Welcome to The Cosplay Feminist!

This blog used to be called From Austin to A&M, which you can read more about here. Posts from before 21 February 2013 were on that blog, and are kept here as a kind of archive. (Please note, however, that they all now have cosplayfeminist.com domain names. If you’re looking for a specific post, just search for it in the search bar or email me.) You can also still find my first-year composition course materials here.

I’m a pseudo-academic; I received my master’s in English in December 2011 and I teach at a community college, but I don’t plan on returning to academic research. My writing is influenced by my academic background, but most of it is not intended for an academic audience. It’s intended for you: cosplayers, fans, and fellow geeks. I’m also a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, particularly Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, and Supernatural. I’ve been researching cosplay (and cosplaying myself) since early 2011, and find it stimulating, fun, and fascinating. Cosplay is the start of a conversation with other fans, something consumed by fans and non-fans alike; I liken it to a piece of art or a novel. Like a novelist, the cosplayer has their own motivations (both conscious and unconscious), but ultimately the interpretation of their text is done by their readers, each with their own experiences and values. I interpret cosplay in the context of that process, and try to work out what cosplay “says” to the community and to non-geeks.  I’m particularly interested in femme cosplay, especially femme Doctor cosplay in the Doctor Who fan community.

Me in the first version of my steampunk TARDIS dress, at Gallifrey One 2011.

Me in the first version of my steampunk TARDIS dress, at Gallifrey One 2011.

This blog will be about cosplay, but it will also be a space to discuss anything at the intersection of feminism and geek culture or fandom. I will occasionally address geek media, but I’m more concerned here with fan practices and fan communities. I love and hate fandom; it’s a place I feel both utterly at home and utterly unwelcome. This will not be an entirely positive space, and I think criticism is a vital part of being a fan and being a part of a community.

Before, all of my blogs have had comments enabled, but they have so rarely produced constructive conversations that I have disabled them here. If you’d like to comment on a post, feel free to Twitter me, send me an ask on Tumblr, or leave a trackback on your own blog. You can also email me at courtney (at) cosplayfeminist (dot) com. I am interested in fellow geeks and cosplayers have to say about my work, so please send your reactions!

If you’d like to contribute to my research on cosplay, I am always looking for people to interview. We can arrange to meet in person, if you currently live in Texas. You can also fill out my questionnaire via email. You don’t have to be a certain kind of cosplayer, in a certain fandom, or in a certain country to fill out the questionnaire. I’m interested in all types of cosplayers. You don’t even need to be a cosplayer! I’m also interested in what other fans think about cosplay and cosplayers, and have a shorter questionnaire for them. If you’d like to contribute, please email me at courtney (at) cosplayfeminist (dot) com with “Cosplay Interview” in the subject line. Thank you!

I also run a group feminist Doctor Who fan blog Doctor Her. You can follow me on Twitter or on Tumblr.