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I started this blog in 2007 partly as a writing exercise building up to my thesis. Now, the thesis (Full title: "Animating Transcutural Communities: Animation Fandom in North America and East Asia from 1906-2011") is done. Yesterday I had my oral defense and passed without any revisions required. Now it's just a matter of submitting the final draft, uploading it to my university's web archives (URL coming soon!), and applying to graduate!

I just wanted to say how very grateful I am to the people who did my survey for this thesis. I'll be sending out a short "research report" to those who requested feedback soon, but it's necessarily a general document that can't capture all the nuances of the thesis or of people's responses. Re-reading the survey responses in preparation for my defense, I was once again astonished at how much people gave in terms of thoughtfulness, details, experiences, stories, passions and even criticisms of my project. Some of the harshest responses were the ones that made me think, question my project and my position as a researcher in a useful way. But the kindness people showed also buoyed my spirits and motivated me to go on. Even though I couldn't quote everyone, all of the responses together (and also the blog posts and comments on sites I visit every day!) went into forming my understanding of anime fan community online.

Thesis writing can be long, hard and lonely. It was like that at points for me too. But doing work with anime fans has also been an opportunity to make friends, have fun and grow as a person on many levels. What more could an aca-fan ask? Now I hope to keep posting and making connections as I work more on digital culture and fandom in the future!

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April 2014

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