by: Kaela Joseph, PhD

On November 5th, 2020, amid a global pandemic, the rumored resignation of controversial president of Russia, Vladamir Putin, and perhaps the most pivotal election in US history, Destiel, the once purely subtextual ship of the human character Dean Winchester and the angel Castiel on the CW series Supernatural, was, somehow, trending on Twitter. I had delayed watching that night’s episode, titled “Despair,” because the aforementioned cluster of global uncertainty was causing, well, a great deal of despair, and I was not ready to add the near ending of my favorite show to the list of things that were causing me existential dread on that particular evening. When my phone started buzzing with “#DestielisCanon,” I reluctantly pulled up the CW app, not really believing it was real, until there it was! The “I love you” heard around the virtual world, a gay love that had pierced the veil of death to save the day, words that gripped tight my little bisexual heart and raised it from perdition- I was elated! …


by: Tanya Cook, PhD

Supernatural wrapped up its historic 15 year run last month, Actors Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester), Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Misha Collins (Castiel), and show creator Eric Kripke, are participating in a virtual event to help fundraise for , an organization founded by Abrams to fight voter suppression. to Secretary of State Brain Kemp who was in charge of voter rolls despite having a massive conflict of interest.

Poster for Supernatural Fights On with Ackles, Padalecki, Abrams and Collins. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/supernaturalf
Poster for Supernatural Fights On with Ackles, Padalecki, Abrams and Collins. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/supernaturalf

This event is the result of a fortuitous convergence of: celebrity and political engagement on Twitter, pandemic-influenced scheduling opportunities, and a national shift in the conversation around anti-black racism and social justice. Knowing Collins’s political leanings and based on our research into how fandoms function like social movements, this pivot was not unexpected for me and my research partner Kaela Joseph (more on that below). In terms of the celebrity engagement on Twitter variable, though, a few weeks ago Eric Kripke (creator and former show-runner of Supernatural) learned of Abrams’s love for the show. …


by: Tanya Cook

**Spoiler Alert: This post discusses Season 2 of The Boys and contains spoilers.**

I admit it. At first, I really liked Season 2 new main character Stormfront. Here was a heroine who spoke truth to corporate power, was social media savvy, had a bad ass haircut, and seemed like she was gonna take Homelander down a notch or two. Like Wee Hugie, the audience’s non-supe stand in who was originally a fan of The Seven, I should have known that things that look too good to be true probably are.

Stormfront telling Starlight: “Fuck this world for confusing nice with good.”
Stormfront telling Starlight: “Fuck this world for confusing nice with good.”
Stormfront telling Starlight: “Fuck this world for confusing nice with good.”

Later in the season, we learn that Stormfront is not the feminist, anti-establishment hero we take her for. She is, in fact, a white supremacist and a literal Nazi. Stormfront (formerly known as Liberty) is actually over 100 years old, was Frederick Vought’s wife, and the first successful supe created with Compound V. …


by: Tanya Cook

Earlier this summer, thousands of k-pop fans, or fans of Korean popular music, stunned the world when they matched popular group . While this is not the first time k-pop fans have stepped up in a dramatic way, by allying themselves with , both BTS and BTS ARMY (BTS fandom) showed they are a political force to be reckoned with. In addition to this astonishing fundraising effort, k-pop fans also took over white supremacy hashtags, flooding twitter with images of their favorite idols and groups. …


Celebrating 25 Years of Xena: Warrior Princess

by: Tanya Cook

On September 4th, 1995, Xena: Warrior Princess (XWP) debuted. Originally a spinoff of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena quickly developed its own passionate fan base. The series followed the adventures of the titular character and her companion, Gabrielle, as Xena struggled to make amends for the sins of her warlord past and work for justice.

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Xena and Gabrielle

XWP is also extremely important for the queer community, specifically in terms of its representation of a same sex relationship between the two leads. Many fans read the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle as romantic, and the show certainly broke ground for lesbian representation and same sex relationships in subsequent shows like Buffy and Wynonna Earp. The show essentially confirmed the pair were soul mates, presenting their relationship as increasingly more intimate as the series went on. …


By: Tanya Cook, Kaela Joseph, and Jamie Puglin

On June 10th, J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved book series Harry Potter, released an opinion essay detailing her reasons for her continued support of biological essentialism with regards to sex. refers to the belief that men and women carry innate gender characteristics of woman-ness and man-ness based on their chromosomes. …


From May 30th-May 31st 2020, thousands of people participated in the second ever at-home GISH mini-hunt. is usually an annual week-long event, created by Supernatural’s Misha Collins, in which teams complete a variety of tasks in order to benefit and other charitable initiatives. Collins and the team at GISH hosted a mini-hunt earlier this year todue to COVID-19. After the success of the first mini at home hunt, GISH scheduled a second mini-hunt, again with the goal to provide meals to children in need, for May 30th-31st. When protests against police brutality erupted nation-wide after the brutal murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis, Collins and company considered cancelling the event. Instead, GISH and Collins made the decision to use the hunt and direct the emotional energy of Gishers (people who participate in GISH) towards explicitly anti-racist activism and social justice. …


As Supernatural wraps up its record-setting 15 year run, we wanted to share our thoughts on the show as both fans and academics. Luckily, Lynn Zubernis offered us the opportunity to write a chapter for her latest edited volume on the legacy of Supernatural. and includes essays by actors and fans on how the show has changed our lives. In this post, we share a brief overview of our chapter and our personal experiences with the show and fandom.

Kaela:

I found Supernatural at a particularly low point in my professional life. I was nearing the end of my graduate training, and despite doing well in my program overall, I was struggling to match to an internship (a necessary step in completing my degree in clinical psychology). It was the first time I really felt like I had “failed” on such a significant scale, causing me to question my future in the field, and all of the hard work I put in up to that point. …


*Big warning here for Endgame Spoilers, friends.*

Released less than two months ago on April 26, 2019, Avengers: Endgame has skyrocketed to second place on the list of the top grossing films. As of the writing of this article, Endgame has earned more than , and is well on the way to displacing . The three-hour plus movie has received glowing reviews from fans and critics alike. The film effectively, if not satisfyingly, concludes the story lines of several Avengers we have come to know and love in the MCU’s first ten years. …


by: Tanya Cook

Like many of you, I was dismayed to read which broke the news that the Trump administration is proposing limiting the definition of gender to sex assigned at birth. If the Department of Health and Human services restricts the legal definition of gender to the binary sex categories we are ascribed at birth, institutions that receive Title IX funding would no longer have to ensure they protect against gender-based discrimination. With a single policy act, we could regress on Obama-era protections for transgender people and the 1.4 …

About

FandomsAsSocMvmts

We (Tanya and Kaela) are two fans and academics who study how fans help and support each other and their communities.

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