Engaging with "herself": fandom and authorship in the age of Tumblr



Publication Details

Phillips, J. A. & Freund, K. "Engaging with "herself": fandom and authorship in the age of Tumblr." Adoring Outlander : essays on fandom, genre and the female audience. Ed.V. E. Frankel. Jefferson, United States: McFarland & Company, Inc, 2016, 23-43.


The Internet has allowed unprecedented levels of interaction between culture creators and the fandoms surrounding the texts they create. And yet, somewhat paradoxically, it seems to have given greater power both to the consumers as well as the creators of texts. Whereas fans are free to respond to the text in almost any way they choose, liberating it from the "tyranny" of the author (as Barthes called it), there is an elevation (almost deification) of the text's creator. Fans feel as connected to Joss Whedon as they do to Buffy and Angel; Chris Carter is as synonymous with The X Files as the names Mulder and Scully are; and Diana Gabaldon is so revered by fans of the Outlander book series (and, more recently, television adaptation) that she is often given the honorary title "Herself "-a reference to the Scottish lairds depicted in her books.

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