Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2014

Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Carmelo Esterrich

Second Advisor

Robert Watkins

Third Advisor

Steven Corey


Using notions from fan blogs and fan theory, this project analyzes the inconsistencies surrounding the phenomenon of so-called fangirls in the Doctor Who and One Direction worlds. The term fangirl is usually defined as an irrational adolescent female who is only a fan of very specific types of entertainment because of factors that are perceived by other fans as superficial and irrelevant. In contemporary music and television fandom, these fangirls are often criticized and policed by other fans, many times disregarded as not ‘true’ fans. The project studies this distorted perception and how it leads to misconceptions about the wider spectrum of contemporary fandom. The essay looks specifically at fan labor production and unpacks these inaccurate assumptions about what it is to be a fan, and how what ultimately counts as fangirl behavior actually opens up the potentialities of fan subjectivity itself.