Fandom: The classroom of the future
What is the role of the fan scholar in the age of the fan-scholar? I explore fandom as the classroom of the future—that is, as a space and as a culture that may be one of the few places where people are encouraged to think critically, to write, and to make thoughtful and critical judgments about hegemonic culture once formal schooling is complete. The type of critical thinking that can happen in fan environments could benefit our formal educational system. As fans, scholars, fan-scholars, and educators, we need to be more assertive against the encroaching normalization of commercialization, market forces, and neoliberal control over affect, both in education and out of it. We need to teach not just fan studies, but how fandom itself encourages how to be thoughtful fans in a world increasingly hostile to expressions of affect.
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