Hi, my name is Angelique, and I'm a post-grad student from New Zealand. In April, 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 original text and creators of the television show Supernatural."
As part of my research, I need to attend two events - 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 two 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 is being held in Australia. The scary part? I've been asked to pitch an abstract to speak. However, even if I don't become a speaker, attending would be an incredible addition to my research. The second one? The Las Vegas Supernatural Convention in February. Attending this convention would not only give me excellent access to the cast and crew of the television show, but also allow me to observe and participate in the conversations they have with the fans. Additionally, this would provide me an invaluable opportunity to speak to fans about their feelings toward the show and toward fan-produced media.
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 I need help finding funds to help pay for the travel fees associated with attending both events. Don't make me lose my shoe or sell my soul to Crowley.