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ENWR 2510: Fandom & Ethnography

Research guide for Charity Fowler's ENWR 2510 class.

Subject Guide

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Sherri Brown
Kerchof 102

Helpful URLs

Preparing for Research

This guide was created to help you prepare for your literature review and other research assignments for ENWR 2510 and as a general guide to resources related to fans and fandom.

As part of your Informational Essay, you should have thought some about possible questions to start your research. In addition to identifying a research topic/question, you will also want to spend some time thinking about how you will conduct your research. 

  • Fine-tune your searches.
    Think broadly when brainstorming search terms - what synonyms or related terms could stand in for your key search terms?
    You can combine search terms using AND ("Game of Thrones" AND race) and OR (fan OR groupie OR follower). 
    In many databases, the asterisk (*) is a truncation or "wildcard" symbol  that will match all possible endings for a word stem.  For example, sex* will match sexism, sexual, sexuality, sexualize, etc. 
    Most databases have filters or facets that allow you to narrow your results by subject, date range, etc. Limit your searches to help you find the sources you need. 

  • Think about where you might find the type of information you are seeking.
    Will you find the research you need in a book? An article? A newspaper? A documentary? An interview? Cast a wide net when looking for the types of resources that could help answer your research question or support an argument you are making. 

  • Know the difference between academic and non-academic sources, and when it's appropriate to use them.
    Most databases allow you to limit results to academic/scholarly/peer-reviewed sources. Be mindful of your assignment and what you're being asked to provide. Need a refresher? Watch the short video Peer Review in 3 Minutes.

  • When you find a good source, use it to find other good sources. 
    Use the subject terms and keywords associated with an item to find other items on similar topics.
    Scholarly books and articles will have works cited, bibliographies, or footnotes you can mine for additional resources. 

Need help? Ask a librarian.  

Finding articles

Multidisciplinary Databases 

Academic Search Complete is a large general database of articles from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers on many topics. Updated daily, it can be the best source for resources about very current topics.

ProQuest offers UVa faculty, staff, and students access to 35 separate databases, covering numerous fields from the hard sciences to social sciences, as well as newspapers, government records, and statistical data.

JSTOR includes older issues of scholarly journals in many disciplines, from the start to 3-5 years ago.

Project Muse Searchable full text of nearly 600 scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics, mostly from North American university presses. Older volumes are often available from JSTOR.

Literature, Television, & Film

MLA International Bibliography (MLAIB) indexes the broadest range of resources about literature in all languages, as well as film, television, and popular culture, including over 4,000 journals as well as books and dissertations. It is not a full-text resource, meaning that you can only search the description of an article, rather than the text of the article. To get the full text of an article, click on “Find article @ UVa Libraries”, or look up the journal title in VIRGO.

Film & Television Literature Index Finds reviews of films and articles on theory, preservation and restoration, writing, production, cinematography, and technical aspects of both film and television in the U.S. and internationally.

Performing Arts Periodicals Database lists articles from scholarly and popular periodicals covering dance, film, television, theater, opera, stagecraft, broadcast arts, storytelling and more. 


The Music Periodicals Database indexes scholarly and popular music publications with abstracts and some full-text.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature includes broad international coverage of journals, books, dissertations, and more, covering all areas of music. 


Sport Discus with Full Text is an international database that covers sports medicine, exercise physiology, coaching, recreation, and more. 

Finding books & articles using Virgo

Virgo, the U.Va. Library’s primary search tool, contains catalog records for books, print journals, DVDs, maps, and digitized materials, as well as links to online articles from our rich array of subscription journals.  You can search catalog materials and articles together, or view those results separately, using the facets provided to limit your results by author, format, publication period, and more.  

Example subject terms: 

Possible Ebooks of Interest

Possible Print Books of Interest