such_heights: natasha romanoff making an incredulous face (mcu: natasha [wtf])
Amy ([personal profile] such_heights) wrote2015-02-23 12:40 am

How not to academically study fanfiction

So [tumblr.com profile] waldorph has discovered that their fic, along with a lot of others, are assigned reading on a Berkley undergrad syllabus, where part of the assignment includes leaving comments. It's ... not going well.

This is a cache of the syllabus in full (I don't think I spotted any of my rlist there?)

[tumblr.com profile] waldorph writes: So Your Fic is Required Reading: Hahahanope.

As many people have said, studying fandom is one thing, but setting your students loose on unsuspecting fic writers is kind of awful.

eta: as people have pointed out, it's important to note that this is a class run by undergrads who are themselves fans that doesn't has a great deal of supervision outside of that.

---

In entirely different 'wtf' news, I would like to write my own post about the experience that was Jupiter Ascending, but in the meantime [personal profile] happydork has written a pretty accurate summary of our evening.
kouredios: (Default)

[personal profile] kouredios 2015-02-23 12:29 am (UTC)(link)
Poking around a bit, I found this: http://www.dailycal.org/2015/02/13/students-explore-erotica-fan-fiction-decal-uc-berkeley/

It's pretty clear from that article that the "class" is run by undergrads. It explains a lot. Even if they had to have it approved by someone more scholarly, they probably presented themselves as experts on the community and their methodology wasn't questioned.
kuwdora: Pooka - card 60, brian froud (Default)

[personal profile] kuwdora 2015-02-23 12:30 am (UTC)(link)
It's important to point out, as [personal profile] thingswithwings and [personal profile] eruthros have been on twitter, that it is not a professor teaching this class: it is organized and run by two undergrads (which you can read about them+their own experience with fandom and the class here, and how there is, y'know, a lack of oversight from institutional facilitators and... teaching. and. augh. *holds head*
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (Default)

[personal profile] out_there 2015-02-23 06:48 am (UTC)(link)
Mostly, I'm just looking at that list and so thankful/relieved that no one I know personally is on there. Honestly, it sounds rather awful.
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)

[personal profile] starlady 2015-02-23 02:16 pm (UTC)(link)
This is a long way from "academically studying fanfiction"…it's a DeCal run by undergrads who are themselves fannish. As [personal profile] unjapanologist points out, constructing these people as "outsiders" is pretty problematic. Academics are fans, and vice versa. It's not a question of fans versus non-fans; it's a question of different fannish norms.
lizbee: (Default)

[personal profile] lizbee 2015-02-23 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I love that post so much.

Also, with the gatekeeping, and the doxxings, and Copperbadge encouraging his fans to go dogpile the convenors, and one convenor orphaning her fics and leaving fandom, I feel like fic writers lost the moral high ground REALLY fast.

It's partially because I spent yesterday trying to deal with the flow-on effect of Adam Baldwin's presence at a local con for the con I'm running, but I'm just so done with fandom right now. This is not a safe space, and it's not even fun anymore.
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)

[personal profile] starlady 2015-02-24 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
I had literally just gone back on tumblr a day or two before this blew up after leaving for several months due to the Goodreads nonsense. But I totally agree--the idea that this moral panic burn the witches behavior is okay or even proportional is pretty soul-sucking.
lizbee: (Random: Billie in the rain)

[personal profile] lizbee 2015-02-24 01:56 am (UTC)(link)
I keep coming back to Copperbadge's argument that attacking the conveners is okay because they're adults. I just ... never mind that they're acceptable targets, why do we have targets at all?
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)

[personal profile] starlady 2015-02-24 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
Good damn question! And yes, technically they're adults, but they're undergrads. By definition they are clueless, untrained, and a vulnerable population in some respects. How is this okay? Is this what fandom is? I sincerely hope not.
lizbee: (Default)

[personal profile] lizbee 2015-02-24 02:15 am (UTC)(link)
Right? How can we distinguish ourselves from GamerGate if this is how we treat people who make a mistake? Or, heaven forbid, come from a part of fandom with different etiquette?
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)

[personal profile] starlady 2015-02-24 02:20 am (UTC)(link)
yuuup, I thought of GamerGate too.
bananainpyjamas: (Default)

[personal profile] bananainpyjamas 2015-02-23 09:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I have to say I feel pretty bad for these girls now. =/ I was as aghast as anyone at the inappropriate "engagement" aspect of the class but at this point I think the punishment outweighs the original offense. It'd be one thing if the listed authors privately contacted the university and the dogpiling was limited to fandom spaces. But publicly encouraging the fandom mob to create problems for these girls in a real world context is awful and should be considered an even bigger violation of "fannish norms" IMO. I really hope no one starts spreading information that connects their fannish and RL identities (beyond the comment from the AO3 account that has since been deleted - hopefully no one cached the comment or figured out exactly which girl that was).
snorkackcatcher: (Default)

[personal profile] snorkackcatcher 2015-02-23 11:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Sadly, to a significant extent actions like that when offended are fannish norms. These undergrads aren't the first and won't be the last people to do something rather thoughtless, and end up as Acceptable Targets for assholery after a sort of fandom equivalent of a moral panic.

Like [personal profile] lizbee above, I'm getting very tired of this by now.