Rebecca Williams is an Associate Professor in Media Audiences and Participatory Cultures at the University of South Wales.
She has published extensively in the fields of media and cultural studies with a particular focus on media audiences and fandom, participatory cultures, celebrity studies, mediated place and space, media tourism, and themed and immersive modes of transmediality. Her current projects focus on the connections between media, space and place and her wider work has examined audience responses to on-screen representation of local places, the lived and embodied experiences of media and screen tourists when they visit important sites, and the concept of ‘spatial transmedia’. She is also exploring broader understandings of transmediality and participatory media through case studies such as true crime fandom (in particular, its links with notions of citizenship and modes of ‘dark participation’).
Her books include the monographs Theme Park Fandom (2020) and Post-Object Fandom: Television, Identity & Self-Narrative (2015) and the edited collections Everybody Hurts: Transitions, Endings & Resurrections in Fan Cultures (2018), Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (2013), and A Fan Studies Primer: Method, Research, Ethics (with Paul Booth, 2021). She guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Fandom Studies (2018) on the topic of endings and resurrections in media fandom, and co-edited an issue of Critical Studies in Television (2011) on television in small nations. She recently co-edited a special issue of American Behavioral Scientist with Dr Lucy Bennett from Cardiff University, highlighting research on the links between fandom, participatory cultures and politics. She is currently co-editing a collection on Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas (read the CFP here) and working on a journal special issue on ethical fan consumption. Her other Works In Progress are listed here.
Rebecca is an elected member of the Steering Committee for the Fan & Audience Studies Special Interest Group for the Society of Cinema & Media Studies. As a Member of the Board of the Fan Studies Network she co-organised the Network’s annual 2018 conference, one of the world’s largest gatherings of international fan studies scholars, held at Cardiff University.
She is a Co-Editor of Popular Communication and sits on the Editorial Boards of Celebrity Studies, Journal of Fandom Studies, Transformative Works and Cultures and the Editorial Advisory Board of Intensities: Cult Media Journal . She is a member of the Steering Group of the Centre for Media and Culture in Small Nations, and former Book Reviews Assistant for Critical Studies in Television, and a member of the Themed Entertainment Association, the British Association of Film, Television & Screen Studies and the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). She has also guest blogged at Fantasy/Animation, In Media Res, The Conversation, and Critical Studies in Television.
Rebecca is regularly consulted as an expert on media and fan cultures and has been interviewed for international press, radio, and television.
What’s Happening Now
Most Recent Book: Williams, R. and P. Booth (ed.) (2021) Fan Studies: Method, Research, Ethics (Fandom & Culture Series), Iowa: University of Iowa Press.
Most Recent Publication: Williams, R. (2022) ‘Creativity and Connection: How Disney Parks’ Fans Responded During the Coronavirus Closures’, in Fan Phenomena: Disney, edited by Sabrina Mittermeier, Bristol: Intellect.
Most Recent Blog Post: Williams, R. (2020) ‘“Simply Meant to Be? Locating Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas at the Disney Theme Parks’, Fantasy/Animation Blog. Online, 11 December 2020.
Most Recent Conference Paper: Invited Symposium Participant: ‘Fandom and Spatial Adaptation in Transmedia Tourist Experiences’ at ‘‘To Be Continued: Defining, Producing, Performing, Consuming, and Theorizing Serials and Adaptations’, Hosted by University of Delaware [Virtual Conference], September 2022.
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