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Vidding: A History

by Francesca Coppa

University of Michigan Press, 2022


eISBN: 978-0-472-90259-0

Paper: 978-0-472-03852-7

About the Book
Vidding is a well-established remix practice where fans edit an existing film, music video, TV show, or other performance and set it to music of their choosing. Vids emerged forty years ago as a complicated technological feat involving capturing footage from TV with a VCR and syncing with music—and their makers and consumers were almost exclusively women, many of them queer women. The technological challenges of doing this kind of work in the 1970s and 1980s when vidding began gave rise to a rich culture of collective work, as well as conventions of creators who gathered to share new work and new techniques. While the rise of personal digital technology eventually democratized the tools vidders use, the collective aspect of the culture grew even stronger with the advent of YouTube, Vimeo, and other channels for sharing work.

Vidding: A History emphasizes vidding as a critical, feminist form of fan practice. Working outward from interviews, VHS liner notes, convention programs, and mailing list archives, Coppa offers a rich history of vidding communities as they evolved from the 1970s through to the present. Built with the classroom in mind, the open-access electronic version of this book includes over one-hundred vids and an appendix that includes additional close readings of vids.

About the Author
Francesca Coppa is Professor of English and Film Studies at Muhlenberg College, where she teaches courses in dramatic literature and film studies. A founding member of the Organization for Transformative Works and an architect of the Archive of Our Own, she is the editor of The Fanfiction Reader: Folk Tales for the Digital Age (2017).
"This is a culmination of decades of research with, on, through, and about vids, vidders, and vidding, and it does what it sets out to do. As anyone who has read Coppa's writing before knows, she is dedicated to highlighting the vital contributions of women to fandom and vidding in particular, and this continued dedication is another strength of the book."
--Transformative Works and Cultures— Sebastian F.K. Svegaard, Transformative Works and Cultures

“Vidding makes a valuable contribution to scholarship on fandom, media, and audiences and an especially significant feminist intervention in scholarly definitions of and conversations about remix.”
—Tisha Turk, Grinnell College
— Tisha Turk, Grinnell College

“The close analyses of specific vids spread throughout the book are remarkable both for the insight they offer of each individual vid and the way they model what in-depth analyses of fan video can be. The history and vid analyses are woven deftly together to then serve as a framework for understanding the book’s discussion of cultural debates about the value of remix, what defines remix, what remix practices have been heralded as important, and how vids and vidders have significantly changed that conversation over the years.”
— Louisa Stein, Middlebury College
— Louisa Stein, Middlebury College

Fans (Persons), Internet videos, Computers, Popular Culture, Media Studies, Social aspects, Social Science, History
Open Access Information

Label: Muhlenberg College, the Mellon Foundation, The Daniel J. and Carol Shiner Wilson Fund, and the Harry Potter Education Fanon (HPEF) project

License: CC BY-NC