I’ve discovered recently that there’s a word for people like me–the people I describe in the title of this post, those of us who see no incongruity between loving a text and studying a text. The word is aca-fan, and it’s been attributed to media scholar Henry Jenkins, whose blog is called Confessions of an Aca-Fan (henryjenkins.org). Skim over Confessions and you’ll see basically what I want my blog to be. Jenkins’s book, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (1992), is perhaps the foremost and certainly one of the earliest texts that showed the world that fans aren’t glassy-eyed drooling idiots, and yet somehow I missed out on it while doing my preliminary dissertation research. (I put in an inter-library loan request for it tonight, and I plan to read passages from it to my Walking Dead fan community next Sunday night. Just kidding–or am I?)
I also learned tonight that there’s a term for what wizard rock is, except it’s a broader category and existed long before wizard rock (or indeed, Harry Potter) was a thing. The term is filk, and apparently it comes from a misspelling of folk on a conference program. (I learned that from Henry Jenkins.) Essentialy, it refers to nerdy music about fictional characters. Am I the only person who didn’t know about this?