In diesem Jahr hat die AG Partizipations- und Fanforschung in Zusammenarbeit mit der ‚Fan Studies Workgroup‘ des European Network for Cinema and Media Studies ein Vortrags-Panel für die NECS-Jahrestagung in Potsdam erarbeitet. Die vier Vorträge von Roberta Pearson, Anne Kustritz, Vera Cuntz-Leng und Sophie Einwächter beschäftigten sich dem Thema der Jahrestagung entsprechend (in/between. cultures of connectivity, Potsdam, 28.-30. Juli) mit Fragen der Konnektivität in fankulturellen Kontexten.

Die Kurzbeschreibung des Panels findet sich unten:

Connectivity in Fan Cultural Networks

Chair: Sven Stollfuß (University of Bayreuth)

Put together by members of the NECS Fan Studies work group this panel consist of four contributions dealing with different aspects and forms of connectivity in fan cultural contexts. The presentations address the social aspects of connectivity in a historical perspective on Sherlock Holmes fandom (Pearson), appropriation and collective transmediation through digital fan connectivity (Kustritz), the complicated connectivity of vast and expanding fan fiction networks (Cuntz-Leng), and filter bubbles as (dis)connecting factors of scholarly and fan cultural knowledge sharing (Einwächter).

Roberta Pearson (University of Nottingham):

Sherlock Holmes Fandom and Connectivity

This paper speaks to the social aspects of connectivity with regard to fan cultures, using Sherlock Holmes fandom as a case study. Informal Sherlock Holmes fandom dates back to the late nineteenth century, the time of publication of the original stories, while organised Sherlock Holmes fandom dates back to the early 20th century with the founding of the New York based Baker Street Irregulars. This ‘Sherlockian’ fandom was a literary one, centred around the ‘canon’ of the four novels and fifty four short stories. This fandom resembles that of other literary societies formed around authors such as Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll (see Brooker in references). Organised media fandom began in the 1960s with Star Trek. In the 21st century, a new Sherlock Holmes media centred- fandom arose around contemporary screen adaptations – the Robert Downey films, the CBS procedural Elementary and most prominently the BBC’s globally popular Sherlock. Unlike the older fans, many of the new fans were younger, members of other media fandoms and more technically experienced, organising their communities primarily through the Internet. This paper interrogates the impact of media and connectivity upon Sherlock Holmes fandom by investigating the differences and similarities between literary and media fans with regard to their organisational forms, practices, productivity and cultural hierarchies. The paper draws upon Pearson’s own lived experience as a life long Sherlockian and builds on her previous publications on fandom and on Holmes. It uses as data personal interviews with fans and online fan sites.

Anne Kustritz (Utrecht University):

Making a Hash of Ham4Ham: Digital Fan Connectivity and the Collective Transmediation of Historical Storytelling

Alexander Hamilton’s unlikely ascent as a hot topic within fandom and the subject of numerous literary remix works marks an important and seldom discussed trend within fan culture, and scholarly discussions of media connectivity in the digital age. In his landmark 2006 text Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins argued that transmedia is primarily organized with a corporate, mass-media property at the center, and amateur fan works accumulating at the periphery. Yet, this formulation does not account for transmedia storyworlds organized around non-corporate centers, including works that reinterpret and remix the lives of historical figures like Alexander Hamilton. By transmediating the public domain instead of corporate private property and by distributing amateur and professional works through similar digital platforms, fans and professionals collaborate in such transmedia networks on much more even ontological and legal footing, reenvisioning the social, political, and artistic possibilities of digital connectivity for the future of storytelling.

Vera Cuntz-Leng (Philipps-Universität Marburg):

Fan fiction then, now, and tomorrow
Online platforms like and have become popular gathering points. Therefore, the cultural practice of fan fiction today is not only a vehicle to express desires or experiment with writing, it offers the opportunity to connect with people worldwide, participate in a community, and share stories with other fans. Through these stories and the interfaces of the platforms (with features like private messaging, befriending other members, comment section), networks are formed that connect writers, readers, lurkers – sometimes producers or actors join in as well as publishers looking for new talents. With a still increasing number of texts created and uploaded daily, these networks become bigger, more complex, more diverse, harder to monitor, analyze, understand. The aim of this paper is to describe briefly the history of fan fiction and fan fiction studies and to offer some ideas for future research requirements in order to keep pace with current developments.

 Sophie G. Einwächter (Philipps-Universität Marburg):

(Dis)connecting bubbles: Fancultural and scholarly information sharing

Fans and scholars are keen information seekers online. Via websites and apps they connect with peers and share knowledge about their respective objects of study or admiration. It has been critically noted, that as a result of algorithms, but also due to shared communication rituals, people encounter preselected, preference-based information which may result in them being less exposed to differing viewpoints (Pariser 2011). While this phenomenon has a disconnecting effect for users, whose search behaviour may inadvertently narrow knowledge diversity, sharing a “filter bubble” can at the same time strengthen the bond with likeminded others. Drawing on ethnographic research the presentation discusses technological and social implications of filter bubbles as well as fans’ and scholars’ efforts and motivations to stay in or out of them. Comparing their reactions to and awareness of knowledge filtering helps to shed light on users’ strategies navigating knowledge in a networked information society.

NECS 2016 Logo (verwendet als Beitragsbild): Julia Eckel