Community College of Aurora professor releases book on power of fandoms

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AURORA | Community College of Aurora sociology professor Tanya Cook is holding a reading Thursday evening at the Tattered Cover to celebrate her new book, “Fandom Acts of Kindness.”

Coauthored with Kaela Joseph, the book is a study of the way that fandoms can create real-world positive impacts. A researcher of sociological movements and popular culture, Cook is also a self-described sci-fi and fantasy nerd, according to a news release from CCA. That combo led her to researching the ways that fans used their shared love of a media property to branch out into charitable projects or activism.

“After attending fan conventions and events, I was impressed by how much fans were doing to try to support their communities and make the world a better place,” Cook said in the release. “For me as a sociologist, this looked a lot like how social movements and other grassroots initiatives started.”

Cook’s research first gained an audience after Supernatural actor Misha Collins shared an abstract of a paper she presented to his several million social media followers, causing her notifications to explode.

“I thought someone was pranking me,” she said in the release.

From there she got in touch with Joseph, and the two decided to expand her work into a book. According to the Tattered Cover, Fandom Acts of Kindness “not only tells the stories of the good fans have done in the world but serves as a dungeon master’s guide to how to be a hero yourself.”

The book signing and reading is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Tattered Cover’s Aspen Grove location, 7301 S. Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. The event is free and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

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