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Feminist Open Access and Internet Publishing
March 12, 2020; 5:00 – 8:00 PM 

Francesca Coppa, co-founder Organization for Transformative Works
Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson, co-founders Transformative Works & Cultures
Respondents: Katherine Morrissey and Melanie Kohnen

Due to precautions around public events and COVID-19, this event has been moved to an online presentation format. Everyone is invited to log-in and join the event via Zoom. See event page for more information.

About the Event:

Discover how the Organization for Transformative Works built a Hugo award-winning model for for non-corporate, user-driven, online participatory cultures.

The OTW was founded as a wholly fan organized and fan run media organization, specifically to provide a safe space for women and queer users. In working towards their mission of building a future in which all fannish works are recognized as legal and transformative, and accepted as legitimate creative activity, the OTW developed and now manages Archive of Our Own (recently nominated for a Hugo Award), the world’s fastest growing fan works online archive, which is completely open access and free from advertising and corporate ownership. They also support Transformative Works and Cultures, which is an open access journal, freely available at Transformative Works and Cultures is a subsidiary project of the OTW and shares their mission to be a home for feminist, anti-racist, and pro-LGBTQIA scholarship on cultural adaptations and appropriations and fan cultures and fan productions.

The OTW offers valuable lessons in advancing radical infrastructures for feminist, open-access publishing.

Image showing four actors from Crazy Rich Asians accepting an award

Has The Rom-Com Been ‘Reborn’ Or Has It Never Gone Away?

After the success of the movie “Crazy Rich Asians,” some people have said the romantic comedy is having a comeback. We talk to a film scholar who says the rom-com never really went away, but it has been changing a lot since the 1980s and ’90s.

Listen to my conversation with Rob Ferret on WPR’s Central Time about romantic comedy films.

in visual media, fatness is presented as a problem to be fixes. Fatness becomes the subject of the show rather than the people themselves, and anything deemed ‘fat’ cannot exist without its accompanying value judgement. In short, media represents bodies as either adequate, or in the process of becoming adequate– and there is very little in between.

Jocelyn L. Bailey (“The Body Police: Lena Dunham, Susan Bordo, and HBO’s Girls,” 2015, pg. 31)



Episode 49: Defining Fanfiction: The Results. Elizabeth and
Flourish discuss the results of the Fansplaining
Definitions Survey, in which more than 3,500 respondents offered a
variety of perspectives on what fanfiction is—and isn’t—to them. They
explore a variety of themes: is fanfiction derivative? Is it written by
and for fans? Must it include shipping and fannish tropes? And they talk
about other trends in the survey data, from different ways to use the
word “fandom” to fannish perceptions of fiction, nonfiction, and canon. (show notes | transcript)

Come for the analysis, stay for my extended description of the Romantic Ideal of a Writer, a bearded widower in a cardigan by the sea.

Katie Morrissey (@_katiedidnt [on twitter]) presented a paper called ‘Digital Romance: Crowdfunding & Multiplatform Love Stories’ on romance stories distributed online. These stories, known for their interaction and the specific media platforms they use – are an example of convergence culture – ‘where old and new media collide’ (to borrow a phrase from Henry Jenkins, whom Morrissey cites). Focusing on Check, Please! by Ngozi [Ukazu], a story about two male hockey players falling in love disseminated on Tumblr and Twitter, and Fresh Romance, a multi-author serial comic which has appeared online and in print.

Morrissey described Check, Please! as difficult to define and analyse. She noted that it is difficult to know what terms to use for these texts – are they romances? Fiction? Chick lit? These texts also self-define as not romance – they label themselves as more diverse, savvy and sex-positive, defining themselves against a monolithic idea of romance. Morrissey proposed that such romance could be labelled ‘born digital’ – a term she applies to romances that began online but have now moved to print (although she does wonder what might we ‘lose’ by calling something ‘born digital’?). She argued that, as scholars, we look at romance in very fixed contexts and that we need to expand out methods to include convergence items like these. She proposed three strategies for this and asked for feedback:
Focus on a single text and trace its development through different media forms
Conduct a macro/micro level genre analysis
Look at individual readers and patterns of how they read

Amy Burge, “#ConferenceReport: PCA 2017,” Pink Heart Society, May 3, 2017.

I would really love to hear what other people think regarding the concept of a “born digital” romance, as well as on these ideas for methods.

Also, I’m trying to collect more examples different of “born digital” romances. Do you have any you’d like to send my way?