tishaturk: (book)
Last week, I received my contributor's copy of Metalepsis in Popular Culture, which includes a chapter I wrote on metalepsis in vids (and fan fiction, though I have to admit that the section on fic was not part of my original idea; it was suggested by the editors because they figured more people would be familiar with fic than with vids). I knew that the book would be quite expensive, especially in the US (it's an academic hardcover from a European press), so I made sure that the copyright transfer agreement allows me to distribute the essay online as long as I cite the original publication information (which is hardly a hardship, since the publication information is one of my very favorite things about the essay: I have a chapter in a book published by De Gruyter! this is really exciting!).

So here it is:

Metalepsis in Fan Vids and Fan Fiction. In Metalepsis in Popular Culture. Ed. Karin Kukkonen and Sonja Klimek. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011. 83-103.

In some ways, this essay is less accessible than my previous essay about vids; that one was relatively general, while this one is part of a very specific academic conversation about metalepsis and narrative theory. On the other hand, I think most fans will recognize the concept of metalepsis pretty quickly, even if the terminology is not immediately familiar. (For those who are curious about the terminology, I wrote a bit about metalepsis back when I first proposed the chapter.) And I think--I hope, anyway!--that the essay's account of [personal profile] laurashapiro and [livejournal.com profile] lithiumchic's "I Put You There" makes sense even without knowing all the ins and outs of the narrative theory elements.




In other news, I am continuing to work on several other essays on vids, including one that I just came up with a couple of weeks ago while at the Computers & Writing conference. I was talking with a couple of the people who'd attended my presentation, explaining the various vid-related academic projects I'm working on, and it occurred to me that while I've made some complicated arguments about vids in relation to film studies, rhetoric, narrative theory, copyright law, and composition studies, I haven't really written anything that lays out the fundamentals of how I think vids work and why I think they should be interesting to the academic audiences with whom I'm usually communicating.

Duh.

I mean, I know why I haven't written that essay yet: I jumped into writing about vids because of two specific calls for papers that got me started thinking about vids in very particular ways. But I did have a moment of *facepalm* when I realized that I'd been going about things a bit backwards. I've got all these ideas and assumptions about how vids work which I talk about when I present on vids but which I haven't actually written down anywhere. I should write them down! And as I do, I need to be careful to convey how many of the ideas have been worked out and codified within the vidding community more generally; it's important to me that non-fannish academics understand the extent to which fans are self-theorizing.

So that very basic essay--not a history of vidding, but an explanation of how meaning gets created when making and watching vids and why this meaning-making is interesting from an academic point of view--is now on my to-do list for the summer.

I am finding that writing about vids is very much like vidding: just when I think I've gotten the queue under control, there are more ideas. And, just as with vidding, more ideas is a prospect simultaneously exciting and exhausting.
tishaturk: (book)
To my considerable embarrassment, I still (more than a month later) have not responded to a number of thoughtful comments on my last post. I would say "mea culpa," except that in fact I blame the very paper alluded to in that post for sucking away all my time. It's a bad sign, I feel, when writing one's seminar syllabus becomes a form of procrastination.

I emerge from my offline hermitage to report that I have fired off another paper proposal, this one to an edited collection on Metalepsis in Popular Culture. (Recall, please, that writing paper proposals on a lark is exactly how I ended up in my current predicament of having to write a paper to deadline. Apparently I just don't learn. Either that or I really want tenure. Possibly both.)

The term "metalepsis," like so much of narratology's wacky vocabulary, can be blamed on Gérard Genette, who coined the term something like thirty years ago and defined it as "transgressing the border between the world of narration and the world in which narration takes place" (except of course he wrote it in French, in which it probably sounds even more impressive). More recently, H. Porter Abbott has described it as "a violation of narrative norms, usually in which the diegesis, or world of the story, is invaded by an extradiegetic entity or entities, as for example when a 'spectator' leaps on stage and becomes a part of the action, or the 'author' appears and starts quarrelling with one of the characters" (Cambridge Introduction to Narrative 193).

If you're curious about the proposal, it's under the cut. )

I hadn't gotten as far as thinking about vidding in terms of metalepsis--my thoughts on vidding and narrative have thus far been much more general--and in fact am not sure I would have gotten there on my own at all, so this particular call for papers was especially welcome and useful. Whether or not the proposal's accepted, I'm grateful to the editors for pushing my thinking in this new direction.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
I'm interested in vids as narratives, and in this post I'm going to try to talk about what that means, because the word "narrative" gets used quite a bit in relation to vids, but not usually in the specific sense that a narrative theorist would use it. In a fannish vidwatching capacity, we typically use "narrative" to mean a particular genre of vid: a vid that tells a story. And we may also talk about styles of narrative, different ways of telling a story, as [livejournal.com profile] bop_radar and various commenters did in the vidding chat post "Defining Vid Genres and Narrative Styles" a couple of weeks ago.

These are perfectly reasonable uses of the term, but they are not quite what narrative theory geeks mean when we talk about narrative.

what we mean by narrative )

the parts of a narrative )

film and TV as narratives )

vids as narratives )

interacting narratives )

The last thing I want to write about in this post is still very tentative, but I need to start sorting through it somewhere, so here goes.

vids and the illusion of narrative coherence )

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Tisha Turk

November 2016

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