Digital space and "Walking Dead" fandom's Team Delusional

  • Tosha R. Taylor Manhattanville College
Keywords: Digital community, Fan community, Fandom conspiracies, Hashtag, Interpretive practice, Multimedia, Postobject fandom, Television, Tumblr


As previous fandom studies have shown, fans' disappointment in canon narratives may lead to adaptations and fragmentations in fan communities. This article examines Team Delusional, a subset of Walking Dead (2010–) fandom that emerged on Tumblr after the death of a series character. Rather than accepting the character's death as canon, Team Delusional has built a postobject fan community around the theory that the character secretly survived and will return to the series. Largely overlooked or even rejected by the larger Walking Dead fandom, this group continues to use Tumblr as its main community base. By deploying Tumblr's specific features and politics, the group maintains its identity and engages in interpretive practices that resist canon restrictions and intrafandom conflict. This analysis of Team Delusional's interpretive practices on Tumblr demonstrate the ways in which this social media platform particularly lends itself to postobject counternarrative fan subgroups.

Author Biography

Tosha R. Taylor, Manhattanville College
Tosha R. Taylor teaches topical seminars and composition at Manhattanville College, where she is a specialist in the Andrew Bodenrader Center for Academic Writing and Composition. She holds a PhD from Loughborough University. Her doctoral work concerned intersections of historical captivities and horror film. Her recent academic publications include chapters and articles on the cinematic work of Christopher Nolan, sexuality and class in American horror television, and studies of gendered subjectivities in American graphic novels.