Academic dialogue: Why study politics and fandom?


  • CarrieLynn D. Reinhard Dominican University
  • joan miller University of Southern California



Activism, Affect, Attitudes, Empathy, Interdisciplinary, Public sphere, Rationality, Social media


An academic dialogue between PhD candidate joan miller (University of Southern California) and associate professor CarrieLynn D. Reinhard (Dominican University), conducted via Twitter direct messaging over several weeks, illustrates that academic dialogues do not have to occur in person at universities or conferences. Social media provides a forum for scholars around the world and in different disciplines to consider a topic from a new perspective. Such dialogues provide a fertile ground to develop new insights, theories, and even research projects that can further our understanding of the topic and perhaps push the entire field into new areas. The conversation here explores the topic of how fandom and politics intersect to consider the issues involved in such intersections. The conversation—a journey two people take to come to understand each other—considers what fandom is, what the intersections of fandom and politics are, and whether we should be applying fan studies concepts, theories, and methods to understand politics.