Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Further Details:

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment essay  5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be expected to be familiar with ethnographic research on television fandom through surveys, interviews, observational methodologies as well as textual analysis.


This module demonstrates the diversity of television culture from the fan perspective, with particular focus on a problematising of the notion of the passive spectator. Traditional television scholarship presupposes that television viewing is a passive activity, where spectators are seen as non-critical receivers of the broadcast texts; ethnography, on the other hand, sees television fandom as a much more active pastime, wherein television audiences critically engage with the texts, and recreate their own textual meanings. As a consideration of fandom and the literature associated with this popular culture phenomenon, this module will also introduce students to ethnographic research methodologies.


Seminar topics include the television audience, ethnographic methodologies, active and passive spectatorship, official fan culture, internet fan resources, fan creativity, and the role of fan-based studies within cultural studies.

Reading List

Essential Reading
Bacon-Smith (1992) Enterprising Women University of Pennsylvania Press Primo search Hills, Matthew (2002) Fan Cultures London: Routledge Primo search Jenkins (1992) Textual Poachers Routledge Primo search Kaveney, Roz (ed0 (2002) Reading the Vampire Slayer London: Tauris Parke Primo search Koven, Mikel J 'Have I got a monster for you: Some Thoughts on the Golem, The X-Files and the Jewish Horror Movie'. Folklore 111.2 (2000) Primo search Lavery, David (ed) (2002) This Thing of Ours: Investigating the Sopranos London: Wallflower Primo search Nightingale, Virginia 'What's 'ethnographic' about ethnographic audience research?' Australian Journal of Communication 16 (December 1989): 50 -53 Primo search Taylor, Helen (1989) Scarlett's Women: Gone With the Wind and its Female Fans London: Virago Primo search Tulloch and Jenkins (1995) Science Fiction Audiences Routledge Primo search Wilcox, Rhonda and David Lavery (eds) (2002) Fighting the Forces Oxford: Rowman&Littlefield Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7