A few years ago, when I was teaching a cult cinema course, there was some confusion during the unit on fandom. I lectured about stereotypes of the “fan” that were once predominant in public discourse, pointing out in particular the nerdy misfit obsessed with a film, television show, or other popular culture text—that likely had been denigrated as childish by mainstream taste cultures—to the detriment of her/his social life. I compared this stereotype to more romantic figures of the fan constructed by academic fan studies, ranging from the active, engaged member of a transformative community to the textual poacher reconstructing images from mass culture as counterhegemonic texts. My students had a difficult time, however, differentiating this image of the “fan” from the typical audience member. Today, “geek” culture franchises such as Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Harry Potter have made obsessive, repeat viewers of us all. Moreover,...

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