FanLIS 2024 Speakers

Presenters confirmed for FanLIS: Building Bridges II, online symposium hosted by CityLIS to be held on 18th May 2023. Speaker details are subject to change.


Programme Schedule


Tom Ue & Callum McNutt

Do Androids Dream of Bad TV?

Brian and Stewie Griffin (both Seth MacFarlane) say it best in their opening number to the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. Television, it seems, has anything and everything to offer. Whether or not we agree with Stewie’s assessment, that “never before in history have we had such a wide selection of trash,” media companies, big and small, are responsible for producing numerous hours of “entertainment”—many more since 2007, when the animated sequence aired. Many of these outputs—films, television series, miniseries—can hardly lay claim to original artistic creation or reflect a genuine artistic vision. For every Roma (2018), there is a handful of Voyagers (2021) and a few more of The I-Land (2019). These films and series are so canned that they beg the question of whether the projects might not have been better served were they written by AI.

This brings us to our paper. In this project, we put some pressure on the idea of originality by looking at Neil Burger’s Voyagers, which is so heavily reliant on Arthur Golding’s The Lord of the Flies (1954). AI is inherently derivative—it operates entirely through the mining and rehashing of preexisting works—and while all art has influences, AI-produced art is wholly unoriginal, a kind of collage of preexisting works. Scholars such as Robert W. McGee have productively used ChatGPT to write stories. Our project incorporates Richard Dyer’s influential work on pastiche to make a claim for derivative art like Voyagers and the waves upon waves of terrible films and television, with their rehashes of the same beats and cliches. Far be it for us to claim that bad films and television are unappealing. Rather, we suggest some ways in which conversation about AI can productively be used for widening an already quite wide selection of “trash.”


Tom Ue is Assistant Professor in English of the Long Nineteenth Century at Cape Breton University, Editor of the Journal of Popular Film and Television, and Advisory Editor of The Complete Letters of Henry James (University of Nebraska Press). He is the author of Gissing, Shakespeare, and the Life of Writing (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming) and George Gissing (Liverpool University Press, forthcoming); and the editor of George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming). Professor Ue is an Honorary Research Associate at University College London and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Twitter/X: @GissingGeorge

Callum McNutt reads English at Cape Breton University. He is a Dean’s List student with distinction and the recipient of the Chancellor’s scholarship. McNutt is interested in contemporary literature, poetry, playing the guitar, and singing in the Cape Breton Chorale.


Naomi Jacobs

Archiving the ephemeral in digital space

This paper will use a speculative approach to consider what possible futures of archiving interactive collaborative storytelling might look like. It will introduce a real example of the challenges of archiving ephemeral multiplatform interactive narrative experiences; the alternate reality game and associated fiction ‘Blow the Man Down’ which emerged in the fandom for Our Flag Means Death. It will then present a speculative scenario of interactive metaverse archiving.


Naomi is Lecturer in Design Policy and Futures Thinking at Lancaster University, researching technology and society, and the nature of digital public spaces. Naomi’s work focuses primarily on interaction; between individuals, communities, disciplines or sectors, and between people and technology and the media they consume. Much of her current research is related to how design research can be used in policymaking, particularly in the context of ensuring new technologies and digital platforms and services are ethical, transparent, trustworthy and respect privacy. This work often uses speculative methods such as design fiction to think about what possible futures might look like.

Twitter/X: @the_ladylark

Rowan Smith

Fanfic! in the Library: What can be learnt from how readers search for fics?

This presentation discusses how fanfiction readers learn and engage with the language of fanfiction – the terms used to describe and search for fics. It will describe the results of a questionnaire and interviews, which explores the relationship fic readers’ have with both fanfiction websites and library catalogues. Finally, it’ll look at whether readers would find it useful if the language of fanfic was incorporated into library catalogues – a question which gathered mixed opinions from participants, who presented much more complex solutions to search-related problems.


Rowan Smith (he/they) is an e-Resources Librarian in the NHS who graduated from the Library & Information Management MA at MMU in 2023. He’s the New Professionals Rep for the CILIP North West Regional Network and runs a monthly Substack (Rats in Stacks) for new professionals in the sector. Outside of libraries, they’re a part-time poet and artist.

Twitter/X: @scatter_bones

Ethan Milne

Fanfiction: When Copyright Violation Benefits Brands

We investigate fanfiction as a potentially copyright-violating phenomenon and show that it can nevertheless benefit brands. Our work first identifies two benefits of fanfiction: 1) reading fanfiction increases purchase intent for brand content, 2) and fanfiction production rates can be used to generate more accurate estimates of next-week TV viewership. Next, we identify two means by which brands can grow their fanfiction communities by waiving copyright protection and through early encouragement of fanfiction authors. We demonstrate these results across three real-world datasets representing billions of words of fanfiction content, and one lab study (N=600).


Ethan Milne is a PhD candidate in Marketing at the Ivey Business School, Western University. Ethan’s research is primarily concerned with quantitative investigation of online communities and with the motivations underlying prosocial and antisocial behavior.

Twitter/X: @SEthanMilne

Zoltan Kacsuk, Xiaoyan Yang, Saskia Dreßler, Federico Pianzola & Martin Roth

Utilizing metadata from heterogeneous sources within the framework of the JVMG and GOLEM projects to identify patterns in anime-based fandoms on AO3

Following in the footsteps of previous large-scale quantitative examinations of fanfiction metadata we explore connecting information on source materials with fanfiction metadata from AO3 and the types of insights that can be drawn by a joint analysis of the two together. More specifically, combining publication data on the source materials from the Japanese Visual Media Graph (JVMG) with the publication date distribution of stories from AO3 with the help of the Graphs and Ontologies for Literary Evolution Models (GOLEM) project we align and examine the interplay between these two release timelines for anime based and related fandoms. Applying this approach to hundreds of franchises/fandoms our goal is to identify potential fandom types based on their publication timeline patterns in relation to the release dates of their respective source materials.

The JVMG project is funded by the German Research Foundation’s e-Research Technologies program, and its project website is:

The GOLEM project is funded by the European Commission’s ERC Starting Grant, and its project website is:


Saskia Dreßler is studying the master program of the Master of Media Research at Stuttgart Media University in her final master’s semester. In her master’s thesis she is conducting research on the heteronormative elements of fan reception of anime and manga fandoms. Otherwise she works in a project position at the Japanese Visual Media Graph (JVMG), where, among other things, she oversees the creation of the JVMG ontology and communicates with different fan communities of Japanese visual media fandoms.

Zoltan Kacsuk holds a doctoral degree in manga studies from Kyoto Seika University. He is a postdoctoral researcher at the Japanese Visual Media Graph project, Institute for Applied Artificial Intelligence, Stuttgart Media University.

Xiaoyan Yang is a PhD candidate in the ERC-funded research project “Graphs and Ontologies for Literary Evolution Models” (GOLEM, 2023-2027) at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. The goal of the GOLEM project is to create accurate models of how the (formal and content-related) cultural traits of fiction spread and combine based on (fan)fiction stories in six different languages (English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, and Indonesian) gathered from various online platforms. Her current research within the GOLEM project focuses on “The Role of Characterization in Literature Quality and Popularity: An Empirical Study on Fanfiction Corpus.” Her research interests are Digital Humanities, Computational Literature, Cultural Evolution, Fan Study, Knowledge Representation, and NLP.

Billy Tringali & Vibu Logendran

From Fan Blogs to Fruits Basket: Documenting the Recommended Resources of Anime Studies

This project seeks to document the contents of anime studies research guides from 25 libraries, with the goal of seeing what specific resources, popular media, and fan media, are listed within these guides and recommended to fans seeking to explore this budding area of scholarship. This project will conclude with the creation of an ‘Anime Studies Research Guide’, published through Indiana University, that will contain all of the most highly recommended resources from these disparate guides.


Billy Tringali is a Faculty Librarian at Indiana University Indianapolis and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies.

Vibu Logendran is a first-year Neuroscience major at Indiana University Indianapolis and an international student from Sri Lanka.

Website: JAMS Website –

Katie Wampole

Does This Count? Creation of Data and Information Resources in the MXTX Fandom

This panel will discuss fan made data creations, as opposed to data collected by platforms and researchers, particularly amongst fans of MXTX’s three web novel franchises: The Scum Villian’s Self-Saving System, The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, and Heaven Official’s Blessing. The aim is to explore these different data types and begin investigating how they help inform subsequent fan works, such as fanfiction and art, as well as their value to new fans as supplemental resources.


Katie Wampole is a Research Data Curation Librarian at Iowa State University. In addition to a Master’s in Library and Information Science, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in English, Spanish, and Anthropology. Her areas of library expertise include data sharing, data documentation, and library assessment. An avid fan and reader of fanfic, some of her current obsessions include SVSSS, Masters of the Air, and Jujutsu Kaisen.

Kimberly Kennedy

Fanbinding, Preservation, and Local Archives: Un-Digitizing Trends and Media Ownership in Fandom Information Practices

Fanbinding is the practice of bookbinding/printing fanworks like fanfiction, with one recurring motivation for the practice being preservation of personal access to beloved fanworks. Fanbinding creates a physical copy of a fanwork, usually posted originally in a digital archive like AO3, that cannot disappear due to takedowns or server failures, thereby establishing the fanbinders’ ownership of that story in their own local archive. This practice of “un-digitizing” extends beyond fandom and parallels broader trends of media ownership and preservation. This presentation will cover some preliminary findings from a short survey of fanbinders on the topics of preservation and media ownership in relation to fanbinding practices.


Kimberly Kennedy currently serves as the Content Access and Discovery Librarian at Stony Brook University. Her research interests include the information practices of fan communities, specifically the organization and archiving of fanworks in physical and online spaces and the practice of fanbinding.

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