robin_anne_reid: (Lilacs)
This post is very different than the other posts in this journal, but I want to spread this news as widely as I can.

Last July, one of the students whose doctoral dissertation I directed (and who had lined up a university position) was shot by her ex-husband. She had three children, and worked fulltime at a high school and community college to support her family while she completed her doctorate.

I've worked on my campus to set up a memorial endowment fund in her name, to provide support for single mothers doing graduate work in our department in the future.

If you are interested in her story and might consider donating, information is behind the cut.

Dr. Stella Ray Memorial Endowment )
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I haven't posted in a while--our house flooded in April, and the summer was made even busier by dealing with ALL the stuff (new flooring installed in July!). But I've not stopped working on my projects relating to fandom, imbroglios, and digital methodologies.

Some background on ALL the stuff )

the failed NEH grant )

the successful internal grant that we hope to build on in future )
robin_anne_reid: (Default)
In connection with discussion over at Nicola Griffith's blog, I'm posting a bibliography of recent scholarship on women and sf!  (Link to her blog:

It's long, which is why it's posted here (blogs *sniff* such short comment length limits!), and behind a cut!

robin_anne_reid: (Lilacs)
Nicola Griffith links to poll in UK in which, no surprise, most of the 'favorite' sf authors listed were men.

She's wanting to work on addressing this bias:

To begin with, we need numbers: ratios of women/men being published as sf in UK, US, Canada, India, New Zealand, Australia, and other English-speaking territories. Ratios of historical publication of same. Reviews of same. Of book format. Of cover design. Of sales. Of awards. And so on. Anyone got any of that to hand? Anyone got a platform through which they can put out a call for same?

ETA: Some links I contributed to the discussion:

This article and the stats are not specific to sff.

It may or may not be useful to remember that the NYT has a separate section for reviewing sff (and other genre fiction), and also started a separate best sellers list when Rowling's work dominated it (children's best selling as compared to "adult" literature?), there are genre biasses build into the reviewing system.

Jed Hartman
Still more on gender bias in sf
(Strange Horizons)

He credits Sue Linville's 2002 article on gender bias in sf!

Sue Linville Strange Horizons

SF and Fantasy in the New Millennium: Women Publishing Short Fiction
By Susan U. Linville

20 August 2007

Here's an intriguing site I found that I'll have to spend some more time exploring:

Gender Bias Learning Project

It's for academia--but I wonder if some could be applied to this effort!

Let's not forget the work done by feminists all along:

Laura Quilter's Feminist SF

Broad Universe
robin_anne_reid: (Default)
My special session proposal for Digital Humanities was accepted by the MLA for presentation at their 2012 conference, in Seattle! I am in shock.

proposal behind the cut )
robin_anne_reid: (Default)
I have mentioned stylistics as a methodology before in this journal, in relation to the work I'm doing on Racefail 09 and the discourses surround it, but I first learned stylistics in literature courses since it's a method that a few people have been arguing should be used in literary studies, especially since people tend to talk about "good" and "bad" writing (styles) without training or consistent criteria. (Long history here of how 'lit and language' wars in which Tolkien participated ended up with linguistics going into its own discipline and (English) literature its own with a major focus on literary texts from Shakespeare on (i.e. English majors are not required to learn Old and Middle English, as Tolkien would have required!).  (I'm not saying that's bad, but it's good to keep the history in mind--I'm also not sure how other national literatures are taught in the university systems, but that's a topic for another day).

Anyhow, I've been doing stylistics work on Tolkien's LOTR for a while, and now am starting to branch out to the Silmarillion, in a presentation I'm giving at Kalamazoo (gulp) a couple of weeks from now.  I figure I can post some of the stylistics analysis I'm doing as a sample of how the method looks in action.

My main sources for this work:  the single best argument/rationale for stylistics was made years ago by Roger Fowler in Linguistics Criticism

The nuts and bolts of the linguistic work I use is M. A. K. Halliday's Introduction to Functional

Here's a Functional Grammar website:

Stylistics is basically application of linguistic methodology to written texts (originally focusing on literature, but it's since expanded to include any type of written text).

I have published before on the "grammar" of Middle-earth--how Tolkien's writing gives Middle-earth what I call an animistic agency in LOTR.

So now I'm pulling some excerpts from The Silmarillion to do a stylistic analysis of them. 

My first surprise was how hard it is to find descriptions of the world/lands in this work, but I guess I shouldn't have been (long descriptions of the natural world are not a conventional feature of myth, even myths about the creation of the world!). I found a few passages to work with (given behind the cut).

As with my earlier stylistic work, this project is an exploration, a pilot project, not meant to be comprehensive (in order to develop a more comprehensive analysis, I'll have to work with larger amounts of text); however, this sort of exploratory attempt can show what approaches might be useful to use in developing a fuller analysis.

What's behind the cut are the excerpts in a format that shows clause structure (the clause is the main unit of either written or spoken English--the written form uses sentences (marked with capital letter and full stop), but sentences can include anything from a single word to multiple clauses, so Halliday's work focuses on the clause).  

A CLAUSE consists of one more more GROUPS; a GROUP consists of one or more WORDS; a WORD consists of one or more MORPHEMES.

It's possible to link ("bind") multiple clauses--that's called a CLAUSE COMPLEX. 

It's possible to do linguistic analysis at every rank level noted above in either written or spoken language utterances (and spoken forms can be in either audio format or transcriptions).  My  new colleague does sound and intonation, for example. 

The first level of functional grammatical analysis of a written text is to identify the clause patterns. Then you can analyze the metafunctions and structures.

So here's the clause breakdown (independent clauses are numbered with 1, 2, and 3; dependent clauses with i) ii) iii).

The words in [square brackets] are ones that are in the deep structure of the clause but not written in the surface text (but which the reader supplies to create meaning]. A stylistic analysis 'counts' those elements as well.



robin_anne_reid: (Default)

Back in 2003-2004 when I first started doing fan studies scholarship, I began to work with written texts, fan fictions, not so much from a traditional literary analytical viewpoint.

One of the early projects was exploring the issue of fans who loved reading dark/torture/grim fics (as one person said, hurt but no comfort!). 

I was working in LOTR fandom at the time, and while my analysis of two fics (one of which wasn't actually totally dark because there was redemption in the next novel) finally did get published, the work I did on what readers of darkfics enjoyed reading/viewing outside fandom had to be cut (I do have a bad habit of shoving everything including the kitchen sink into an essay though I'm getting better at focusing).

That publication wasn't until 2009:  "Thrusts in the Dark: Slashers' Queer Practices." Extrapolation. Volume 50, Number 3. Fall 2009. 463-483.

But I had a lot of stuff I had to cut about genre preferences, and in the context of some current discussions (do women read epic fantasy, shock), I thought it might be interesting to post the cut stuff.  Someday, if I can get together with a statistician and a reception theorists, it might be fun to do a real survey (the N on this one is so low it's meaningless in any statistical sense--but it did show some interesting hints that could be developed in a much larger survey that would move beyond a limited self-selected audience).

The shocker to me in the research then was that I could find very little research on the genre preferences of adult readers/viewers (I know from ongoing discussions that while everybody believes only guys read sf back in ye olden days and sometimes today, that there's little actual proof of it--the sf mags did surveys of subscribers, but of course my father subscribed to the mags and I read them, so those surveys are fairly useless in any meaningful sense either).  Maybe there's more stuff out there--I'd assume publishers did marketing surveys?  But I searched the business academic databases and couldn't find anything. 

Here is the one article I found that I could use:  "Favorite Films and Film Genres as a Function of Race, Age and Gender."  Stuart Fischoff, Joe Antonio, Diane Lewis.  Journal of Media Psychology.  3.1 (Winter 1998).

And here are the links to the posts on DW that include my brief discussion, the data, and my survey (based on Fischoff).

Sorry, most were too big to crosspost to LJ!  And the tables look crummy--but I'm in a bit of a rush to just slapped them in.  If you'd like doc files, drop me an email at Robin_Reid AT





Appendix A


Appendix B


Works Cited

robin_anne_reid: (Default)
While I do not usually post drafts of my scholarly papers unlocked online because of "previous publication" issues that journals have as policies (if draft is substantially the same, they don't publish if it's been on the internet in most cases I know about), this draft is such an early version of a pilot project that will be massively revised as I develop the work as part of the Racefail Corpus Project that I decided to go ahead and post it as is, with the handout (linked from this post) in my academic journal.

This pilot project is part of a larger project, now tentatively titled: Mapping Racial Constructions and Identities on the Internet: Creating a Corpus and Computer Tools for Storing and Analyzing Texts for Humanities Research.

Note: Commenting open to all, anonymous will be screened and IP tracking is still on.

abstract for larger project )

IRB Review )

Working Draft of Pilot Project on Fail_FandomAnon )
robin_anne_reid: (Default)
Copy of presentation on the first post.

NOTE: I'm doing the analysis of the first post by hand; this project may eventually (grant agencies willing) become part of a larger project in digital humanities. I'm working with a computer scientist and two linguists to develop a conceptual search engine and other programs that can be used to parse and tag text electronically.

Table One: Alphabetical List of TOpics )
robin_anne_reid: (Default)  Copy of presentation on the first post</a>.

NOTE: I'm doing the analysis of the first post by hand; this project may eventually (grant agencies willing) become part of a larger project in digital humanities. I'm working with a computer scientist and two linguists to develop a conceptual search engine and other programs that can be used to parse and tag text electronically.

Table 2  Table 1  Table 3

Note:  Commenting open to all, anonymous will be screened and IP tracking is still on.

robin_anne_reid: (Default)
Working draft

Copy of presentation on the first post.

NOTE: I'm doing the analysis of the first post by hand; this project may eventually (grant agencies willing) become part of a larger project in digital humanities. I'm working with a computer scientist and two linguists to develop a conceptual search engine and other programs that can be used to parse and tag text electronically.

Table Three: Total Number of Comments on TOPIC )

Table Two: TOpics

Table Three: Comments

Note: Commenting open to all, anonymous will be screened and IP tracking is still on.
robin_anne_reid: (Default)
There has been major growth in fan studies (and even more in internet studies--a much larger field of study) in the last few years. It's been a while since I did searches, so I've been doing some, and here are the results.

Caveat #1: I haven't read all these. I won't read them all. I will find some that look relevant to my areas of interest and read them.

Caveat #2: Mostly peer-reviewed scholarship. Just as "art" does not mean "good" or "literature," "ditto," the same is true here.

Part I: Overview of Peer-Reviewed scholarship on Fan Studies

March 6, 2011 search in Academic Search Review.

Part II: Overview of Peer-Reviewed Scholarship on Fan Studies.

Mostly MLA, mostly focusing on fan fiction and the vidding scholarship small as it currently is.

Part III: Overview of Peer-Reviewed Scholarship on Related Topics

Social sciences databases, Internet Communities and Participatory Culture.

Note: these are not cross-posted on my LJ version since the documents are Too. Big.
robin_anne_reid: (Default)
Mostly MLA, mostly focussing on fan fictions and vidding

robin_anne_reid: (Default)
Working on a pilot study on fail_fandomanon for a conference next month.

Have copied/pasted all text from the first entry (July 4) in fail_fandomon into a file, stripping out the LJ formatting and some command text (Link Reply), etc. I worked from the view=flat mode, and the final document in Word is 701 pages long, over 260,000 words.

My next step will be making a text file and working through it with the aid of a marking tool (xml): alas, the tool does not do actual marking! (That's one thing we hope to work with the computer science people on the Digital Humanities grant--i.e. can a program work through a text and mark certain elements!).

If anyone would like a copy of the text file (or the .doc file, though it will be HUGE), drop me a message at Robin_Reid @

This is the corpus tool I'm using;

Here's the abstract for the presentation.

Public/Private/Local/Global: Rhetorics of Social Justice Debates in Anonymous Fan Memes Online )

And here are the categories I'll be inputting into the UAM Corpus marking program (it's an xml marking program, works on binary structure). These categories are not complete--it's just the start after some read-throughs of the text.

UAM lets me set up the categories for marking: I'll be doing a rhetorical version of a linguistics Parse Tree. (The grant we're working on will include both functional grammar and stylistics and rhetorical approaches!). In this case, rather than the syntax of the clauses, I'm marking basic rhetorical purposes of each response as a whole.

The capital letters indicate one marking category; the terms underneath will be options for marking. The method generates quantitative methodology--I'll eventually have a basic list of SUBJECT headers for main thread topics, and also information on rhetorical patterns.

These categories are *incomplete* and will be developed not only over the next few weeks as I work through the text, but in future work in the linguistics lab (this sort of analysis needs others to give feedback on categories and how they're applied!).

categories for tree diagrams )


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