To boldly critique : participatory fan practices in the online video essay




Coughlin, Tara Marie

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This thesis argues how the video essay’s analytical properties prompt alternative ways for fans to engage with participatory practices. To support this argument my work provides a historical overview of the video essay’s generic evolution and how the utilization of participatory practices, as seen through transformational works, are exhibited in the video essay. This is supported through two case studies of fan-made video essays which exemplify both the traditional scholarly aspects and the transformational aspects of the genre respectively. This is followed by a qualitative analysis of two in-depth interviews with YouTubers whose works exemplify how video essays are used to produce transformative understandings of specific fan texts through the combination of participatory practices and a video essay framework. The goal of this research is to explore how the use of the video essay by fans prompts new ways of understanding the video essay and its functions within the fields of digital media, criticism, and fan studies.


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