have been around for far longer than us, and to assume that we are the first to voice this discomfort, this anger, this complaint (per Sara Ahmed) is to be complicit in this erasure and our own eventual erasure. These are not just my words, this is not just my voice.

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[Guest Post] Finn as everyman? How about no?

Finn as everyman - Guest Post Header.png

After the release of The Last Jedi, there was a noticeable shift in how members of the general audience discussed Finn – if they talked about him at all. People who resented his inclusion in The Force Awakens – viewing him as a sign of P­C culture run amok or as an extra whose sole purpose was to diversify the cast – had little to say this time around, likely because his marginalization in the series’ latest installment merely served to confirm their negative view of his place in the trilogy.

Instead, it was those viewers who claimed to like Finn whose tune changed.

As it became clearer that Force sensitivity would never be part of his arc, at least not in this segment, there arose a collective sigh of relief from certain quarters: “Good! He doesn’t need to be Force sensitive to be important. Let him just be Finn. Let him just have a blaster and kick ass that way. Let him be the everyman the audience can relate to.”

Except that – to paraphrase Luke Skywalker, as he faced off against Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi – “Amazing. Every word you just said is wrong.”Read More »

[Guest Post] Love, pain, redemption – Bruce & Dick in Nightwing: Rebirth.

This guest post comes courtesty of one of my dearest friends in and out of fandom, Yamini, who kindly allowed me to repost her brilliant analysis of Batman and Nightwing’s relationship in Nightwing: Rebirth. (This post is also available on her tumblr, so please reblog it from there if you want to share!


bd01

… And Fate them forged a binding chain / of living love and mortal pain” is one of my favourite lines in JRR Tolkien’s Lay of Leithian; encapsulating the poem’s driving conviction that mingled love, pain, surrender, and redemption can form the foundations of the most important relationships we can have with other human beings.

I found myself thinking about it after reading Nightwing #8 (by Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor and Carlos Mangual) because love, pain, and redemption are so much a part of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, and how they relate to each other, and I haven’t read many comics that mediate on that as beautifully as this one (and hell, this whole arc) does.Read More »