“Researching Starsky and Hutch is exquisite torture”: Female television audiences and 1980s letterzines

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Stevens, E. Charlotte
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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This paper reflects on work-in-progress on archived media fans’ letterzines of the 1970s and 1980s. Growing out of the science fiction APA fanzine scene, letterzines collect letters of comment (LOCs) between female fans and capture conversations about their television viewing. Zines from this period go beyond science fiction and include fandoms for cop shows such as Starsky & Hutch (ABC, 1975–1979) and Simon & Simon (CBS, 1981–1989). Letterzines, which have not typically been used as a source for exploring women’s television history, contain a range of information of interest to historians: interpretations of character and narrative, reports on fan conventions and meet-ups, and discussions of how women related to contemporary television at a time when VCRs started to saturate the domestic market. These primary source documents can potentially nuance assumptions about what women watched, their views on the programmes, and the contexts in which they watched.
Media fandom , Archives , Letterzines , Television , Fanzines
Stevens, E. C. (2021) '“Researching Starsky and Hutch is exquisite torture”: Female television audiences and 1980s letterzines', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 20, pp. 213-219. https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.20.16