We are happy to announce our latest addition to the A-Kon family: FANS, a group for Fandom and Neomedia Studies! This effort is to encourage people to write about their favorite aspects of fandom and media. For us, fandom can be as simple as watching your favorite show or as complex as elaborately recreating epic battle scenes. Neomedia includes not just new media like Facebook and Twitter, but also new ways of using and thinking about old media. Mostly, we want folks talking and writing about what they love in a way that’s both fun AND smart. We especially want educators, librarians, and parents to join us.
Our projects have so far included writing up reviews in “The Good, The Bad, the WTF!?” in the new A-Kon Blog section, helping students find research materials, and working to convince teachers and professors to let their students write on topics they care about most. Many of the people in this group are professors from fields as far apart as history and geology, but we also have students and the fantastic Helen McCarthy making sure we stay true to our fannish roots.
We’re also publishing a journal, The Phoenix Papers, and hosting a full academic conference within A-Kon itself next June. This would be the perfect chance for you to do a game or movie review, write about literary or cinematic criticism of your favorite series, psychoanalyze horror movie survivors, or any of the other million and one parts of being a fan and loving it. Getting published or having a paper presented looks great on a college application or resume, and we encourage people of all levels of education and fandom to take part.
So come join FANS and help us make fans even more awesome than they already are.