Popular Theatre and its ›Invisible‹ Fans

Fandom as External/Internal to the Theatrical Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article argues that fan studies has typically neglected theatre as an object of fandom, whilst theatre studies has, in turn, marginalised audience and fan studies. Challenging these structuring invisibilities, I will consider how fandom has been discursively constructed in the theatre »field« (Bourdieu 1993). Media fandom has often been positioned as external to the world of theatre, or discursively limited to commercial productions such as West End/Broadway shows, especially musicals. Contra such assumptions, I will analyze discourses of fandom within the theatrical field, considering how generational and media-technological developments have supported a fan-like »participatory culture« with regard to both highly commercial and ›legitimate‹ forms of popular theatre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
JournalLili - Zeitschrift fur Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik
Volume47
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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title = "Popular Theatre and its ›Invisible‹ Fans: Fandom as External/Internal to the Theatrical Field",
abstract = "This article argues that fan studies has typically neglected theatre as an object of fandom, whilst theatre studies has, in turn, marginalised audience and fan studies. Challenging these structuring invisibilities, I will consider how fandom has been discursively constructed in the theatre »field« (Bourdieu 1993). Media fandom has often been positioned as external to the world of theatre, or discursively limited to commercial productions such as West End/Broadway shows, especially musicals. Contra such assumptions, I will analyze discourses of fandom within the theatrical field, considering how generational and media-technological developments have supported a fan-like »participatory culture« with regard to both highly commercial and ›legitimate‹ forms of popular theatre.",
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AB - This article argues that fan studies has typically neglected theatre as an object of fandom, whilst theatre studies has, in turn, marginalised audience and fan studies. Challenging these structuring invisibilities, I will consider how fandom has been discursively constructed in the theatre »field« (Bourdieu 1993). Media fandom has often been positioned as external to the world of theatre, or discursively limited to commercial productions such as West End/Broadway shows, especially musicals. Contra such assumptions, I will analyze discourses of fandom within the theatrical field, considering how generational and media-technological developments have supported a fan-like »participatory culture« with regard to both highly commercial and ›legitimate‹ forms of popular theatre.

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