Abby S. Waysdorf, “Fan Sites: Film Tourism and Contemporary Fandom” (U Iowa Press, 2021)

In her new book, Fan Sites: Film Tourism and Contemporary Fandom (U Iowa Press, 2021)(University of Iowa Press, 2021), Abby Waysdorf explores why and how we experience film and television-related places, and what the growth of this practice means for contemporary fandom. Through four case studies—Game of Thrones tourism in Dubrovnik, Croatia and Northern Ireland, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in Orlando, Florida, fandom of The Prisoner in Portmeirion, Wales, and Friends events in the United Kingdom and United States—this book presents a multifaceted look at the ways place and fandom interact today. Fan Sites explores the different relationships that fans build with these places of fandom, from the exploratory knowledge-building of Game of Thrones fans on vacation, the appreciative evaluations of Harry Potter fans at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to the frequent “homecoming” visits of Prisoner fans, who see Portmeirion as a “safe vault” and the home of their fandom. Including engaging accounts of real fans at each location, Fan Sites addresses what the rise of fan tourism and places of fandom might mean for the future of fandom and its relationship with the media industry.

Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.

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