A Woman-Run Star Wars Fandom

“The fanfic side of fandom has ALWAYS been woman-dominated,” you’ll say to me and that’s correct. But Prequels fandom in the early 2000s was unique in that it wasn’t just the transformative corners of fandom where women made up most of the participants. As I pointed out above, the curative side of fandom (the one responsible for gathering, curating and cataloguing canon info), which is usually male-dominated, was primarily the domain of women as well, as far as the Prequels were concerned. The ‘Fashion in a Galaxy Far. Far Away’ sites, responsible for cataloguing every outfit in the films, were ran and populated largely by women and girls. The Royal Handmaiden Society catalogued every appearance of every handmaiden in the PT, along with her name and background in an effort as impressive as that of other super-fans who can identify and name background characters that appear for only a moment in front of the camera. I was in on the work as well and spent dozens of hours drafting backstories for the handmaidens.

Source: THE PREQUEL TRILOGY IN THE 2000s — A WOMAN-RUN STAR WARS FANDOM by rhodanum (January 9, 2019)

The Sith Academy at MIT

I was startled to hear from Siubhan that my ambition has finally been realized, and some lunatic at Williams has put “The Thirteenth Mary Sue” on a syllabus. Henry “Textual Poachers” Jenkins himself is assigning the Sith Academy to students at MIT. I can see what pulls them in: in addition to all of its other features, the Sith Academy is wrapped in so many layers of metatextuality it could make your head spin. And for those interested in the fanfiction phenomenon, the Sith Academy–thanks in large part to Siubhan’s herculean efforts as an editor–assembles in one place a huge body of work which, as obscene and blasphemous as it may be, is consistently well-written and funny as hell.

Source: Meet Me At The Grey Side: A Critical Afterword by Plaid Adder (June 23, 2001).

The alternative I’ve been waiting for

For me it’s the alternative I’ve been waiting for. I’ve known for a long time that LJ and fandom would part ways sooner or later. I had assumed that after Usenet and mailing lists and bulletin boards and blogs, LJ would be replaced by an entirely different interface, and on some level, I think the Archive of Our Own will become a central fannish interface, hopefully replacing/supplementing much fic posting on journals and some of the delicious tagging. But I still want a place to chat with my friends and be fannish beyond reading the stories.

That’s where I think DW will be a better place with all the advantages of LJ but fewer of the disadvantages. Check out the Diversity Statement to get a sense that this is a different group of people than what we’re dealing with on LJ these days. Moreover, one of the co-founders is a fan, so that I know my fannish concerns are acknowledged, but it’s a commercial entity, so that I know the project will be handled professionally. It’s forked of the LJ code, thus allowing me to have all the things I love about LJ (and loathe about blogs), yet it’s developed by people who’ve lived deep within the bowels of LJ for long enough to know where its faults lie.

Source: dreamwidth and me by cathexys (March 30, 2009).

The Harry Potter years

The Harry Potter years also happened to coincide with the Wild West era of the internet and the rise of abstinence-only sex education; as a result, for better or for worse, erotic Harry Potter fan fiction played a major and under-discussed role in millennial sexual development. This was especially true if you were queer—or, not to put too fine a point on it, if you were me—and had picked up on the secret gay love story that existed between the lines of Rowling’s text.

I refer, of course, to Sirius and Lupin.

Source: Harry Potter and the Secret Gay Love Story by Frankie Thomas for The Paris Review (December 10, 2018).