In Memoriam: Kathy Larsen

Kathy Larsen

Longtime Popular Culture Association member Katherine Ann Larsen died February 9, 2022.  She was 63.

Kathy received her B.A. in English Language and Literature from the State University of New York at Albany in 1980, her M.A. in English Literature from Georgetown University in 1986, and her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1996.  She was a professor in the University Writing Program at George Washington University from 1995 until her death.  Kathy served on the steering committee of the Faculty Association at George Washington University and was a strong advocate for labor rights and collective bargaining at the university.

Kathy was a pioneering scholar of fan culture and served as the PCA Area Chair for Fan Culture and Theory for many years until her death.  She was one of the founders of the Journal of Fandom Studies and also edited the journal.  Together with Lynn Zubernis, Kathy founded the website Fangasm.  One of Kathy’s specialties was the WB (later CW) TV series Supernatural.  Among her innovations (with Lynn Zubernis) was working with the directors and actors of the series to influence plots and make the show more appealing to fans.

Kathy was a prolific writer and editor.  Her edited collections include Fan Culture: Theory, Practice (with Lynn Zubernis, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012); Supernatural (with Lynn Zubernis, Intellect Books, 2014); and World Film Locations: Washington, D.C. (Intellect Books, 2015).  Kathy was coauthor, with Lynn Zubernis, of Fandom at the Crossroads: Celebration, Shame and Fan/Producer Relationships (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012); Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls (University of Iowa Press, 2013); and the chapter “Make Space for Us! Fandom in the Real World” in A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies (Wiley Blackwell, 2018, edited by Paul Booth).


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