Conspicuous convention

Industry Interpellation and Fan Consumption at San Diego Comic-Con

Authored by: Anne Gilbert

The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638921
eBook ISBN: 9781315637518
Adobe ISBN:


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Conventions are a concentrated experience of fandom. Fan conventions are immersive, shared spaces in which fannish pursuits can become codified, reinforcing both the behaviors and significance of fan practice. Conventions create entry points to the fan community (Bacon-Smith 1992) and erect physical spaces, albeit ephemeral ones, that shape how fans relate to one another, to media properties, and to industrial forces. The details that structure a fan convention—how it is organized, how it is covered, the fans and creative producers who choose (and are able) to participate, and what that participation looks like—also structure the material practices of fandom. The experience of a fan convention is generated in the planning, navigating, enjoying, and archiving of the event itself, but it is not limited to those in attendance. As the ephemera of convention participation are increasingly digital, and as industry professionals are increasingly invested in the practices of fans, conventions exert an influence of how fandom is understood that extends beyond the event boundaries.

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