The Fan-Historian

Stevens, E. Charlotte and Webber, Nick (2022) The Fan-Historian. Transformative Works and Cultures, 37. ISSN 1941-2258

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In this article, we propose the compound term fan-historian to describe fans who undertake historical fanwork of a variety of types. In doing so, we seek to define fan-historians in a way which is inclusive, and which recognises the common practices that exist between the work of fans and of historians, who both take what we might understand as curatorial and transformative approaches to knowledge. Our formulation also serves to emphasize that fans are not merely the subjects of historical work, but are participants in it. Fan-historians, then, work both as fans and as historians in producing fan-historical work.

We argue that we must value this labor, as it is centrally important in fan communities, and that fan-historians help to make sense of the past, and make it usable, for those communities, acting as public historians as they do so. We close by reflecting on the importance of recognising the huge range of memory, archival and other past-focused fanwork as historical work, given the longstanding links between history and power.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
12 August 2021Accepted
14 March 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acafan, Fan labor, Historiography, History
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
CAH20 - historical, philosophical and religious studies > CAH20-01 - history and archaeology > CAH20-01-01 - history
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Charlotte Stevens
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 09:22
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 16:17

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