by the TLF Founders, Keidra & Raizel
The Learned Fangirl is now seven years old. Break out the wool and/or copper!
We recently came across the presentation that inspired us to start TLF, a presentation at the biennial conference, Media in Transition, Canon vs. Fanon: Folksonomies of Fan Culture. We never formally published this, but working on this presentation helped us to decide to start a blog about fandom. Over the years, we have expanded the focus way, way beyond traditional notions of fandom, to include writing about technology, gaming, and music. Fandom has changed a lot too. When we started the blog, there weren’t a lot of of publications writing about internet fan culture in a way that wasn’t making fun of it. So it’s been refreshing to see the evolution of acceptance over the years, of fan culture as a “beat.”
But in taking a look back over TLF from when it was an anonymous blog moving to a blog with our names proudly stated to a group-written online publication, it has not been an easy journey. LaToya Peterson has recently written about her struggles to keep Racialicious going when everyone says its a great idea (and it is! You should be reading it!), but without support. And there have been times – months, even – where each of us struggles with our enthusiasm about writing and how to adapt our own shifting interests into the blog, especially as fandom becomes a reference to very specific online communities and practices, that we’re not always sure we’re a part of. Even so, while other things evolve and change, including our fandom and career interests, TLF has been a home base.
Especially in the past couple of months when there has been a focused energy on TLF from new readers it has sometimes been difficult to reconcile that with our writing interests. Writing about pop culture has become so intertwined with writing about identity these days that to approach a topic means assessing what potential landmine it may unintentionally set off and how much you want it to possibly ruin your day. (Especially considering we’re all women/people of color, which is tantamount to putting a bulls-eye on your forehead these days) What’s more, it’s incredibly frustrating to feel as though your writing is being misunderstood.
But if you read TLF, you know that we are not really into “think pieces” and we don’t plan to change that. TLF will continue to be a mix of opinions and writers who take a critical look at pop culture. Critique without squee (mostly); critique that may not always be popular (or about popular things) but always from the heart, because we write about what we are passionate about. So thanks so much for going on this ride with us.
More meta/housekeeping notes:
Considering excellent writing and unique perspective, Kristin is now an editor, so you will see more posts from her! Viv is continuing as an editor as well. Thanks to both of them for making TLF great.
And thanks to readers for checking out the site
We’re eliminating site-wide comments as default for posts. Individual writers will choose to leave comments possible.