I’ve just finished the first year of my Ph.D. in information studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. I hold a bachelor’s degree in literary studies from the University of Texas at Dallas and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During my MLIS program, I took classes focused on youth services librarianship, youth media, and information behavior. It was in one of these information behavior classes my first semester that I discovered the field of fan studies and the small pocket of the LIS field that engaged with it.
My research interests are related to teens and young adults, fan studies, and youth media. I’m specifically interested in the information behaviors of teenage and young adult fans as well as the fandom experiences of teenagers and young adults, particularly queer and disabled youth.
Research Interest Presentation originally made for INST 888 Spring 2021
As a lifelong fan, I am very passionate about the field of fan studies. I discovered my first fansite–and subsequently fanfiction–at the age of 10 and have been hooked ever since. My experiences in fandom, particularly my experiences as a young, queer, disabled person in fandom, as well as the experiences of many of my friends in fandom have shaped my research interests and goals. I believe that fandom can offer a safe space for identity exploration, formation, and affirmation, especially for queer teens and young adults who may not feel comfortable or safe exploring those identities offline or in other communities. Fandom can also serve as a social outlet and support network for disabled and neurodivergent youth. Down the line, I would like to focus on these specific populations and thoroughly examine their fandom experiences in regards to identity, community, and self-expression.
Some Favorite Quotes
“A children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story.”
“Fan fiction is a way of the culture repairing the damage done in a system where contemporary myths are owned by corporations instead of by the folk.”
“A library is infinity under a roof.”
Gail Carson Levine