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If you're reading this post, you probably already know at least a little bit about the ways in which the OTW has gone to bat for vidders over the years. I mean, yes, the OTW has done a lot of other great stuff too; I am endlessly grateful for Transformative Works and Cultures, I love Fanlore, and I hear there's also some big fic archive or something. But it's the OTW's work on behalf of vidders, AMV makers, and other fan video artists that means the most to me personally, as a vidder and vid fan.

I'm grateful not only for the achievements themselves but for the organization that's facilitated them. The OTW has enabled fans to collaborate on big projects, to pool our skills and expertise, in ways that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible. Without the OTW, I would still have been furious about DMCA-related takedowns of vids, but I wouldn't have known where to begin fighting back. I wouldn't have known it was even possible to file an exemption petition, much less known how to do so; I just don't have that kind of legal training! But because of the OTW, I've been able to participate anyway: to lend some tech know-how to the people who do have the necessary legal expertise, to bring a vidder's voice to the hearings in DC. I'm proud to be part of this work and grateful to the OTW for the opportunity to contribute what I can.

DMCA

Speaking of which: This year's DMCA hearings have been scheduled for the end of May, so I will once again be joining Rebecca Tushnet and Francesca Coppa at the Library of Congress to explain, in the smallest words possible, why vidders need to be able to break encryption on Blu-ray, DVDs, and DRM-protected digital downloads. Some of the arguments on file have already yielded that special "oh my god you did not just say that" combination of hilarity and outrage that I have come to associate with the DMCA exemption process, so the hearings themselves should be... memorable.

I will also be going to several conferences in the next six months.

Gendered Politics of Production symposium


I'll be talking about vids and vidding at a one-day symposium on Gendered Politics of Production, taking place in London this June. I'm looking forward to the chance to get together with other feminist scholars and think about vidders and vidding in the larger context of girls and women making media.

Fan Studies Network conference


I'll also be presenting at the Fan Studies Network conference, also in the UK, later in June; weirdly, I will not be talking about vids! Rather, I am taking advantage of being at an entire conference of fan studies nerds to make a sort of meta-argument about the shape and trajectory of fan studies as a whole. I am still working out how best to explain that argument, which means it's kind of a miracle that the proposal got accepted. Yay for work in progress!

Feminisms and Rhetorics


And finally, I will be at the Feminisms and Rhetorics conference in Arizona next October. This year's theme: Women's Ways of Making. Shockingly, I will be presenting about vids again! But, because the conference organizers are awesome and encouraged us to do more than just Stand Up And Present A Paper, I will be a) hosting a brief vidshow that introduces vids to a group of scholars who may never have heard of vidding but will probably think it's fantastic, and b) running a session in which I demonstrate how to vid and talk about vids as a model for certain kinds of assignments in both writing classes and gender studies classes.

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Tisha Turk

November 2016

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