A "Glee"-ful collaboration: Academic networking in the Tumblr world

  • Elizabeth M. Downey Mississippi State University http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2109-8820
  • Sheryl Lyn Bundy Moraine Valley Community College
  • Connie K. Shih University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Emily Hamilton-Honey SUNY Canton
Keywords: Academia, Acafans, Connectivism, Gift economy, Social scholarship


Four authors representing disparate disciplines recount their experiences meeting each other through Glee (2009–15) fandom via Tumblr, with an exploration of the popular microblogging site's utility as a platform for fan scholarship. This aspect of the site has been understudied; we thus explore the ways that Tumblr's particular culture and features support professional networking, facilitate the researching of fandom practices, and provide support mechanisms for scholars. In discussing the pleasures and challenges that Tumblr provides the acafan researcher, we weigh whether academia needs to rethink its own paradigms for audience engagement and professional development.