Professor Ting Huang recently published her article BuBu Fandom and Authentic Online Spaces for Chinese Fangirls in the journal, Transformative Works and Cultures. Through her qualitative research study, she found that fangirls were engaging in literacy practices of reading and writing through online spaces and communities, which helped to craft these participants’ identities, use of literacy skills, and social networks. Her work filled a gap in the literature for Chinese digital literacy development, which has impacts for educators wanting to teach students about China in an authentic way. Her work also provided a perspective in the media literature that is missing, a focus on non-Western fanspace.
Her journey to publication, however, was not easy. This paper originated from Huang’s graduate coursework in 2014. It took many trials and rejections until she found its home in the Transformative Works and Cultures journal. “In publishing, failure is definite. Success is a blessing” shares Huang. After almost giving up on publishing this article, she decided to listen to her own voice and kept persevering. Eventually, she found a journal that was looking for studies on Chinese fandom. Even after her work was accepted into this journal, Huang had to make several revisions. It took her multiple rounds of feedback, a repackaging of the language, a revised thesis, and an overhaul revision from an original manuscript of 8,000 words trimmed down to 4,000 words. Huang reflects, “You grow so much through the feedback.”
Although the journal does not have an education focus, she was able to defend her study’s connection to education in its final form. “My paper spoke directly to their interests” said Huang. And connecting to interests is exactly how Huang came to write this paper initially. Her advisor told her to work on a research project in something that interested her. Huang learned the virtual ethnography methodology and used it to explore Chinese fandom and drama, her favorite form of entertainment. She enjoyed interviewing writers and moderators from the Chinese fangirl online space and learned about how they built relationships and found inspiration for writing in these spaces. Then, this research project led Huang to her dissertation topic in educational technology, which is where she finds her scholarly interests today.
Now, an assistant professor at William & Mary, Huang conducts many research studies and projects for publication. Huang advises any students with goals to publish one day, “Focus on the quality of your paper, and don’t give up. Keep trying. It’s important.”
You can read her article online here.