The Pop Culture Lens

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Episode 17: Fan Harassment

November 23rd, 2015

On this seventeenth episode of The Pop Culture Lens, CarrieLynn Reinhard and Christopher Olson present the recording of a roundtable discussion from the 2015 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference. This roundtable discusses the topic of fan harassment, whether it occurs online or in the physical world, such as at fan conventions.

Each discussant brought a different focus to this topic.

  • Katie Wilson (University of Louisville) discusses her research into the harassment of female fans, how it relates to the depictions of female fans in the media, and the presence of harassment of female fans in GamerGate.
  • CarrieLynn Reinhard (Dominican University) discusses her concept of fractured fandom, how it involves breakdowns in communication, and how it can help explain the discourse in GamerGate.
  • Jef Burnham (DePaul University) discusses his experience teaching classes on video games and ethics, and how he has handled the conversations about GamerGate with his students.
  • Kayleigh Grubb (Northern Illinois University) discusses her production of a documentary about harassment in the cosplay community and how harassment manifests for cosplayers at fan conventions and online.

As a roundtable discussion, anyone in the audience of this podcast should feel free to engage in the dialogue about these issues, here and on our other social media accounts. You can also talk with Christopher Olson on Twitter (@chrstphrolson) and at his academic blog And you can talk to CarrieLynn Reinhard on Twitter (@mediaoracle) and at her website