ceresi: (busybusy)
ceresi ([personal profile] ceresi) wrote in [community profile] characterscount2009-05-11 11:17 pm

Welcome to Characters Count (Dreamwidth remix)

All right, it's been a very long few weeks since I last buckled down and got anything done on the site. I decided to create a community as an easier way for everyone who's interested to get in touch or leave comments; let me know your thoughts, and if anything isn't working for you, just let me know. (P.S. we have a tentative logo! What do you guys think? Feel free to be harsh, I'm new to logo design and you couldn't possibly be worse than some of my professors, who regularly make grown adults cry like little, little children.)

Our first priority is developing a mission statement, followed by finalizing the formatting guidelines. I've done some research into mission statements and have come up with a quick outline about what the site is and what our mission and goals should be. Find it beneath the cut!


    What We Are
  • Characters Count is a place to collect research about character demographics

  • Should we limit this to screen fiction? Sci-fi?

  • Explain the Bechdel Test and where it came from

  • Our goal is to study the ubiquity of the heterosexual white male gaze and how queer, non-white, non-Christian and female characters. . . .

  • Interact with it?

  • Normalize it?

  • Are presented/erased by it?

  • Are relative to it?


    Our Mission/Goals
  • We investigate character interactions and speaking roles to inform and enrich critical discussions of source texts

  • We provide an archive for previous fannish research on the topic

  • We provide information about academic/published research on the topic

  • We aim to expose and articulate subtextual stories about race and gender that source creators may not be aware of

  • We hope to establish methods of investigation that will make discussing different sources as easy as possible


    Who We Are
  • We value input from any and all interested parties

  • We strive to make our information accessible to everyone, and not to exclude anyone based on their level of technology or physical/mental disability

  • We strive to make adding and sharing content as simple and straightforward as possible


There are some parts I'm not sure about, hence the questions. Currently all the shows on the wiki are sci-fi/fantasy -- do we want to limit ourselves to that, or expand to include other genres and even books or graphic novels?

We'll obviously need to talk about the Bechdel Test, but this might also be a good place to discuss it's flaws. All the research I've seen that uses the Bechdel Test as an actual test have found it's not as clear-cut as it appears first; how do you measure pass/fail when the characters are talking in a group (as they frequently are)? How do you measure pass/fail when the plot revolves around a male character (as it frequently does)? I've addressed these questions in my own research, and have been toying with the idea of creating guidelines that could be used as, well, guides for future researchers, but that's a whole other issue. My personal opinion is that we should discuss the Bechdel Test and mention that we're using it as a springboard rather than an absolute test, but someone else might disagree.

The third part is so badly worded that I'm just. *hands* Help?

Mission/Goals are simpler, although I'm obviously extrapolating a bit and planning for the site when it's really up and running rather than it's current purgatorial state. The academic/published research would be me -- I'm far from an expert in the field but I've done a lot of reading, particularly of research articles, and have been wanting to find a way to discuss them and share the information in them with interested fans. The establishing methods of investigation goes back to what I mentioned above -- creating a set of standard definitions as to what constitutes a conversation, what constitutes 'plot', how to rank various passes/fails, etc.

The who we are needs to be fleshed out to be as inclusive as possible, of course, while reinterating a commitment towards accessibility and community.

So, any thoughts?


As for the formatting guidelines . . . pbwiki isn't as flexible as it could be in this area, particularly when it comes to creating and editing tables. For anyone who's added a table to the wiki -- how easy did you find it? Did you use the HTML editor page or the Rich Text editor?

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