MEDIT Seminar: The Past According to Fans: Media Convergence and Participatory Historical Culture

Speaker: Philipp Dominik Keidl (MEDIT)
Time: May 9, 13:00
Place: N-315    

Fan studies has a long tradition of framing fandom as active, creative, and participatory. Yet, scholarship on film and television fans has primarily investigated fandom and fan practices in relation to the consumption, production, and criticism of fictional texts. In turn, non-fiction texts and fan practices have found considerably less attention. However, as this presentation demonstrates, fans are active and creative participants in assembling, preserving, restoring, and disseminating materials from the past and in transforming these materials into print and online publications, podcasts, video tutorials, documentaries, and museum exhibitions. Drawing from the field of public history and the idea of a 'participatory historical culture', this presentation conceptualises and examines fans as producers and distributors of historical knowledge through the textual analysis of a wide range of fan-made histories of the Star Wars franchise. It foregrounds practices, objects, and networks that so far have found little attention in fan studies: the distinct forms of historical media fans produce; community structures and hierarchies with historians and history-making at their centre; fan historians' relationship to the media industries; fan contribution to cultural heritage initiatives; the impact of fan labor in specific local contexts and beyond the media industries. As such, this presentation shows how history-making is central to the formation, maintenance, and shaping of individual and collective fan identities and memories.

About the speaker

Philipp Dominik Keidl is a research fellow at MEDIT — TLU Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture. His postdoctoral project 'Transmedia and Historiography', funded by the Mobilitas Pluss program, investigates amateur and professional practices in the preservation of transmedia storytelling projects. Philipp's published work concentrates on fandom, media and material culture, and institutional and technological shifts in moving image archiving, preservation, and exhibition.
 Philipp holds a PhD in Film and Moving Image Studies from Concordia University (Montreal), and an MA in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image from the University of Amsterdam.

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