“#Bughead is Endgame”: Civic meaning-making in riverdale anti-fandom and shipping practices on tumblr

Emily Burkhardt, Verity Trott, Whitney Monaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In this paper, we seek to understand how shipping and anti-fan practices intersect to create meaningful audience engagement and civic discourse about contemporary social and political issues in the “politics of viewing” CW’s adaptation of Riverdale. By examining tagged posts from January 3, 2017 to June 26, 2019, we elicit how fan-rhetoric operates in a digitally networked environment and interrogate the intra-fan rivalries between shippers, anti-shippers, and anti-fans that underpin the Riverdale fandom on Tumblr. In doing so, we begin to sketch out a taxonomy of shipping-specific anti-fan practices, extending Gray’s work into different types and modes of anti-fandom to consider the role shipping plays within consumption practices, fandom stratification, and the production of civic discourse online.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalTelevision & New Media
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • fandom
  • shipping
  • Tumblr
  • digital media
  • social media
  • television
  • Riverdale
  • anti-fandom
  • hate watching
  • digital platforms

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