Queer Media Fandom: Histories and Futures

Spring 2020
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
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This program offers a foundation in the history and analysis of television and digital media through the study of queer online fandoms. With a particular focus on US genre/cult TV (sci-fi and fantasy), we will explore the development of fan communities and creativity on internet platforms from newsgroups to Tumblr. Queer fan cultures have engaged with issues of representation, visibility, and identity politics as well as the intersections of gender, sexuality, and race. Through discussion, criticism, and activism as well as the production of transformative works of fiction, art, and video, they have questioned the terms of mainstream media and envisioned queerer worlds.

In this program, we will learn about television’s queer texts and subtexts through academic readings, screenings, and seminars. We will also study fan created works for their aesthetic and critical strategies of appropriation and remix. Historically, the quarter begins with an introduction to television logics and the origins of internet fandom. We’ll look at the evolution of queer fan practices alongside the changing conditions of media representation and social media communities. The quarter ends with a consideration of the present and future directions of queer fandom in immediate dialogue with media industries.

Assignments for this program include written responses and analytical essays, and learning activities include lecture/screening and seminar. Students will be asked to curate media relevant to their interests and present it to the class. In workshops, students will participate in creative activities to make transformative pieces such as fiction, memes, GIFs, or videos. This program is not production focused and does not include significant technical media training; no media or fan production experience is expected. Skills emphasized in this program are broadly applicable to further studies in humanities and media.

This program will be offered again in spring quarter 2021. 


Spring 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(8): 30121

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

Film and Media

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$30 fee for required course readings


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SEM 2 B1105 - Lecture
DateRevision 2019-11-05 Program changed to 8-credits