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A History

Subjects: Media Studies, New Media, Gender Studies
Paperback : 9780472038527, 276 pages, 21 illustrations, 22 online-only illustrations, 135 videos, 6 x 9, February 2022
Open Access : 9780472902590, 276 pages, 21 illustrations, 22 online-only illustrations, 135 videos, 6 x 9, February 2022

The Open Access version of this book was made possible with the support of Muhlenberg College, the Mellon Foundation, The Daniel J. and Carol Shiner Wilson Fund, and the Harry Potter Education Fanon (HPEF) project.
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Traces the history and development of a previously little-known fan practice

Table of contents

List of Hosted Vids
A Note on Formatting
Introduction: Vidding and the Rise of Remix Culture
Chapter 1. What Is Vidding? Vid Watching 101
Chapter 2. Early Vidding and Its Precursors
Chapter 3. VCR Vidding and the Vidding Collectives (1980–1991)
Chapter 4. Conventions, Computers, and Collective Action (1991–2007)
Chapter 5. Re/evolutions: Vidding Culture(s) Online

The extended edition also includes the following appendix material:
1. Spotlight on: MARCHIN’ ON, by Hanna
2. Spotlight on: SUPREMACY, by rhoboat
3. Spotlight on: RADIOACTIVE, by Counteragent
4. Spotlight on: DANTE'S PRAYER, by Killa
5. Spotlight on: MARVEL, by lim
6. Spotlight on: SCOOBY ROAD, by Luminosity
7. Spotlight on: Character Vids
8. Spotlight on: A FANNISH TAXONOMY OF HOTNESS (HOT HOT HOT), by the Clucking Belles
9. Spotlight on: Big Emotion
10. Spotlight on: Comedy Shorts
11. Spotlight on: Dark Shadows Vidding
12. Spotlight on: The California Crew
13. Spotlight on: Mary Van Deusen and Her Descendants
14. Spotlight on: The San Francisco School
15. Spotlight on: Phallic Critique
16. Spotlight on: VOGUE, by Luminosity
17. Spotlight on: WALKING ON THE GROUND, by Seah & Margie
18. Spotlight on: PREVIOUSLY (VividCon 2010 intro vid), by Lumiosity and Melina
19. Spotlight on: CLOSER, by T. Jonesy and Killa
20. Spotlight on: The OTW’s Test Suite of Fair Use Vids
21. Spotlight on: Vidding Characters of Color
22. Spotlight on: Vids about Vidding
23. Spotlight on: Vids in the Classroom


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.


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).

“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

"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

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Listen: Interview with Francesca Coppa on On Your Screen | 04/24/2022
Finalist: 2024 ACLS Open Access Book Prize Multimodal Category Finalist | 01/09/2024