There are many panels in the AIDS quilt memorializing Howard Ashman. One commonality between the panels is the iconography of very popular Disney animated movies. To millennials and younger, these movies are a part of childhood and have become an important thing to them even as they grow up. The purpose of this research is to see how the Disney fandom that really started to grow with the movies that Howard Ashman was involved in connected to the AIDS epidemic. This is seen by looking at fandom, specifically Disney fandom, and by looking to see how Disney influenced and was influenced by the gay community.
Gray, Jonathan, et al., editors. Fandom: identities and communities in a mediated world. 2nd ed., New York University Press, 2017.
The introduction of this book was edited by Jonathon Gray, a professor of Media and Cultural Studies , Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington and the editors assert that fan studies is important and that it should be done with full analysis and not just a cursory look. One of the essays in the book is based on a survey of Kate Bush fans after she asked for devices to not be used to have a more intimate concert but it does not say where the survey is from in the parts that can be seen of the book. The author’s purpose is to prove that fan studies are an important field that should have continued research. The audience for the book is those who are in media studies, specifically fan studies. Others that would find this work useful would be people who want to go into media that is mainly focused on fandoms like Youtube theory channels.
This book connects to my panels because of the sense of a fandom with my panels. I believe that there are so many panels for Howard Ashman because there are so many fans of his work. One of the events described in the book is San Diego Comic Con which is a place where many people express their love for the fandoms they are in, including the movies that Howard Ashman worked on. Events like San Diego Comic Con allow for fans to show their love for their fandoms while not having to worry about be looked down upon.
Mudrick, Michael, et al. “The Influence of Social Media on Fan Reactionary Behaviors.” Telematics and Informatics, vol. 33, 01 Nov. 2016, pp. 896-903. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.tele.2016.01.005.
In this article Michael Mudrick, Department of Recreation and Sports Management, Michael Miller, Department of Communication, and David Atkin, Department of Communication, assert that social identity theory can be used to have a complete understanding of sport-related posting on social media. The main evidence used is a survey of 630 fans that were asked about their sports-related posting. The purpose of this source is to show how social media is being used by sports fans so that they can stay active in their sports consumption and that others can find a way to be active in looking at sports while staying responsible. The audience are those running sports teams. This source would be useful for owners of sports teams to understand their fans, which would help them to structure ticket sales for games and what kind of special events to do to raise more revenue.
I believe that the article is useful for seeing how social media works with teams. Often movie fandoms are like rooting for sports teams. Many people have a few teams that they pay attention to just like most people pay attention to a few movie franchises. Both groups will get into heated debates about their teams. Teams in fandoms can be either broad like a franchise or as small as a specific ship. From personal experience, I have seen more heated debates about a ship being better or whether something should be canon or not versus debates about what sports team is better or who teams should be getting for the next season. Fandoms are usually less tied to a specific geographical location than sports teams and their fans.
Murdock, Chelsea J.1. “Making Fanfic: The (Academic) Tensions of Fan Fiction as Self-Publication.” Community Literacy Journal, vol. 12, no. 1, Fall2017, pp. 48-61. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1353/clj.2017.0025.
Chelsea Murdock, a writer of fanfiction and a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, asserts that fan fiction is a kind of self-publishing work that should be treated more like “real work”. The author uses her own personal experiences of how she saw fanfiction writing and the caution that she used when around her academic colleagues and when trying to get a job. The author wants fan fiction writing to be treated more like other types of writing and to encourage it to be taught more to help inspire other writers. The audience is those who are teaching writing in colleges along with others who work in the writing part of academia. This article could be useful for those who teach introductory writing courses as they might take this into account when trying to get students more engaged in writing.
This article ties together with my panels because of the amount of fan fiction written about the characters seen on the panels. There are many fan fictions that retell the stories of the movies and often use the songs that Howard Ashman wrote even when using a different version of the fairytale. In fact, many fan fictions on fairytales are based on Disney’s version, showing that the fandom has a strong connection to the stories, using them more often than the originals.
Plante, Courtney N., et al. “‘One of Us’: Engagement with Fandoms and Global Citizenship Identification.” Psychology of Popular Media Culture, vol. 3, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 49-64. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/ppm0000008.
Courtney Plante, Department of Psychology, Sharon Roberts, Social Development Studies, Stephen Reysen, Department of Psychology, and Kathleen Gerbasi, Department of Psychology assert that people who are in fandoms the value global citizenship are more likely to self-identify as global citizens. The article uses two studies that used surveys that looked at fandoms and how the fandoms affected whether or not someone would consider themselves a global citizen. The authors want to show that those who participate in fandoms are not all self-centered and that some can even help to change the world through giving. The audience is psychologists who look at media culture. Others that might find this source useful are nonprofits who want to get more donations or volunteers with the help of those in fandoms like the 501st legion that has helped many people, especially hospitalized children.
I think the article is connected to the panels due to the global reach of Howard Ashman’s songs. His music is popular enough in Asia that a whole ride is being built in Tokyo Disneyland that is focused heavily on guests traveling through the story of Beauty and the Beast with the help of the popular songs. Many of his lyrics hold true throughout the whole world and can help bring people together with their love for the music he wrote. His lyrics have also helped to inspire people to do better things like not judging a book by its cover and to see the good in their world while still seeing things that should change.
Larsen, Katherine and Lynn Zubernis. Fan Culture: Theory/Practice. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012. EBSCOhost
Katherine Larsen, editor of the Journal of Fandom Studies, and Lynn Zubernis, a psychologist, assert that fan studies is changing as there is more access to producers of fan material from both the fan side and the academic side. The book is a collection of different essays about fan studies using those authors’ first-hand experience as well as many outside sources. The authors’ purpose is to show that fan studies should really be looking at what the fans are doing instead of just making theories. The audience is psychologists and fan study groups. Others that would find this book useful are heads of franchises to see how fan groups work so that they can try to appeal to them in a way that works more effectively.
This book can be useful in learning more about fan cultures work. Howard Ashman helped to create important parts of movies that have large fan cultures. This book can be helpful in trying to analyze how the fan cultures could have sprung up and how they act now.
Griffin, Sean. Tinker Belles and Evil Queens: The Walt Disney Company from the inside out. NYU Press, 2000.
Sean Griffin, a gay man who lived through the Disney Renaissance, asserts that Disney is helping people define their identities and understand their sexuality. The author uses his own personal experience as well as many different sources ranging from Disney history books to gay culture with respect to capitalism. The author wants for there to be a discussion not only about the connections between Disney and gay culture but also about why Disney is adding more inclusiveness, whether it be to tap into a market or if there is a gay agenda. The audience is lgbt+ groups as well as those who think that Disney is trying to push a gay agenda. This work can be used by those in the Disney fans in the gay community to show that it might not just be in their heads when seeing characters in lgbt way.
The book is about finding the relationship between Disney and gay culture. Gay culture was very affected by the AIDS epidemic, so by finding how Disney is connected to gay culture, one may be able to find a connection to the AIDS epidemic. The book even says that many AIDS quilt panels have Disney Iconography and/or lyrics (so there might be more panels besides Howard Ashman’s ten). The Little Mermaid is a good example, as the film can be analyzed to see a gay storyline. The Little Mermaid was the first movie in Disney’s Renaissance era which was the era that saw the resurgence of a fan culture after a company-wide decline due to Walt Disney’s death. There is also the unofficial “Gay Days” events at Disneyland and Disney World.
Franklin, Megan Ashley. “Following the Mouse: a Historical and Cultural Analysis of the Disney Fan Community.”
Megan Ashley Franklin, a student majoring in sociology, discusses the uniqueness of the Disney fandom. The author used interviews, participant observation, and analysis of Disney fan forums to inform her discussion. The author wants to explain Disney fandom, including what makes it unique and how fans connect with each other. The audience of this thesis is sociology professors. This thesis could be used by groups that do fandom study to see how Disney fandom compares to the more common fandoms studied.
This thesis is useful because one of the things that I am looking at is how the Disney fandom changed during the height of the AIDS epidemic. By looking at both histories, it may be possible to tell if either influenced each other or if they were both influenced by a specific event. The thesis briefly mentions “Gay Days” as a large scale fan event. One of the specific collecter’s items described in the thesis is pins, of which there are many sporting at least one of the characters featured on Ashman’s panels.
Wohlwend, Karen E. “Are You Guys “Girls”?”: Boys, Identity Texts, and Disney Princess Play.” Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, vol. 12, no. 1, 01 Mar. 2012
Karen Wohlwend, who previously wrote ‘Damsels in Discourse: Girls Consuming and Producing Gendered Identity Texts through Disney Princess Play’, asserts that children playing with Disney princess dolls can both reinforce and challenge traditional gender roles. The author interviewed teachers and observed play activity in eight classrooms. The purpose of the journal is to show the impacts of play of young children on normal gender roles. The audience is educators that work with young kids. Kindergarten teachers would find this source useful in seeing more about how to structure play to allow for breaking of stereotypes.
Disney fandom is introduced to children at a young age normally using the Disney princess movies. Depending on how the children are raised with gender roles, they will either latch on or be turned off. The boys that are seen wanting to be more like the Disney princesses are the ones more likely to be called gay, still used as an insult, and a longer-term study of children like those described in the journal could help to track whether or not Disney fandom had any influence on how people connect to the gay community.
Chyng Feng Sun, Karin and Erica Scharrer. “Staying True to Disney: College Students’ Resistance to Criticism of the Little Mermaid.” Communication Review, vol. 7, no. 1, Mar. 2004, pp. 35-55.
Karin Chyng Feng Sun, a master teacher, and Erica Scharrer, assistant professor in communications, assert that Disney has a fandom that loves the movies too much to criticise them, specifically The Little Mermaid. The study is focused on a class where the movie was being compared to Hans Christian Anderson’s story and features student comments from assignments. The purpose of the article is to show that it is hard to get fans of The Little Mermaid, and stories like it, to change their minds even after major analysis and comparisons to the original work, showing the challenge of challenging someone’s views on something that they have grown up loving. The audience is people who study communication. This article could be used by teachers in communication classes to show how hard it could be to change someone’s mind.
The Little Mermaid is featured on two of the three panels that I have been focusing on. It was the first movie of the Disney Renaissance and I think through more research I will be able to show a rejuvenation in Disney fandom due to the movie. This article shows that there is a strong fandom for at least The Little Mermaid. It is also said that Hans Christian Anderson might have been writing the Little Mermaid to express his connection to the lgbt community back in the day.
Kapurch, Katie. “Rapunzel Loves Merida: Melodramatic Expressions of Lesbian Girlhood and Teen Romance in Tangled, Brave, and Femslash.” Journal of Lesbian Studies, vol. 19, no. 4, Oct-Dec2015, pp. 436-453.
Katie Kapurch, an assistant professor of English, asserts that Merida and Rapunzel are used to strong female characters while also being helpful in letting teenage girls express feelings for each other. The author uses a Tumblr all about the ship as well as sources about teenage girls on the internet. The purpose of the article is to articulate more about of how these characters are empowering teenage girls of all type but specifically lesbians. The audience is those who study lesbian culture and literature. This article could be useful psychologists and therapists to learn more about signs that a girl might be a lesbian depending on the kind of ships that they like.
This article is useful in that it ties a part of recent fandom to the lesbian culture which is not studied as heavily. Women are affected by AIDS but have historically not been studied as much as men. This article is a closer tie to gay culture than some of the other sources on this list.