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Lesson 9

Hello, my name's Dr. Mark Duffett. My PhD was on the relationship between Elvis and his fans.

When I started my study, I was interested in 'fan-dom' rather than Elvis, but I thought I've got to choose Elvis because of the strength and the sort of size of the fan base. It was more that I was interested in 'fan-dom', then I got into Elvis but the process of studying Elvis got me more into Elvis.

What I ended up concluding was that, really, well, there's a special kind of electricity between Elvis and his fans, which is unusual, the intensity of it is unusual for any performer. The fame of Elvis almost charges him up and his performance gives it back.

I teach a course on fan culture, which is a lot of fun because we start off with stereotypes of fans. So we look at Elvis fans and look at sort of the way they're represented in newspaper and things.
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