Book Launch – Killer Fandom by Judith Fathallah

The Centre for Postdigital Cultures and the Post-Publishing Research Strand are pleased to announce the launch of Judith Fathallah’s new book Killer Fandom: Fan Studies and the Celebrity Serial Killer.

Tuesday 12th December from 1500-1700 GMT

Registration (free):

In this 2-hr hybrid launch (in person / Microsoft Teams), Jeff Pooley, professor of media & communication at Muhlenberg College and director of, an open access scholarly publisher, will interview Judith Fathallah on the process of researching, writing and publishing the book. He will then discuss the work of more generally. There will be time for questions and answers following.

Killer Fandom is the first long-form treatment of serial killer fandom. Fan studies have mostly ignored this most moralized form of fandom, as a stigmatized Bad Other in implicit tension with the field’s successful campaign to recuperate the broader fan category. Yet serial killer fandom, as Judith May Fathallah shows in the book, can be usefully studied with many of the field’s leading analytic frameworks. After tracing the pre-digital history of fans, mediated celebrity, and killers, Fathallah examines contemporary fandom through the lens of textual poaching, affective community, subcultural capital, and play. With close readings of fan posts, comments, and mashups on Tumblr, TikTok, and YouTube, alongside documentaries, podcasts, and a thriving “murderabilia” industry, Killer Fandom argues that this fan culture is, in many ways, hard to distinguish from more “mainstream” fandoms. Fan creations around Aileen Wuornos, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Richard Ramirez, among others, demonstrate a complex and shifting stance toward their objects—marked by parodic humor and irony in many cases. Killer Fandom ultimately questions—given our crime-and violence-saturated media culture—whether it makes sense to set Dahmer and Wuornos “fans” apart from the rest of us. Killer Fandom is published Open Access by, an open-access publisher for the media and communication studies fields. Launched in 2019, the press is nonprofit and scholar-led. Killer Fandom is available online, and as a free download in PDF and ePub. A paperback version is also available.

Tuesday 12th December from 1500-1700 GMT

Centre for Postdigital Cultures

Institute for Creative Cultures

Parkside, Coventry CV1 2NE

Coventry University

Room G17 and Online

Registration (free):

[please register if you are attending either in person or online]

Judith Fathallah is a Research Fellow at Coventry University and a Research and Outreach Associate at Lancaster University. Her research interests include new media, media convergence, digital literacies and fan and subcultures in addition to Open Access publishing. For the past 3.5 years she has worked on the creation and launch of the Open Book Collective, and on communal forms of governance.

Jefferson Pooley is professor of media & communication at Muhlenberg College, USA, and director of, a scholar-led open access publisher of books and journals.

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