GF interviews the OTW’s Francesca Coppa: question time!

Francesca Coppa is one of the founders of the Organization for Transformative Works. She’s also…

… director of film studies and associate professor of English at Muhlenberg College, where she teaches courses in dramatic literature, popular fiction, and mass media storytelling. Her writings on media fandom have been included in Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet and presented at MIT’s Media in Transition conference. Coppa has been attending conventions and buying zines since the early 1980s, when she and her friends wrote fanfiction by hand and circulated it by snail mail. She has been involved in online fandom since the mid-1990s as a writer, list administrator, vidder, archivist, and community moderator. (bio link)

If you haven’t read any of her work on the history of fan culture, take a look at Women, Star Trek, and the early development of fannish vidding or Celebrating Kandy Fong: Founder of Fannish Music Video. There’s also a great interview with her at Reason Online and another on gender and fan culture over at Henry Jenkins’ blog. There are more links to related reading at fanlore.

And now it’s time for Geek Feminism to interview her! I’d like to open this up to our readers and commenters. What would you like to ask Francesca about the OTW, fan culture, vidding, and so on? Post your suggestions in the comments, and in a few days we’ll send them through to her to answer.

Edit: I’m shutting down comments now (Wednesday 9th September) and passing your questions through to Francesca. The interview should appear soon!

5 thoughts on “GF interviews the OTW’s Francesca Coppa: question time!

  1. Skud Post author

    The OTW is mostly by/for women, and most of the participants in its projects seem to be women. Do you have any interest in reaching out to primarily-male parts of fandom? How might that work, if you did?

    Women’s work (childcare, housework, nursing, etc) is usually undervalued and under- or un-paid and if you suggest women should be compensated for it, there’s often a strong backlash. Meanwhile, female fan culture usually hates it when creators seek remuneration for their work (fic, vids, *cough*wikis*cough*, etc). Do you think there’s a connection/parallel there? Do you think we’re going to see changes in the future?

  2. facetofcathy

    One question about vids and one about the Archive of Our Own (AO3) and fanlore.org:

    1. My collection of vids recently went from a host of delicious links to mostly Imeem hosted vids, to a long list of downloaded vids on my own computer. Quality went way up, but the ease of sharing went right out the window. Where is the OTW at with regards to providing a vid hosting service or archive that gives us avid watchers a place to find new stuff and where I can easily say, hey look at this–whether the person I’m talking to is in the next room, or thousands of miles away?

    2. While I recognize that the AO3 is still in beta, and that limits it’s scope, it still seems like it is dominated by familiar names and fandoms to me (disclosure–one of those names is mine). Neither the AO3 nor Fanlore are gathering a broad base of users organically, and I think many fans consider AO3 to be a private club, while Fanlore is not actively welcoming to new contributers. Is it time for some marketing and promotion and a real effort to get more fans to participate in Fanlore?

  3. Dorothea Salo

    How do the technological pieces underlying fandom — off the top of my head, LJ and its clones, AO3 and its predecessors such as fanfiction.net, vid sites, et cetera — fit together? What are the necessary affordances (technological and policy-related) to make a given site fan-friendly?

  4. Yatima

    Can you point us to three or four vids that really got you excited about the potential of the medium?

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