New Media Studies
Introduction to the First Edition
This is a book about fans, fan fiction (of a sort), and the fan communities that center on that fiction. But it is more than that, too: It’s also a book about digital media and necessary changes in our contemporary study of media. Fans are a microcosm of this change, and the study of fans can become emblematic of studies in contemporary media. I do not take this grandiose claim lightly, for the 21st century brings with it new forms of media beyond traditional models of broadcasting, beyond mass media, and beyond convergence. I believe that the contemporary media environment is more than the sum of its parts. This book is also about these changes to the media environment. And I believe that the best way of exam- ining these claims is with the new tools and methodologies that take them into account. This book is about the future of media as it is lived, experienced, and loved. What is it about media fans that continues to fascinate media scholars? For over thirty years, fan studies has been a way to explore audience participa- tion with a media text. From the pioneering studies of John Fiske, through the germinal ethnographic research of Henry Jenkins, to more recent explorations of fans by Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson; Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sand- voss, and C. Lee Harrington; Matt Hills, Cornel Sandvoss, Louisa Stein, Lynn 8 digital fandom 2.0 Zubernis, and Katherine Larsen (among many others), the productive work of media consumers has...
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