Course Description & Philosophy:
The primary goals of English 254 are expanding each student’s understanding of and abilities with writing for different contexts, in varying situations, and with divergent purposes. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, English 254 courses approach these goals through focusing on the idea of “community.” In this section of English 254, we will be examining, researching, and writing about communities with which we are already acquainted and with which we are unfamiliar. Specifically, we will focus on fan (or fandom) communities, a growing area of academic study that offers opportunities for a wide range of contexts, situations, and purposes for writing. Such communities may focus on a specific sports team, a musical performer, a television series—anything for which a devotee might be called a “fan.”
We will engage in three primary writing projects during the semester, composing a minimum of 30 pages of formal writing by semester’s end. We will utilize a variety of research practices including traditional scholarly research and ethnographic research (collecting first-hand information through observations and interviews). We will read A LOT of material to help us better understand fan communities; readings will include theoretical texts about the study of fandoms and examples of the types of writing in which we will engage. You will be asked to read, write, and think critically on a daily basis this semester.
- To gain increased understanding of the impact of rhetorical contexts on individual writing situations
- To practice critical reading, thinking, and writing skills as demonstrated through course discussion of course texts and writing projects
- To expand understanding of modes of composition through mutli-genre or non-traditional genre-based writing projects
- To practice oral communication skills through discussion and a presentation of a major writing project
- Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher; ISBN: 978-1594482533
- Easy Writer with 2009 MLA & 2010 APA Updates: A Pocket Reference by Andrea A. Lunsford, 4th ed; ISBN: 978-0312650315
- Selected articles available on Blackboard.
Bibliography of Articles:
- Ali, Asim. “‘In the World, But Not of It’: An Ethnographic Analysis of an Online Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fan Community.” Buffy and Angel Conquer the Internet: Essays on Online Fandom. Ed. Mary Kirby-Diaz. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009. 87-106. Print.
- Brin, David and Matthew Woodring Stover. Introduction[s]. Star Wars on Trial: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time. Eds. David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover. Dallas, BenBella, 2006. 1-11. Print.
- Brooker, Will. “Star Wars and Everyday Life.” Using the Force: Creativity, Community and Star Wars Fans. New York: Continuum, 2002. 1-27. Print.
- Cochran, Tanya R. “The Browncoats Are Coming! Firefly, Serenity, and Fan Activism.” Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier. Eds. Rhonda V. Wilcox and Tanya R. Cochran. New York: I.B. Tauris, 2008. 239-249. Print.
- Cowlishaw, Brian. “The Geek Manifesto.” National and Southwest/Texas Regional Joint 2011 Conference. San Antonio, TX. 22 April 2011. Conference Presentation.
- Crawford, Garry. “Sport Fan Communities.” Consuming Sport: Fans, Sport and Culture. New York: Routledge, 2004. 52-62. Print.
- Derecho, Abigail. “Archontic Literature: A Definition, a History, and Several Theories of Fan Fiction.” Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet. Eds. Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006. 61-78. Print.
- Duffett, Mark. “False Faith or False Comparison? A Critique of the Religious Interpretation fo Elvis Fan Culture.” Popular Music and Society 26.4 (2003): 513-522. Print.
- Fitch, Heather Jean. “The Quest: Dreams and Desires in Fantasy and Science Fiction.” Performing the Force: Essays on Immersion into Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Environments. Eds. Kurt Lancaster and Tom Mikotowicz. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001. 9-19. Print.
- Hill, Kathryn. “‘Easy to Associate Angsty Lyrics with Buffy’: An Introduction to a Participatory Fan Culture: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vidders, Popular Music and the Internet.” Buffy and Angel Conquer the Internet: Essays on Online Fandom. Ed. Mary Kirby-Diaz. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2009. 172-196. Print.
- Hills, Matt. “Introduction: Who’s Who? Academics, Fans, Scholar-Fans and Fan-Scholars.” Fan Cultures. New York: Routledge, 2002. 1-23. Print.
- Leitch, Will. “Buy a Jersey of Your Favorite Robotic Stat Producer.” God Save the Fan. New York: HarperCollins, 2008. 239-246. Print.
- ——. “Why a Crappy Flatiron Yuppie Bar Is Now the Closest Thing I Have to a Home.” God Save the Fan. New York: HarperCollins, 2008. 259-267. Print.
- Pearson, Roberta. “Bachies, Bardies, Trekkies, and Sherlockians.” Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World. Eds. Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington. New York: New York UP, 2007. 98-109. Print.
- Penrod, Diane. “Writing and Rhetoric for a Lucid Democracy: YouTube, Fandom, and Participatory Culture.” Writing and the Digital Generation: Essays on New Media Rhetoric. Ed. Heather Urbanski. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. 141-151. Print.
- Randall, Linda K. “Joining the Church of Bruce and the Ministry of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Finding Grace in the Concert Hall: Community and Meaning Among Springsteen Fans. Long Grove, IL: Waveland, 2011. 7-28. Print.
- Schut, Kevin. “Desktop Conquistadors: Negotiating American Manhood in the Digital Fantasy Role-Playing Game.” Gaming as Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games. Eds. J. Patrick Williams, Sean Q. Hendricks, and W. Keith Winkler. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006. 100-119. Print.
- Scott, Suzanne. “Authorized Resistance: Is Fan Production Frakked?” Cylons in America: Critical Studies in Battlestar Galactica. Eds. Tiffany Potter and C. W. Marshall. New York: Continuum, 2008. 210-223. Print.
- Smith, Steve. “The Beginning.” Forever Red: Confessions of a Cornhusker Football Fan. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 2005. 3-7. Print.
- Sunstein, Bonnie Stone and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater. Fieldworking: Reading and Writing Research. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. 6-10; 368-376. Print.
- Thorne, Scott and Gordon C. Bruner. “An Exploratory Investigation of the Characteristics of Consumer Fanaticism.” Qualitative Market Research 9.1 (2006): 51-72. Print.
- Waskul, Dennis D. “The Role-Playing Game and the Game of Role-Playing.” Gaming as Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games. Eds. J. Patrick Williams, Sean Q. Hendricks, and W. Keith Winkler. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006. 19-38. Print.
- Weber, Bruce. “Introduction: The Land of Umpires.” As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires. New York: Scribner, 2009. 1-22. Print.
- Werkman, Rachel. “Vampire: The Masquerade—A Countercultural Performance.” Performing the Force: Essays on Immersion into Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Environments. Eds. Kurt Lancaster and Tom Mikotowicz. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001. 172-178. Print.