Fandom Week 12: Reading Response

Harry Potter and the Fandom Menace

I had a hard time sussing out what the overall thesis of this piece was. Was the author arguing that JK Rowling is a savvy ‘Authorpreneur’? Was he attempting to illustrate the ways in which fan involvement has guided the marketing and selling of the Harry Potter books? Was he including the selling of the movies in this argument? Was he writing an overall review of the quality of the Harry Potter books? (I take issue with his assessment, here, by the way! I love the later books!)

I felt like the overall piece was meandering, but he did make a few interesting points that stuck with me. Most of all, I liked the way he succinctly wrapped up the logic behind the dialogue between invested fans and their fan object: “They have invested time, energy, and financial resources. They have earned the right to be heard.”

Straight out of Chevy Chase

This podcast was particularly interesting to listen to, because I remember finding it fascinating when it first aired, but hadn’t really thought of it since. I hope we get a chance to discuss it a bit in class because I’m interested in discussing this idea of a “cultural gatekeeper.” Its true that Rosenberg gains some authority from his knowledge of the history of the fan text of hip hop, but so much of this discussion hinges on this notion of Rosenberg’s (or any cultural gatekeeper’s) taste. Can taste ever really play into fandom? Isn’t whether something is good or bad kind of beside the fandom point? 

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