"I'm Buffy, and you're history": Putting fan studies into history

Nancy Reagin, Anne Rubenstein


This essay kicks off the special historical issue of Transformative Works and Cultures by offering an overview of the ways in which fan communities have been studied by academic historians, and how fan studies has written the history of fan communities. The essay discusses historical work done by amateur fan historians throughout the 20th century; what academic historians can offer fan communities; why academic historians could benefit from studying fandoms as part of the history of popular culture; and what fan studies as a discipline might gain from a broader historical analysis of fandoms.


Fan history; Female fan; Tarzan; Karl May; Science fiction; Wiki; Zine; Sherlockian; Fan letter; Music fan; Sports fan; Cultural exchange; Cross-ethnic identification; Cold War; Lord of the Rings; Tolkien; Copyright; Walter Benjamin

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2011.0272

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC), ISSN 1941-2258, is an online-only Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works. TWC is a member of DOAJ. Contact the Editor with questions.