Monday, February 20, 2017

Core Post Week 7

Fan interaction with media is seen by scholars and media to be problematic. Fans are remaking the original content to be something completely different than what was originally intended by the creator. They change the original text to suit their own personal need(s). This is not a negative thing in it own right, and I think input from the creators themselves would be particularly applicable to the problem Jenkins discusses in his article as well as the many conversations within academia and the media. I know Guillermo del Toro is quite fond of fan interaction with his works and even encourages it. On the other hand, there are authors such as J.K. Rowling or George Lucas that are adamant about what is considered canon based on their texts and how their original material is reworked by fans.

Jenkins approach is interesting in considering fandom as a subculture, proposing that the study of fandom is more comparable to cultural studies rather than a niche perversion of consumption. Gender bending fan fiction in particular is a fascinating aspect of the fan culture because it allows for representation of women to become more dominant while not taking much away from the original content. How does the story of Star Trek episodes change if Kirk is now female instead of male? It doesn’t! It just creates an interesting gender dynamic within the show and allows females to be represented in a position of power. I don’t think I need to elaborate on why this point is important for consumers.

Of course, this could potentially be problematic for some stories. If we consider how much thought and effort goes into the creation of characters, the choice to switch the gender of a character could change the dynamic of the intended story. I still have a hard time figuring out what is the “right” answer to this problem. If we are talking about television and films as works of art intended for consumption, then the way it is consumed varies depending on the consumer and their background. On the other hand, the intention of the author is just as important to consider.

1 comment:

  1. This is so interesting! Adventure Time, which we spoke about in the last week of class, actually directly addresses fandom, fin fiction and gender swapping and in fact have several gender swap episodes that, although are not canonical (narratively) are clearly interwoven into the fabric of the Adventure Time universe.