Queer Media Fandom: Histories and Futures

Spring 2020
Class Size: 25
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Julie Russo square
media studies, gender & women's studies, sexuality and queer studies

This program offers a foundation in the history and analysis of television and digital media through the study of queer online fandoms. With a particular focus on US genre/cult TV (sci-fi and fantasy), we will explore the development of fan communities and creativity on internet platforms from newsgroups to Tumblr. Queer fan cultures have engaged with issues of representation, visibility, and identity politics as well as the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race. Through discussion, criticism, and activism as well as the production of transformative works of fiction, art, and video, they have questioned the terms of mainstream media and envisioned queerer worlds.

In this program, we will learn about television’s queer texts and subtexts through academic readings, screenings, and seminars. We will also study fan created works for their aesthetic and critical strategies of appropriation and remix. Historically, the quarter begins with an introduction to television logics and the origins of internet fandom. We’ll look at the evolution of queer fan practices alongside the changing conditions of media representation and social media communities. The quarter ends with a consideration of the present and future directions of queer fandom in immediate dialogue with media industries.

Assignments for this program include written responses and analytical essays, and learning activities include lecture/screening and seminar. Students will be asked to curate media relevant to their interests and present it to the class. In workshops, students will participate in creative activities to make transformative pieces such as fiction, memes, GIFs, or videos. This program is not production focused and does not include significant technical media training; no media or fan production experience is expected. Skills emphasized in this program are broadly applicable to further studies in humanities and media.

This program will be offered again in spring quarter 2021. 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

Film and Media


Credits per quarter

Fields of study: 
Online learning:
  • Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.

$30 fee for required course readings

Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 25

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

First meeting:

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 12:00 pm
SEM 2 B1105 - Lecture

Located in: Olympia

2019-11-05Program changed to 8-credits