76. Celebrating Critical Fan Studies w/ Cara Marta Messina

In Episode 76, we talk to Dr. Cara Marta Messina about the academic job market, open-access research and critical fan studies, the parallels between fanfiction and fantasy football, and teaching writing for podcasting.

Dr. Cara Marta Messina is an Assistant Professor of English with a focus on professional writing at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Her research is in fan studies, digital humanities, digital rhetoric, and feminism. In 2019, she won the national Kairos Teaching Award for her work in interdisciplinary critical digital pedagogy. Cara received her Ph.D. in English, focusing on Writing and Rhetoric, from Northeastern University in 2021. Her dissertation, The Critical Fan Toolkit, is an open-access, digital project that traces critical fanfiction writing practices. If you’d like a CFT vinyl sticker, feel free to DM Cara on Twitter @cara_messina or email her at cmessina@jsu.edu

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

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“In my classroom, I try to make it very clear that I have particular politics and that I expect students to follow a particular class environment, practicing inclusivity, no racism, no homophobia, no ableism.” @cara_messina

“I really do believe in open-access, especially when you’re doing research about particular communities.” @cara_messina

“I really believe everyone is a fan of something.” @cara_messina

“In fanfiction you can really do that sort of close reading and that analysis and reimagine those characters, think about justice, think about representation. Who is represented? Whose stories are told? Whose stories are not told?” @cara_messina

“Fanfiction, at least for me, that dissecting, breaking down the different media…and then untangling the politics, that was central to my identity and how I began to see myself and see the world, see how not only how stories are written but how they reflected the world.” @cara_messina

“I try to get a general sense of who [my students] are and what they’re invested in. And then I try to build their interests into what we listen to and then what we talk about.” @cara_messina

“[In my class,] we’ve been talking about the importance of not just the podcast itself but the writing around the podcast.” @cara_messina

This episode was recorded on November 22, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

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