The Challenges of Teaching Fan Studies

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Based on pedagogical practice in the past two years, this paper will explore the challenges faced in presenting fan studies to second year students in Denmark. In light of an ongoing acceptance of fandom, the course module, which is one half of a semester long course on Celebrity and Fandom Studies, has only gained in popularity. Yet, the nature of the course in question, an interdisciplinary open elective, has meant a class with a variety of backgrounds, preparation, and expectations from fan studies and its critical apparatus. In addition, due to the course being taught in English, it attracts an abundance of exchange students, further complicating the course expectations. The paper will explore how different aspects of fan studies are presented, the variety and depth of theoretical approaches that are both available and suitable to the course, while at the same time exploring the difficulty in developing appropriate assessment parameters and meeting the various expectations of the students from different academic disciplines. The course additionally draws on a number of guest speakers, primarily drawn from an internal research group focusing on Celebrity and Fan Studies, and thus we will discuss the value of research based approaches, and the need for a wide range of expertise to effectively present this study. We will further explore several ways we have attempted to use project based learning and excursions to fan conventions and museum exhibitions. The hope is that this will allow us to foster a conversation about the best methods for teaching fan studies, and help to open up fan studies to be integrated into other courses and programs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2016
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventFan Studies Network Conference 2016 - University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Jun 201627 Nov 2016


ConferenceFan Studies Network Conference 2016
LocationUniversity of East Anglia
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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