Module Identifier TFM0520  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mikel Koven  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Other   14 contact hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment essay 5,000 words  100%
Further details For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at  

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 Lists

** Essential Reading
Bacon-Smith (1992) Enterprising Women University of Pennsylvania Press
Jenkins (1992) Textual Poachers Routledge
Tulloch and Jenkins (1995) Science Fiction Audiences Routledge
Kaveney, Roz (ed0 (2002) Reading the Vampire Slayer London: Tauris Parke
Taylor, Helen (1989) Scarlett's Women: Gone With the Wind and its Female Fans London: Virago
Wilcox, Rhonda and David Lavery (eds) (2002) Fighting the Forces Oxford: Rowman&Littlefield
Hills, Matthew (2002) Fan Cultures London: Routledge
Lavery, David (ed) (2002) This Thing of Ours: Investigating the Sopranos London: Wallflower
Nightingale, Virginia 'What's 'ethnographic' about ethnographic audience research?' Australian Journal of Communication 16 (December 1989): 50 -53
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)


This module is at CQFW Level 7