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14 May 2012 @ 01:53 pm
Thing 9: I don't like my fandom and my academics to mix  
This is totally my personal preference and should have no bearing on what anyone else does but it is totally something I've learned from being part of fandom. 

I don't generally like it when people look at fandom through a quasi-academic lens and then write meta about it. I just don't care for that at all. 

As the amazing severinne put it once: 

"More relevantly though was the mental block this person inadvertently stumbled over by asking in the first place. I'm a bit schizophrenic where fandom-academia is concerned. On the one hand, I'm perpetually intellectually curious and analytical about most every aspect of our culture, past and present. I specialized in art, literature and critical theory clear through grad school, still publish academic articles and essays, and those parts of my brain simply don't shut off. So when people get talking about the various cultural implications of fandom, I can't help but be a little bit intrigued.

On the other hand - I got into fandom because I needed an escape hatch. Before I started writing fic, my brain was going 24/7 and it was exhausting. I needed a fucking hobby. Writing smut works for me because I love certain gorgeous blokes and hot sex and writing, and at least I could convince myself that writing fic on the side would help improve my craft as a whole - and I think it has, at least insofar as I can get an assignment to write an 800-word review and no longer worry about writing that much about anything anymore (pfft, she says, it's just a ficlet!). But this only really works as a hobby so long as I'm not taking it seriously, and any talk about university seminars or fic as "transformative works" feels invasive to me. And even when I do slip up and start occasionally indulging in discussions of these issues (and it's happened, I'm weak), it's not long before this constricting feeling comes crawling in and it stops being fun. So I really do just try to avoid that side of fandom altogether."

At the time that she first wrote this post I wrote this in response: 

"I totally get where your coming from. Academically I study, race, gender and sexuality in American popular culture over the last hundred years and how it works in creating norms, and fringe identity and stuff like that. I love it, and I have always been interested in how fandom fits into all that. 

On the other hand fandom is where I go to get away, relax and just have fun. Because of that I really hate meta for fandom by fandom because it kicks me into my intelectual space without me wanting to be there and because quite frankly it often is crappy academics. 

Bottom line I just like the academics and the fic writing to be two different parts of my life. Maybe one day I will feel comfortable combining the two or having someone else combine the two but right now that is not the case."

This is where I stood on the issue then (about two years ago now) and as I flirt around the edges of another fandom and watch people start with the semi-academic/semi-activist meta I can only reaffirm this is where I still stand on the issue.

Again this is just my personal tastes. A lot of people who I respect really love that kind of meta discussion and that's fine. It is something I have learned about myself via fandom though for better or for worse. I do wish people who liked that kind of thing would keep it under a cut ::sigh::  

slash4femme: Star Trek: Where No Man Has Gone Beforeslash4femme on May 15th, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
I'm glad you can identify. I think Hetalia is hard on a bunch of different levels because you kind of do have to play the history game if your into it. Definitely food for thought.