Fandom can save the world!
This first of its kind, actionable and inspirational resource provides the tools and motivation necessary for pop culture fans to make a difference—while having fun!
Fandoms are united as a community because of the power of story. And it’s exactly the magical alchemy forged when mixing story and community that has helped fandoms across the world feed thousands of hungry children, donate countless books, build schools, register voters, disrupt online hate speech, and save lives through crafting PPE for COVID-19 frontline workers, natural disaster response, and mental health crisis support.
Fandom Acts of Kindness not only tells the stories of the good fans have done in the world but serves as a dungeon master’s guide to how to be a hero yourself. Perfect for those who want to inspire others, organize collective action, sustain, and nurture your own mental health and creativity, and do it all through a pop culture perspective.
Tanya Cook, PhD, (she/her) is a sociology professor at the Community College of Aurora near Denver, CO. In 2019, Cook was one of 26 community college faculty awarded a research grant from Mellon/ACLS to support sociological research on fandom. Her research and writing interests include social movements, sociological theory, and popular culture. Cook has written articles for The Journal of Fandom Studies and The Journal of Screenwriting that feature Game of Thrones and Wynonna Earp, respectively. She was named the Inclusive Excellence Faculty of the Year in 2018 by her college for her efforts to engage diversity in the classroom.
Kaela Joseph (they/she) is a licensed clinical psychologist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area as a program manager, clinic director, and clinical supervisor. Kaela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder and a PhD in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in LGBTQ psychology, from Palo Alto University. Kaela has published and presented at professional conferences and Comic-Cons on the topic of fan activism, as well as on fandoms and sexuality. Works by Kaela in these areas can be found in Lynn Zubernis’s book There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural and in April Vian, Melissa Kenedy, and Shani Irvine’s book, CONventional Wisdom: Every Con Has a Story. Kaela also regularly presents on health care equity, systems improvement, and gender-diverse care at professional conferences, as well as in health care settings to clinicians and clinical trainees. Kaela has additionally published in academic journals on the topic of lived experience of mental health challenges among mental health care providers. Kaela attributes much of their own identity development as an activist, as well as their coming out as queer and nonbinary, to participation in fandoms, including many years of taking part in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt (GISH), which benefits the nonprofit Random Acts and other causes.