Too Legit To Quit: Five Years of The Learned Fangirl

Five years ago, we started The Learned Fangirl because we were bored. Nah, really we just wanted to place to house the writing we were interested in doing that seemed to bore/confuse the hell out of other people. Though we had different professional and educational backgrounds we had a shared interest in pop culture and geeky things, and also in looking at fan culture in a critical way, thanks in part to the pioneering work of Henry Jenkins. This blog is, in many ways, an homage to him.

A lot has changed in the past five years. Back then, there were not a lot of blogs that talked about the intersection of online culture and social media. Now there a lot of blogs that talk about these topics, but not quite like TLF. We still go strong because our own tastes have changed and the blog changes with it. TLF has outlived a number of fan obsessions, TV show runs, and even jobs, and even at times when we weren’t sure exactly *what* TLF was, we believed in it. In a way, that evolution is what’s made TLF fun to do this whole time.

Recently, we’ve even grown to include more fangirl (and boy) voices, and that’s been so exciting to see. Many thanks to Vivian Obarski, Sophia Madana, Kristin Bezio, Sam Ford, Deanna McMillan and Laura Fletcher for your great writing! And thank you, dear reader, for checking us out. We’re looking forward to growing even more in the next five years. – Keidra and Raizel.

Anyway, if you are relatively new to TLF, we wanted to recap what we think are some of the blog’s finest moments from 2007 – 2011. And all of this year has been badass, so please do peruse 2012’s offerings.


Manga Nation
: The first TLF post really got to the heart of what we wanted to explore on the blog.

The music industry is broken for the BoingBoing, the Wired magazine and the MTV tell me so!: One of many TLF posts about the changing music industry


Facebook and the Culture of Total Transparency: Bitching about Mark Zuckerberg before it was cool.

What It Feels Like … Gossip Girl’s Take on Female Friendship: Back when Blair Waldorf had dignity, there was something to say about Gossip Girl’s take on girl friendships

“Passionate fandom” applies only to generally male-dominated fandom? Or, why is slash squicky, yet “mylar bag” fandom not?
: Also known as, “before we really paid attention to writing SEO friendly titles”

Our Law and Society Conference Presentation: The Intellectual Property and Political Economy of Fanworks and other forms of user-generated content: See above.


What fandom and cultural context can tell us about the Obama Hope controversy: R. breaks out her ninja legal powers to the Shepard Fairey Obama power controversy.

Some SXSW-inspired thoughts about online communities, affinity, and the rules of engagement: A day of drinking Lone Star all day and not sleeping led to this post, which led to K being on the radio to talk social media.

I Read a Book: Greg Kot’s Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music: Not the first “I read a book” review, but a favorite.

Worlds Without End?:Guest blogger Sam Ford talks about the end of the soap opera


The Economics of Hello Kitty, or what will save the brand of the world’s master of cute overload?: We love Hello Kitty, but we love talking about global intellectual property even more

Being a Princess Doesn’t (Have To) Mean What You Think It Means: We explore the cult of Disney princesses


When Twitter becomes TV:the final hours of @mayoremanuel
This was written before K found out she actually knew the dude who was @mayoremanuel and lost her shit.

Guide for the Perplexed: The Baddest Female Seoul City Ever Had: The Rise of Korean Rappers: One of the first of R.’s many great K-pop posts

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