Peer-reviewed essays

Toward an Ecology of Vidding (with Joshua Johnson, UMM '10). Transformative Works and Cultures 9. March 2012.

Despite the fan studies emphasis on participatory culture, much of the current work on vids (and in fan studies broadly) treats fans more as readers than as producers. To help us examine the relationships between fannish reading practices and fannish creative processes, we turn to composition studies and Marilyn Cooper's concept of an ecology of writing. We argue for an ecological model of vidding, an approach that enables us to explore the collaborative nature of vidding without erasing individual authorship; to investigate the relationships not only between vids and media texts but also between vidders and their audiences; and to treat fan conversations both as responses to mass media and as sites for the generation and circulation of interpretive conventions that guide both the creation and reception of vids.

Intertextuality and the Collaborative Construction of Narrative: J. M. Coetzee’s Foe.” Narrative 19.3, October 2011: 295-311.

My goal in this essay...is to contribute to our understanding of the work that readers do to make sense of transformative narratives. Specifically, I argue that understanding these activities requires us to expand and extend Rabinowitz’s work on what he calls the rules of configuration and coherence.... When we read a novel whose intertext we know, our expectations are activated, completed, reversed, or frustrated not only by the narrative and discursive events within the novel we are currently reading but also by events within the intertext and by points of congruence and difference between the texts. Rules of coherence, too, are no longer merely intratextual: a reading that cannot account in some way for significant differences between texts—by attributing them to different narrators’ different perceptions of events, for example, or by interpreting a character’s experiences in one novel as the reasons for his actions in the other—is unlikely to feel entirely satisfactory.

Metalepsis in Fan Vids and Fan Fiction.” Metalepsis in Popular Culture. Eds. Karin Kukkonen and Sonja Klimek. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011. 83-103.

Unlike many forms of what we now call user-generated content, fan works are not new; they have been around for decades. They are compelling and useful subjects of study in part because fandom has been, as Henry Jenkins argues, “the experimental prototype, the testing ground for the way media and culture industries are going to operate in the future.” If Genette’s original theory cannot entirely account for metaleptic effects within increasingly participatory cultures, fan works offer a series of sites for examining where and how that theory might require modification.

‘Your Own Imagination’: Vidding and Vidwatching as Collaborative Interpretation.” Film & Film Culture 5, 2010: 88-110.

In this essay, I argue that, in addition to being artifacts of participatory culture, vids represent critical engagements that both encode and demand collaborative interpretation. Treating collaborative interpretation as a central fan activity allows us to understand why growing numbers of fans identify themselves as fans of vids and vidding as well as, or even instead of, specific television series and films.

“‘Tutoring’ Beyond the Writing Center: Peer Consulting in the Classroom.Working with Student Writers: Essays on Teaching and Tutoring. 2nd ed. Eds. Leonard A. Podis and JoAnne M. Podis. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2010. 21-32.

As a junior in college, I enrolled in a class called “Teaching and Tutoring Writing,” which featured a course reader put together by the professor.... As the semester wore on, I became increasingly frustrated with the articles in our reader, most of which failed to account for the experiences I was having as a classroom-based tutor. The “peer tutoring” I read so much about related to me insofar as it described students helping students, but the circumstances of that interaction as I read about it and as I experienced it were quite different things.... My practical experience was informing me of possibilities (and difficulties) that nobody seemed to be talking about.

Other online essays

Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom's gift economy.” Transformative Works and Cultures 15. March 2014.

While art objects may be the gifts most publicly recognized or validated by fellow fans, and while these gifts are indeed a crucial part of fandom's gift economy, we can better appreciate the scope of fandom's gift economy if we recognize that fannish gifts include not only art objects but the wide range of creative labors that surround and in some cases underlie these art objects. We can better understand the relationship between gift exchange and community formation if we see fandom as a system not just of reciprocal giving but of circular giving. And we can better evaluate the relationship between fandom and production if we attend to not just the giving but the receiving of gifts.

Practicing—and Reading—Revision in Tutor Education Courses.” Another Word: From the UW-Madison Writing Center, 31 October 2011.

‘New Slang’: Happily Ever After.” In Media Res, 20 November 2009.

‘Not Only Human’: An X-Files Vid by Laura Shapiro and Killa.” In Media Res, 29 January 2008.

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