I (seem to) do this recap of the year’s milestones every year, and since I don’t anticipate any more happening for the remainder of the year (other than my son turning 10 OMG TEN in exactly one week), this seems as good a time as any to do the thing.
- my video essay, hannibal: a fanvid, was published at the online journal [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies. I’m stupidly proud of this, both for having come together as I wanted it to (both the video and the accompanying statement) and because it seemed to have a mostly favorable reception.
- speaking of video essays, Leslie Cheung: Blamefully Beautiful was featured on VCinema in the lead-up to the 2017 DC Chinese Film Festival
- had two book chapters come out this year: one I co-authored with Bertha Chin, entitled “Reimagining the Imagined Community: Online Media Fandoms in the Age of Global Convergence,” for the second edition of the anthology, Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, and the other, “Transnational Media Fan Studies,” in The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom.
- my short piece, “Sherlock (Holmes) in Japanese (Fan) Works,” was also published in Transformative Works and Cultures; it came out, I think, a bit better than I originally expected it to.
- and I was a contributor to a Cinema Journal roundtable, “Videographic Criticism, Vidding, and Remix,” which was especially gratifying for being in such good company.
- was the respondent for a terrific panel on queer Chinese fandoms at SCMS (the presenters have since published Boys’ Love, Cosplay, and Androgynous Idols: Queer Fan Cultures in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan)
- also got to travel to the UK to present a paper on Hannibal and affective economy at the Fan Studies Network Conference 2017 (and popped up to Edinburgh for a quick overnighter as well!)
- appeared on the Three Patch Problem podcast to talk about queerbaiting, which was a lot of fun
- began helping with the coordination of a North American Fan Studies Network Conference, which will be held next October in Chicago
- continued to do online presence stuff for both FSNNA and the SCMS Fan and Audience Studies Special Interest Group
- started teaching an online course called Fan Studies for Fans, which I’m currently running behind on, but which has been blessed with all kinds of wonderful support and enthusiasm
- this one kind of bridges professional and personal, but I was able to participate in a panel discussion on Hannibal and creativity put together by media critic Matt Zoller Seitz for his inaugural television festival, Split Screens. Not only did I make a few new friends there, but I got to present (SIT, I got to SIT) with Janice Poon, the food designer for Hannibal, and Raúl Esparza, who played Chilton in the series, and it was AMAZING and so much fun OMG.
- well, the above thing was also intensely personal, as you might imagine (Raúl hugged me afterwards omg), as was seeing Janice again at the first, and very fantastic, FannibalFest fan convention
- also intensely personal and AMAZING was meeting Hugh Dancy, which I miraculously survived, who was utterly lovely and charming and ugh so pretty
- and also meeting Martha De Laurentiis, the producer of Hannibal, and especially hearing her talk about the business of producing the show
- and, the icing on top of a huge Hannibal cake of happiness, meeting Bryan Fuller, both in a photo op
and during a meet and greet, which was, as you might guess, AMAZING
- I mean, let’s be honest – everyone I met this year associated with Hannibal – both on the production side AND the fandom side – were wonderful, and I cannot wait to get together with my fandom friends again!!
- so yeah, it was a Very Hannibal Year, which helped to mitigate some of the awfulness happening all around.
- gave up, for the last time I think, looking for a job in academia. The ads are always a temptation, but having done some cold calculations of my employability and coming up short in a few places, I’ve pretty much decided it ain’t gonna happen and I don’t want to waste my time and, especially, energy on it anymore.
- I’m also only barely looking for work otherwise, partly because I’m increasingly interested in seeing what I can do as a researcher/scholar outside the confines of institutional academia. I have a handful of projects on the back burner that I hope to get going on in 2018, and right now they’re enough.
- my social life has dwindled down to almost nothing, but I’ve been fortunate to have a small group of friends within driving distance and their faces and conversation have helped to keep me from going total recluse.
The nice thing about doing posts like this is that they remind me that, my feelings of failure notwithstanding, I do actually do stuff during the year. It can be hard to remember when I’m sitting alone in my windowless office, staring at a blank screen and wondering what the hell I’m doing with my life.