New Media Studies
Introduction to the Second Edition
Time moves differently in academic publishing and in digital culture. New technologies are designed and created, flourish, and wither, so quickly that publishing about them is guaranteed to be out-of-date; academic publishing is notoriously time-consuming and prone to obsolesce. Writing academically about new technology is therefore a seemingly futile gesture, as one can never hope to be caught up. I originally wrote Digital Fandom in 2008–2009; it was based on my dis- sertation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Fandom Studies: Fan Studies Re-Written, Re-Read, Re-Produced. Digital Fandom was published in 2010, not even a decade ago. And yet in the time between the book’s publication and today, enormous changes in the digital environment have signaled a need for a significant revision to the original. At the same time, my own views on fandom and fan scholarship have evolved since 2008. My writing has changed as well. Reading Digital Fandom again is like revisiting a childhood home. It’s familiar and comforting but strangely uncanny as well, as if it was written by someone like but also unlike me. A specter of Paul Booth resides in these pages, but no longer fully encapsulates me or my thinking. Of course, no book can fully capture the entirety of one’s mindset—it’s a snapshot, designed for permanence only through elision—and as scholarship on fandom has grown over the past decade, Digital Fandom remains permanently fixed in time. 2 digital fandom 2.0 The book you are currently reading is my attempt to revise Digital...
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