Transnationalism, localization, and translation in European fandom: Fan studies as global media and audience studies

Anne Kustritz

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

[0.1] Abstract—Editorial for TWC no. 19, European fans and European fan objects: Localization and translation.

[0.2] Keywords—Europe; Global fandom; Global media flow; Globalization; International fandom

Kustritz, Anne. 2015. "Transnationalism, Localization, and Translation in European Fandom: Fan Studies as Global Media And Audience Studies" [editorial]. In "European Fans and European Fan Objects: Localization and Translation," edited by Anne Kustritz, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 19. http://dx.doi.org/10.3983/twc.2015.0682.

1. Introduction

[1.1] What does it mean in today's global, networked culture for people of many languages and nationalities to identify themselves within the English loan word fan—or the Japanese loan word otaku? How do we navigate the ever-expanding world media marketplace, accessed via a constantly proliferating array of geography-defying online platforms, digital channels, and fan subs, to find the media that inspires our passionate attachment and creative production? Given increasing choices between international and local fan cultures, real-life and online activities, and fan as well as corporate-organized spaces, where do we locate the fan communities in which we feel at home? These questions are central to this special issue on European fans and European fan objects. Building on two symposia held at the University of Amsterdam in 2012 and 2013, this issue performs two primary functions. First, these essays investigate the specific fan practices, texts, communities, and scholarship in Europe, broadly conceived. Second, this collection, as a whole, also contributes to a larger conversation about global media and transnational audiences, especially as these issues of internationalization reflect back on the state of fan studies as an emerging field. Through the question of how to construct a specifically European form of fan studies, the articles in this issue center a global perspective, which questions assumptions about what it means to be a media fan and how the industry perceives international audiences. Therefore, the articles also address factors that persistently complicate and limit the global flow of media and fan communities.

2. Why Europe? A microcosm of transnational flows and fissures

[2.1] The practices and community dynamics of media fans are predicated on the ways that fans access and engage with media. Thus, studying transnational fandom requires an initial consideration of how the contemporary international media and digital communications landscape influence the manner in which fans find media objects and how they are able to then form communities with other fans. Largely as a result of improvements in online streaming of professional and amateur content, it often seems as though the current media environment presents an unprecedented level of choice and unencumbered access to media, without the interference of national borders. As Wi-Fi and mobile technologies connect parts of the world once considered off the grid as a result of limited telecommunications infrastructure, and as the opening and expansion of markets like China and India present media industries with unprecedented global demand, international flows and transnational audiences begin to seem more like the norm than the exception; the notion of a digital divide can consequently appear almost antiquated (Castells 2000; Compaine 2001; Couldry 2012; Moran 2009; Price Waterhouse Cooper 2013). Yet this sense of increased freedom within a global media market often obscures the legal, national, linguistic, and cultural forces that complicate, limit, and interrupt the circulation of media and discourse on a global scale (Chalaby 2015; Hafez 2013; Horst and Miller 2006; Slater 2013).

[2.2] Hiding within the reality of improved access to global media and the success of non-Western media industries are persistent inequalities of attention and access. Thus, despite enormous increases in production worldwide and the theoretical availability of global media via streaming, American productions and platforms, including iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix, have maintained their position as the dominant form of export media (Steemers 2014). Global audiences most often choose between local/regional productions and American productions, not a fully integrated market of global productions, each with the same chance of reaching foreign viewers. Thus, Price Waterhouse Cooper's 2014–18 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook projects that American media will continue to generate a disproportionate 29 percent of the world's total filmed media revenue, distributed via both traditional and digital means (Bond 2013; Price Waterhouse Cooper 2013). According to the MPAA, as of 2013, an average Hollywood film earns 70 percent of its revenue from foreign sales, whereas India's booming Bollywood industry remains largely regional and domestic, with only 7 percent of its revenue derived from foreign sales (Singh 2014; Thussu 2008). Although individual media products and genres can garner remarkable transnational success through both professional and amateur distribution, no other industry yet travels as prolifically and profitably as American media.

[2.3] Many case studies offer important insights into this discussion, including those on the rapid development of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries and the 2015 special issue of Cinema Journal on African cinema, with a particular emphasis on the success of the Nigerian "Nollywood" industry (Sanogo 2015a, 2015b; Straubhaar 2010). Studying European fans and the systems of media production, regulation, and politics that condition their access to and interpretation of media also offers a unique microcosm of the promise and difficulties inherent to transnational media flows as a result of the region's intricate negotiation between local, national, and supranational governmental and cultural structures. Thus, studying the manner in which media does and does not flow across Europe, thereby garnering a chance to reach potential transnational fans, offers a window not only into the modern global media market's triumphs and discontents but also the specifically volatile state of contemporary Europe in which the euro, European identity, and the EU government clash, often violently, with individual national, linguistic, and cultural traditions, protections, and privileges (Bolton 2014; Bruter 2005; Risse 2014; Schlesinger 1997, 2001; Zabaleta et al. 2014). The transnational movement of media thus often draws on and mirrors tensions over the transnational movement of bodies in contemporary immigration debates (Barbulescu and Beaudonnet 2014; Dancygier and Laitin 2014; Guild, Rotaeche, and Kostakopoulou 2014; Rovny 2014). Although the humanitarian stakes are much less stark, the rhetoric of cultural protectionism and fear of cultural contagion often strike resoundingly similar chords, while resistance toward capitalism's voracious hunger for unencumbered markets of audiences and labor also animates both struggles.

[2.4] The struggle over EU media licenses encapsulates many of the complications of contemporary global media flow. Currently the rights associated with distributing media are regulated at the national level (Donders, Loisen, and Pauwels 2014; European Commission 2012; Netflix, n.d.). For companies interested in the European market, this means making around 50 separate licensing arrangements in a competitive auction system, which can become both cumbersome and expensive. As a result, large-scale transnational streaming services have been slow to expand in Europe, with notoriously underwhelming performance. Most famously, Netflix began developing individual platforms on a country-by-country basis, with ambitious plans to license separate media libraries for each country in its service area (Heyman 2015; Wallenstein 2014). Yet these plans have unfolded frustratingly slowly for consumers; they have been plagued by problems, including an inability to allow consumers to travel with their subscriptions and extremely small content libraries in many countries, the result of the expense and time involved in the licensing process (Goldman 2015; Sreenivasan 2013). Netflix customers from one European nation must still resort to hacked, potentially illegal means to access their own paid account if they travel only a few kilometers from home as long as that travel involves a national border. Such speed bumps in international media flow feed what Manual Castells and Gustavo Cardoso (2012) call the ever more pervasive and mainstream participation in "piracy cultures" as an essential and normative part of everyday life. The EU government has several times proposed a single pan-European media license, and it still lists the consolidation of licensing arrangements as one of its top 2020 copyright reform goals aimed toward creating a single pan-EU media market; yet these measures face serious opposition, which has thus far thwarted significant changes (European Commission 2012).

[2.5] The 28 member states of the EU often resist ceding their individual authority over licensing and a bundle of other media-related rights, which would allow media to flow across Europe without regard for national boundaries, including taxation of media content, tactics and attitude toward media piracy, methods for protecting and encouraging national media industries, media in protected languages, and public service media (Schlesinger 1997, 2001). For example, Germany has challenged Amazon's pricing policies in court because they contravene national pricing laws that forbid deep discounts on books (Eddy 2014; Thomasson, Inverardi, and Heavens 2013). Similarly, France maintains comparatively draconian digital piracy policies, especially in contrast to countries like the Netherlands, which until recently had a "legal to download, illegal to upload" policy (Danaher et al. 2014; Mims 2012; Spore 2014). Likewise, many countries' public service funding models clash with the principle of the free and global movement of media, as they primarily seek to serve their own tax base. The United Kingdom in particular, which pays for the BBC primarily with a tax on television sets and other TV streaming devices, restricts (legitimate) access to digital BBC content only to those geographically within the boundaries of Britain (BBC, n.d. a, n.d. b). Thus, significant national and legal barriers remain to the achievement of a single integrated European media market.

[2.6] In response to the nationalist legal regulation and values that persist, perhaps especially in the public service sector, some have suggested developing a more transnational European media, both for market reasons and to increase or reflect a multicultural, multilingual European identity (Chalaby 2002; Gripsrud 2007; Lauristin 2007). Yet while productive for some artists and directors, this suggestion also raises the contentious cultural and linguistic stakes that continue to impede and shape the flow of global media. It is worth noting that in addition to legal regulations, disparities in infrastructure and affordability also continue to limit many people's practical access to the world's media production; yet even in the absence of any roadblocks to access, language families and cultural context mediate audience uptake (Adamu 2012; Adejunmobi 2007; Chung 2011; Gutierrez and Schement 1984; Piñón and Rojas 2011; Wilkinson 2004). With a relatively large language to geographical distance ratio, including 24 official and many more unofficial languages within the EU member states alone, Europe serves as an important case study of media flow across linguistic difference (Baroncelli 2013). Although there are many notable exceptions, especially those due to the allure of exoticism, without any intervention, media most easily spreads via linguistic and cultural proximity. Thus, in many cases, international media flows circulate within, for example, separate Anglophone, Francophone, Spanish-language, Arabic-language, and Hindi-language mediascapes, rather than a fully integrated global mediascape. At times, language politics directly cause the flow of some media and halt the movement of others, as in the case of Belgium, wherein France is a major supplier to half of the country and the Netherlands to the other; as a result of the country's strong linguistic divide, there is only negligible market penetration of French-language media in predominantly Flemish-speaking provinces and vice versa (van Besien 2013; Blommaert 2011; d'Haenens, Antoine, and Saeys 2009).

[2.7] Translinguistic media thus requires an extra process of translation, with consequent denotative and connotative shifts in meaning. Media industries make the decision to offer translated versions via dubbing or subtitles on the basis of their perception of market demand in the target language; some countries' smaller media industries can ill afford the expense of translation for larger markets in the absence of clear consumer demand, making it difficult to reach transnational audiences and cultivate international fans (Pelletier 2012). Yet these seemingly market-driven considerations also pose important political and practical consequences. The most obvious issue with media translation politics are gaps in the market, when industries perceive less potential market value than the costs of dubbing, subtitling, and distribution, and thus choose not to offer any product at all, or any linguistically localized product, to particular regions. Such gaps can result in an array of creative audience practices for informally translating, adapting, and distributing media where the formal system fails. These include amateur subtitling, as in anime clubs' distribution of fan subbed material before the Japanese industry recognized the viability of the English-speaking market, and online crowdsourced subtitling collectivities, as well as older practices, like the live commentary, described by anthropologist Elizabeth Hahn (1994), provided by Tongan MCs at movie theaters for English-language films (Dwyer 2012; O'Hagan 2009, 2012; Pérez-González 2007). However, these practices require an active, networked audience, and in the absence of such self-organized initiatives of motivated multilingual fans or the industry's market confidence, many media objects remain relatively isolated within their own language family and diasporic community.

[2.8] Further, national identity and language politics often become entwined with norms regarding the flow and appearance of transnational media. Thus, while the decision to dub or subtitle often results from media industries' market confidence, with the cheaper process of subtitling more commonly used for small markets and language families, these decisions also develop their own cultural associations and consequences over time (Pelletier 2012). Martine Danan argues that the normative preference for dubbed films derives from nationalist language politics and a desire to maintain the dominant status of the native media industry (Chaume 2007; Danan 1991). She writes, "Dubbing is an attempt to hide the foreign nature of a film by creating the illusion that actors are speaking the viewer's language" (1991, 612). The preference for subtitled or dubbed versions of foreign media thus reflects and to some extent produces differences in national media identity, culture, and interactivity. Germany still maintains an almost exclusive preference for dubbed foreign media, and voice actors often become celebrities in their own right, specializing in dubbing the voices of specific Hollywood actors, with their own attendant star texts that can directly color interpretation of the narrative (i.e., an actor known for voicing villains may trip the audience's expectations before any other clues surface in the plot) (Troester 2002). In contrast, in the Netherlands, the culture of subtitling folds neatly into the long-standing importance of multicultural tolerance and internationalism, which are central to Dutch national identity (Lechner 2012). As a result of the value the Netherlands places on direct access to foreign-language media, Thijs de Korte (2006) notes that Dutch NOB Cross Media Facilities in Hilversum were among the first to experiment with and perfect interlingual subtitling for live foreign TV broadcasts.

[2.9] Thus, national differences in media access, including copyright and other trade restrictions, preference for subtitles or dubbing, along with transformations in meaning created by the process of translation, voice actor celebrity text, and voice actor performance, together begin to suggest the remaining obstacles to a fully integrated and equal global media market. These and other related factors ensure that even when media travels globally, the text often still differs according to national boundaries and language. Transnational fans, in an important sense, are thus not actually fans of the same text. Further, differences in location and in cultural and political context also influence the processes of reception, meaning making, attachment, community building, and fans' cultural production. In the present era, Korean music videos can become instant international hits, inspiring global remix responses, and a British book, made into a film series by an American company, can become a worldwide cultural touchstone and the focus of unpredictable forms of international community building and activism (Cho 2012; Fisher 2012; Jenkins 2012; Jentsch 2002; Jung and Shim 2014; Lathey 2005; Mussche and Willems 2010; Rehlinga 2012). However, these stories encapsulate both the ways that forces of globalization connect disparate people and places, and the remaining hierarchies, disruptions, and disjunctures within global culture. Thus, Psy's hit song "Gangnam Style," released in 2012, did not achieve equal uptake by all international audiences, notably, according to John Lie (2014), receiving limited market penetration in Japan, and international "Gangnam Style" remixes often play precisely at the interface between global circulation and recognition of the video as a meme, and the language and symbols of specific locations, which inflect each repetition with difference. They thus enact a user-generated form of "glocalization," adapting the music to new markets by writing the local into the global for the profit of the original producer (Robertson 1995; Terranova 2000). Likewise, stories about, for example, Estonian books made into Kenyan films that take the international market by storm are notably much more rare, although certainly not impossible. Sensitivity to these differences in the directionality of global flows, as well as the specific historical, linguistic, and political contexts that condition reception of international media, are vital to modern media, audience, and fan studies.

3. Going global: European fan studies in comparative perspective

[3.1] Thinking about European fan studies as one part of global fandom thus requires consideration of how processes of localization and translation interact with international media flow and the specific legal, cultural, and linguistic contingencies of being a fan and enacting fandom in particular places. The loanword fan thus provides a characteristic example of fandom as a polysemic system within which individuals negotiate between the norms and practices of shared multinational, often English (or Japanese) language, online fan spaces, and the numerous other places, both online and in the real world, where fans produce fandom in other languages, frequently with different norms and expectations, and at times surrounding a different series of fan objects than those most popular at the international level. Despite the existence of local words like liefhebbers, appassionati, and fanaty, many people internationally choose to identify as fans, either to participate in international online fan spaces in English or because even when participating in a local fan community in a local language, the word fan still connects to a participatory way of interacting with media and forming communities, made increasingly global by digital technologies. The term fan thus mediates between local and international media and audiences; it encapsulates a broad range of diverse activities, histories, and practices, which become invisible by attending only to English-language fan spaces, or by assuming that because conversations there take place in English, the participants all come from Anglophone countries. Likewise, European fandoms illuminate many of the pitfalls, and much of the unevenness and uneasiness, that accompany globalization of media and globalization of fan identity and community. Watching how fans resist, negotiate, and assert their visibility within international media texts demonstrates both the particular circumstances of the European media market, as well as the function of global media as simultaneously a form of multicultural, cosmopolitan shared culture, a form of capitalist exploitation, a form of nationalist soft power, and a lingua franca within which individuals may translate and express their own particular experiences and struggles.

[3.2] In much fan studies work, Anglophone media and audiences and Japanese anime (and increasingly Korean K-pop) often dominate the conversation, becoming the unmarked center by default. This situation can obscure both the processes of power by which some media can travel internationally as part of the shared culture of globalization, thus amassing a global fan culture, while other media remains within regional, linguistic, national, and/or local spheres of influence, as well as the diversity of situated practices and meanings constructed by fans in different places. A number of scholars have already begun this work (Broughtona 2011; Denson 2013; Farley 2013; Harrington and Bielby 2005; Henningsen 2006; Hitchcock Morimoto 2013; Hu 2005; Jenkins 2006; Jung 2011, 2012; Jungherr 2012; Kim, Mayasari, and Oh 2013; Koulikov 2010; Lamerichs 2012; Li 2012; Lashley 2012; Lyan and Levkowitz 2015; Madrid-Morales and Lovric 2015; Mehta 2012; Nagaike and Suganuma 2013; Norris 2013; Punathambekar 2012; Sandvoss 2010; Schules 2014; Siuda 2014; Thornton 2010; Wei 2014). Thus, this special issue, highlighting the fan objects, practices, and communities of Europe, seeks to enter the ongoing discussion within the field of fan studies about how international audiences all co-construct global fandom, and how fans in different parts of the world all do fandom differently. How do people internationally, from diverse perspectives, all make meaning within the same transnational story? How do fans, internationally and across language barriers, interact with global internet fan culture or cultures? How does identifying as a fan carry different meaning (and consequences) in different places? How do fans internationally engage in fandom, both collaboratively and in isolation? By addressing these questions, the articles in this issue add to a robustly global understanding of what fandom means today, and they shine a light on the many vibrant fan communities and activities currently at play in Europe.

4. In this issue: Praxis

[4.1] Articles in this issue's Praxis section develop case studies in fan identities and activities from the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Wales, and trans-EU fan cultures. Bethan Jones utilizes Jonathan Gray's concept of antifandom to discuss the forms of community building and activism that arose in opposition to MTV's The Valleys (2012–14), a Welsh version of the controversial ethnic comedy reality TV series Jersey Shore (2009–). Drawing on affect theory, she argues that antifan activism against The Valleys relies not only on a general ethical objection to the show's moral text but rather derives from specific lived experiences in Wales, situated in a shared history and cultural text. She therefore urges future research on fan activism to consider both the complicating activities of antifan social activists and the way in which culture conditions reception and activist fan organization.

[4.2] William Wolff archives Twitter traces of Bruce Springsteen fans' networked social infrastructure in Leeds, England. His study thus underscores the importance of active European audiences for Springsteen's continuing success and the local interconnections between fans and Leeds' businesses. Wolff characterizes conversations organized by a hashtag as "information ecologies," explaining, "With #bruceleeds…Bruce is connected to a city…to a space with a distributed, segmented, and evolving identity" (¶6.3). He thus argues that while the #bruceleeds tweets say very little to or about Springsteen, they reflect and map the dynamic practices and connections of Springsteen's fans in a specific space as they unfold and evolve.

[4.3] Also writing about European Springsteen fans, Maryn Wilkinson analyzes the portrayal of non-Americans in Springsteen & I, a crowd-sourced documentary about the experience of Springsteen fandom. Wilkinson notes that although the original call for fans to produce their own video clips went out internationally and specifically requested they discuss their fan experiences in their own language, very few non-Americans made it into the final cut, and those who did became marked in certain ways. Namely, because Springsteen's star text and corpus thematize working class American life, fans in Springsteen & I became authentic through association with working-class status and Americanness—ideally in combination. Non-Americans, Wilkinson argues, are marked as less authentic than Americans through their lack of access to Springsteen-esque experiences and American concert tours, as well as by the use of subtitles, and through cultural misunderstandings (or recontextualizations) of Springsteen's lyrics. Thus, like Laura Felschow (2010), who argues that Supernatural (2005–) included a caricature of a female fan in episodes like "The Monster at the End of this Book" as an expression of distaste over the gap between the audience that producers envisioned and the fans who actually engaged with the program most passionately, Wilkinson documents another way in which certain fans are privileged, in this case on the basis of nationality.

[4.4] This theme also surfaces in Eleonora Benecchi's examination of Italian fans' perceived relationship with the producers of American TV series. On the basis of ethnographic participant observation, she reports that despite the existence of international online fan communities for American programs like Fringe (2008–13) and Lost (2004–10), many Italian fans prefer to interact only with Italian-language fan spaces, and continue to imagine their relationship to show runners as much more remote than American fans' as a result of geographical distance and a perceived lack of access. Benecchi posits that these results are partly explained by many Italian fans' preference for online, but still local, Italian-language fan spaces, but she also argues that, both implicitly and explicitly, American producers still primarily address and provide opportunities for participation and influence to American fans, despite American media's increasingly global reach.

[4.5] In addition to the global circulation of the professional American media industry, independent media also more and more often has the potential to connect with an international audience. Thus, Agata Włodarczyk and Marta Tyminska explore the manner in which Polish fans interact with and interpret American independent online radio drama Welcome to Night Vale (2012–). Włodarczyk and Tyminska explain that Welcome to Night Vale became attractive to global audiences partly because it is distributed online, with no delays internationally; it plays on established popular genres like surrealism and science fiction; and the cast's live performance tours include international venues. Yet via a questionnaire, they find that culture still influences Polish fans' experience, engagement, and interpretation of the radio series. For example, Włodarczyk and Tyminska notice that communism significantly colors Polish fans' understanding of the conspiracy-related elements of Welcome to Night Vale, while references to the particular history and context of American race relations in the program often fail to resonate, creating contentious online discussions about the characters' ethnicity in international fan spaces. They also argue that their poll's finding of participants' seeming reluctance to support Welcome to Night Vale financially, through purchasing of merchandise or donations, stems from the relative unfamiliarity and newness of crowd funding in Poland.

[4.6] Unlike the other articles of the Praxis section, which all address European fans of American media, Abby Waysdorf explores a fan object with its origin in Europe, followed by fans internationally, and most popular outside of America. Waysdorf studies the texts and communities of football slashers, who write homoerotic fan fiction about real players in professional European football leagues. She argues that football slash partly reflects on the increasing mediatization of the sport, which transforms players into celebrities and their every action into an ongoing public narrative, much like a male soap opera or serialized cult TV. However, she also cautions that besides an investment in players' personalities and romances, the writers and readers of football slash also engage in fan activities seen as masculine, traditional, and authentic, like attending games and supporting one team over a lifetime; in other words, they are "real" football fans, but they also expand on the always latent and increasingly central pleasures of interacting with football as a media text, explicitly centralizing the sport's human drama, narrative structure, and homosocial/homoerotic dimensions.

5. In this issue: Pedagogy

[5.1] The pedagogy section considers how fan studies should be introduced into classrooms and how to train the next generation of fan studies scholars. Especially in light of recent controversies over the use of fan works in college courses, it is vital that teaching fan studies remains an open dialogue between researchers, teachers, and fans (Baker-Whitelaw 2015; van Tooke 2015; Waldorph 2015). These essays provide examples of the kinds of fan studies projects undertaken by contemporary students, and what classrooms and students stand to gain from incorporating fan studies into the curriculum. Paul Booth's essay develops a theory of fan studies education as a method to counteract the neoliberalization of education. Teaching fan studies, Booth argues, facilitates students' translation of fans' ability to become both consumers and producers of media and culture, toward a model of education in which students do not merely consume knowledge but learn to critically engage with, analyze, and produce knowledge. Fan studies, Booth extrapolates, thus models a culture of thinking and feeling people who disrupt the passivity valued by neoliberal corporate culture by becoming creatively and passionately engaged with school, work, politics, and culture. The other pieces come from Amanda Gilroy's "Media Matters" MA course at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. As her introduction explains, the student pieces that follow replicate the classic Dallas (1978–1991) study performed in the 1970s by Ien Ang (1985), another great Dutch audience studies scholar, by asking students to survey viewers of the modern Dallas remake (2012–14). Doing so trains students to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for studying online fan cultures, and it demonstrates how both audiences and audience studies have changed since Ang's original research, largely as a result of the Internet and mobile and digital technologies, as well as shifts in genre norms.

6. In this issue: Symposium

[6.1] Symposium pieces in this issue provide a brief discussion of the history and/or ecology of fandom in specific European countries, including Sweden, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, and Russia. Vera Cuntz-Leng details the many German fan objects, such as the works of Karl May, literary traditions, particularly the centrality of derivative works, and conditions of media distribution, such as dubbing and the equal importance of anime and Hollywood imports, that localize modern German fan activities. Christina Olin-Scheller and Pia Sundqvist argue that high percentages of English proficiency and Internet usage facilitate easy access to full participation in international fandom for Swedish fans. The lasting legacies of media embargoes and censorship, as well as a strong desire for high-quality local media to succeed internationally, emerge as strong themes in the study of Polish fans conducted by Joanna Kucharska, Piotr Sterczewski, Bartłomiej Schweiger, Joanna Płaszewska, and Justyna Janik. Analyzing how Spanish and French fans of Game of Thrones (2011–) think of their own activities, Mélanie Bourdaa and Javier Lozano Delmar utilize online interviews to conclude that a much higher proportion of Spanish viewers identify as fans and download episodes, whereas French viewers in the study are more likely to utilize streaming platforms; yet although few people in either sample participated in producing fan works, most French and Spanish viewers identified these as central activities for Game of Thrones fandom and defined fans as those who not only watch passionately and consume collectibles but also do that bit more to engage "beyond the simple act of reception" (¶2.2). Sudha Rajagopalan investigates fandom in Russia within the context of GLBTQ censorship, where, she argues, fan activities cannot be reduced to a form of political protest but nonetheless overlap and intermingle with other coded civic conversations about sexual politics.

7. In this issue: Review

[7.1] Nicolle Lamerichs reviews Online Games, Social Narratives by Esther MacCallum-Stewart, an important contribution to contemporary gaming theory, and, for fan scholars, a useful guide to "game cultures and the social aspects of online gaming" (¶11).

8. Acknowledgments

[8.1] In addition to the authors of the articles included here, I thank all of the presenters and participants who contributed to the 2012 European Fandom and Fan Studies conference and to the 2013 conference European Fandom and Fan Studies: Localization and Translation, held at the University of Amsterdam. I would especially like to thank Dr. Emma England, co-organizer of the conference series, without whom this issue would not have been possible. In addition, I extend my thanks to the University of Amsterdam Department of Media Studies and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, which both provided generous funding. Finally, I extend thanks as well to the many European fans who generously participated in the studies included in this issue, and who gave this wandering fan a feeling of being at home.

[8.2] The following people worked on TWC No. 19 in an editorial capacity: Anne Kustritz (guest editor); Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson (editors); Cameron Salisbury (Symposium); and Louisa Stein (Review).

[8.3] The following people worked on TWC No. 19 in a production capacity: Rrain Prior (production editor); Karen Hellekson (copyeditor); Gabriel Simm (layout); and Carmen Montopoli, Amanda Georgeanne Retartha, and Vickie West (proofreaders).

[8.4] TWC thanks the journal project's Organization for Transformative Works board liaison, Andrea Horbinski. OTW provides financial support and server space to TWC but is not involved in any way in the content of the journal, which is editorially independent.

[8.5] TWC thanks all its board members, whose names appear on TWC's masthead, as well as the additional peer reviewers and Symposium reviewers who provided service for TWC No. 19: Lucy Bennett, Lauren Collister, Vera Cuntz-Leng, Emma England, Melanie Kohnen, Mafalda Stasi, Erin Webb, Monika Wilk, and Rebecca Williams.

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