I would like to start my first ICA newsletter column by thanking you. Thank you for putting your trust in me for the next two years. Thank you for believing with me that we can create an even stronger community and foster communication between students and early-career scholars. I am deeply honored to be your new representative in the Board and the SECAC.
I believe in reciprocal communication. As such, know that my door (and my email) are always open. If you would like to raise ideas, issues and questions, please feel free to drop me an email, a PM on Facebook or Twitter, or post your question on the Facebook group. Social media are here for us to connect, exchange and work together. I intend to develop these venues during my term. I envision ICA not only as this great community of communication scholars meeting at least once a year to share their research, but also as this amazing opportunity for us, students and early-career scholars, to meet, network, discuss and collaborate with each other all year long, online and offline, before finally meeting at the annual conference. As a Fan Studies scholar, I have the chance to study these fascinating communities where people sharing the same admiration for an object gather and chat. I see how the feeling of community is built and strengthen, and how tight members stick to each other. Fans are incredible people by themselves. But put together, they become an even more incredible community. I believe that we, ICA students and early-career scholars, can become this type of community.
For those of you wondering, I am a French national. I got my undergraduate and Masters’ degrees at the Sorbonne University in Paris, and then started a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. Rhetorical studies not being a great fit for me, I decided to change area in the vast field of Communication. This is how I was recruited by the University of Roehampton in London in Film and Television Studies. I am now doing my PhD there, researching the transmedia experience of Game of Thrones transnational fans, in association with the international network Media Across Borders. I have had the chance to do research in Norway and to present my work at numerous academic conferences all over the world. My experience has showed me how incredibly diverse the student and early-career researcher body is. And yet, we still miss more representation of minorities, gender diversity and smaller divisions. We still lack the voice of early-career researchers from parts of the world like South America and Africa. I hope that during my term we will be able to straighten this situation and bring less represented students, early-career scholars and divisions to the forefront.
As a European citizen who grew up at the border between France and Spain, I believe in the utmost importance of collaboration and community. As a researcher in Fan Studies, a yet-growing field, I know the feeling of being small and unheard. This is why I would like to be the voice of all of you who want to speak and be heard. For the next two years, I will put all my energy to foster collaboration and create links between all of us. I want you to be able to express yourselves, exchange and above all tell us, your representatives, what you want, what you expect, and what you would like to see more in ICA. As your representatives, Tamar Lazar and I will do everything we can to carry your questions to the board, answer your requests and shape ICA the way we want it. But this is something we cannot do without you. We cannot know what you want if you don’t say it. So say it, write it, record it! Tell us what ICA and Student Representatives could do better to improve our association. Tell us what you want featured in the newsletter’s articles, on the website, on the social media pages. Tell us how you envision the ICA Student and Early Career Advisory Committee.
We are here to serve. Valar Dohaeris.