OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Agnese Pietrobon

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

Agnese Pietrobon is an independent scholar in fandom studies with a master’s degree in social psychology and psychology of communication. She is currently president of the cultural association fanheart3, dedicated to fans and fan culture. Today, Agnese talks about her work for fanheart3, Italy’s first fanfiction convention, and her fannish history.

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I discovered fandom before I knew what the word fandom meant! When we were kids, me and my friends used to reenact scenes from movies and shows. We loved to try and give them different endings: Star Wars, movies with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill… Then, in high school, my best friend and I used to share a journal where we wrote self-insert stories where our fictional selves met Backstreet Boys (embarrassingly normal for adolescents) and Kevin Spacey (embarrassingly not normal at 15 years old).

It wasn’t until years later that I realized those were fanfictions (and NC-17 rated, too). In my defense, the Internet was still something very, very new at the time, and living in a small town in Italy did not give me access to fanzines or similar media. So being a fan for me mostly meant these things, and collecting pics from magazines, or watching and re-watching VHS while analyzing every expression my favorite characters wore, while sharing all of this with the people I had around.

It was only when I started reading the Harry Potter books, though, that I finally gave a name to the things I was doing: I joined a blog dedicated to this fandom where I could chat to no end with other people about our favorite ships and about my absolute conviction that Snape was Harry’s father. Only 4 books had been published at the time, so we spent a lot of time discussing theories and ideas.

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This Week in Fandom by Katek

This Week in Fandom, Volume 80

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, a quick PSA: Recently, a lot of fans have been concerned about US legislation known as SESTA/FOSTA and the effect it might have on fanworks. The OTW Legal committee is currently working on a news post to explain the legislation and what it means for fans and for the Archive of Our Own. This post should be available later this week on AO3 News and the OTW’s main website.


Some sad news this week about the passing of Isao Takahata, co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Comicbook has published an article stating that Takahata died at the age of 82: “Plagued with a heart condition, Takahata’s health began to wane last summer, and he passed away with his loved ones by his side not long ago.” The article also includes several tributes to Takahata from Twitter users. (more…)

This Week in Fandom banner by Alix Ayoub

This Week in Fandom, Volume 78

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Apologies for our mini hiatus. We’re back now, and
we’re ready to rock and roll. But before we start, happy 87th birthday to William Shatner! To celebrate, fans on Twitter had some fun with the #AddShatnerToAnything hashtag. Which is your favourite?


A bit of sad news recently. Author and life-long fan Karen Anderson has passed away. As Locus Magazine reports, she was 85 years old, and she published numerous science fiction works both on her own and co-authored with her husband, Poul Anderson. She helped coin the term filk, and she was inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame in 2003.

Why not take a minute and add something to Karen’s Fanlore page to honour her memory? (more…)