tishaturk: (pen)
2016-11-03 09:42 pm

I made this!

A while back--okay, more like 18 months ago--I published an essay and didn't mention it here because it's not, strictly speaking, about vidding or fandom. (It's about "technological professional development": professors learning how to use technology in our teaching and scholarship.)

But earlier this week, because we're having a research nerd-fest on my campus, the essay was brought back to my attention, and I remembered that there is one part of it that might be of interest to fans, which is the intro video. As I say in the video, "most of what I know about new media technology and new media composing I learned from online media fandom."

You can also, if you're so inclined, read the whole essay--it's online and open-access--though I note that something has changed about the code since it was originally posted and the layout is kind of screwy in places. Honestly, the video and the animated .gif (I learned how to do a new thing!) are probably the best parts anyway.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
2014-08-13 09:23 pm

VividCon panel notes + two more things

1) I forgot to post about this when it happened, but: I was interviewed by project-disco.org back in June, and you can read me talking about vidding, copyright, monetization, etc. The interviewer and I talked for more than 30 minutes, so the published version is heavily edited and thus contains a fair number of apparent non sequiturs simply because the intervening five minutes got edited out. *facepalm*

2) I mentioned this to a few people at the con, so I might as well mention it here: I proposed an essay on the role of music in vids for a special issue of the journal Music, Sound and the Moving Image; the special issue's title is "Musical Screens: Musical Inventions, Digital Transitions, Cultural Critique"--is that not just begging for something about vids? The essay's due at the end of December, which... I am trying not to think about lest I panic, ahahaha.

3) VividCon! I was speaking off the cuff from very brief notes so as not to be too boring and ponderous, so I don't have a whole lot to post, but I'm happy to share what I do have (including the presentation I gave as context for the vidshow I put together for my fan studies class last fall).

Quick reminder: I prefer not to link my pro name and my fan name in ways that are Google-able, so while most of you reading this post know both names, please stick to this one if you post about the panel.

notes and slides under the cut )

[personal profile] kouredios has also posted notes from her half of the panel, in which she explained how she uses vid to teach Comparative Literature majors about different schools of literary criticism, specifically deconstruction. To the surprise of no one, I found it super interesting.

We got some great questions. Someone asked how difficult it was to get these courses approved; in my case the answers were "not at all difficult." The fan studies class was a non-issue because content isn't the main feature of the Intellectual Community courses, and the writing course was a non-issue because nobody cares how I teach argumentation and analysis as long as, you know, I teach it. Someone else asked what I do when students aren't fannish about anything, which honestly hasn't been a problem for me; my students are delightfully geeky. I mean, they're not necessarily involved in online media fandom, but they get the idea of fandom, the passionate investment in something. And of course my fan studies students do almost all self-identify as "in fandom," which is just one of the many reasons I'm looking forward to the fall semester. :D
tishaturk: (Default)
2014-03-15 05:17 pm

New essay in TWC: fan work and the gift economy

Issue no. 15 of Transformative Works and Cultures came out today; it's a special issue on fandom and/as labor, and I am really looking forward to reading all the essays. (This is not, for the record, something I say about all the academic journals to which I subscribe.)

And now for the shameless self-promotion: one of the essays is mine! I wrote "Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom's gift economy" for the Symposium section, which means that it's relatively short and less ponderously academic than some of my other essays. It grew out of thinking about Rache's essay "The Fannish Potlatch" and Karen Hellekson's "A Fannish Field of Value: Online Fan Gift Culture" and agreeing with a lot of what's in both those essays but also thinking about what I wanted to add to the conversation about fandom's gift economy and how it works--and in particular thinking about what what I wrote at the end of this post from last year: "the behind-the-scenes work that goes into reccing, reblogging, running awards sites, administering prompt memes, tagging for meme archives, etc., is why I get so frustrated with definitions of "fan work" that focus primarily on writing fic and making vids and ignore or handwave all the other kinds of work that make my daily fannish experience what it is."

An excerpt from the TWC essay:
While art objects may be the gifts most publicly recognized or validated by fellow fans, and while these gifts are indeed a crucial part of fandom's gift economy, we can better appreciate the scope of fandom's gift economy if we recognize that fannish gifts include not only art objects but the wide range of creative labors that surround and in some cases underlie these art objects. We can better understand the relationship between gift exchange and community formation if we see fandom as a system not just of reciprocal giving but of circular giving. And we can better evaluate the relationship between fandom and production if we attend to not just the giving but the receiving of gifts.

This is the first thing I've published in fan studies that isn't specifically about vidding (although it is very much informed by my own experiences with vids and vidding, especially note 4, in which I am totally poking fun at my own history as a vidder). It was fun! I might do more of it. On the other hand, it turns out that I have a whole lot of things to say about vids, so that will probably keep me busy for the foreseeable future. :D
tishaturk: (pen)
2012-03-16 11:24 am

New essay in TWC Fan/Remix Video issue + some thoughts about typical vs. unusual vids

Issue no. 9 of Transformative Works and Cultures came out yesterday; it's focused on Fan/Remix Video, and it looks amazing—I am really, really looking forward to reading the whole thing. It includes an essay I wrote with Joshua Johnson, a former student of mine, called "Toward an ecology of vidding." I'm really proud of this essay, and I'm hoping it will form part of the basis for a longer project, so I'm already thinking about how to revise and expand it. If you read it and have thoughts about it, I'd love to hear them; you can post comments at TWC, comment here, send me an email, whatever. All feedback is welcome: points you liked, points you disagreed with, points that need expansion or clarification, things we missed, anything!

As I was re-reading the essay for the final proofreading, I thought of something that was really important to me (I can't speak for Josh here) while we were working on it, but which was a little too meta to easily integrate into the essay itself, so I thought I'd write about it here instead.

One of the things I wanted to do in this essay was to write about a typical vid rather than an unusual vid.

More about this under the cut )

I suspect that sometimes we downplay 'ship vids because we're worried that other academics won't take those vids seriously, or maybe even because we ourselves are nervous about discussing explicitly romantic vids in an academic context, but as a feminist I worry about this tendency. Saying or implying that 'ship vids aren't serious or aren't worthy of study, or are worthy only if they have some other historical or analytical significance, seems to me to be a profoundly problematic thing to do, so I'm hoping to counter this tendency more explicitly in my upcoming work.

...long post is long, but my point is that I had a blast writing about [personal profile] lamardeuse's vid, and I really appreciate her permission to do it, and I want to write more about the kinds of vids that I first fell in love with.
tishaturk: (book)
2011-06-02 04:47 pm

Another article in print, and more articles to come

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.


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: (OTW)
2010-10-22 04:32 pm

OTW membership and Open Access Week

I've spent most of the last couple of months wrapping up some older research projects that predate my work on vids (although one of them, I think, has ended up being much stronger as a result of my work on vids!). But there are two important things going on this week that I had to make time to post about.

First: OTW membership and donation drive! I am ridiculously excited about some of the new donation premiums, especially the tote bag, but mostly I am excited about the chance to contribute to the amazing work that the OTW is doing -- or, rather, that the OTW is enabling fans to do for ourselves by providing an organizational structure that helps us pool our energy and expertise, teach each other new skills, provide stable homes for the fanworks we produce and share, and much more. And, of course, donating means membership, and membership means the chance to vote in the upcoming board elections.

A second matching donation challenge has just been posted, so it's the perfect time to donate!

Second: Open Access Week! My own commitment to open access began with fandom and has grown through my work on the staff of Transformative Works and Cultures, the OTW's online open-access academic journal. Karen Hellekson, one of TWC's co-editors, has written eloquently about the importance of open access and online publication; like her, I'm proud to be part of a journal and a movement that are changing the way academics share ideas.

In that spirit, I'm making available .pdfs of my first article on vids, published last spring:

"Your Own Imagination": Vidding And Vidwatching As Collaborative Interpretation. Film & Film Culture 5 (2010): 88-110. [AKA the one about "Vogue" and "Ring Them Bells."] This is the article as it appears in print; unfortunately, some of the formatting came out a bit wonky and I confess I find the two-column format difficult to read because of the odd spacing, but it is what it is.

I've got another article in an anthology that should be coming out soon, which I'll share as soon as I've got the final version in hand!
tishaturk: (keyboard)
2010-04-21 10:39 pm

Good news: publications, presentations, and money

For the past few months, I've been trying to finish up some academic projects that pre-date my current work on vids and vidding, which is why I haven't been posting much: I've been trying not to distract myself. But I've continued to think and talk about vids, both informally and at academic conferences, and I'm starting to get back to the writing part as well, so I hope to start posting more regularly again sometime soon.

I also have some good news to share... )

My budget request for that last grant also included a line for purchasing a paid DreamWidth account for the next three years. My paid time on LJ has lapsed, and I've decided that I have no particular need or desire to renew it; I'd rather support DreamWidth, and am very happy that I now have the means to do so. I'll be posting (and welcoming comments) under the same username at both locations, but DW will be my home base from now on.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
2009-07-21 12:47 pm
Entry tags:

Good news: article accepted for publication

I've just heard from the editor of Film & Film Culture: the article on vidding that I wrote for their special issue on Frontiers and Futures in Film and Digital Media has been accepted for publication, pending some relatively minor revisions. (This is the article about Luminosity's "Vogue" and sisabet's "Ring Them Bells.")

The reviewers' comments were generally quite positive, and their questions and suggestions are entirely reasonable. The final version is due September 15; I will hope to post a few excerpts from the article at that point if not earlier.

My first academic publication on vidding! I'm very pleased.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
2009-02-05 03:45 pm

Status report

I've been working on this new vid-related research agenda for just about six months now, so I think it's time to pause and take stock of what I've gotten done in that time.

grant proposals )

conference proposals )

paper proposals )

other )

All of which is to say: I've been busy, and wow, I am tired. But some good things are already happening, and I hope for more to come. Thanks to everybody who's already helped nudge my thinking through e-mail conversations and comments on posts; it's much appreciated.
tishaturk: (book)
2009-01-09 02:56 pm
Entry tags:

Vids and/as metalepsis

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: (TV: Buffy)
2008-12-02 08:43 pm

TV and movie vids

I'm starting to think about the paper I'm writing for Film and Film Culture--no actual reading or writing yet, just some back-burner pondering. This post is sort of a warm-up for beginning that paper; I want to try to articulate a few general thoughts about TV and movie vids. I'm particularly interested in the reasons that vidders make (and viewers watch) TV and movie vids, and in the conditions that govern viewer responses to them.

TV and movie vids )

context & accessibility )

Vogue )

Looking back over this post, it occurs to me that the real distinction might not be between TV and movie vids but between vids for source texts that have extensive and elaborated fannish activity and source texts that have smaller or less active fandoms (which also allows for change over time as shows gain fans or go off the air and the popularity of a particular movie explodes and then wanes)--a distinction that maps only partially and incompletely onto the TV/movie difference.

I should mention, too, that I know I'm oversimplifying by categorizing possible audiences into "fannish vidwatchers" and "nonfannish viewers." There are plenty of fans who just don't get vids, and plenty of others who come to like them eventually but take a while to get there; and there are people who aren't involved in media fandom but who know quite a bit about other aspects of remix culture; and there are people who aren't in fandom but whom we might describe as proto-fannish: they may not know much about fandom, but they're savvy readers of media texts, and when shown vids (especially vids for shows they like) they grasp the concept and understand the appeal pretty quickly. So we've actually got... not so much a continuum as a graph where X = fannish tendencies and Y = interest in DIY video, and individual people may be anywhere on that grid.

Which makes me think about Jason Mittell's thoughts on "Vogue" and Scooby Road, which I haven't engaged at all in this post. Mittell claims that Scooby Road is a better introduction to vidding than "Vogue" for someone who's an "outsider," who isn't, to use a phrase he borrows from Luminosity, a "contextual fan," but in fact his post suggests that Scooby Road works for him precisely because it enables him to position himself as an insider and to be a contextual fan: he knows Buffy, he loves Abbey Road, he's found a vid that celebrates things he's already inclined to celebrate. And that speaks, I think, to the way that fandom is a matter not just of seeing in similar (or at least related) ways, but of wanting similar (or at least related) things. Mittell dismisses most of the vids on Kristina Busse's list of recommended vids, saying that they left him "underwhelmed," which is fair; I've been underwhelmed by plenty of vids, and I love vids, plus, while I think most of the vids Busse recommends are terrific (at least the ones I've seen), I have reservations about some of them as intro material for non-fans. But I think that it's a little disingenuous to suggest that Scooby Road is necessarily a better introduction to vidding than "Vogue" (or many of the other vids on Busse's list); it was better for Mittell, it might have been better for me had I not already been sold on vids, but that's hardly a definitive sample. As a counter-example, I think of a proto-fannish colleague of mine who would, I suspect, find Scooby Road profoundly boring because she isn't interested in Buffy and isn't a Beatles fan, but who took to [livejournal.com profile] sockkpuppett's Highlander vid "Ability to Swing" like a duck to water because she is 100% on board with the premise that Duncan's hotness should be celebrated.

Which brings us back, once again, to the balance of context and content.
tishaturk: (book)
2008-11-07 09:17 am
Entry tags:

Writing about vids for a film studies audience

Just over a month ago, I sent a proposal for a paper on vids to Film and Film Culture Journal, which had issued a call for papers for their special issue on Frontiers and Futures in Film and Digital Media. I heard back from them last night:
Your proposed piece fits well with the theme of the next journal and we would like to invite you to complete it for consideration by the 22nd January 2009.
There's no guarantee that the paper will get published; it will go out for peer review first, and acceptance is contingent on the reviewers having positive things to say. Still, I'm hopeful.

Of course, this means I have to actually write the paper. Now, 4000-8000 words (~11-20 pages) on vids is not going to be difficult; I can write that much in a weekend. The difficult part will be 4000-8000 coherent words that make sense to an audience that will be largely if not entirely unfamiliar with vids. But one of my colleagues has already volunteered to play Dumb Reader once I've got a draft, and I know I'll be able to find at least a couple of vidders on call to be their usual fabulous Smart Reader selves. It's good to know I'm not in this alone!

I'm not sure what this development is going to do to my research agenda between now and mid-January; I have two other papers that I'd hoped to get sent out by the end of the fall semester, but I need to start doing my homework for this new project. I've never written for a film studies audience before, so I need to do some investigating of what that means in general, and what it means for this journal in particular. I need to start reading at least a few of the dozens of books that have arrived in recent weeks (I ♥ grant money). I need to re-watch these vids in a more structured and focused way than I've done in the past. And I need time just to think and draft and change my mind and re-draft and discuss and ponder and revise; writing is not a particularly speedy process for me if I'm doing it well.

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

So that's what I'm up to in the next ten weeks, although I hope to continue posting about my other vidding research plans as well.

Oh, and speaking of representing vids, vidders, and vidding to the outside world: the MIT/OTW New Media Literacies documentary series on vidding that Francesca Coppa and [livejournal.com profile] laurashapiro put together is now online, and it's terrific. The audience, as Laura points out, is middle school and high school students, so bear that in mind as you watch. I'm delighted to have been able to participate in such a nifty project!