Geek Bar Beta is the bar home for Geek Bar DLC. (Instagram photo/Shane Tilton)

Writing for Geek Bar DLC

by admin on September 25, 2015

In addition to working on my SxSW proposals for 2016, two conference presentations, and the various other academic pieces I written in the past six weeks, I have also been hired in by Geek Bar DLC to be a quasi “academic-in-residence” and write a series of articles. This assignment was kicked off by my article that I wrote about Jon Stewart and his influence on journalism and the media in general. The next series of articles were a broader series of the definitions of commonly used terms to describe fan culture and the fan themselves.

The first article in this series was an overall framing of fan culture and a discussion of the terms associated with those that celebrate fan culture (i.e. nerd, geek, dweeb, & dork). I wanted to reframe these terms away from the older concepts & optics that are still present in the media and place the terms within the modern understanding of popular culture fandom. The temperament model is an older psychological model, but I felt it was a perfect template in placing the idiosyncrasies of those individuals that take joy in the creative works of others. The next set of articles expanded on the individual terms and applied these roles to the temperament model. The first post focused on “nerds as the choleric, passionate guardians of knowledge.” The second argument placed “the dork as the melancholic, analytical observer of fan culture.” The two articles left to publish are “the dweeb as phlegmatic, quiet champion of fan culture” & “the geek as the sanguine social director of the various fan communities.” These breakdowns are partly a discussion of the tropes related to the various terms, partly an etymology on the terms, and partly a re-framing of the terms.

I found through this writing that I am enjoying a more “public academic” style of communicating with the world. I’m not worried that the content is hitting the specialized audience of my peers. I am not crafting my language to meet the lingustical expectations of a learnt readership. The formal academic structure (introduction, literature review, hypotheses, methods, results, discussion, & conclusion) is missing for my work. The articles still contain reasoning and evidence to support the claims being made, but they lack the semantical weight found in other articles I have written. There seems to be an easier flow to these articles.

I still consider the work I am doing for Geek Bar DLC to be academic in nature as I feel that the discussion of my subject matter in the articles has been analytical and organized in a way that shows my approach to the material. The tone of the work has been mainly in the formal, objective third person. Finally, the content that I’ve been writing has been within my academic wheelhouse (media theory, fan culture, and popular culture). The hope of working on this platform is to have a broader audience read my other works and try to communicate some of the theories I follow to a lay audience.

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