Title: Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture
Author: Mark Duffett
Publication Date: November 15, 2012
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review: As a longtime fan with a recent interest in fan studies and acafandom, I figured this would be a good starting point in gaining an overview of the major theories, works, and scholars in the field of fan studies. I certainly was not left disappointed. While Duffett’s text didn’t really say anything that surprised me, putting it in the context of scholarship and history was very helpful. Duffett takes the time to explain the origins of fan studies and the breaks down the study of fans and fandom into a number of different areas before concluding with ideas on new frontiers for fan studies going forward. Though sometimes it seemed like he was mostly just quoting or paraphrasing Henry Jenkins (a pioneer in the field and one of the foremost current scholars in the area), Duffett contextualized Jenkins’ statements and offered some of his own perspectives into the discussion as well.
I definitely recommend this for someone wanting to get an overview of the current state of fan studies – it’s a relatively recent publication so is up-to-date. It does skew a bit more toward an academic and scholarly audience, but I think it’s still a beneficial read for any fan.