Implicit Fandom in the Fields of Theatre, Art, and Literature: Studying "Fans" Beyond Fan Discourses

Matthew Hills

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter explores approaches and understandings of fan studies to theorize forms of (higher-cultural) media consumption where fandom may not be explicitly or commonly used as a discourse by participants, but where fan-like activities and practices can nevertheless be shown, analytically, to be significant. Thus “implicit fandom” becomes one meaningful future direction for broadening the scope of how we understand “fandom” and the array of cultural artifacts we could articulate with fan discourses. To exemplify these debates, a case study of “fans” of a contemporary “Great Author,” Jonathan Franzen, considered as part of the “new literary middlebrow” (Driscoll 2014) is presented. This includes theorizing fan-like activities such as debating Franzen’s work online, attending talks and literature festivals, and collecting signed first editions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies
EditorsPaul Booth
Place of PublicationHoboken
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic) 9781119237211
ISBN (Print)9781119237167, 9781119237235
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2018


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