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Mel Stanfill

Associate Professor

Texts & Technology / English

University of Central Florida


Recent Publications

Stanfill, Mel, and Jillian Klean Zwilling. 2023. “Critical Considerations for Safe Space in the College Classroom.” College Teaching 71(2): 85–91.

Condis, Megan, and Mel Stanfill. 2022. “Debating with Wertham’s Ghost: Comic Books, Culture Wars, and Populist Moral Panics.” Cultural Studies 36 (6): 953–80.

Tarvin, Emily,* and Mel Stanfill. 2022. “‘YouTube’s Predator Problem’: Platform Moderation as Governance-Washing, and User Resistance.” Convergence 28 (3): 822–37.

Stanfill, Mel. 2021. “Can’t Nobody Tell Me Nothin’: ‘Old Town Road’, Resisting Musical Norms, and Queer Remix Reproduction.” Popular Music 40 (3–4), 347–63.

Lothian, Alexis, and Mel Stanfill. 2021. “An Archive of Whose Own? White Feminism and Racial Justice in Fan Fiction’s Digital Infrastructure.” Transformative Works and Cultures 36, n.p.



Research  and Teaching Interests

  • Media studies
  • Critical media industry studies
  • Queer theory
  • Digital media
  • Critical race and gender studies
  • Fan studies

About Me

My research focuses on the intersection of media and everyday people, considering how technological, identity-based, legal, and economic structures produce cultural common sense around what, and whom, media is for. My book, Exploiting Fandom: How the Media Industry Seeks to Manipulate Fans (forthcoming from University of Iowa Press in spring 2019), analyzes the changing relationship between media companies and fans of their products in the Internet era. Formerly, intensive media use was often considered atypical or aberrant, but as technology has enabled increased interactivity over the past two decades, these forms of engagement are now recruited. This has been hailed as an advance of audience power, but I interrogate the specific ways interactivity is incited to argue that only some people and practices have been normalized. A second key thread in my research examines the role of social norms and inclusivity in media and technology use, asking in what ways race, gender, and sexuality affect access and use.  The third theme in my research examines platforms and design.