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Mel Stanfill


Assistant Professor

Texts and Technology and Digital Media

University of Central Florida


Recent Publications


“The Interface as Discourse: The Production of Norms through Web Design.” New Media & Society 17 (7): 1059-1074. doi:10.1177/1461444814520873.

“Spinning Yarn with Borrowed Cotton.” In Media Res

“Spinning Yarn with Borrowed Cotton: Lessons for Fandom from Sampling.” Cinema Journal 54 (3) pp. 131-37. doi: 10.1353/cj.2015.0021.


“Fandom and/as Labor,” special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures 15. doi:10.3983/twc.2014.0593. With Megan Condis.


“‘They’re Losers, but I Know Better’: Intra-Fandom Stereotyping and the Normalization of the Fan Subject.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 30 (2): 117-134 doi:10.1080/15295036.2012.755053.


Research  and Teaching Interests

  • Media studies
  • Critical media industry studies
  • Queer theory
  • Digital media
  • Critical race and gender studies
  • Fan studies


About Me

My research examines the intersection of U.S. media industries and popular uses and understandings of media in the digital era. My book project uses the changing relationship between media companies and their fans in the Internet era as a lens on contemporary norms of media use. I argue that as activities formerly the province of fans have become “normal” for all consumers, correspondingly a normative idea of fandom has emerged in the mainstream that traces out proper and improper modes of being a fan. I study this process with respect to both speculative media fans and sports fans through representations of fans, the design of official websites for media properties (television shows, sports franchises, etc.), and interviews with industry practitioners who produce content for fans. My key concerns include the ways fandom is articulated to industry through heteronormativity, whiteness, intellectual property law, consumption, and labor.