Fans and Their Fandoms: When Television Becomes Personal (NeMLA 2024)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Kyle Smith
contact email: 

This panel seeks to explore various ways fans have influenced the shows they watch through various online platforms, including online communities and social media. Please submit 150-250 word abstracts that clearly show how your proposed topic fits with this session via this link: Submit to NeMLA by September 30. 

Over the past few decades, fandoms have played an increasingly larger role in the direction, content, and dissemination of various television programs. This has happened, in part, due to technology and social media, as various platforms including Tumblr, Twitter, and AO3 have aided in the visibility, production, and consumption of fan-created content.

The aim of this session is to examine the multi-faceted connections between fan culture and television programming, as well as discussing how these interactions can shape contemporary media consumption. Of special interest are presentations about how fan culture intersects with issues of gender, race, sexuality, and other forms of identity when building and maintaining fan communities online.

Potential topics for submission include (but are not limited to):

-The impact of fan-generated content on television narratives and character development

-The role of social media in magnifying fans’ voices and promoting fan-driven campaigns of various types

-The influence of fan feedback on program writers and directors

-The ethical considerations (and possible pitfalls) of incorporating fan culture into a show’s narrative

-Case studies examining specific television shows and their fandoms