Fandom as Methodology: Introduction

Catherine Grant, Kate Random Love

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Fandom, in its many guises, crosses over with the practice of many contemporary artists, as well as writers about contemporary art. Rather than a new contribution to fan studies, this collection sits alongside the growing literature on fandom as a set of practices that have relevance across a wide range of disciplines, spreading out from its already interdisciplinary home across cultural and media studies. In this introduction, we will explore some histories of fandom in art and art history, relating them to scholarship in the field of fan studies. This does not attempt to be exhaustive, but gives the reader some pointers to think through how art and fandom have fertile points of conversation, and how these can enrich contemporary scholarship on art that is currently engaged with discussions around affect, desire, politics and identity. We argue that fandom has a fit with many artistic works and methods that embrace the excessive, the deviant, the wilful and the overblown. Importantly this approach can become a political or queered practice, one where not fitting in is taking as a starting point to imagine something or someone, somewhere else. As Joli Jensen has argued: ?I believe what it means to be a fan should be explored in relation to the larger question of what it means to desire, cherish, seek, long, admire, envy, celebrate, protect, ally with others. Fandom is an aspect of how we make sense of the world, in relation to mass media, and in relation to our historical, social, cultural location.?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFandom as Methodology: A Sourcebook for Artists and Writers
EditorsCatherine Grant, Kate Random Love
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherGoldsmiths Press
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019


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