Rhetorical moves in disclosing fan identity in fandom scholarship

  • Adrienne E. Raw University of Michigan
Keywords: Acafandom, Consubstantiality, Identification, Methodology


The position of the acafan in fan studies remains under negotiation, and authors must make choices about if and how identities as fans are disclosed within scholarship. An analysis of sixty-nine articles published in Transformative Works and Cultures identified the rhetorical moves made when disclosing fan identities and assessed the trends in these disclosures that are present across a sample of fan studies scholarship. These moves of disclosure facilitate rhetorical identification between author and audience, enable negotiation of overlapping fan and scholar identities, and demonstrate a valuing of fan identities in scholarship. The question of disclosing fannish identity reflects the ongoing evolutions of the role of acafandom and questions about the intersections of identity and scholarship. Making choices and practices explicit and visible will help acafans continue to examine the dual position of fan and scholar and will help better reflect the balance between the two.