Hi, my name is Angelique, and I'm a grad student from New Zealand. In April 2017, I graduated with my BA in English and Media Studies, and have since moved on to the next level of joining the Men of Many Letters by going after my Masters in Fan & Celebrity studies. My thesis? "How fan behavior and fan-produced media disrupts, informs, and influences the source text and creators of the television show Supernatural."
As part of my research, I need to network, interview people (yes THEY are on the list, I'm trying to not think too much about that yet), and attend conferences and conventions - and that's where it gets tricky. I'm what they euphemistically call a 'mature student'. I have three children ranging in ages from 17 to 25. I am a former journalist. I belong to five bossy cats. Funding travel and attendance to conferences is not in my 'I got this' basket at the moment. Hopefully, one day soon it will be. And that's why I need your help.
In December the first Fan Studies Network Australasia conference was held in Australia. I was lucky enough to be part of the speed geeking panel and received encouraging feedback on my thesis topic and made some very important contacts. I may have fan girled over a couple of amazing academics (like Matt Hills and Sue Turnbull). I was able to attend the conference due to the generosity of the donors to this campagin and a funding injection from my University facultry. Without the donors though, the university funding would not have been sufficient - so I can't tell you how grateful I am.
I'm now hoping to attend the Fan Studies Network Conference in Cardiff in June 2018 and at least one SPN convention in North America. Since selling my soul to Crowley is no longer an option - cue sad sigh - I'm still fundraising. And any help - of any kind - is gratefully accepted.
The relationship between Supernatural fans and creators is both a window and a mirror on how fans and creators overall do and don't interact with each other - and the outcomes of that interaction. Media and fan studies scholars can then take this information and show how it reflects a part of human society that is often shunned, mocked, or ignored: fandom. As Katherine Larsen, one of the authors of Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls, said in an email to me recently:
"What we make of the popular culture in which we are immersed *matters* and often examining how people use, change, challenge, or fail to challenge the media they consume provides a rich snapshot of our culture at any given moment."
My thesis is due in June of 2018, and my aim is to grade well enough to get into PhD.